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Archive for October, 2010




A Halloween Health Wonk Review


October 29th, 2010

Check out the The New Health Dialogue at the New America Foundation for a Halloween collection of great health policy blogging.  Meredith Hughes, Allison Levy, and Sam Wainwright team up to present the latest Health Wonk Review, which includes Dan Mendelson’s Health Affairs Blog post on increasing Medicare Part D choices for low-income seniors.

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What Is An ‘Essential Benefit’?


October 29th, 2010

A central feature of health reform is the state exchanges, through which a variety of plans will be offered. Each of those plans will be required to offer a package of “essential benefits” as defined in the Affordable Care Act.  When most people think of benefits, they think of monthly premiums, annual deductibles and co-pays for […]

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The 2010 Election: How Three Foundations Are Providing (Nonpartisan) Assistance


October 28th, 2010

Read about the nonpartisan election-related efforts of three foundations. (As you may know, 501(c)(3) private foundations are prohibited from participating in political campaigns. For details, see this Internal Revenue Service publication.) Publication of the Views of Candidates in One Statewide Race Bob Ross, president and chief executive officer of  the California Endowment (TCE), said in an e-mail […]

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How Medicare Can Encourage Insurers To Cover Low-Income Beneficiaries


October 28th, 2010

When Medicare Part D began in 2006, Medicare created payment formulas to reimburse the private health insurance plans that administered these outpatient drug benefits. Insurers received higher reimbursement rates for low-income patients who received subsidies than for more affluent patients.  The formulas also provided a fixed payment amount for each beneficiary based on the previous […]

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Reminder: Health Affairs Briefing On Value-Based Insurance Design


October 28th, 2010

On November 2, 2010, Health Affairs will welcome policy experts at a briefing to discuss key topics in value-based insurance design. VBID is the primary focus of the journal’s November issue, published with the support of the California HealthCare Foundation. Areas to be discussed will include: the evidence supporting the impact of value-based insurance design; the effectiveness of value-based insurance design in getting […]

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Interstate Insurance Sales: Questioning The ‘Race To The Bottom’


October 27th, 2010

The House Republican “Pledge to America” calls for opening up the health insurance marketplace by allowing people to purchase insurance across state lines. Families USA director Ron Pollack objects that this would cause a “race to the bottom,” with consumers buying insurance in states with the fewest consumer protections (read: regulations) and, therefore, the lowest […]

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The Politics Of Health Reform: Will It Get Better For Democrats?


October 27th, 2010

In next week’s elections, voters will punish Democrats for passing health reform legislation that focused on expanding coverage rather than controlling costs, Republican pollster Whit Ayres said at a Health Affairs media breakfast this morning. Democratic pollsters Stan Greenberg and Celinda Lake argued that the issue of health reform would play better for Democrats in […]

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Simpson To Take Reins At AcademyHealth


October 26th, 2010

AcademyHealth, a professional society for health services researchers and health policy analysts, today announced that Lisa Simpson would be the new president and CEO of the organization and its advocacy arm, the Coalition for Health Services Research. Simpson is currently the director of the Child Policy Research Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and […]

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Health Care Prices: Ignored Once Again?


October 25th, 2010

The United States spends far more on health care than other industrialized countries, yet Americans visit the doctor less and spend fewer days in the hospital than our counterparts abroad. Why do we get less for more? Because we pay far higher prices, four Health Affairs authors declared in a seminal 2003 article, “It’s The […]

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State Regulators Finalize Recommendations On Insurer Spending Requirements


October 22nd, 2010

State insurance regulators issued their final recommendations yesterday to the federal government regarding how much insurance companies should be required to spend on providing medical care and improving quality for the people they insure. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners will formally deliver its recommendations next week to the Department of Health and Human Services, […]

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Health Reform, Hospital Readmissions, Nurses, Oral Health: Foundation Blog Roundup


October 21st, 2010

Here are links to other recent blog posts from and about health philanthropy that caught my eye. The topics range from health professions to health reform to hospitals. (The blogs mentioned are all listed in our Blogroll on the right side of the GrantWatch Blog page.) “A Boost to Better Care,” by Chris Langston, on […]

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Narrative Matters: Refusing Mammograms And Caring For Elderly Parents


October 21st, 2010

Which groups of women, if any, should get regular mammograms to screen for breast cancer? This question has been the subject of passionate debate. For example, when the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommended that women without special risk factors begin regular mammograms at age 50, rather than 40, it unleashed an uproar that threatened […]

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Health Affairs Briefing: Value-Based Insurance Design


October 20th, 2010

The November issue of Health Affairs,with the support of the California HealthCare Foundation, focuses on the growing interest in and adoption of value-based insurance design.  Value-based insurance design is based on the simple concept that incentives matter — and if insurance coverage is an obvious set of incentives for both provider and patient, it should be […]

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Roundup: What’s New on the Philanthropy Blogs


October 19th, 2010

Here are links to some recent blog posts from and about health philanthropy that caught my eye. They cover a variety of topics—from political contributions to water and sanitation to social media to the flu. All blogs mentioned are listed on our Blogroll on the right side of the page. “Healthcare Reform and Mental Health,” […]

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Watch Health Affairs‘ Comparative Effectiveness Briefing


October 19th, 2010

The Affordable Care Act and last year’s economic stimulus legislation have launched a major new initiative in comparative effectiveness research, the topic of Health Affairs‘ October issue and the journal’s October 5 briefing at the National Press Club. You can watch the briefing and download speaker materials on the Health Affairs web site.

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Reform Starts Now: More Choice For Medicare’s Low-Income Rx Beneficiaries


October 18th, 2010

An oft-heard criticism of the new health care law is that its major provisions do not kick in until 2014, leaving little immediate benefit for most Americans, especially those struggling in this economy. However, the reality is that the Affordable Care Act is already helping millions of low-income seniors who have had tenuous coverage for […]

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Health Reform: Uncompensated Care Costs And Reductions In Medicaid DSH Payments


October 15th, 2010

Editor’s Note: Today on Health Affairs Blog, Courtney Burke and Erika Martin of the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government/Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy at the State University of New York in Albany examine two related issues that will be important to monitor and address as health reform is implemented. Below, the two researchers discuss the […]

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Health Reform: What Is The Future For Undocumented Aliens?


October 15th, 2010

Editor’s Note: Today on Health Affairs Blog, Courtney Burke and Erika Martin of the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government/Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy at the State University of New York in Albany examine two related issues that will be important to monitor and address as health reform is implemented. Below, the two researchers discuss access to […]

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Why Foundations Need to Shape Payment Reform


October 14th, 2010

One of the most important unanswered questions about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 is whether it will deliver on its promise to bend the cost curve. The law includes an array of provisions to rein in spiraling costs. These include eliminating cost barriers to effective prevention and screening measures in health insurance […]

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Plugging Into The Future Of Health Care


October 14th, 2010

Lonny Reisman, Aetna’s chief medical officer, was a participant in an August 5  National Press Club briefing on steps the private sector can take to promote meaningful use of health IT. The briefing was cosponsored by Health Affairs and the Health Industry Forum at Brandeis University. The post below highlights some aspects of Reisman’s presentation and supplements his discussion. Too often, […]

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