Responsible Health Reform: Competition, Innovation, and Individual Control

March 10, 2008

Responsible Health Reform: Competition, Innovation, and Individual Control
American Enterprise Institute Event. Thursday, March 13, 2008, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. 188 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC

At this event, Senators Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) will offer a market-based reform proposal that relies on stronger competition in the health system, tax reforms, individual responsibility and ownership, and more active consumer involvement in medical decisions. Eugene Steuerle of the Urban Institute and Thomas P. Miller of the AEI will offer their assessment of the key features of the Burr-Coburn proposal, and AEI’s Joseph Antos will moderate.

Telephone Medical Consults Answer the Call for Accessible, Affordable and Convenient Healthcare

March 10, 2008

Newt Gingrich, Ph.D., Richard Boxer, M.D., and Byron Brooks, M.D. Telephone Medical Consults Answer the Call for Accessible, Affordable and Convenient Healthcare. Washington DC: Center for Health Transformation, 02/08.

“This report examines the role of telemedicine and specifically the telephone cross coverage model to
deliver a practical, easy-to-implement and cost-effective solution to all adults – wherever they are located
and regardless of their insurance coverage. The knowledge and skills gained in telemedicine programs are impacting routine care for non-emergency medical problems with telephone medical consults gaining momentum largely the result of consumer receptivity and cost-savings. Currently, more than 1.5 million Americans have access to this option with
significant growth projected as more employers, health plans and other benefits payers recognize the
opportunity for improving access to quality care and reducing expenditures.” Full report (pdf)

Medicare Advantage: The Case for Protecting Patient Choice

March 10, 2008

Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. Medicare Advantage: The Case for Protecting Patient Choice. Heritage Foundation WebMemo #1836. March 6, 2008.
“the estimated 4 percent profit margins of Medicare Advantage plans are considerably below the profit margins for most major industries.”
“officials at the CMS estimate that Medicare beneficiaries are, on average, getting additional benefits in the program worth more than $90 per month, or $1,100 per year.”
“Empirical analysis shows that low-income and minority beneficiaries have disproportionately enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans, taking advantage of the lower cost-sharing and richer benefits.”

Membership in Consumer-Directed Health Plans Grows 25% in 2007

March 10, 2008

Enrollment in Consumer-Directed Health Plans (CDHPs) continues to grow, spurring employers to offer more health care information tools to employees in order to leverage the true value of these products, according to a study commissioned by the American Association of Preferred Provider Organizations (AAPPO) from the consulting firm Mercer, Inc.
In 2007, the number of Americans enrolled in a CDHP grew a staggering 25 percent, to 12.5 million from 10 million in 2006. Virtually all CDHPs – 97 percent – are built on a preferred provider organization (PPO) network, up 2 percent from 2006. News release (html). Full report (pdf).

Forbes | Specialty Hospitals Have Better Quality and Lower Costs

March 10, 2008

David Whelan. Bad Medicine. Forbes 03.10.08.

“There are 200 specialty hospitals in the U.S. (out of 6,000 hospitals overall), and they often deliver services better, more safely and at lower cost.”  “A 2006 study funded by Medicare found that patients of all types are four times as likely to die in a full-service hospital after orthopedic surgery as they would after the same procedure in a specialty hospital.”

The Science and Epidemiology of Racism and Health in the United States: An Ecosocial Perspective (Webcast)

March 10, 2008

Nancy Krieger, M.S., Ph.D., Professor of Society, Human Development, and Health, Harvard School of Public Health.  Associate Director, Harvard Center for Society and Health and Co-Director, Interdisciplinary Concentration on Women, Gender and Health.

10th Annual William T. Small, Jr. Keynote Lecture: The Science and Epidemiology of Racism and Health in the United States: An Ecosocial Perspective. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health Minority Student Caucus. 29th Annual Minority Health Conference February 29, 2008. Webcast.

NPR/Kaiser/Harvard Survey Evaluates the Public’s Views on Requiring Individuals to Have Health Insurance

March 10, 2008

A new survey conducted jointly by NPR and public opinion researchers at Kaiser and the Harvard School of Public Health examines how the public views different approaches for expanding health coverage, including provisions that would require all individuals to purchase insurance or parents to obtain coverage for their children.  The survey looks at whether or not the public supports such provisions, the major reasons behind their views, and how opinions differ among Democrats, Republicans and independents.  This survey is part of a series of projects about health-related issues by NPR, Kaiser, and the Harvard School of Public Health.  Representatives of the three organizations worked together to develop the survey questionnaire and to analyze the results, with NPR maintaining editorial control over its broadcasts on the results.  Survey results.