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Archive for July, 2010




Implementing Health Reform: Pre-Existing Condition Coverage


July 30th, 2010

Editor’s Note: Earlier posts by Timothy Jost provide analyses of regulations implementing provisions of the new health reform legislation governing appeals of coverage denials, coverage for preventive services, a patient bill of rights, grandfathered plans, tax exempt hospitals, the small employer tax credit, the Web portal, reinsurance for early retirees, and young adult coverage. As of January 1, 2014, […]

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Changing The Name — But Not The Political Game


July 30th, 2010

Editor’s Note: Yesterday, the Obama administration announced interim final regulations governing the temporary Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Below, Thomas Miller and James Capretta criticize this portion of the Act and the design of the temporary health insurance pools for high-risk individuals that it creates. For more on […]

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Lessons Learned from the Pfizer Foundation’s ConnectHIV Initiative


July 29th, 2010

$7.5 million to Battle HIV/AIDS in the United States Earlier this month, President Barack Obama set out a new domestic AIDS policy, which asked cities, states, federal agencies, and the private sector to find ways to cut new infections by 25 percent; get more patients treated quickly and consistently; and reduce the disproportionate impact of […]

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Viable — And Reliable — Alternatives To Colonoscopies


July 29th, 2010

According to the American College of Gastroenterology, colorectal cancer is currently the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. The colonoscopy is considered the “gold standard” for colon cancer detection. However, a new Health Affairs Web First study by researchers from RTI International demonstrates that for screening programs with limited budgets, using fecal […]

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End-Of-Life Savings: The ‘Fool’s Gold’ Of Reform?


July 28th, 2010

Just over 1 in 4 dollars spent by the Medicare program last year was spent on someone who was in their last year of their life.  This is nothing new–the basic proportion has not changed since it was first noted in the 1970s.  Other nations that spend much less on health care nevertheless spend a similar […]

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Foundation Underscores the Merits of Healthy Food Choices


July 28th, 2010

With First Lady Michelle Obama’s interest in fresh produce from the garden, we are reminded of how good it is, especially this time of year, to indulge in fresh fruits and vegetables. Check out this four-color magazine recently released by a foundation in Pittsburgh. The Heinz Endowments recently released the first “food issue” of its […]

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Health Policy Brief: Accountable Care Organizations


July 27th, 2010

Americans will soon be hearing more about a new type of entity: accountable care organizations. That’s because the health care reform legislation enacted earlier this year authorizes Medicare to contract with accountable care organizations, or ACOs, to provide care for enrollees. Accountable care organizations are designed to focus on delivering care to a particular population […]

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Humanitarian Assistance: Turning Commitment And Competence Into Professionalism


July 26th, 2010

Until recently, much of the humanitarian response to disasters from the volunteer sector could be characterized as committed and compassionate – and competent as well, if sometimes just barely. From the South Asian tsunami of 2004, to the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the response has been at best uneven, with some agencies performing brilliantly and others not. […]

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Implementing Health Reform: The Appeals Process


July 25th, 2010

Editor’s Note: Earlier posts by Timothy Jost provide analyses of regulations implementing provisions of the new health reform legislation governing coverage for preventive services, a patient bill of rights, grandfathered plans, tax exempt hospitals, the small employer tax credit, the Web portal, reinsurance for early retirees, and young adult coverage.  On July 22, 2010, the Departments of Health […]

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Wonk Review Features Reinhardt On Insurers And Cost Control


July 23rd, 2010

Over at the Workers’ Comp Insider, Julie Ferguson presents some of the best examples of recent health policy blogging in the latest edition of the Health Wonk Review. Among the posts included is Uwe Reinhardt’s Health Affairs Blog post asking whether increasing the number of health insurers would decrease health care cost growth. Other posts […]

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Roundup: Foundations’ Efforts in Mental Health Care


July 23rd, 2010

Stateline.org, the Pew Charitable Trusts’ online news site on state policy and politics, reported on July 19, 2010, that ”as states face their biggest fiscal challenge in modern history,” state funding of mental health is declining—for the first time in more than thirty years. Meanwhile, what have foundations been doing lately in mental health? Recent report: […]

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Partners HealthCare Applauds EHR Meaningful Use Regs


July 23rd, 2010

Partners HealthCare’s clinical and information system leaders are still poring over and absorbing the details of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) program for Meaningful Use of certified interoperable electronic health record technology by the nation’s hospitals and physicians.  But two things are already clear: These criteria will push provider organizations into […]

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Who Stands To Gain From Health Reform?


July 22nd, 2010

As the United States begins implementing health reform, many aspects of the new law will be experienced differently depending on an individual’s current health insurance status. Joseph Newhouse, an internationally renowned Harvard economist, assessed health reform from the perspective of four different groups. He reports in a Health Affairs Web First article that the new law […]

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What Have Foundations Been Doing to Prevent and Treat HIV/AIDS?


July 21st, 2010

Earlier in July 2010, the White House released a new strategy for combating HIV/AIDS in the United States. Then, this week, the XVIII International AIDS Conference kicked off in Vienna, Austria. As we know, the disease affects people around the world. I decided to pull together some information in today’s post on what philanthropy has […]

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Calculating Caring


July 21st, 2010

The small waiting room was packed with young mothers holding teary-eyed toddlers, older folks with resting tremors and oxygen tanks, and an obese man just stepping in from a smoke. I’m a family physician about to share my afternoon with each of them, in a working-class western Pennsylvania town. Walking quickly through the room on […]

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The Fight Against HIV/AIDS: Becoming More Efficient


July 20th, 2010

The International AIDS Conference is currently taking place in Vienna. One of the major themes of the conference, voiced by such notables as Bill Gates and Bill Clinton, is the need for the fight against HIV/AIDS to become more efficient. In the face of declining resources, and more competitors for those resources, there is simply no other choice. […]

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Debating The Lessons Of Massachusetts


July 19th, 2010

What does the Massachusetts experience tell us about the prospects for success of national health reform? That’s the subject of an ongoing debate that relies heavily on research published in Health Affairs by Urban Institute researchers. The pessimistic view on Massachusetts. In a column in today’s Washington Post, Robert Samuelson cites a June 2010 Health Affairs article by Sharon […]

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Reducing Health Care Disparities Affecting People with Diabetes


July 17th, 2010

Diabetes has been in the news this week what with a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel ruling on the diabetes drug Avandia. So, today’s post focuses on a foundation-funded program to reduce disparities in care for people who have this chronic disease. The Alliance to Reduce Disparities in Diabetes, which is funded by […]

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Health Policy Brief: Extra Federal Medicaid Support


July 16th, 2010

As the annual August congressional recess approaches, one of the issues still to be resolved is whether to extend into the first six months of 2011 a temporary increase in federal contributions to states for Medicaid funding. This provision was enacted as part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which prevented anticipated […]

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Getting the Care Needed for PTSD


July 16th, 2010

As the nation continues to wage war in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) looms as an ever-more pressing issue. Earlier this week, the Obama administration made it easier for veterans to obtain disability benefits and treatment for PTSD by eliminating the requirement that they document a specific attack or other incident that […]

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