Health Policy Briefs

November 30, 2010

Updated: Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan

11/30/2010

A new program provides coverage to people with costly preexisting health conditions. To boost enrollment, the government has already made changes.

More at Health Policy Briefs.


What Changes In Survival Rates Tell Us About US Health Care — Muennig and Glied 29 (11): 2105 — Health Affairs

November 30, 2010

Many advocates of US health reform point to the nation’s relatively low life-expectancy rankings as evidence that the health care system is performing poorly. Others say that poor US health outcomes are largely due not to health care but to high rates of smoking, obesity, traffic fatalities, and homicides. We used cross-national data on the fifteen-year survival of men and women over three decades to examine the validity of these arguments. We found that the risk profiles of Americans generally improved relative to those for citizens of many other nations, but Americans’ relative fifteen-year survival has nevertheless been declining. For example, by 2005, fifteen-year survival rates for forty-five-year-old US white women were lower than in twelve comparison countries with populations of at least seven million and per capita gross domestic product (GDP) of at least 60 percent of US per capita GDP in 1975. The findings undercut critics who might argue that the US health care system is not in need of major changes.

More at What Changes In Survival Rates Tell Us About US Health Care — Muennig and Glied 29 (11): 2105 — Health Affairs.


Health Care Inefficiency Is Blamed for Low Longevity Ranking of U.S. – NYTimes.com

November 30, 2010

By any measure, the United States spends more on health care than any other nation. Yet according to the World Fact Book (published by the Central Intelligence Agency), it ranks 49th in life expectancy.

Why?

Researchers writing in the November issue of the journal Health Affairs say they know the answer. After citing statistical evidence showing that American patterns of obesity, smoking, traffic accidents and homicide are not the cause of lower life expectancy, they conclude that the problem is the health care system.

More at Health Care Inefficiency Is Blamed for Low Longevity Ranking of U.S. – NYTimes.com.


Rep. Cantor: Popular parts of health law will be tackled in GOP repeal plan – The Hill’s Healthwatch

November 30, 2010

House Republicans are looking to repeal the healthcare reform law and replace it with one of their own early next year without interrupting two popular parts the administration has already begun to implement.

They include a mandate that bars discrimination of pre-existing conditions and a stipulation that allows young people to remain on their parents’ insurance plans until age 26.

Incoming Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Monday that they would do this by passing a GOP healthcare bill at the same time as repeal efforts are underway.

More at Rep. Cantor: Popular parts of health law will be tackled in GOP repeal plan – The Hill’s Healthwatch.


Call for Abstracts for the 3rd Annual Minority Health in the Midwest Conference | Institute for Health Research and Policy | University of Illinois at Chicago

November 30, 2010

Call for Abstracts for the 3rd Annual Minority Health in the Midwest Conference

The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) School of Public Health invites emerging scholars, community leaders and researchers from all disciplines to submit an abstract for oral or poster presentations for the 3rd Annual Minority Health in the Midwest Conference.

Topics should relate to the conference theme “The Promise of Health Equity: Advancing the Discussion to Eliminate Disparities in the 21st Century” and/or to the specified topics listed below.

Submissions that focus on issues pertinent to Midwestern communities and minority, underserved and special needs populations are especially encouraged. Abstracts from research and/or practice-oriented projects from community members or organizations are welcome.

Abstract Submission Deadline: Friday, January 14, 2011

More at Call for Abstracts for the 3rd Annual Minority Health in the Midwest Conference | Institute for Health Research and Policy | University of Illinois at Chicago.


Fixing the Problem of Health Care Workers Distribution | The Heritage Foundation

November 30, 2010

The states are far better equipped than the federal government to address increasingly complex and serious health care workforce issues. But by enacting the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, Congress swells the costs and role of the federal government, while ignoring the critical role that states can—and should—play as a consequence of their existing oversight of key workforce areas. Worse, the new health care law largely repeats the mistakes of the past: pursuing failed policies, while adding needlessly to federal spending, potentially deepening the budget deficit. Congress is, once again, committing the states to unfunded and underfunded federal mandates.

More at Fixing the Problem of Health Care Workers Distribution | The Heritage Foundation.


Hospitals Consider Medical Homes’ Costs, Benefits | Health Reform Report

November 29, 2010

When the patient-centered medical home care-delivery model arrived at the industry’s doorstep a few years back, the concern by some was that the concept’s potential for savings would come at the expense of medical specialists who would see fewer patients. But as data from pilot medical home projects are starting to show, the savings instead are coming out of the pockets of hospitals because fewer patients need inpatient care.

Consequently, hospitals are hopping on the medical home bandwagon to make sure the money leaving one of their pockets finds its way into another.

More at Hospitals Consider Medical Homes’ Costs, Benefits | Health Reform Report.