Is It Fair to Ask the Internet to Pay Your Hospital Bill? — The Atlantic

March 13, 2015

Before the donors can choose who to fund, the sites themselves make a choice about who will be allowed to ask for funding at all. In September 2014, GoFundMe made headlines after it shut down the fundraising page of a woman named Bailey, who was collecting money for an abortion. She had no insurance, Bailey wrote on her page, and complications from a “rough, unplanned, and unexpected” pregnancy had left her unable to keep a job.

“We do not permit campaigns that could be considered divisive. Abortion would be a good example.”

After removing Bailey’s fundraiser (she was allowed to keep the money that had been donated up until that point), the site issued a list of causes that would be prohibited going forward, including “directly funding an abortion (human or animal).”

“As we scale, it’s important that GoFundMe is used in ways that our community and company can be proud of,” the company said in a statement. (Lee, of YouCaring, said his site has a similar policy: “We do not permit crowdfunding campaigns that could be considered divisive to our community,” he said. “Abortion would be a good example.”)

via Is It Fair to Ask the Internet to Pay Your Hospital Bill? — The Atlantic.


The Physician Specialty Shortage | RealClearPolicy

March 12, 2015

Over the last decade there has been increasing concern about an impending shortage of primary-care physicians. The most cited study projecting a shortage of these doctors (whose specialties include internal medicine, family medicine, and pediatrics) was published by the Association of American Medical Colleges Center for Workforce Studies in 2008, and its projections were updated in 2010 to take account of the Affordable Care Act. Lost in the dire warnings is an equally alarming shortage of non-primary-care physicians: The same organization puts the numbers at 33,100 this year; 46,109 by 2020; and 64,600 by 2025.

via The Physician Specialty Shortage | RealClearPolicy.


County Health Rankings: 2012-2014

February 18, 2015

The annual County Health Rankings, conducted by the University of Wisconsin and sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, grade localities on a variety of health outcomes and factors.

Select your county from the menus below to see how it stacked up against others in your state. Rankings data is shown separately for 2012, 2013 and 2014.

For a full description of the methodology, visit the county health rankings website. The online hub also includes a searchable map and idea centers for policymakers to confront the challenges presented by the findings.

via County Health Rankings: 2012-2014.


Most Exchange Enrollees Will Never Reach Deductible | Weekly Checkup | American Action Forum

January 15, 2015

The chart below demonstrates the distribution of medical spending for insured individuals using data from the 2012 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, and displays separate curves for individuals who have and have not been diagnosed with chronic illness.[1] In any given year, more than 80 percent of non-chronically ill individuals spend less than the average deductible for a Silver plan in the Health Insurance Marketplace. Over a lifetime, however, it is much more probable that a person will be unfortunate enough to exceed the deductible and require those insurance benefits.

via Most Exchange Enrollees Will Never Reach Deductible | Weekly Checkup | American Action Forum.


Why World Inequality Is Falling And Not Rising

January 13, 2015

For the poorest 50 percent of countries in 1960, the growth in full income was 4.1 percent, of which only 2.4 percentage points were attributed to GDP growth. This was in contrast to the richest 50 percent of countries that had a growth in full income of 2.6 percent, of which most of it was due to GDP growth, i.e., 2.2 percentage points. Thus, the poorest and richest countries grew at about the same rate in GDP, 2.4 percent vs 2.2 percent, but the poorer countries grew much faster when incorporating health into the full income, 4.1 percent vs 2.6 percent

In sum, valuing gains in national levels of health between 1960 and 2000 is an important component of reducing overall world inequality. Once health is accounted for, there was a significant reduction in inequality throughout the world between 1960 and 2000 that cannot be perceived from measuring income alone.

via Why World Inequality Is Falling And Not Rising.


The Uninsured: A Primer – Key Facts About Health Insurance and the Uninsured in America | The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

December 7, 2014

The Uninsured: A Primer is structured in two parts. The first presents basic information about health coverage and the uninsured population leading up to and after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, who the uninsured are and why they do not have health coverage. The second presents information on the impact lack of insurance can have on health outcomes and personal finances, and provides an understanding of the difference health insurance makes in people’s lives.

via The Uninsured: A Primer – Key Facts About Health Insurance and the Uninsured in America | The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.


NIHCM – Concentration of Health Care Spending Chart Story

November 26, 2014

One percent of the U.S. population accounts for nearly 23 percent of overall health care spending, and 5 percent are responsible for a full 50 percent of spending. In stark contrast, the lowest-spending half of the population generates less than 3 percent of total spending—or only about $234 per person, per year. Any meaningful effort to control spending growth must account for this extreme concentration. This chart story uses newly-released data to take a closer look at the top spenders, noting factors driving their higher spending and examining the persistence of spending patterns over time.

via NIHCM – Concentration of Health Care Spending Chart Story.


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