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Archive for May, 2011




Health Affairs Briefing: Strategies For The Global ‘Decade Of Vaccines’


May 31st, 2011

Immunizing the world’s children against infectious diseases has dramatically cut childhood death and suffering in recent decades.  In 2010, philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates called for a new “Decade of Vaccines” to vault the progress dramatically forward. The June 2011 issue of Health Affairs, sponsored by the Gates Foundation, examines the strategies that will be […]

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Saving The Shared Savings Program (ACOs) Part Two: Financial Issues


May 31st, 2011

Editor’s Note: This is the second installment of a series of blog posts by Ron Klar offering suggestions on how to make the Medicare Shared Savings Program a more viable vehicle for the creation of accountable care organizations. You can read the first installment here. In this posting I will address the three financial issues […]

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Health Wonk Review: Memorial Day Edition


May 26th, 2011

If you’re traveling over the long weekend, you’ll want to take along some reading material. While some might reach for a good novel by John Grisham or Dan Brown, the health policy blogs in this edition of the Health Wonk Review tackle equally compelling mysteries. Was the Medicare Trustees report really that gloomy? If Workers […]

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Pioneer ACOs: The Right Direction, But What’s The Goal?


May 25th, 2011

Editor’s Note: The post below discusses the recent announcement regarding accountable care organizations by the Center For Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. This is also the topic of another post, by Douglas Hastings, published today on Health Affairs Blog. For large entities that already successfully participate in managed care, the recently announced Center for Medicare and […]

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Pioneer ACOs: Surging To A New Level Of Integration?


May 25th, 2011

Editor’s Note: The post below discusses the recent announcement regarding accountable care organizations by the Center For Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. This is also the topic of another post, by Steve Lieberman, published today on Health Affairs Blog. In a speech on February 1, among other comments, Dr. Don Berwick, the Administrator for the Centers […]

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Stifling Primary Care: Why Does CMS Continue To Support The RUC?


May 24th, 2011

Editor’s Note: In addition to Brian Klepper and Paul Fischer (photos and bios above), this article is authored by Kathleen Anne Behan, a skilled trial and corporate lawyer who provides advice to a range of individual and corporate clients. She has 20 years of experience practicing law, including as a partner with Arnold & Porter LLP, and […]

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The Beacon Communities At One Year: The Inland NW Experience


May 24th, 2011

Editor’s note: The federal government’s Beacon Program provides funding to 17 communities that have already made inroads in the development of secure, private, and accurate systems of electronic health record (EHR) adoption and health information exchange. This is the fourth in a series of Health Affairs Blog posts in which leaders of several Beacon communities […]

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Protecting Children from Environmental Chemical Exposures: An Economic Priority


May 24th, 2011

In the May Health Affairs issue, Sarah Vogel and Judy Roberts map out the disastrous history of the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the major legislation that regulates chemicals.  TSCA makes it difficult for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to restrict use of any of the 62,000 chemicals already in commerce.  It does not […]

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Just Another Hospital Weekend, Or Life And Death?


May 23rd, 2011

Suppose you need to drive from Boston to San Francisco, about 3200 miles, over the next 7 days.  At an average speed limit of 55 mph you could accomplish this by driving about 10 hours a day, including stops for rest and food breaks; a grueling but not impossible journey. Now suppose that gas stations […]

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The Beacon Communities At One Year: The SE Minnesota Experience


May 23rd, 2011

Editor’s note: The federal government’s Beacon Program provides funding to 17 communities that have already made inroads in the development of secure, private, and accurate systems of electronic health record (EHR) adoption and health information exchange. This is the third in a series of Health Affairs Blog posts in which leaders of several Beacon communities […]

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Implementing Health Reform: The Premium Increase Review Final Rule


May 20th, 2011

Editor’s Note: This is the latest in a series of posts by Timothy Jost on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.  Earlier posts have analyzed some important guidances, as well as provisions governing state waiver requests, student health plans, premium review, medical loss ratios, insurance exchanges, coverage for pre-existing conditions, appeals of coverage denials, coverage for […]

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Fostering Productive Dialogue on Health Reform Implementation


May 19th, 2011

Catherine Hess of the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) reports on how foundations are supporting efforts to foster dialogue between states and stakeholders during implementation of health reform. Facts, not ideology, should ground discussions was among the lessons learned at a meeting of state officials and advocates in southern states. Even in political […]

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HA Studies Focus On Reducing Costs, Reaching The Underserved


May 19th, 2011

The Affordable Care Act of 2010 is expected to extend health coverage to some thirty-two million previously uninsured Americans.  Two of the many challenges faced by both the private sector and the government are getting a handle on rapidly rising medical costs and providing care to the many new enrollees with chronic illnesses who are […]

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The Beacon Communities At One Year: The Colorado Experience


May 19th, 2011

Editor’s Note: The federal government’s Beacon Program provides funding to 17 communities that have already made inroads in the development of secure, private, and accurate systems of electronic health record (EHR) adoption and health information exchange. This is the second in a series of Health Affairs Blog posts in which leaders of several Beacon communities […]

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Health Policy Brief: The CLASS Act


May 18th, 2011

The latest Health Policy Brief from Health Affairs and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation examines the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Plan, a voluntary, publicly administered insurance program enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act in 2010. It is designed to help people should they become disabled and need long-term services and […]

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Saving the Shared Savings Program (ACOs): Specific Suggestions for Success–Part One


May 17th, 2011

Editor’s Note: This is the first installment of a series of blog posts by Ron Klar offering suggestions on how to make the Medicare Shared Savings Program a more viable vehicle for the creation of accountable care organizations. This installment focuses on (1) the sharing model(s) for ACOs, and (2) the beneficiary issues of assignment, […]

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The Beacon Communities At One Year: The Central Indiana Experience


May 16th, 2011

Editor’s note: The federal government’s Beacon Program provides funding to 17 communities that have already made inroads in the development of secure, private, and accurate systems of electronic health record (EHR) adoption and health information exchange. This is the first in a series of Health Affairs Blog posts in which leaders of several Beacon communities […]

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Community Development And Health Is Topic Of November HA Cluster


May 13th, 2011

Health Affairs plans a thematic cluster for its November 2011 issue on the topic of community development and health. Manuscript submissions are due no later than July 5, 2011. Papers will be selected for the issue based on competitive review. The publication of this cluster is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which in […]

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The Shifting Health Care Landscape: Lessons From The Clinton Era


May 13th, 2011

The U.S. health care landscape is changing in a way that’s reminiscent of shifts that occurred during the Clinton Administration. As a former hospital CEO who experienced first-hand that earlier land rush, I’m struck by the similar dynamics that are at work again in health care. To be sure, there are great differences between the […]

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Advanced Practice Registered Nurses: Crucial Full Partners In ACOs And Beyond


May 13th, 2011

Are some primary care providers more equal than others in CMS’ proposed rule for accountable care organizations (ACOs)? As the June 6 deadline for comment approaches, we need to take a closer look at just how the proposed rule might shape the future of primary care. Here’s one big red flag: even though ACO participants […]

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