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Archive for October, 2011




Health Affairs Briefing: Linking Community Development & Health


October 31st, 2011

On Tuesday, November 8, Health Affairs will release its November 2011 issue, “Linking Community Development & Health.”  The issue explores the connection between improving the health of populations and undertaking efforts to raise incomes, employment and overall economic activity in low-income communities. The issue builds on the work of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and […]

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Eradicating Polio: The Way Forward


October 28th, 2011

    On World Polio Day, October 24, 2011, the Independent Monitoring Board of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative issued its third quarterly report.   The Independent Monitoring Board “was established at the request of the Executive Board of WHO [World Health Organization] and the World Health Assembly in 2010, to monitor the implementation and impact of […]

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    Welcome Progress, But the Final Verdict on ACOs Is Yet to Come


    October 27th, 2011

    Editor’s note: See additional posts on the Medicare Shared Savings Program Final Rule  and related delivery system and payment reform initiatives by Lawrence Casalino and Stephen Shortell,  Douglas Hastings, and Mark McClellan and Elliott Fisher, and Don Berwick and Richard Gilfillan. Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) may have done what once […]

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    World Healthcare Innovation And Technology Congress


    October 26th, 2011

    Health Affairs is pleased to be a media partner for the World Congress 7th Annual World Healthcare Innovation and Technology Congress (WHIT) on November 7-8 in Vienna, Virginia. Annually, WHIT gathers hundreds CIOs, CTOs, CIOs, CMIOs and other senior level IT executives to discuss how health care can further be improved with the use and the implementation of […]

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    Can It Be True? Do Food and Beverage Companies That Sell Healthier Products Do Better Financially?


    October 25th, 2011

    An e-alert describing a new report caught my eye. Who would have anticipated these results? The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), which announced back in 2007 that it would commit at least $500 million to reversing the childhood obesity problem by 2015, funded the work that led to the report (described below) about the effects on business […]

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    CMS’ Opportunity: A Lawsuit Offers A Chance To Reform Physician Payment


    October 25th, 2011

    Editor’s Note: There are ongoing legal and policy debates regarding the role of the Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC) in advising the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on relative Medicare payment rates for different types of physician services. Below, Brian Klepper and David Kibbe argue for ending the RUC’s role in the Medicare […]

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    The ACO Race Is On: Navigating The Terrain


    October 24th, 2011

    Editor’s note: See additional posts on the Medicare Shared Savings Program Final Rule  and related delivery system and payment reform initiatives by Debra Ness and William Kramer, Douglas Hastings, Mark McClellan and Elliott Fisher, and Don Berwick and Richard Gilfillan. On October 20, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued its final rules for […]

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    Value-Based Payment, Accountable Care, And The ACO Final Rule: Are We Making Progress?


    October 22nd, 2011

    Editor’s note: See additional posts on the Medicare Shared Savings Program Final Rule  and related delivery system and payment reform initiatives by Debra Ness and William Kramer, Lawrence Casalino and Stephen Shortell,  Mark McClellan and Elliott Fisher, and Don Berwick and Richard Gilfillan. To answer the question in my title, I think we are making progress, and […]

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    The ACO Final Rule: Progress Toward Better Care At Lower Cost


    October 21st, 2011

    Editor’s note: See additional posts on the Medicare Shared Savings Program Final Rule  and related delivery system and payment reform initiatives by Debra Ness and William Kramer, Lawrence Casalino and Stephen Shortell,  Douglas Hastings, and Don Berwick and Richard Gilfillan. The release yesterday of the regulation to launch the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) marks […]

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    Accelerating Innovation At The Centers For Medicare And Medicaid Services


    October 21st, 2011

    Editor’s note: See additional posts on the Medicare Shared Savings Program Final Rule  and related delivery system and payment reform initiatives by Debra Ness and William Kramer, Lawrence Casalino and Stephen Shortell,  Douglas Hastings, and Mark McClellan and Elliott Fisher. Innovation has revolutionized medicine.  Technology enables us to peer into the depths of the human body to […]

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    ACO Final Rule Addresses Perceived Barriers To Participation


    October 20th, 2011

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services today released the long-awaited final rule on the Medicare Shared Savings Prorgram, which sets standards for the creation of accountable care organizations. ACOs are designed to encourage physicians, hospitals, and other providers to coordinate with each other and provide better quality care more efficiently. They were advanced by Elliott Fisher and others in Health Affairs and established in the Affordable Care […]

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    Of Wands, Pens, And Fries: How The Essential Benefits Report Advances Reform


    October 19th, 2011

    Significant steps are being taken to implement the Affordable Care Act (ACA) even as the challenges to its constitutionality make their way through the federal courts.  For example, the Institute of Medicine recently released its much-anticipated report to the Secretary of Health and Human Services on the principles and methods that should guide the design […]

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    A Flawed ‘Bad Medicine’ Campaign


    October 18th, 2011

    The poor legislative and regulatory framework monitoring the quality, sale and transit of medicines in the developing countries, coupled with the scarcity of human and financial resources and a lack of political will, allows the trade in counterfeit and substandard medicines to boom. This problem must be addressed by ensuring that medicines in the developing […]

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    Event Reminder And Twitter Info: Saving Medicare Dollars And Improving Care


    October 18th, 2011

    Tomorrow, October 19, Health Affairs, along with co-sponsors the ABIM Foundation, the California HealthCare Foundation and the Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making, will present ideas endorsed by leading physicians for Saving Money and Improving Patient Care in Medicare.  A list of speakers and other information is available in this earlier post.  WHEN:                  Wednesday, October […]

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    Envisioning A Post-CLASS Long-Term Care Insurance Program


    October 17th, 2011

    As has been widely reported, the Department of Health and Human Services announced on Friday that they would stop implementing the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) program the long-term care program included in the Affordable Care Act. “For 19 months, experts inside and outside of government have examined how HHS might implement a […]

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    Essential Health Benefits: Balancing Costs, Coverage, And Necessity


    October 14th, 2011

    The much anticipated Institute of Medicine Report on essential health benefits (EHB) was released last week with a series of recommendations that answered some questions and raised many more. The report offers a very important opportunity for researchers, policymakers, providers and patients to fill in some of the white space between the recommendations. Background on EHB […]

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    Health Affairs Event: Medicare Savings Ideas For The Super Committee


    October 13th, 2011

    The congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction has been charged with finding ways to decrease federal budget deficits by at least $1.2 trillion between fiscal 2012 and 2021. There is broad recognition among policy makers that savings in Medicare should be part of the solution.  Happily, there are measures that would not only save […]

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    The Health Wonk Review Unadorned


    October 13th, 2011

    With apologies to my more creative predecessors as Health Wonk Review hosts, there’s no theme today. (After all, how could one top Alistair Cookie?) I will get right to the great posts in this week’s edition. Costs And Premiums. At Managed Care Matters, Joe Paduda explores an apparent disconnect: flat medical costs coupled with rising […]

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    The Three Most-Read GrantWatch Blog Posts during September 2011


    October 12th, 2011

    It’s time to let you know of the most-read GrantWatch Blog posts during September—in case you missed them when they first came out. (1) “Philanthropy People Post: Who Is Working Where, Who Has Been Appointed to a Board,” by Health Affairs Senior Editor/GrantWatch, Lee-Lee Prina (September 8). Periodically, I write a blog post focused on people. […]

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    Meeting To Focus On Improving Care Transitions Through Health IT


    October 12th, 2011

    This Friday, Oct. 14, 2011, a working meeting of innovators, policy and health IT experts, health care providers, patient organizations, technology companies, and government agencies will convene in Washington to assess progress in improving transitions in care and prioritize how the increasing availability of health IT can address some of the most intractable challenges related […]

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