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Archive for January, 2012




Health Policy Briefs: Accountable Care Organizations


January 31st, 2012
by Chris Fleming

In April 2012 a number of accountable care organizations (ACOs) will begin their contracts with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) under Medicare’s Shared Savings and Pioneer ACO programs. The latest health policy brief from Health Affairs and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation provides an overview of ACOs, their origins, and the current […]

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The Facts On Massachusetts Health Reform


January 30th, 2012
by Sharon Long

Last Thursday’s Republican Presidential Debate in Florida included a lively, but not always accurate, exchange on health reform in Massachusetts.  In particular, Senator Santorum reported that one in four Massachusetts residents were going without needed care because of high costs; he also implied that the share of residents choosing to pay the fine for failing […]

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Foundation News: Funding Priority Changes; Health Policy Jobs Open; Gates Foundation Discussion Held


January 27th, 2012
by Lee-Lee Prina

Read news about the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Greenwall Foundation, and Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. See descriptions of two policy jobs at health foundations. These tidbits recently came across my desk. •The Greenwall Foundation’s website notes that effective January 1, 2012, its grant making “will focus solely on building and enriching the Greenwall Faculty Scholars Program […]

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Health Policy Brief: Medicaid Reform


January 27th, 2012
by Chris Fleming

Medicaid, the nation’s largest public health insurance program, provides health coverage for low-income people, or about one in five Americans. The program will also play a central role in expanding insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act. However, recent concerns about federal budget deficits and the fiscal pressures on states have generated new proposals to […]

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A Foundation Leader Discusses Massachusetts Health Reform at the Five-Year Mark


January 26th, 2012
by Sarah Iselin

The president of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Massachusetts hits some of the highlights of a recent foundation-supported report on that state’s ongoing health reform effort. Call it what you like—“RomneyCare,” “ObamneyCare,” or plain old Massachusetts Health Reform—it’s working pretty much as intended, at a cost that’s within what was projected, and with […]

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Massachusetts Health Reform: How It Fared In 2010


January 26th, 2012
by Chris Fleming

Massachusetts’s health reform bill, which provided the template for the federal Affordable Care Act, went into effect in 2006. In a statewide survey taken in 2010, 94.2 percent of the state’s nonelderly (19–64) residents reported being covered, a significant increase over the 86.6 percent estimate of 2006. The survey is reported in a Health Affairs […]

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View Health Affairs Diabetes Briefing


January 26th, 2012
by Chris Fleming

Video of the release event for the January issue of Health Affairs, “Confronting The Growing Diabetes Crisis,” is now available on the Health Affairs Web site.

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Care Innovations Summit: Live Webcast Available


January 25th, 2012
by Chris Fleming

WHAT:      More than 1,000 health care leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators, government officials and others will join the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Health Affairs, the West Wireless Health Institute and keynote speaker Dr. Atul Gawande, at the Care Innovations Summit. WHO:       Marilyn Tavenner, Acting Administrator, […]

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Patient-Centered Care: What It Means And How To Get There


January 24th, 2012
by James Rickert

At a recent symposium concerning both saving money and improving patient care, Health Affairs Editor-in Chief Susan Dentzer stated, “It is well established now that one can in fact improve the quality of health care and reduce the costs at the same time.”  This is exactly the principle behind the growing movement toward patient-centered care.  […]

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It Takes A Village: Caring For Children With Diabetes


January 23rd, 2012
 
by Michelle Katz and Lori Laffel

Editor’s Note: The January 2012 issue of Health Affairs is a thematic volume titled “Confronting The Growing Diabetes Crisis.” Ariella was a different child, thin and shy, when I first met her about a year and a half ago, just after her 6th birthday. Her mother had noted her thirst and hunger, and, despite this […]

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The Latest Edition Of The Health Wonk Review


January 20th, 2012
by Chris Fleming

At Workers’ Comp Insider, Julie Ferguson hosts the latest edition of the Health Wonk Review. Despite Julie’s observation that January is “beer month,” there are no indications that she was anything but sober in writing eloquently about some of the most interesting health policy blogging of the last couple of weeks. Julie graciously includes Tim […]

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A New Federal Push To Increase Health Literacy


January 19th, 2012
by Chris Fleming

Most Americans struggle to understand health information and navigate the health care system, which can lead to preventable hospitalizations, greater use of emergency care, and reduced overall health status. To avoid costly “crisis care,” both health professionals and organizations must consider Americans’ health literacy skills—that is, their capacity to obtain, communicate, process, and understand basic […]

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The Misleading Arguments In The States’ Medicaid Coercion Brief


January 19th, 2012
 
by Sara Rosenbaum and Katherine Hayes

On January 10th, the states filed their latest arguments in their bid to have the ACA’s Medicaid expansion declared an unconstitutional coercion.  Following an effort to piece together a coercion doctrine from dicta found in a handful of Supreme Court cases, the states assert that the “[t]he ACA is Premised on the Understanding that It […]

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Diabetes Campaign in New York State Is Influencing Practices to Improve Care


January 18th, 2012
by Lee-Lee Prina

Read about the New York State Health Foundation’s “five-year, $35 million campaign to reverse the diabetes epidemic [in the Empire State] by improving clinical care, sustaining a comprehensive and coordinated care system, and promoting prevention.” The GrantWatch Profile in the January 2012 issue of Health Affairs, titled “New York State Health Foundation’s Diabetes Campaign Is Influencing […]

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The Transition Abyss


January 18th, 2012
by Jerald Winakur

In June of 2011, I flew to Washington, D.C. to say good-bye to my friend, Alvin.  I wanted to be there with him and his family during his peaceful passage from this life.  Unfortunately, his end was not peaceful.  It was a nightmare because he, like too many patients being transferred from one level of […]

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Media Partnership: National Health Policy Conference


January 17th, 2012
by Chris Fleming

One of the priorities established in the Affordable Care Act is providing better, more efficient care to the “dual eligibles,” low-income seniors enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid. AcademyHealth’s 2012 National Health Policy Conference (NHPC) will feature a panel on this topic, which is crucial to the nation’s goal of restraining health care cost growth […]

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Adolescents And Young Adults: Bringing A Neglected Group Into Cancer Research


January 13th, 2012
 
by Leonard Zwelling and Eugenie Kleinerman

“A child is not a small adult,” but an adolescent is not a large child.  Adult oncologists, reluctant to care for cancer patients under the age of 16, believe that adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer patients should be within their purview.  We believe younger cancer patients are a special group needing special attention, even […]

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The First Health Wonk Review Of 2012


January 12th, 2012
by Chris Fleming

A belated tip of the hat to the edition of the Health Wonk Review that Jared Rhoads posted last week at the Center for Objective Health Policy. Jared kicks off the New Year with a fine collection of health policy blogging, including Health Affairs Blog posts on the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization program by Steven […]

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From State Government to Philanthropy: New Freedoms, Shared Goals


January 12th, 2012
by Ned Calonge

The author, a high-ranking official in Colorado’s health department and a family physician in his previous work life, is president and CEO of the Colorado Trust. This statewide health foundation is based in Denver. GrantWatch Blog invited Ned Calonge to reflect on his experiences in the foundation and state government sectors. It’s been a little […]

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The Diabetes Threat: Can It Be Contained?


January 11th, 2012
by Chris Fleming

Diabetes now affects nearly twenty-six million Americans, and over the next decade, an estimated forty million more US adults could develop the condition. Another 100 million more could suffer from an insidious prediabetic condition, one that often leads to the full-blown disease.  Growing scientific evidence suggests that lifestyle interventions, such as weight loss and fitness […]

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