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Can an Integrative Health and Wellness Strategy Lead Colorado to Become the Nation’s Healthiest State?
In May of 2013, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper declared his commitment to make Colorado the nation’s healthiest state.
Many primary care physicians do not believe that they can make a reasonable living caring for Medicare beneficiaries.
Among its peculiarities, Section 2706 of the Affordable Care Act – which prohibits health insurers from discriminating against licensed providers -- draws its language from the 1995 law that established the Medicare Advantage program.
How does it feel knowing the clinical decisions our physicians make effect their pocketbook? MIPS, or the Merit-based Incentive Payment System, is now the law of the land.
“In God we trust. All others must bring data.”
As the Baby Boom generation reaches retirement at a rate of 10,000 people per day, and advances in health care and medicine extend our lifespans, American families need more care than ever before. At least 20% of our population will be over the age of 65 by the year 2030.
We all want a high quality, technically correct health care experience. From a population perspective, unnecessary variations in care must be diminished.
Assistant Secretary Greenlee Calls for Stronger Advocacy, Solutions, and “Community-Based Technology
On April 26, Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee addressed the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) at its spring policy conference.
Last month, the United States Preventive Services Task Force published a new recommendation on aspirin use—one destined to be met with widespread criticism.
The 2016 legislative sessions in several of the nation’s state houses have considered or will consider bills that deal with the existential imperfections of an important section of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Section 2706, called “Non-discrimination in health care.”
On Tuesday, April 19, 2016 the Older Americans Act (OAA) was reauthorized for three years – an important bipartisan accomplishment.
They work for the government and even their closest relatives have no idea what they do. It's not because they're spies or nuclear scientists, but because their jobs are so arcane: trying to reinvent Medicare to improve it, and maybe save taxpayers money.
In a poignant video released in 2014, Person-Centered Matters, Lon Pinkowitz shared his personal perspective as a caregiver to his father living with dementia.
Our private health information is anything but private. Could violations of our privacy lead to more dangerous problems in health care?
The recent switch to the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Edition (ICD-10) from ICD-9 on October 1, 2015, in the United States has been beneficial yet challenging.
One of the biggest aims of telemedicine in hospitals today is to reduce the rate of readmissions. Hospitals have a major incentive: If they don't reduce preventable 30-day readmissions, they stand to lose a substantial amount of revenue.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate is an intrusive, expensive, mechanistic device for expanding the number of people with insurance cards rather than for the more important goal of bringing better care to more people at lower cost year after year.
California is among a dozen states participating in the national demonstration to improve care for people with serious chronic illnesses and functional limitations who qualify for both Medicaid and Medicare.
The United States spends more on health care per person than any other nation yet ranks 37th in terms of morbidity and mortality among developed countries.
Health funders pride themselves on being champions of innovation.
Several of my recent conversations with physicians and health finance people have centered on reducing low value care.
The White House held its sixth Conference on Aging, and what a difference a decade makes.
Health care coverage issues are still front and center when the media talks about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, the delivery system reform elements of the law are quietly having a profound impact on today’s health care landscape.
When it comes to our health, how much responsibility is ours—making healthy choices and avoiding behaviors that promote poor health—versus society’s to make these opportunities available and affordable to us?
We all know the stark reality: Opioid misuse, dependence, and deaths are at all-time highs.
It should not be surprising that how we pay for a service can drive how those services are delivered.
This month, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) began hearing oral arguments in King v. Burwell, a case that turns on the interpretation of one of the most influential health care laws passed in the United States, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Today, 59 percent of people over the age of 65 are online, but they often reject using the Web for their health care, opting for more traditional face-to-face or over-the-phone “low-technology” interactions with their providers.
One of the most beguiling components of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is Section 2706, “Non-discrimination in health care,” whose provisions direct insurers to end discrimination against all health care providers—and classes of providers, such as acupuncturists—who are licensed in their states but who are still outside the reimbursement system.
One Sentence It is estimated that by the end of the 2015 enrollment period, which began November 1, 2014, and ends February 15, 2015, nearly 9.1 million people will have health insurance, allowing access to health care services through options less expensive than emergency room services.here
Patients with serious illnesses need medical treatments to survive. But they are increasingly taking advantage of the specialty known as palliative care, which offers day-to-day relief from symptoms as well as stress and lifestyle management.
Why has health care lagged so far behind information technology in terms of innovation?
The Medicare Readmission Reduction Program (MRRP) encourages hospitals to reduce readmissions within 30 days of discharge by imposing substantial financial penalties on hospitals with more readmissions than would be expected if the same patients were discharged from an average hospital.
Therefore, the critical question is this: How can health plans become more person centered by using different analytic tools to understand and meet the needs of their vulnerable populations while maintaining a return on investment?
The world of Medicare post-acute care (PAC), which as a general rule covers the 90-day period following hospitalization, is set to change.
Beginning in the 1970s and picking up speed in the late 1980s, the conversion of nonprofit health care organizations to for-profit status created many new foundations.
Dr. Joanne Lynn of the Altarum Institute will take part in a workshop hosted by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and National Research Council titled “The Future of Home Health Care” to discuss the current state of home health in the nation’s health care delivery system in order to improve the understanding of the role that home health care will play in the future.
When the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was initially passed and being implemented, there were several questions regarding the future of high-deductible health plans, including whether they would continue to exist.
If you ask health care leaders what they think about Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), you won’t be short on answers.
Hospital Readmissions present a key policy issue for clinical leaders of state Medicaid programs.
Although this now-inexorable advance of unconventional therapeutic traditions and techniques has become a standard part of health care choice for millions of Americans, the discrete disciplines have yet to attain anything close to financial parity in the health care market as part of insurance reimbursement.
Quality measurement in health care has always been difficult and expensive.
Over the past 20 years working as a health economist, I have observed little true commitment to reducing health care expenditures and costs in the United States.
Altarum’s current phase of mission-driven research and development program was launched in mid-2011, with the launch of our four Centers.
Last month, the Institute of Medicine published their much-awaited report which recommends that CMS should not adjust Medicare payments geographically; instead, CMS should continue to focus on value-based payment reforms, such as patient-centered medical homes, bundled payments, and accountable care organizations.
In Senate Budget Committee remarks on July 30, 2013, I argued that that the recent health care cost growth reduction is real, and that it could be maintained, but not without overcoming 7 challenges first.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will affect virtually everyone living in the United States, especially those with chronic behavioral health conditions, including substance abuse disorders.
In June of this year, the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) issued a new report, The Truth about the Prevention and Public Health Fund, recognizing the impact that the Fund is having.
Obamacare has a provision that will hand an untold number of businesses a deeply unpleasant surprise between now and Tax Day, 2015.
The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) exchanges will be barely functional through at least 2014.
With the U.S. economy one quarterly datum away from recession, employers are not seeking ways to maintain what they have, much less to innovate or expand or hire.
A group of health policy professionals Thursday called on federal, state and local governments to help slow the relentless growth of health care spending by setting firm limits on those expenditures.
Medicare on Thursday disclosed bonuses and penalties for nearly 3,000 hospitals as it ties almost $1 billion in payments to the quality of care provided to patients.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act survived two challenges in 2012. Now, the law will face its third and biggest challenge – itself.
The Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC), has steadily aligned the work of those disciplines with other groups in health and medicine who are starting to act on the belief that the only way to truly improve care will be through better, much deeper professional relations and collaboration.
The National Federation of Independent Business’s Research Foundation has produced an easily digestible two-page briefing document titled “PPACA: A Healthcare Law Guide for Employees.”
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) lives on. Small businesses ask what lies ahead, and the job-killing answer comes from the Magic 8 Ball®: “REPLY HAZY. ASK AGAIN LATER.”
U.S. Budget Implications: What If the Massachusetts Health Spending Goal Was Applied Nationally? Goal of GDP+0 Revisited
On July 24, our Center held a symposium in Washington, D.C., titled Sustainable Health Spending and the U.S. Federal Budget.
Since the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) allowing states to opt out of the Medicaid expansion, many states confront difficult questions.
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision upholding the Accountable Care Act (ACA), the major actors in the nation’s health care enterprise are moving to prepare for changes.
KaBOOM! was honored to join First Lady Michelle Obama, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and local elected officials from across the country, in Philadelphia to announce public and private sector commitments to support the goals of Let’s Move!.
The Roberts Court decision lays the groundwork for a better approach to care – a needed change for individuals today who live with chronic health conditions and functional needs and for the onslaught of aging boomers who will need care in the future.
The Supreme Court decision to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) leaves an interesting dilemma in its wake for states rankled by the health insurance mandates of Obamacare.
Account-based health plans are the fastest growing product in the market for employer-based group health plans.
Federal transportation spending priorities are set by a bill that authorizes and governs these funds but the last transportation bill expired in 2009.
Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), long-run sustainability in health spending is largely determined by the federal government’s ability to meet its Medicare, Medicaid, exchange subsidy and other health obligations under a balanced budget.
Nine prominent physician groups today released lists of 45 common tests and treatments they say are often unnecessary and may even harm patients.
CBO has released a new report presenting the federal non-health spending path specified by Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI), the Chairman of the House Budget Committee.
For small business, the 2010 health reform law means higher costs, more red-tape and fewer choices.
The immediate issues, in the order the court will hear them, begin with the question of whether the so-called "individual mandate" is ripe for adjudication now.
We believe that it is both necessary and possible to develop an understanding of which factors are contributing significantly to the decline in spending growth and why.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) has a thousand pages of moving parts, and the relatively few that have rolled out are shedding sprockets across the landscape.
Kudos to Robert Samuelson for bringing attention to health care spending in the U.S., and to the relationship between health spending and the economy.
The health insurance exchanges built into the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) create mechanisms for small-group insurance plan survival, but also powerful incentives for their dissolution.
There is surprisingly little consensus about what health spending growth rate would be “sustainable”.
The announcement that the Community Living Services and Supports (CLASS) Act will not be implemented drew a call for Congressional hearings to account for dollars spent on CLASS preparation since the March 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) made the measure law.
If there’s one thing everyone in Washington can agree on it’s that prevention is good. And that’s about as far as the agreement goes.
In this post, I want to focus on the broad strategies available to slow the growth in health care spending, in order to say what options are available to policymakers facing firm fiscal realities.
By ignoring the enormous regional disparities in cost of living, the subsidies effectively penalize those in more expensive localities and reward those in lower-cost areas.
As the Congressional “supercommittee” gets to work, with health care potentially on the chopping block, and with the Republican presidential nominating contest heating up with talk of repeal, will we hear “Obama cares” again?
A paradigm shift that combines personal responsibility for long-term care needs with government support is needed to achieve a sustainable, efficient continuum of care.
Reductions in funding for health centers threaten to erode health center capacity and jeopardize access to care for millions of Americans.
Unless we get a hold of rising health care spending, the U.S. isn’t going to be able to make the kind of investments in infrastructure and education that are crucial for guarantying long-term economic growth and our global competitiveness.
Using the latest technology and a lot of moxie, all sorts of innovative organizations have popped up, delivering the same essential message: patients who actively participate in their own care can improve their health – and help others, too.
Small-business owners are deeply concerned that the 2010 health care law (PPACA) will prolong what has been described as America’s “jobless recovery.”
The cornerstone of a more effective and efficient system of care is to engage people in making decisions about their life and health in a way that upholds their dignity, independence, and right to self determination.
I decided to revisit a story I wrote in the spring of 2009 for the Washington Post/Kaiser Health News, exploring what was then the relatively new topic – outside the research and policy world – of reducing hospital readmissions.
Last week’s announcement of $95 million in grants to 278 school-based health centers is the first installment of a $200 million appropriation under the 2010 health care law.
House Republicans are cranking up the volume on the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which was created in the 2010 health reform law.
Starting next March, all insurers and employers will have to make it easier for consumers faced with the ordeal of picking a health plan.
The troubled health care reforms in England should be of strong interest to those outside the U.K. We all know that nearly every developed nation is struggling to slow rising health care spending.
The 2010 health care law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, hits small business with a barrage of inequities. Among the most egregious is the health insurance tax launched by the law’s Section 9010.
Before passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), the limited set of federal and state options for community-based care hampered the extent to which this vision could be realized.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 created the Prevention and Public Health Fund to prevent illness and promote the health of all Americans.
For the first time, consumers shopping for a health policy will be able to get a good idea of how much of the costs different plans will cover for three medical conditions.
The politics of health reform, naturally, was a big topic at the annual conference of the Association of Health Care Journalists a few weeks ago.
Beginning in 2014, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) hands the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services a joystick – the Essential Health Benefits package.
The patient-centered medical home has grabbed the limelight as a new model of health care that offers an alternative to fragmented, impersonal, and wasteful care that has become the norm throughout much of the U.S.
With the nation about to renew its emphasis on wellness and prevention, it is fair to wonder if we can achieve the strategy’s goal of “… Moving the nation from a focus on illness and disease to one based on wellness and prevention.”
Prevention is one of those things that everyone can agree on, the health policy world’s equivalent of apple pie (minus the fat and sodium).
Enthusiasm for ACOs, the real Accountable Care Organizations for people, is high. Over the past six months, the chorus has become louder.
National health reform legislation—the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010—gave birth to accountable care organizations, which were touted as a model to promote quality and reduce costs of health care delivery.
These days, the most hotly contested element of the health care reform law is the mandate that requires every American to purchase insurance coverage come 2014.
The Obama administration often touts the health-law provision that will close a gap in Medicare prescription drug coverage. But officials rarely cite one that might cause sticker shock among some seniors.
For small business to flourish, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) must go away, and—equally importantly—the status quo that preceded it must never return.
As Washington lawmakers face renewed pressure to remedy the country’s trillion-dollar budget deficit, fractured public opinion on where to make critical cuts could complicate political strategies in the run up to the 2012 presidential election.
January 1st each year millions of us resolve to improve our health—to eat less, exercise more, quit smoking, and so on. But if staying healthy was that easy—we’d all keep our resolutions.
Data released by the National Health Statistics Group at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services shows that health spending accounted for 17.6 percent of the gross domestic product in 2009.
The Republicans pledged to “repeal and replace” health reform, but some political observers are now concerned that the result could be little more than “repeal and confuse.”
The central lesson emerging from Europe at the moment is that within hospital and insurance markets, it often takes more regulation and a more active state in order to create meaningful competition and productive incentives.
With the potential influx of millions of newly insured patients in 2014 when the full effects of health reform take effect, the potential shortage of primary care physicians has become more urgent than ever.
In 2011, health insurance premiums in the United States are going to rise. In all likelihood, the price increase that consumers are going to see isn’t going to be trivial.
One category of health care providers that is expected to face some of the biggest challenges related to health reform is the safety net health clinics.
Innovation in medicine is alive and well. Before you get too excited about these wonderful discoveries, there is one small detail: none of these are going to be available in the United States.
While the mix of morality and money can be extremely difficult, it’s vital for policymakers, clinicians, and patients to come together to improve the ways in which patients with a terminal illness get treated.
My fear is that much of the non value-added bureaucracy of health insurance and the “more-and-newer-is better-at-any cost” medical-industrial practices are reinforced rather than rejected, codified rather than carved out under the PPACA.
It’s little surprise that cost reduction was a major purpose of and selling point for the Obama administration’s recently past health reform legislation.
Because of Britain's parliamentary, winner-takes-all political system, when each new government arrives in power, they almost always introduce broad changes to the National Health Service.
There is uncertainty as to how health reform measures will impact the way hospitals and providers deliver health care services to their patients in the future.
Solving the obesity epidemic in this country isn’t as simple as it sounds, according to a report by Trust for America's Health.
Last month, the Commonwealth Fund ranked the Dutch health system as the best performer in a study comparing health care in Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, and the United States.
No one wants to say no on prices. That’s going to be a problem if we truly want to bend the curve.
Many analysts feel that the health reforms needed to improve quality and value cannot be done by governments alone but that real, lasting reform needs to occur at the community level.
Ideological polarization explains why health policy is so hard to alter in the U.S. and why health reform has been derailed in the past—and would have been derailed this time were it not for brilliant political maneuvering.
There are several questions I’ve been toiling over lately related to health care spending, public health, and paternalism.
A little-known provision of the health reform law has the potential to transform long-term care services and delivery.
Lost amid the yearlong debate over health reform were some major changes to the way in which the United States funds public health, prevention, and wellness programs as a result of the passage of health reform legislation.
Right now in the U.S. and U.K., there’s a push among most politicians to exhort the necessity of reining in our respective national deficits. Nowhere is the pressure to slow spending greater than in the health care sector.
Health care reform is now the law of the land, and the rollout has begun. Without a doubt, however, the new law radically alters the environment for small business, and some firms will struggle to survive the changes.
Our country recently took an historic and long overdue step toward health system reform. This sweeping reform package will greatly benefit America’s patients and their physicians.
On March 23, President Obama signed the Affordable Health Care for America Act. However, it’s vital to note that this marked the beginning of health care reform, not the end.
Health care reform is testing the United State’s capacity to address big issues and has highlighted glaring flaws in the legislative process.
As the nation ages, health care must evolve to focus around three critical factors: adopting person- and family-centered engagement, improving the health of the older population, and improving cost efficiency.
The British National Health Service (NHS) and the U.S. health system are popularly regarded as two unrelated health systems. However, despite their differences, these two health systems have historically shared a common problem.
Health care reform offers significant opportunities not only to improve the quality of end-of-life care, but to apply the principles of good end-of-life care to improving our health care system.
As the House and Senate move toward the final outlines of health care reform legislation, they confront important questions about how proposals might apply to immigrants.
Sen. Max Baucus’s America’s Healthy Future Act of 2009 has received a tepid reception from Democrats and Republicans alike.
As if just talking about dying weren’t hard enough for most of us, now comes the disinformation campaign about end-of-life care discussions waged by opponents of health care reform.
If health care reform is going to work, we need to figure out how to make the market for private health insurance more competitive without resulting in some of the more undesirable byproducts of competition.
Done right, health care reform will be a boon to the U.S. economy. Done wrong, it will be an economic albatross.
On July 16, House Democrats released H.R. 3200, a bill that is an impressive first step towards addressing some of the challenges in U.S. health care.
Why is health care reform so difficult and what is standing in the way of President Obama and Congress succeeding?
Our uncoordinated non-system results in consequences that are harmful to our most vulnerable – our children – and this harm has long-term implications throughout one’s life.
I believe today we face one of the most important decisions in our Nation’s history—how to address the insolvency of our health care system that threatens to decimate our country’s budget, stability, and overall wellbeing.
The American Medical Association (AMA) is calling for health care reform this year that provides everyone with a choice of insurance.
A recent World Health Organization (WHO) and Ford Foundation-sponsored Global Consultation on Decent Care Values in Palliative Care Services sought to bring together people to explore the conceptual alignment between the concepts of decent care and the practice of palliative care.
Evaluating the Obama Health Plan: We Need Both Short-Term Affordability and Long-Term Sustainability
Although there is considerable attention paid to addressing cost growth and investing in public health and prevention, the most noteworthy aspect of Presidential candidate Barack Obama’s health care plan is its focus on attempting to make insurance affordable for all Americans.