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Archive for August, 2011




The Challenges Of Payment Reform And Administrative Simplification


August 31st, 2011

As both a Canadian and an analyst who focuses on US healthcare, I have an abiding curiosity in comparisons between the US and Canadian systems, so it was with great interest that I read the recent Health Affairs article by Dante Morra and coauthors entitled “US Physician Practices Versus Canadians: Spending Nearly Four Times As Much Money […]

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Archstone Foundation: Funding to Help Prevent Elder Abuse in California and Inform the Field


August 30th, 2011

This foundation, located in Long Beach, California, focuses its grant making on older people. Its funding priorities are fall prevention, elder abuse and neglect, and end-of-life issues. In addition, Archstone also makes grants for “emerging and unmet needs within the field of aging.” The funder’s website notes that it accords highest priority to grant proposals […]

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Where To For Hospice?


August 30th, 2011

A column by New York Times columnist David Brooks titled “Death and Budgets,” read in combination with a recent report from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“Medicare Hospices that Focus on Nursing Facility Residents”), makes painfully clear how urgently America must rethink the way […]

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Long-Term Care: What Some Foundations Are Funding


August 29th, 2011

I have compiled here some recently released content on long-term care. A poll funded by the SCAN Foundation was released just this month. New Poll Results Two-thirds (66 percent) of Californians age forty and older who were surveyed said they are worried about affording long-term care for themselves or a family member, according to a […]

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ACO 101: The Basics Of Accountable Care


August 29th, 2011

Regarding the subject of “health care reform” during the past year, it is certain that more has been written about, more conferences have been devoted to, and more consultants have been engaged for the topic of “accountable care organizations” (ACOs) than any other.  ACOs are in the spotlight both because of several provisions in the […]

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The Cost Of Medicare: You Get What You Pay For


August 26th, 2011

In the battle over bending the cost curve in Medicare, a recent article in Health Affairs should set off alarms.  In it, Francis Lukas and colleagues describe the proliferation of new cardiac surgery programs—300 in 10 years–at exactly the same time that the number of cardiac bypass grafts fell.  Moreover, the new programs generally did […]

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Risk-Shifting In Health Care And Its Implications: Part Two


August 25th, 2011

Yesterday, in the first installment of a two-part Health Affairs Blog post, Troyen Brennan and Thomas Lee discussed the shifting of risk they see taking place in the health care system, from insurers and employers to provider and patients. In part two below, Brennan and Lee discuss the implications of this shift for various health […]

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Medicare’s Looming Risk Transfer


August 24th, 2011

Editor’s Note: Below, Jaan Sidorov analyzes the risk-shifting inherent in proposals for Medicare reform. Today, Health Affairs Blog is also publishing the first installment of a two-part post by Troyen Brennan and Thomas Lee, which addresses risk-shifting in the health care system as well. Suppose, despite my good health and lifelong habit of avoiding doctors, […]

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Risk-Shifting In Health Care And Its Implications: Part One


August 24th, 2011

Editor’s Note: Below, in the first installment of a two-part Health Affairs Blog post, Troyen Brennan and Thomas Lee discuss the shifting of risk they see taking place in the health care system, from insurers and employers to provider and patients. In part two tomorrow, Brennan and Lee will discuss the implications of this shift […]

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An Accountable Care Community in Akron, Ohio: Collaborating to Create a Healthier Future


August 23rd, 2011

Editor’s note: You’ve heard of an Accountable Care Organization, haven’t you? Now read about a new initiative—an Accountable Care Community—in this northeastern Ohio city. In response to chronic health conditions, the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron (ABIA), its founding members, and numerous community organizations have joined to launch a first-of-its-kind Accountable Care Community, which will use […]

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Too Many Medicare Advantage Choices Can Decrease Enrollment


August 19th, 2011

A new Health Affairs Web First study finds that increased choice among Medicare Advantage plans leads to increased enrollment in the program among elderly Americans, but only when beneficiaries are choosing among 15 or fewer plans. When Medicare beneficiaries have a choice of 15 to 30 private plans, increased choice does not result in increased Medicare Advantage […]

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Kaiser Permanente and UCSF Genomics Project Reaches Major Milestone Yielding Important Data


August 18th, 2011

Read about this exciting project involving more than 100,000 Kaiser Permanente health plan members. Because this is a new area for me (I mostly write about health policy and what foundations are funding in that area), I wanted to find a good definition of genomics that is easily understandable by the nonscientist: Genomics. . . […]

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Implementing Health Reform: Informing Consumers


August 18th, 2011

One of the most important innovations of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is that it dramatically increases and improves the information that consumers have available about health insurance and health care.  HHS has already implemented provisions of the ACA requiring insurers to disclose information regarding their medical loss ratios and to publicly justify unreasonable rate […]

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Narrative Matters: Eleanor Clift On Her Husband’s Death And End-Of-Life Issues


August 17th, 2011

In the newest Health Affairs Narrative Matters essay, prominent journalist Eleanor Clift writes about her husband Tom Brazaitis and his death from metastatic cancer at age 64. Clift describes the multiple ways in which she and her husband benefited from hospice care, in which Brazaitis spent the last four months of his life. Clift uses […]

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The Legal Battle Over Health Reform: Analyzing The 11th Circuit Opinions


August 16th, 2011

Editor’s Note: Below, William Sage analyzes Friday’s federal appellate court decision regarding the Affordable Care Act. See Timothy Jost’s earlier post for more on this decision. On August 12, a divided three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled in State of Florida v. Sibelius that the individual mandate contained […]

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Appellate Court: Individual Mandate Falls But Rest Of Affordable Care Act Survives


August 15th, 2011

Editor’s Note: Below, Tim Jost analyzes Friday’s appellate decision regarding the Affordable Care Act. See Bill Sage’s post for more Health Affairs Blog coverage of this decision and its significance. One August 12, 2011, in a case brought by 26 states and various private parties, the Eleventh Circuit Federal Court of Appeals handed down the […]

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Implementing Health Reform: Medicaid And Exchange Eligibility Determinations


August 13th, 2011

On August 12, 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services issued two notices of proposed rulemaking (NPRMs) in its ongoing efforts to implement the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  The first addresses eligibility for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) after the 2014 implementation of the ACA Medicaid expansions.  The second governs eligibility […]

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Implementing Health Reform: Premium Tax Credits


August 13th, 2011

On August 12, the Departments of Health and Human Services and Treasury (Internal Revenue Service) issued three notices of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) as part of their continuing effort to implement the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The proposed rules will be formally published in the Federal Register on August 17 for comment. One NPRM issued by […]

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The Coming Transformation Of Public Addiction Treatment


August 12th, 2011

Provisions of the Affordable Care Act and other recent legislative changes will transform public substance abuse treatment in the United States, substantially increasing the funding, expanding access to care, and better integrating it with other health services. That’s the conclusion of an article by Jeffrey Buck, senior advisor for behavioral health in the Center for […]

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People Post: Who’s Working Where? Staff Changes at Foundations


August 11th, 2011

Read below about some comings and goings at foundations around the country. Abraham Daniels has joined the Sierra Health Foundation. He is in charge of the foundation’s new health initiative that aims to strengthen the main health care safety net in the Sacramento, California, region, according to Sierra’s newsletter. Most recently, Daniels was director of […]

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