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The Times Are Not A-Changin’

by Guest Author in Access to Care

When President Barack Obama first ran for president in 2008, universal health care seemed like a real possibility. Fast forward seven years later: Employer-sponsored health [...]

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Quality of Care

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    Global Payments Change Spending & Quality

    In an effort to slow the growth of health care spending, Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of Massachusetts, an early reform state, entered into alternative quality contracts (AQC) with providers. AQCs are two-sided contracts that share savings if spending is below budget and share risk if spending exceeds the budget. In this analysis, the authors discuss savings, risk payments, and incentive payments for 2009-2012 in comparison to a control cohort. The intervention group consisted of 4 cohorts of [...]
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    Don’t Sue Me Bro

    You walk into your doctor’s office with a headache. Like most people, before you made the appointment you did a quick Google search with your symptoms, and are now convinced you have a brain tumor—a meningioma maybe. WebMD says that meningiomas can be fatal, so you call your mom to let her know you love her but she ought to mentally prepare herself for the inevitable. Though your doctor knows that patients with headaches with no other symptoms have a less than 1% chance of having a [...]
  • Source: Sean MacEntee (Flickr/CC)

    Cheating the system

    The controversial practice of using electronic health record (EHR) systems to “upcode” Medicare claims has attracted the attention of policymakers and triggered targeted audits by the Department of Health and Human Services. “Upcoding” refers to the selection of billing codes that, “reflect more intensive care or a sicker patient population, thus leading to higher reimbursement.” However, a recent study published in Health Affairs found no evidence that upcoding was associated with [...]
  • Source: Daniel Aguilera Sánchez (Flickr/CC)

    Taking a Lesson from Taiwan

    Government payers like Medicare and Medicaid are attempting to move away from the current fee-for-service model of health care billing—which some believe provides incentive for doctors to perform unnecessary tests and procedures—in favor of a new payment model: Pay-for-performance. Pay-for-performance programs link performance on clinical quality benchmarks to the salaries of physician-employees. Source: Daniel Aguilera Sánchez (Flickr/CC) To get a better idea of how this might pan out, we [...]
  • Source: Jeffrey Zeldman (Flickr/CC)

    To privatize or not to privatize?

    As the business of health care continues to evolve, so does the strategic structuring of many health care organizations across the nation. With diminishing funds from local or state governments, reductions in Medicare and Medicaid payments, and intensifying competition, many public hospitals are forced to re-align their already strained resources to provide quality care for all regardless of insurance status or ability to pay. Public facilities are financially backed by government entities and [...]
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    Should Congress Reauthorize CHIP?

    The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) has been very helpful in providing children access to health care including preventative services such as well child visits and chronic illness screening since its inception. CHIP also provides much needed funding to the nation’s Children’s Hospitals which provide training for future general and subspecialty pediatricians as well as conducting pediatric research. Without CHIP, there would be a significant decrease in funding for Children’s [...]
  • Source: Alastair Rae (Flickr/CC)

    Is sex safer?

    Emergency contraception (EC) is a safe, moderately effective option to prevent an unintended pregnancy. It is one of the FDA-approved, family planning options that health insurance plans are required to cover without any copayment through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Source: Alastair Rae (Flickr/CC) Through the ACA, women should have access to all FDA-approved contraception such as birth control pills, injections, and long-acting reversible methods like arm implants and intrauterine devices. [...]
  • Courtesy Colleen Kazar (All Rights Reserved)

    Brenda’s Got A Baby

    In 2013, the United States had the highest rate of teen births of all developed countries, with 274,641 girls aged 15-19 giving birth in that year alone. Only 38% of women who have a child before 18 years of age finish high school, and the children born to teenage mothers have a higher risk of illness. Courtesy Colleen Kazar (All Rights Reserved) However, the long-term consequences of teen pregnancy impact not only the young parents and their children, but the public as well. In 2010, taxpayers [...]
  • Source: Juhan Sonin (Flickr/CC)

    Do EHRs Improve Quality of Care?

    Over the past few years, use of electronic health records (EHRs) have grown exponentially. However, there has not been definitive proof that EHRs help improve quality and lower costs of health care. This article reviews whether having complementary incentives to EHRs (clinical decision support, technical assistance, and financial incentives) help in improving quality of care. Source: Juhan Sonin (Flickr/CC) The Primary Care Information Project (PCIP), a part of the NYC Department of Health and [...]
  • Source: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District (Flickr/CC)

    Give the people what they want

    Under the Affordable Care Act, eligibility for Medicaid benefits was expanded to include low-income childless adults. This provision has proven to be immensely controversial, however, and 23 states have refused to accept it*. A survey published in Health Affairs asked low-income adult citizens (household income less than 138% of the federal poverty level) in Texas, Arkansas, and Kentucky about their perceptions of Medicaid services. These states were chosen because of their very different [...]

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The Uninsured

  • Source: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District (Flickr/CC)

    Give the people what they want

    January 19, 2015 // 0 Comments

    Under the Affordable Care Act, eligibility for Medicaid benefits was expanded to include low-income childless adults. This provision has proven to be immensely controversial, [...]
  • Source: Minnesota Historical Society (Flickr / CC)
    A recent study explored whether there is a relationship between the healthcare spending of uninsured individuals – sorted by citizenship status – prior to and during the [...]
  • Source: www.GlynLowe.com (Flickr / Creative Commons)

    ACA Progress Report: What has changed so far?

    August 11, 2014 // 2 Comments

    The first open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act closed on March 31, with 8 million Americans enrolled by the deadline. The marketplace re-opens in November, [...]
  • Source: Kaiser Family Foundation analysis. Original data and detailed source information are available at http://kff.org/jama_062514
Produced by: Jessica Stephens, MPH; Samantha Artiga, MHSA; Barbara Lyons, PhD; Anne Jankiewicz; and David Rousseau, MPH.
    Source: Kaiser Family Foundation analysis. Original data and detailed source information are available at http://kff.org/jama_062514Produced by: Jessica Stephens, MPH; [...]
  • Source: Alan Cleaver (Flickr / Creative Commons)

    Does Health Insurance Help?

    June 30, 2014 // 0 Comments

    Source: Alan Cleaver (Flickr / Creative Commons) While it has been estimated that 45,000 Americans perish unnecessarily each year due to lack of health insurance, there has [...]