Kaiser poll: Uninsured don’t understand ACA – Jennifer Haberkorn – POLITICO.com

August 30, 2011

About half of the uninsured Americans who stand to benefit the most from the health care reform law aren’t aware of how the legislation is designed to help them buy insurance, according to a new poll released Monday.

The Kaiser Family Foundation’s monthly health tracking poll found that 47 percent of the uninsured said the law “won’t make much difference” to them. Another 14 percent said the law would hurt them. Only 31 percent said they thought the law would help them.

via Kaiser poll: Uninsured don’t understand ACA – Jennifer Haberkorn – POLITICO.com.


GAO: New rules leading to lower healthcare premiums, cuts to agents’ fees – The Hill’s Healthwatch

August 30, 2011

According to GAO, some insurers are decreasing premiums or leaving their rates unchanged in order to comply with the MLR requirements. Three companies told GAO that premiums will either fall next year or increase by a smaller amount than they would have without the MLR.

The changes to premiums are coming in conjunction with cuts to brokers’ premiums, GAO found. Insurance agents and brokers have warned repeatedly that the MLR will hurt them. And while consumer advocates have argued that the effects are overstated, the GAO report seems to support agents’ claims.

via GAO: New rules leading to lower healthcare premiums, cuts to agents’ fees – The Hill’s Healthwatch.


Getting and Using Medicare Data: What I Wish I Had Known Before I Started My Research – Training & Professional Resources – AcademyHealth

August 30, 2011

A Webinar Presented by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Changes in Health Care Financing and Organization (HCFO) program and AcademyHealth’s Methods Council

Medicare data has long been an important resource for researchers and policymakers who study the U.S. health care system. The process of acquiring and using data, however, can be complex to navigate, especially for new researchers. In addition to identifying the most suitable data to answer their research questions, they must know how to interpret it appropriately and confirm that needed data elements are actually available. Another practical challenge in creating a custom data request is how to balance the desire for methodological robustness with the need to stay within a budget. Finally, researchers must obtain a data use agreement that conforms to federal privacy rules. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Changes in Health Care Financing and Organization (HCFO) program, in collaboration with AcademyHealth’s Methods Council, is pleased to offer a webinar on best practices for obtaining and using Medicare data for research. Two experienced HCFO researchers, Jack Hoadley of Georgetown University and Jim Reschovsky of the Center for Studying Health System Change will share some of their accumulated wisdom in getting and working with Medicare data in their research. In addition, Barbara Frank from the Research Data Assistance Center (ResDAC) at the University of Minnesota will provide additional resources, tips, and best practices drawn from her organization’s role as a CMS contractor assisting researchers in obtaining and working with Medicare data. There is no charge for this webinar, which is intended for both new and experienced researchers.

Date: September 27, 2011

Time: 1:00 – 2:30pm EDT

via Getting and Using Medicare Data: What I Wish I Had Known Before I Started My Research – Training & Professional Resources – AcademyHealth.


HealthEconomics.Com – The Resource for Health Outcomes Professionals

August 30, 2011

November 9-11, 2011:Health Insurance Exchange Congress – Where States and Plans Connect! Baltimore, MD

We are counting down to 2014, and although it may seem like the distant future, the healthcare industry must prepare for the implementation of Exchanges in order comply with current federal law and prepare for the 24 million newly eligibles. The Health Insurance Exchange Congress provides state officials and health plans with the only opportunity to come together to discuss PPACA and strategize on how to make this a successful opportunity for all.

via HealthEconomics.Com – The Resource for Health Outcomes Professionals.


Health Economics Review – a SpringerOpen journal

August 30, 2011

Health Economics Review (HER) is a new international journal covering all fields of Health Economics. Its contents include a broad range of the highest-quality theoretical contributions, empirical studies and analyses of health policy with a health economic focus. The scope of HER extends to the macro- and microeconomics of health care financing, health insurance and reimbursement, as well as health economic evaluation, health services research and health policy analysis. Additional topics addressed include the individual and institutional aspects of health care management and the growing importance of health care in developing countries.

via Health Economics Review – a SpringerOpen journal.


Risk-Shifting In Health Care And Its Implications: Part Two – Health Affairs Blog

August 30, 2011

Yesterday, in the first installment of a two-part Health Affairs Blog post, Troyen Brennan and Thomas Lee discussed the shifting of risk they see taking place in the health care system, from insurers and employers to provider and patients. In part two below, Brennan and Lee discuss the implications of this shift for various health care sectors. In addition, yesterday Health Affairs Blog also published another post on risk-shifting in the health care system, by Jaan Sidorov.

via Risk-Shifting In Health Care And Its Implications: Part Two – Health Affairs Blog.


Of Minors and the Mentally Ill: An International Law Perspective on Consent to Health Care by Mona Paré :: SSRN

August 30, 2011

Recognition of people’s right to consent to health care is linked to legal capacity and to respect for physical and mental integrity. Traditionally, children and persons with mental illness have been denied this right and substitute decision-making systems have been used for their protection. Today, respect for rights and freedoms forces courts and legislators to find a balance between autonomy and protection. However, domestic law lacks vision and objectives, often ending up breaching both protection and autonomy rights, or prioritizing one to the detriment of the other. One should turn to international law, which, through the supported decision-making model, allows addressing protection concerns, while not undermining people’s integrity and autonomy.

via Of Minors and the Mentally Ill: An International Law Perspective on Consent to Health Care by Mona Paré :: SSRN.


Health Sector Management Director’s Corner

August 29, 2011

This week, two economists argue that data from a natural experiment in Oregon provides insight into this question 1. Oregon Medicaid had a waiting list of 90,000 people who wanted access to health insurance coverage. One third of these people were randomly selected to be given coverage and we now know the one year results of this experiment: a 25% increase in total annual health care expenditures including an increased probability of using outpatient care by 35%, of using prescription drugs by 15%, and of hospital admission by 30%. This was accompanied by an increase in use of preventive services (mammogram use increased by 60%). Overall, people with insurance were more likely to report that they are in good or better health status, and less likely to report that they are depressed.

via Health Sector Management Director’s Corner.


Are United States and Canadian Cancer Screening Rates Consistent With Guideline Information Regarding the Age of Screening Initiation? by Srikanth Kadiyala, Erin Strumpf :: SSRN

August 29, 2011

Results. US mammography utilization within the last 2 years increased from 33% at age 39 to 48% at age 40 and 60% at age 41. US colorectal cancer test utilization, within the last 2 years, increased from 15% at age 49 to 18% at age 50 and 28% at age 51. US PSA utilization within the last 2 years increased from 37% at age 49 to 44% at age 50 and 54% at age 51. In Canada, mammography utilization within the last 2 years increased from 47% at age 49 to 57% at age 50 and 66% at age 51.

Conclusion. US and Canadian cancer screening utilization is generally consistent with each country’s guideline recommendations regarding age. US and Canadian differences in screening due to guidelines can potentially explain cross-country differences in breast cancer mortality and affect interpretation of international comparisons of cancer statistics.

via Are United States and Canadian Cancer Screening Rates Consistent With Guideline Information Regarding the Age of Screening Initiation? by Srikanth Kadiyala, Erin Strumpf :: SSRN.


Investigation of the Impact of the Massachusetts Health Care Reform on Hospital Costs and Quality of Care by Fabienne Miller, Justin Wang :: SSRN

August 29, 2011

In 2006, the Massachusetts legislature passed a landmark health care reform bill (the Reform) that has served as a model for the national health care reform. By aiming to provide “access to affordable, quality, accountable health care,” the goals of this reform were to reduce the number of uninsured Massachusetts residents while containing health care costs and improving the quality of health care services.

This bill has been the subject of much controversy at both the national and state level. Although most agree that the Reform has improved the insurance coverage rate of Massachusetts residents, the financial impact of the Reform has been of special concern with critics arguing that the Reform has increased the overall cost of health care. Despite this scrutiny, it is still unclear whether the goals of the Reform have been achieved. We propose to test a subset of the Reform’s goals by examining at the hospital level whether the Massachusetts Health Care Reform has achieved its cost containment and quality improvement goals.

We use Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Hospital Compare (HC) data to investigate this issue and study hospital costs and quality for the period spanning 2003 to 2009. To assess the impact of the Reform on costs and quality, we compare the change in Massachusetts hospital costs and quality pre- and post-Reform to changes in two states that provide a similar level of health care quality for the same period (namely, Connecticut and Wisconsin).

Data from acute care hospitals show that there is no evidence that Massachusetts total hospital costs or salaries of departments providing clinical services were adversely affected by the Reform. Moreover, we find that quality of care improved for several quality measures post-Reform to a greater extent in Massachusetts than in our control states. In sum, our evidence is consistent with the claim that Massachusetts hospital costs were contained and quality improved subsequent to the Reform. Thus, this study provides preliminary support for the argument that the Reform achieved some of its financial and quality goals.

via Investigation of the Impact of the Massachusetts Health Care Reform on Hospital Costs and Quality of Care by Fabienne Miller, Justin Wang :: SSRN.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 592 other followers