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“Out Of The Blocks”: Meeting The Challenge Of Transforming Health Care

December 11th, 2012

No other presidential election in American history has been freighted with such significance for health care as was last month’s vote. Uncertainty over the future of health policy dominated the discourse, and we all waited with bated breath for clarity from the voters.

Thirty-six days ago, we got just that. In one night, much of the uncertainty that had marked the past few years faded into history.

But now we all face a different and urgent kind of uncertainty — a pressing question: How, with this newfound certainty in the policy environment, can health care stakeholders best move forward on problems of high costs and suboptimal quality, of poor coordination and preventable medical error, soon enough to meet the social need?

Time is running out to find answers. Health care costs, much of them waste, continue to climb, and too many patients are not getting the high-quality care they need. If we do not act — and act quickly — to transform health care, we will face blunt cost cutting and declining access and quality, particularly for the poorest among us.

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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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Clinical Registries: The Opportunity For The Nation

May 11th, 2011

In the early 1970s, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation began tracking the health of patients with cystic fibrosis.  What began as a modest data collection effort is today a comprehensive clinical registry of 26,000 patients.  Caregivers and researchers use the registry to identify new trends in outcomes; recognize the most effective treatments; and design clinical trials […]

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Adoption and Meaningful Use of EHRs – The Journey Begins

August 5th, 2010

Editor’s Note: The post below is by David Blumenthal, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, and Don Berwick, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Blumenthal will speak later today at a Washington D.C. event, “Advancing Electronic Health Records Adoption and Meaningful Use,” cosponsored by Health Affairs and the Health Industry Forum at Brandeis University. […]

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Berwick On Patient-Centered Care: Comments And Responses

July 9th, 2009

Editor’s Note: In a recent Health Affairs essay titled “What ‘Patient-Centered’ Should Mean: Confessions Of An Extremist,” Don Berwick surveyed the debate in the health policy community over how the principle of “patient-centeredness” should be defined and implemented. He argued for “a radical transfer of power and a bolder meaning of ‘patient-centered care,’ whether in […]

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