Health Ranks 3rd in March Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: Election 2008

March 10, 2008

The March Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: Election 2008 looks at where health care will fit in the ongoing presidential campaign now that economic concerns are rising. It finds that health care plays a role in two ways: as an independent issue, and as part of the voters’ growing concerns about the economy. Among registered voters, health care ranks third as an issue that they want presidential candidates to discuss during the campaign — named by 28 percent of voters, behind the economy (45 percent, double the level in December) and Iraq (32 percent). When asked about the most important economic concern facing their families, one in four voters cited the general issue of rising prices. Behind this general concern, the cost of health care is one of a number of more specific economic worries cited by similar shares of votes: high taxes (13 percent), the price of gasoline (11 percent), the cost of health care (10 percent), and problems with getting a good-paying job or a raise in pay (9 percent). The March survey — the sixth in a series — also takes a closer look at political independents and those who name health care as one of the most important issues in their vote for president. Full results.


Towards Better Behavioral Health for Children, Youth and Their Families: Financing That Supports Knowledge

March 10, 2008

Towards Better Behavioral Health for Children, Youth and Their Families: Financing That Supports Knowledge provides an overview of sources of funding (and their policy roots) that underwrite children’s behavioral health services, illuminating the flaws and prospects of various policy choices. The working paper is the third in a series titled Unclaimed Children Revisited produced by the National Center for Children in Poverty. Although the paper focuses on public funding for mental health and on substance abuse services within the behavioral health arena, it also addresses related funding in education, child welfare, and juvenile justice. Topics include an overview of children’s behavioral services, an overview of federal behavioral health funding streams and their impact, fiscal innovation in states and local communities, and challenges and opportunities. The authors conclude the paper with recommendations for policy actions to create and sustain a supportive federal and state fiscal environment. The paper is available at http://www.nccp.org/publications/pdf/text_804.pdf.

Originally published in MCH Alert March 7, 2008 © 2008 National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health and Georgetown University. Reprinted with permission.


National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs Chartbook

March 10, 2008

The National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs Chartbook 2005-2006 highlights major findings on the prevalence of special health care needs among children, both nationally and within each state, and on access to and satisfaction with health care among children with special health care needs (CSHCN) and their families. The survey, sponsored by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau and carried out by the National Center for Health Statistics, provides information about six core outcomes used to measure progress toward the Healthy People 2010 objectives to increase the proportion of states that have integrated service systems for CSHCN. The chartbook is available at http://mchb.hrsa.gov/cshcn05/index.htm.

Originally published in MCH Alert March 7, 2008 © 2008 National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health and Georgetown University. Reprinted with permission.


Immigration and Health Care: What are the Policy Choices? (Webcast)

March 10, 2008

The Kaiser Family Foundation hosts a live webcast, “Immigration and Health Care: What are the Policy Choices?,” at 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 12 as part of an ongoing series of interactive webcasts about health and health care disparities in the U.S. A panel of experts will discuss the influence that immigration policies have on federal and state decisions about access to health care and coverage. Marsha Lillie-Blanton, Dr.P.H., senior adviser on Race/Ethnicity & Health Care at the Kaiser Family Foundation will moderate the discussion with Tom Perez, M.P.P., J.D., secretary of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation and former director of the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services; Leighton Ku, M.P.H., Ph.D., professor of health policy at the George Washington University School of Public Health & Health Services; and Steven Camarota, Ph.D., director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies. Submit questions before or during the show to TodaysTopics@kaisernetwork.org. The live webcast will be available online at kaisernetwork.org. <!– // djd 110503: old location: new location at top right
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Helen W. Haskell keynote: The Patient’s Role in Patient Safety: A Patient and System’s Perspectives

March 10, 2008

Each Saturday Healthcare Update News Service offers a video presentation by a national expert in health policy and practice. This week we feature the following keynote presentation from the 2007 Quality Colloquium, www.QualityColloquium.com, August 19 – 22, 2007, on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, MA. Helen W. Haskell. The Patient’s Role in Patient Safety: A Patient and System’s Perspectives. Mothers Against Medical Error, Columbia, SC. Video.


New Health Affairs Issue on Health Disparities

March 10, 2008

Disparities: Expanding The Focus is the title of the March-April issue of Health Affairs, which will be released on Tuesday, March 11. The issue, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, looks beyond the health care system to key social determinants of health such as neighborhoods and education. The issue also touches on oral health – an area often neglected in health policy discussions – by exploring the problems minorities face in accessing dental care. Home page.


Addressing Geographic Variations: New Payment Approach In Medicare Advantage

March 10, 2008

Robert A. Berenson. From Politics To Policy: A New Payment Approach In Medicare Advantage
Health Affairs Web Exclusive, March 4, 2008.

While the Medicare Advantage program’s future remains contentious politically, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission’s (MedPAC’s) recommended policy of financial neutrality at the local level between private plans and traditional Medicare ignores local market dynamics in important ways. An analysis correlating plan bids against traditional Medicare’s local spending levels likely would provide an alternative method of setting benchmarks, by producing a blend of local and national rates. A result would be that the rural and lower-cost urban “floor counties” would have benchmarks below currently inflated levels but above what financial neutrality at the local level–MedPAC’s approach–would produce.  Full text