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Incentives for ACOs Outweigh Meaningful Use

by Guest Authors in Accountable Care Organizations

Of the initiatives the federal government has launched in an effort to advance quality, encourage efficiency, and reduce the cost of health care, the Accountable Care [...]


Quality of Care

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Health care costs

  • Poor Lives Matter

    A recent paper describes the impact of poverty on various health outcomes and social conditions using an elegant, easy-to understand method. The authors used the 2015 County Health Rankings National Data to determine the five-year averages for median household income for each of the 3,141 US counties. Desiring to look at the poorest counties in the nation, regardless of where they were geographically located, the authors rearranged the counties sorted by increasing income into 50 new [...]
  • A Punch to the Gut for Young Americans

    Appendicitis is not pleasant. Commonly described as a dull mid-abdominal ache that sharpens as it moves toward the right lower quadrant, it is often accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Worse than appendicitis, however, are the possible complications of a ruptured appendix: peritonitis, abscess, and septicemia. Source: Nicolás Celaya What keeps an inflamed appendix from perforating? Timely medical intervention. Lack of access is a known reason patients with appendicitis fail to access care in [...]
  • Narrow Networks Keep Costs Low

    The number of insurance plans with narrow networks has increased after the implementation of health insurance exchanges (Marketplaces) of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Narrow networks may reduce costs by: (1) restricting high cost providers, (2) allowing negotiation of discounted reimbursement rates in exchange for increased volume, and (3) excluding providers with high cost patients to promote favorable risk pools. The authors of this article characterize and quantify the association between [...]
  • How the ACA Impacted Emergency Room Visits

    Prior studies have demonstrated that when previously uninsured patients gain insurance, specifically Medicaid, they visit the emergency department (ED) more frequently. A recent study in Health Affairs analyzed the effect of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) insurance expansion on overall ED volume and payer mix by comparing Medicaid expansion to non-expansion states. The Simpsons ® 20TH CENTURY FOX FILM CORP. The authors used an adjusted difference-in-differences approach to compare billing [...]
  • Come and Take It

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the future of health care in America sits in the crosshairs of Donald Trump and the Republican party. Even in Texas – a state in the heart of conservative America that chose not to expand Medicaid, the ACA still led to a 6% increase in insurance rates. But three million individuals living in Texas are still uninsured, a quarter of whom could be covered through expansion of Medicaid under the ACA. Studies have shown the ACA to be successful in expanding [...]
  • What Works? Three Laws that Prevent Gun Deaths

    A number of laws have been passed at the state level to address firearm safety. Some laws loosen restrictions on gun ownership while others tighten restrictions on gun ownership. Not all firearm-related laws are effective. Researchers conducted a cross-sectional, state-level study examining 2008 – 2010 data from the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and government databases to assess the effect of different gun laws on firearm mortality. Source: Flickr/CC The three laws most strongly [...]
  • Who’s Going to Foot the Bill

    A recent study explores the impact of rising health insurance costs on the phenomenon of “split coverage,”  a practice in which working poor families opt to cover their children via public insurance, even though employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) is available, in order to cut costs. Source: Michael Coghlan (Flickr/CC) Premiums for ESI family coverage nearly doubled from 2003 to 2013, while median family incomes remained stagnant. In 2013, the average annual premium for a family plan was [...]
  • Appointments in 2 Weeks or Less for Newly Insured

    Many pundits and policy analysts were concerned that by expanding Medicaid, primary care capacity might be exceeded thus leading to longer wait times. That concern is one reason why the Affordable Care Act provided parity in payment between Medicare and Medicaid at the beginning of the Medicaid expansion in order to entice physicians to make more appointments available for Medicaid patients. Source: Flickr/CC A recent analysis from Michigan details the results of a “secret shopper” survey [...]
  • How 19 Republican-Led States Trap People in Poverty

    People with disabilities make up approximately 20% of the U.S. population and are subject to significant employment, income, housing, and health disparities. Many disabled Americans have health insurance through Medicaid as their disability qualifies them for the program. Historically, strict income limits also applied, which limited Medicaid eligibility to people who also had incomes well under the federal poverty level (FPL). Source: Christine Gleason (Flickr/CC) Under the Affordable Care [...]
  • The Return of the House Call

    As the population ages, the medical needs of the oldest and most infirm are projected to greatly weigh on America’s healthcare system.  In an attempt to meet these needs in an economical manner, Healthcare Partners Affiliates Medical Group initiated a house call program for recently discharged patients. Their goal was to provide adequate medical care and social support to obviate unnecessary hospital readmissions, a difficult task considering the majority of enrolled patients were over 85 [...]

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Latest HSR Reviews

  • A Punch to the Gut for Young Americans

    March 13, 2017 // 0 Comments

    Appendicitis is not pleasant. Commonly described as a dull mid-abdominal ache that sharpens as it moves toward the right lower quadrant, it is often accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Worse than [...]
  • Time to Join the War against High Drug Prices

    March 6, 2017 // 0 Comments

    The cost of prescription drugs in the U.S. is constantly in the news, with the public becoming aware of increasing prices for off-patent drugs from the obscure Daraprim (up almost 5500% overnight [...]
  • ACA’s Biggest Winners: Long-Term Uninsured

    February 27, 2017 // 0 Comments

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) created the largest expansion of health insurance coverage in the United States in the roughly fifty years since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid. However, the ACA [...]
  • Low Cost Doctors Save Patients $26 per Visit

    February 20, 2017 // 0 Comments

    In the increasingly competitive market that defines the nation’s health care system, a recent study examined how price transparency for the cost of outpatient physician office visits could [...]
  • Lower Readmissions for Medicare Advantage

    February 13, 2017 // 0 Comments

    Reducing readmission rates has been a quality measure which has recently received significant attention as a way to potentially decrease our nation’s healthcare expenditures. By improving [...]
  • EMRA + PolicyRx Journal Club

    January 28, 2017 // 0 Comments

    We’d like to announce our collaboration with the Emergency Medicine Residents Association to bring health policy literature reviews affecting the field of emergency medicine. Emergency [...]
  • Reducing Never Events is no Easy Task

    January 23, 2017 // 0 Comments

    The Hospital-Acquired Condition—Present on Admission (HAC-POA) program of 2008 was one of the first federal initiatives to reduce hospital payments on the basis of adverse events. It prevents [...]