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The Private Option is as Good as Traditional Medicaid

by Cedric Dark, MD, MPH, FACEP, FAAEM in Access to Care

Recently, a group of physicians renewed their call for a single-payer system to replace the current hodgepodge of programs comprising the United States healthcare [...]


Quality of Care

Continuity of Care

Health care costs

  • Source: CDC Global (Flickr/CC)

    Are We There Yet?

    In 2004, President George W. Bush launched an initiative to provide all Americans with electronic health records (EHR) by 2014. In 2009, Congress passed the HITECH Act, providing $30 billion to help get there. But as 2015 concludes, we have yet to achieve the goal. What were initially incentive payments to help providers adopt EHRs have become financial penalties for those failing to meet Meaningful Use requirements. A recent study in Health Affairs shows that the number of US hospitals with at [...]
  • Source: USAG-Humphreys (Flickr/CC)

    Lives are Literally at Stake

    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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 40,000 women die from breast cancer every year. Breast cancer deaths are disproportionately higher in Black women who are 40% more likely to die from breast cancer than their White counterparts. That being said, early detection with mammography reduces the number of breast cancer [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • 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: Joe Loong (Flickr/ CC)

    You can’t have Gun-Deaths without Guns

    Since the year 2000, over 30,000 Americans have died every year due to firearms. Many people and organizations have had different ideas on how to reduce this problem. Source: Joe Loong (Flickr/ CC) Gun rights supporters promote legislation and policies that make guns more easily accessible and allowed into more public spaces to deter crime. Meanwhile, gun control advocates encourage restricting who can carry and where to limit access to prevent crime. Who is right? To figure out which laws [...]
  • Source: (Flickr/CC)

    ACA Contraception Mandate is a Success

    One of the most impactful aspects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on public health is the mandate that insurers cover all contraceptive methods. The mandate predictably caused push-back from faith-based corporations, but there has been little discussion in public and legal debates on its benefits to individuals and society. Source: (Flickr/CC) In this study, authors calculated contraceptive out-of-pocket spending of a large sample of women from January 2012 to June 2013 for [...]
  • 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

    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: Oskar Annermarken (Flickr/CC)

    Nurse Practitioners are not Doctors, They’re Better

    In an era of physician shortages and insurance expansion, the American health system is struggling to keep pace with increasing demand from patients. Although the last decade has produced some growth in the number of American medical schools, residency programs haven’t kept pace. In addition, the aging of the Baby Boomer generation will bring a “silver tsunami”of patients into the healthcare system. The culmination of these factors has led to massive additions in advanced practice [...]
  • Source: Flickr/CC

    Facts Don’t Support the Second Amendment

    After the Newtown, Connecticut shooting, National Rifle Association (NRA) executive vice president Wayne LaPierre said, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Gun rights advocates have endorsed loosening gun purchase restrictions and adopting open carry policies to deter crime. Source: Flickr/CC Previous research on gun ownership and its relationship to numerous crimes have led to mixed results. Across high-income countries, some researchers found [...]

Health IT

Public Health

Lessons from Abroad

A Policy Prescription for 2016

Affordable Care Act

  • No Picture

    Medicaid at the Polls

    July 23, 2012 // 5 Comments

    Five states – Texas, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and South Carolina – plan on skipping the Medicaid expansions available from the Affordable Care Act. If [...]
  • Source: Dave Dugdale (Creative Commons / Flickr)

    EDs Are Profitable, But Just Barely

    July 14, 2014 // 0 Comments

    Source: Dave Dugdale (Creative Commons / Flickr) Wilson and Cutler analyzed several large databases to calculate the profit margin for all 120 million ED visits in the United [...]
  • Source: DonkeyHotey (Flickr/CC)

    Are mandates constitutional?

    October 1, 2009 // 2 Comments

    We have reviewed other materials from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in regards to medical malpractice. This current review discusses the important legal basis for and [...]
  • Source: (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, [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • Source: Bob the Lomond (Flickr/CC)

    The Dynamics of Health Insurance Post-ACA

    July 20, 2015 // 0 Comments

    We know that the number of uninsured in the United States has decreased significantly (by 16.9 million) since the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but how are people moving between [...]