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Archive for June, 2010




Roundup: Foundation-Funded Efforts in Cardiovascular Health, Medicaid


June 30th, 2010

Today I am focusing on what foundations are funding in the areas of cardiovascular health and Medicaid. Some of the funders mentioned in this selective sample of foundation efforts may be new to you. Medicaid is back in the news. According to the media and the National Conference of State Legislatures, it is not at […]

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Is The Impact of Comparative Effectiveness Reports Being Evaluated?


June 30th, 2010

It is clear to all informed persons that the nation needs better evidence of what works in health care, and this has propelled comparative effectiveness research (CER) policy developments of late.  However, for a number of—mainly political—reasons, recent Federal legislation separates the process of evidence generation and evidence synthesis from policy processes, e.g. Medicare coverage […]

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Rapid Learning Cancer Care: Getting Serious About Implementation


June 29th, 2010

Editor’s Note: Below, Amy Abernethy discusses the potential of a rapid learning system to improve the quality and efficiency of cancer care. Lynn Etheredge also addresses this subject in a another Health Affairs Blog post published today. With respect to rapid learning healthcare, it’s time to get serious about implementation.  National entities, such as the Institute of Medicine and the […]

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Rapid Learning And Cancer Care: Time To Move Forward


June 29th, 2010

Editor’s Note: Below, Lynn Etheredge discusses the potential of a rapid learning system to improve the quality and efficiency of cancer care. Amy Abernethy also addresses this subject in another Health Affairs Blog post published today. Cancer is among the most complicated group of diseases to research and treat. The progress in the federal government’s […]

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New Health Policy Brief: Medicare Physician Payment


June 28th, 2010

The latest health policy brief from Health Affairs and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, released June 25, examines the issue of Medicare physician payment. Specifically, the brief addresses the controversy surrounding the sustainable growth rate (SGR) mechanism, which ties physician payment rates to Medicare spending for physician services and the growth rate of the overall economy. […]

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New Health Wonk Review Is Up


June 25th, 2010

Over at Wright on Health, Brad Wright presents some of the best of recent health policy blogging in the latest edition of the Health Wonk Review. Brad includes a Health Affairs Blog post on the debate over whether health reform can bend the cost curve.

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Same-Sex Couples Face Inequities In Access To Health Coverage


June 24th, 2010

Partnered gay men in California are only 42 percent as likely as married heterosexual men to get employer-sponsored dependent health insurance. Partnered lesbians in the state have an even smaller chance (28 percent) of getting that same coverage, compared to married heterosexual women. Those findings are contained in a Web First article released online today by Health […]

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Round-Up: Health Care for the Elderly, Health Policy, Nurses, Value of Care—Reports, Funding Available, and More


June 23rd, 2010

Here are some more items that have come across my desk in recent months that you may want to check out. Health Care for the Elderly Request for Proposals (RFP): The Step Up to Stop Falls: Falls Prevention Collaborative aims “to help older adults to continue living safely in the community for as long as […]

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Implementing Health Reform: A Patient Bill Of Rights


June 23rd, 2010

Editor’s Note: Earlier posts by Timothy Jost provide analyses of regulations implementing provisions of the new health reform legislation governing grandfathered plans, tax exempt hospitals, the small employer tax credit, the Web portal, reinsurance for early retirees, and young adult coverage.  On June 22, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury released interim final regulations […]

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Can Health Reform Bend The Cost Curve?


June 22nd, 2010

Can the recently enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act succeed in reducing the growth rate of health care spending? It must, David Cutler said in an article in the June issue of Health Affairs and at a June 7 Washington D.C. briefing on the issue. Video and slides from the briefing are available on the Health Affairs […]

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Rapid Learning And Cancer Care


June 21st, 2010

The Institute of Medicine recently released a summary of its workshop on developing a rapid learning system for cancer care. As the IOM mentions, “opportunities for rapid learning, incorporating electronic health records and large databases, were first identified by” Lynn Etheredge and other authors in a 2007 package of Health Affairs articles. As Etheredge, an […]

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Looking At The Gulf Oil Spill Health Effects


June 18th, 2010

Washington this past week hosted many events dealing with the British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Among them were two Congressional hearings addressing the potential health effects on humans of the spill and of the agents used in subsequent clean-up efforts. The Senate Health Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee convened Tuesday on the subject, and the House Energy […]

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MedPAC Report: Training Medical Professionals For The New Health Care World


June 17th, 2010

Among both supporters and opponents of the recently passed health reform legislation, there is widespread agreement on the necessity of revamping the health care delivery system. But our current system of educating physicians and other medical providers is likely not up to the challenge of producing professionals who will lead the needed changes. So said […]

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Medicare Chemo Payment Cuts: How Did They Affect Cancer Patients?


June 17th, 2010

As a result of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, physician reimbursements for outpatient treatment of cancer patients were lowered. In the first study to examine how these reductions affected the likelihood and setting of chemotherapy treatments for Medicare beneficiaries, researchers looked at patients recently diagnosed with lung cancer and found […]

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Implementing Health Reform: Grandfathered Plans


June 15th, 2010

Editor’s Note: Earlier posts by Timothy Jost provide analyses of regulations implementing provisions of the new health reform legislation governing tax exempt hospitals, the small employer tax credit, the Web portal, reinsurance for early retirees, and young adult coverage.  From the beginning of his push for health care reform, President Obama promised “If you like your insurance plan, […]

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A Foundation’s Win At Public Health Policy on Smoking


June 15th, 2010

Using Political Tactics and Strategies at the State Level to Achieve a Ban on Smoking in Indoor Public Places and Workspaces  As a foundation committed to shaping health policy, we at the Sunflower Foundation made a decision to fund a public policy campaign as a special initiative, rather than a grant program, primarily because there was no nonprofit organization […]

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Health Care Workforce: Nurse And Physician Shortages


June 14th, 2010

In today’s Washington Post, Darryl Fears writes about looming shortages of physicians and nurses. One of the primary sources quoted in the article is Peter Buerhaus of Vanderbilt, who says the nation is looking at a future shortage of about 300,000 nurses. Readers interested in more detail on Buerhaus’s nursing workforce projections can consult his Health Affairs […]

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Top 10 on Health Affairs Blog: Implementing Reform and More


June 11th, 2010

In the past two months at Health Affairs Blog, law professor Timothy Jost has posted an ongoing series on implementing health reform, analyzing what’s in the new legislation. Other “most-read” posts have summarized key points from Health Affairs’ major theme issue on “Reinventing Primary Care,” and have highlighted the writings of Don Berwick, President Obama’s pick to head the Centers for Medicare […]

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Physician Hours, Dartmouth Data and More on Wonk Review


June 11th, 2010

This week’s Health Wonk Review kicks off with posts debating the issues of residents’ sleep deprivation and long physician work weeks. It then moves to one of the hot-button health policy  issues of the past week – namely, why the New York Times took on the Dartmouth Atlas and studies of variations in medical practice. […]

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Round-Up: Philanthropy Efforts in Global Health


June 10th, 2010

Some interesting items have come across my desk in recent months that you may want to check out. Reports: “Innovation in Action: Policies to Accelerate Development and Delivery of Global Health Tools,” Global Health Technologies Council, April 2010. The council is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This short policy report “examines the […]

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