April 26th, 2013
US presidents and policymakers have for decades struggled with the issue of ballooning health care costs and were unsuccessful, or unmotivated, in finding a path to lasting cost containment. Recently, though, there has been progress. The forthcoming issue of Health Affairs, “Tackling the Cost Conundrum,” explores the slowing growth of health care expenditures of late and examines whether it is a temporary or lasting phenomenon; the issue also examines major cost drivers and presents proposals for putting Medicare on a more sustainable path.
Please join Health Affairs Founding Editor John Iglehart on Tuesday, May 7, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, for a Health Affairs briefing at which we unveil the May 2013 thematic issue, “Tackling the Cost Conundrum.” The thematic issue and briefing are supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
WHEN & WHERE:
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
National Press Club
529 14th Street NW (Metro Center)
Follow live Tweets from the event @HA_Events, and join in the conversation with the hashtag #HA_Costs.
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April 22nd, 2013
In the Narrative Matters essay in the April Health Affairs issue, Laura Blinkhorn and Mascha Davis write about how working with an obese woman in a Gabon hospital led them to seek solutions to obesity and its related health problems in the developing world. “Public health campaigns, government regulation, and improved education are necessary to bring about real change,” write Blinkhorn, a fourth-year medical student at the Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago, and Davis, a registered dietician and public health professional who lives in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and works for Catholic Relief Services. Read the rest of this entry »
April 19th, 2013
A new Health Policy Brief from Health Affairs and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation discusses per capita caps, a proposed reform to Medicaid that would limit the amount of federal spending per beneficiary. The proposal’s supporters contend that it could help control the growth of federal spending on Medicaid. Critics disagree, saying that instead of slowing the rate of spending growth, it would only shift the costs to the state, ultimately limiting poor Americans’ access to care. Read the rest of this entry »
April 18th, 2013
A belated nod to the latest Health Wonk Review, posted last week by Louise Norris at Colorado Health Insurance Insider. Louise has assembled a number of great posts, including Peter Neumann and James Chambers’ Health Affairs Blog post on Medicare’s reset of its “coverage with evidence development” policy. Read the rest of this entry »
April 17th, 2013
In six months, open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplaces will begin around the country. Massachusetts’ experience has proven to be instructive. In 2006, the state created an insurance exchange, called the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority. The Connector, which began offering unsubsidized commercial insurance products in 2007, now provides an array of options for consumers, including subsidized coverage to people with incomes below 300 percent of the poverty level.
A new study, released today as a Web First by Health Affairs, surveyed 393 families in unsubsidized Connector plans. It found that 38 percent of surveyed families reported financial burden associated with their health care and 45 percent reported higher-than-expected out-of-pocket costs. This study is one of the first to evaluate the prevalence of and risk factors for financial burden and unexpected costs among families in unsubsidized health insurance exchange plans. Read the rest of this entry »
April 12th, 2013
Health Affairs, the nation’s leading peer-reviewed journal of health policy thought and research, announced today that founding editor John Iglehart will return to lead the publication. Mr. Iglehart, a highly respected editorial executive who led Health Affairs for its first 25 years until retiring in 2007, also will help lead a nationwide search for a Vice President and Editor-in-Chief for the journal. He will be supported during this time by Executive Editor Donald Metz and Executive Publisher Jane Hiebert-White, who will continue in their current roles at Health Affairs. Mr. Iglehart recruited the two executives and worked with them at the journal for more than 20 years.
Susan Dentzer, who had been Vice President and Editor-in-Chief, is leaving to pursue a new opportunity.
“We are excited to welcome John Iglehart back to Health Affairs, which has long been a cornerstone of Project HOPE’s work to provide lasting solutions to global health problems,” said Dr. John P. Howe, III, M.D., President and CEO of Project HOPE. “John is well known by the leading scholars, practitioners and policy makers in health care. We look forward to this new chapter in his legendary stewardship of Health Affairs, continuing and building further on its stature as the preeminent journal of health policy thought and research.”
Dr. Howe continued, “We thank Susan Dentzer for her contributions and wish her well in her new endeavor.” Read the rest of this entry »
April 8th, 2013
The April issue of Health Affairs, released today, examines how all high-income countries are struggling to achieve the “Triple Aim” — better health and better health care at lower cost. The articles in this issue find that the United States and other high-income countries have much to learn, with the “trade” in strategies and tactics likely to flow both ways.
Join us on Thursday, April 11, for a briefing on the April issue. Support for the new Health Affairs volume was provided by The Commonwealth Fund, Britain’s Nuffield Trust, and the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London.
Drug Payment And Pricing — How Do US Practices Compare With Other Countries?
A featured study by Panos Kanavos of the London School of Economics and Political Science and coauthors compared prescription drug prices among selected countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in 2005, 2007, and 2010. Depending on how prices were adjusted for the volume of drugs consumed in the various countries, drug prices in the United States were between 5 percent and nearly 200 percent higher than in the other nations studied. A key contributing factor is that the United States takes up new and more expensive prescription drugs faster than other countries. The authors recommend that the United States require pharmaceutical manufacturers to provide more evidence about the value of new drugs in relation to cost before use of such drugs is reimbursed. Read the rest of this entry »
April 4th, 2013
Today, Health Affairs released a Web First article by Tsung-Mei Cheng describing early results from a pilot project underway in several of China’s rural provinces that combines new case-based payments for providers and evidence-based clinical pathways for management of patients. Before and after studies and analyses show a reduction in overall length of hospital stays, drug spending and usage, and patients’ out-of-pocket spending. Patient-provider communication and relations reportedly improved, and hospitals did not experience any revenue losses. Read the rest of this entry »
April 3rd, 2013
The Indian Supreme Court announced a decision this week that allows drug makers to continue developing cheaper generic versions of the leukemia drug Gleevec in that country. The case centered around whether certain patents held by the brand-name drug’s manufacturer were true inventions. The decision was shaped in part by the complexities of Indian patent law, which is considered far more stringent than U.S. patent policies.
The issue of secondary patenting or “patent evergreening,” to extend the life of a brand-name drug and whether secondary patents represent true innovation was the subject of an October 2012 Health Affairs article by Tahir Amin and Aaron Kesselheim. Read the rest of this entry »