News Ticker
In the spotlight

What Works? Three Laws that Prevent Gun Deaths

by Bich-May Nguyen, MD, MPH in Gun Violence

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 [...]


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 [...]
  • Source: Shawn Campbell (Flickr/CC)

    Medicaid is a financial boon for hospitals

    One of the primary goals of the Affordable Care Act was to extend coverage broadly across the population: to the sick and uninsurable, to the healthy, and to the poor. A major mechanism to accomplish this was the ACA’s Medicaid expansion which provided states with a >90% federal match to open eligibility to any resident earning <138% federal poverty level. Subsequently, the Supreme Court made Medicaid expansion optional. Source: Shawn Campbell (Flickr/CC) Now six years after the ACA’s [...]
  • Source: Chris Potter (Flickr/CC/

    Higher drug spending lowers other costs

    Medicaid expansion has dramatically increased the number of Americans with health insurance. However, many have raised concerns over the costs to federal, state, and local government. It is estimated that the 2013 Medicaid expansion cost a total of $449 billion. Given the sizable price tag, policymakers have proposed structural changes to Medicaid pharmaceutical benefits aimed at containing costs. Source: Chris Potter (Flickr/CC/ One recent study examined Medicaid claims data [...]
  • Dagmar Luhringova (Public Domain)

    Medicare Advantage pays less than Fee for Service

    According to conventional wisdom among health policymakers and health economists, traditional fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare ought to be able to extract lower per unit prices than privately operated Medicare Advantage plans due to the former’s monopsony buying power. A new scientific study provides some of the earliest empirical evidence on this hypothesis and turns the theory on its head. Dagmar Luhringova (Public Domain) Medicare beneficiaries have had access to private coverage through [...]
  • Source: Army Medicine (Flickr/CC)

    Why Physician Assistants don’t do Primary Care

    As increasing proportions of the population now have coverage under the Affordable Care Act, the primary care physician shortage has become increasingly concerning. Concepts such as team-based care and value-based performance require comprehensive services and management of patient outcomes. Physician assistants (PAs) are suggested as one of many solutions to the shortages. The authors of a recent paper exposed the differences in demand and supply for primary care versus specialty positions for [...]
  • Source: Liz West (Flickr/CC)

    “Greed in a Good Cause is Still Greed”

    The government is spending $24.6 billion every year on tax breaks for approximately 2,100 nonprofit hospitals in the United States. But in return, these nonprofit hospitals are only spending 3% of their budgets on charity care. Seventy-one percent of these nonprofit hospitals charge uninsured patients more than insured patients for the exact same services, 66% of nonprofits neglect to tell patients when they are eligible for charity, and 17% aggressively collect debt from uninsured patients by [...]
  • 6307508934_da6f642b85_z

    No Difference Between Public & Private Coverage

    A new study confirms what many think, that some insurance coverage is better than none. What may challenge some people’s preconceptions is that whether that insurance coverage is private or public (i.e. Medicare or Medicaid) access to care is fairly similar. Chris Yarzab (Flickr/CC) Researchers assessed the healthcare landscape in Texas, Arkansas, and Kentucky – three states with dramatically different approaches to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). They explored issues of access to care [...]
  • Source: David Goehring (Flickr/CC)

    U.S. Taxpayers Pay for Two-Thirds of Healthcare

    Who pays for health care in the United States?  Public perception lays the burden of health care spending on individuals and private entities, and estimates from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) confirms those beliefs.  This understanding of the health care system has driven the political discourse on reform and lead to the development of policy solutions catering to private entities within the ACA. Source: David Goehring (Flickr/CC) A closer analysis of data on federal, [...]

Health IT

Public Health

Lessons from Abroad

A Policy Prescription for 2016

Affordable Care Act