News Ticker
In the spotlight

The Return of the House Call

by Guest Authors in Affordability & Delivery System

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 [...]


Quality of Care

Continuity of Care

Health care costs

  • Source: Eric Schmuttenmaer (Flickr/CC)

    Disparities due to Pre-existing Conditions

    Despite attempts to improve access to care via the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, disparities in health outcomes continue to persist. This study examines some of the causes of racial disparities between blacks and whites; it further attempts to understand and isolate the individual effects of pre-operative risk factors. Selected subjects were black Medicare patients who underwent general surgery procedures and were matched with white controls within 6 states and within 838 [...]
  • Ilmicrofono Oggiono (Flickr/CC)

    The Problem with ACOs & Vulnerable Patients

    Growing evidence suggests that accountable care organizations (ACOs), which are networks of health care providers (including both physicians and hospitals) with shared financial and medical responsibility for coordinated patient care, are improving health outcomes. For this reason, along with strong financial incentives, Medicare and commercial ACOs are becoming more common across the United States and more patients are being served by these models. Ilmicrofono Oggiono (Flickr/CC) Despite the [...]
  • Source: Russell Lee (Public Domain)

    The Country Nurse

    A recent study published in Medical Care examined the relationship of geographic accessibility to primary care providers. Data derived from the 2013 Area Health Resource File, which provides a comprehensive data on a broad range of health resources and socioeconomic indicators, and the U.S. Census Bureau county travel data. Accessibility was defined as low if the population-to-provider ratio was in the top third of counties, medium if this index fell in the middle third, and high if it fell in [...]
  • Source: Flickr/CC

    Health Expenditures to Keep Rising

    In 2011, the Affordable Care Act passed with two primary goals: (1) expanding coverage and (2) bending the cost curve. Exactly how much healthcare savings it will produce is still up for debate and is the subject of a recent analysis published in Health Affairs. In particular, the analysis projects how health care expenditures may be affected with continued implementation of the law over the next 10 years. Although national health expenditures and the share of the economy used towards health [...]
  • Source: Flickr/CC

    Are We Wasting $15 Billion on Quality Reporting?

    In a new study, the national cost of quality reporting for physician practices has been estimated. The results are not surprising: a lot of time and money is spent collecting and reporting data that practices do not find meaningful. Source: Lion Multimedia Production U.S.A (Flickr/CC) Funded by the physician advocacy group The Physicians Foundation researchers surveyed 1,000 practices from four specialties — internal medicine, family medicine, orthopedics, and cardiology — in the Medical [...]
  • Source: Flickr/CC

    Without Obamacare 18.1 million would be Uninsured

    Health care reform under President Obama aimed to decrease the number of uninsured in the United States via passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Though the political implications of the ACA will largely be determined by the outcomes of the upcoming elections, analysis of insurance rates in the U.S. can be used to assess the effectiveness of the ACA in providing access to health care to the American uninsured. Source: Flickr/CC Both political parties have used the ACA for personal [...]
  • Source: Got Credit (Flickr/CC)

    Delivery System Reforms: Delivering Value?

    Restructuring health care delivery to reduce costs and improve quality is a fundamental part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and a response to the long history of high domestic healthcare spending with suboptimal outcomes. In fact, the ACA mandated programs such as patient-centered medical homes (PCMH) and pay-for-performance (P4P) before there was clear evidence demonstrating their effectiveness. Source: Got Credit (Flickr/CC) In this study, authors performed a systematic review of studies of [...]
  • Source: Flickr/CC

    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 [...]
  • Source: U.S. Navy | Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Betsy Knapper

    Estimating Operating Room Time Improves Medicare Billing

    Currently, physician fees for surgical services furnished to Medicare beneficiaries are largely governed by the resource-based relative value scale. Under this framework, relative value units (RVUs) are used to measure the physician time and effort associated with a particular procedure. While the RVU system is useful because it permits comparisons across procedures and specialties, it is not without flaws. Most significantly, it is subject to both over and under-valuation of procedures which [...]
  • Source: Joaquim Alves Gaspar (CC)

    Minorities more likely to be Readmitted

    Prevention of hospital readmissions serves as one of the primary metrics for quality improvement under the Affordable Care Act. In 2012, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) began levying penalties for hospitals that had 30-day readmissions for acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, and pneumonia. In 2015, CMS expanded this metric to include total hip arthroplasties (replacements) or THAs. Source: Joaquim Alves Gaspar (CC) Elective THA is the sixth most common procedure and [...]

Health IT

Public Health

Lessons from Abroad

A Policy Prescription for 2016

Affordable Care Act

  • No Picture

    The Individual Mandate in Massachusetts

    February 7, 2011 // 2 Comments

    Insurance mandates are commonplace for car insurance. Subsidies promote such activity as buying a home or higher education. For health care, the debate continues over whether [...]
  • No Picture

    Will the Affordable Care Act kill jobs?

    October 22, 2012 // 5 Comments

    Many public policy decisions have impacts distant from their original intent. Public expansion of health insurance has often been associated with alterations in the labor [...]
  • Copyright / Student National Medical Association (All Rights Reserved)

    New-Age American Health Care System (Part 3)

    April 3, 2013 // 0 Comments

    In Part 3 of a discussion from the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) Conference in Louisville, KY this past weekend, Bryant Cameron Webb and I discussed changes to [...]
  • McD61

    The First Five Years of the ACA in Review

    June 22, 2015 // 0 Comments

    This article is the second of a two part series. See article one here. Cost of Care: The ACA encouraged the creation of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) to integrate and [...]
  • Source: Kaiser Family Foundation analysis. Original data and detailed source information are available at
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 by: Jessica Stephens, MPH; [...]
  • Source: USAG-Humphreys (Flickr/CC)

    Lives are Literally at Stake

    April 4, 2016 // 0 Comments

    In the United States, breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women. One in eight women will be diagnosed with cancer in her lifetime. According to the [...]