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Archive for September, 2011




Another Exciting Episode Of Health Wonk Review


September 30th, 2011
by Chris Fleming

Over at the New America Foundation, on The New Health Dialogue, Joe Colucci marks what would have been Jim Henson’s 75th birthday with a Muppet edition of the Health Wonk Review. (The title of this blog post is shamelessly stolen from Joe’s opening-line tribute to Alistair Cookie.) Joe includes a Health Affairs Blog post by […]

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The Affordable Care Act Supreme Court Petitions: Issues And Implications


September 29th, 2011
by Timothy Jost

Wednesday, September 28 was a busy day at the Supreme Court clerk’s office. It had been widely expected that there would be a major pleading filed with the clerk in an Affordable Care Act challenge, as the response of the United States to a certiorari petition in the Sixth Circuit’s Thomas More case, which had […]

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What’s Behind The Rise In Premiums For Employer Coverage?


September 28th, 2011
by Chris Fleming

Total premiums for employer-sponsored family health coverage have reached $15,073, up 9 percent from last year, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust reported yesterday in their annual Employer Health Benefits Survey. This sharp rise comes after a string of comparatively mild increases. Last year, family premiums increased 3 percent, after […]

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Increased Spending Wipes Out Income Gains; Low-Income Families Hit Hardest


September 27th, 2011
by Chris Fleming

Steadily rising health care costs are exacting a heavy financial toll on many families, leaving them with less and less disposable income while increasing the federal deficit, according to a study in the recently released September issue of Health Affairs.  From 1999 to 2009, an average American family of four saw its annual income increase […]

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Why Fund Prevention? The Rationale behind One Foundation’s Decision.


September 27th, 2011
by Mary L. Piepenbring

Why did the Duke Endowment decide to select disease prevention as one of its three major funding areas in health care? Why would a private foundation invest in programs and infrastructure to prevent disease when the number of uninsured is growing and there is not enough funding available to treat people burdened with chronic disease?  […]

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Common Sense And Malpractice Reform


September 26th, 2011
by William Sage

Having both medical and law degrees typecasts me.  New acquaintances ask if I have ever sued myself.  Within the health policy community, colleagues assume I study medical malpractice. So I have let it become a self-fulfilling prophecy.  I worked on medical malpractice in the Clinton White House, and devoted my first scholarly efforts to analyzing […]

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AHIP Conference To Highlight Health Plan Innovations


September 23rd, 2011
by Chris Fleming

If the United States is to reduce the growth of its debt over the long term, and if Americans are to have access to affordable medical care, we will have to reinvent our health care system to deliver better care and achieve better health at lower costs. This “three-part aim” has animated much policy discussion […]

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Rural Health: Report from the Kentucky Health Policy Forum


September 23rd, 2011
 
by Susan Zepeda and Amy Watts

GrantWatch Blog invited staff from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, which is based in Louisville, to report on the forum, which was held earlier this month; the foundation sponsored the event. The authors begin with some background. The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky has invested five years of funding and technical assistance in efforts to expand primary […]

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Health Affairs Briefing: Disparities In Health And Health Care


September 23rd, 2011
by Chris Fleming

On Thursday, October 6, Health Affairs will hold a briefing to release its October 2011 issue, “Agenda For Fighting Disparities.”  The issue explores the relationship of social and economic determinants to health disparities; the role of specific environmental factors; disparities in the quality of health care delivered at hospitals; and other relevant topics. The overall […]

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New Approaches In A New World, Starting With ACOs


September 23rd, 2011
 
by Debra Ness and William Kramer

If the last few months have made anything clear, it’s that the fiscal climate has changed and there are no longer any sacred cows.  Medicare and other essential health programs are on the chopping block, despite their immense popularity and the fact that they stand between life and death for millions of the most vulnerable […]

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Women and Smoking: New Funding for Tobacco Control in the Developing World


September 22nd, 2011
by Caroline T. Roan

The author, who is president of the Pfizer Foundation, spoke at a UN meeting this week on noncommunicable diseases. The United Nations (UN) has been hosting its High-Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases September 16–21 in New York City. This is an important opportunity to highlight the alarming incidence of chronic diseases in developing countries and […]

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Insurance Exchanges: Trouble At The SHOP?


September 22nd, 2011
by Roger Collier

Editor’s note: For more on insurance exchanges, see today’s post by Leesa Tori and Tuesday’s post by Steve Lieberman and Kristin Drobac, as well as Tim Jost’s earlier analyses (here and here) of proposed rules concerning  exchanges issued under the Affordable Care Act. A feature of the Affordable Care Act that’s received relatively little attention is […]

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Insurance Exchanges: Lessons From The Life And Death Of Pac Advantage


September 22nd, 2011
by Leesa Tori

Editor’s Note: For more on insurance exchanges, see today’s post by Roger Collier and Tuesday’s post by Steve Lieberman and Kristin Drobac, as well as Tim Jost’s earlier analyses (here and here) of proposed rules concerning  exchanges issued under the Affordable Care Act. You’ve got mail… It turns out that was really a bad thing, at least the […]

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Coaching For Prevention: The Healthy Howard Model


September 21st, 2011
 
by Elizabeth Edsall Kromm and Peter Beilenson

Prevention is critical to reducing rates of chronic disease, premature death and disability, and controlling health care costs. This point has been made many times over by health care and health policy experts both in the United States and abroad. Unfortunately, our current health care system is not set up to incentivize prevention efforts and […]

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State Perspectives On Implementing Insurance Exchanges


September 20th, 2011
 
by Steve Lieberman and Krista Drobac

Editor’s note: Watch for additional posts on insurance exchanges coming soon on Health Affairs Blog. The National Governors Association (NGA) hosted a two-day workshop entitled, “Timelines, State Options, and Federal Regulations” to assist states in considering the many decisions and tasks associated with the creation of insurance exchanges and related changes to Medicaid enacted in […]

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Medicare Is More Efficient Than Private Insurance


September 20th, 2011
by Diane Archer

Editor’s note: Robert B. Wohl, B.A., Wesleyan 2011, assisted Diane Archer in the preparation of this response to an earlier Health Affairs Blog “Contributing Voices” post by John Goodman and Thomas Saving. See also Austin Frakt’s post at the Incidental Economist and John Geyman’s post at the Physicians for a National Health Program blog for additional responses to the Goodman-Saving post. Contrary […]

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Medicare Policy And Politics: The Obama Debt Reduction Plan


September 19th, 2011
by

Today, President Obama offered his plan to reduce the national debt by $3 trillion over 10 years, relative to current law. Most media attention will focus on his “Buffett rule,” the principle that millionaires should not pay average tax rates below those of the middle class, and on his ultimatum to “veto any bill that […]

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A Brief History Of Health Spending Since 1965


September 19th, 2011
by Charles Roehrig

Since last March when we began tracking national health expenditures (NHE) on a monthly basis, we have been wondering when the health spending share of GDP would hit the 18 percent threshold. The recent downward revision of historical GDP estimates has provided the answer – it already happened — back in the summer of 2009, […]

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Mortality Gains Unlikely Until Next Stage Of Meaningful Use EHR Requirements


September 16th, 2011
by Chris Fleming

The federal government is currently offering bonus payments through Medicare and Medicaid to hospitals, physicians, and other eligible health professionals who meet new standards for “meaningful use” of health information technology. Whether these incentives will improve care, reduce errors, and improve patient safety as intended remains uncertain. In a Health Affairs Web First study published […]

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The Three Most-Read GrantWatch Blog Posts during August 2011


September 16th, 2011
by Lee-Lee Prina

The rankings are in! We have listed below the three most-read posts. Take a look in case you missed one of them when the original tweet or e-alert went out announcing it. 1. “The Colorado Health Symposium’s Debate over Repealing and Replacing the ACA,” by Grace-Marie Turner (August 3). Heading the list is a post […]

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