Health Policy Forum

Altarum Institute’s Health Policy Forum offers a neutral setting for discussion and consideration of health-related issues facing our nation.  Authors represent leading thinkers in health research, policy, and advocacy and include Altarum staff members and guest contributors who provide insightful, fact-based commentary and analysis regarding a range of health care topics. The site reaches a diverse audience of roughly 4,000 visitors from academia, government, industry, and health-related fields.

Blog Posts

Displaying 1 - 20 of 464

Racial Equity Is Key to Breastfeeding Success for All

July 24, 2014

In early June, a 25-year-old African-American woman named Karlesha Thurman posted a photo of herself in cap and gown, breastfeeding her baby at her college graduation ceremony.

How Your Social Network Can Foster a Culture of Health

July 22, 2014

We’ve known for a while that a where people live, learn, work, and play can have a bigger impact on their health than genetics or medical care.

The Political and Economic Fight over Solanum Tuberosum (white potatoes)

July 17, 2014

I live in Maine, which has the distinction of being a potato-growing state.

The Underlying Path of Health Spending in the U.S.

July 14, 2014

Inspired by Gene Steuerle’s work, I have been looking at something analogous to what economists might call the nation’s marginal propensity to consume health care. Specifically, it is the share of the growth in real per capita gross domestic product (GDP) that goes toward health spending. I’ll refer to it as the marginal propensity to spend on health (MPSH).

Sustainable Healthcare Spending Requires True Healthcare Payment Reform

July 10, 2014

Economists and policy-makers have been trying to determine whether the growth in healthcare spending has slowed and, more importantly, whether it will be slower in the future than the past.

Defining Value for Physician Payment

July 9, 2014

It is well known that our current fee-for-service system creates an environment that promotes volume over value and unintentionally exacerbates the delivery of fragmented, costly, and uncoordinated care.

Funders Learning Together and Looking Ahead

July 8, 2014

With the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, in 2013, Grantmakers In Health (GIH) launched a learning community for funders who were supporting early efforts to enroll people in the new health insurance options made possible by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Jailbreak! A Modern Day Getaway Story

July 3, 2014

"Bob" is 87. He is a proud and accomplished man who was born in the 1920s in small-town Saskatchewan with birth injury to his arms and legs.

Title X: More Important than Ever

July 3, 2014

One of the most powerful responses to the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling is the continued provision of low- and no-cost contraceptive services at Title X clinics across the country.

Closing the Care Gap for Families in the 21st Century: Support the Caregiver Corps Act of 2014!

July 1, 2014

In early July, Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) will introduce a novel policy proposal that could be life changing for the millions of Americans who quietly worry and wonder who they can call on for help and steady companionship when a loved one becomes ill, disabled, or very old.

After A Lull, Health-Care Spending is Poised to Pick Up, Study Says

June 26, 2014

Health-care spending will accelerate next year for the first time since the recession ended, a reversal of a trend that could have broad implications for employers and the economy, a new study says.

Healthy Food for All: 2014 Farm Bill Creates National Healthy Food Incentive Grants

June 24, 2014

After a 3-year battle in the U.S. House and Senate, the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Farm Bill) was passed on February 4, 2014, securing a bipartisan, 5-year piece of comprehensive legislation that provides a strong foundation for the food security of millions of American families, supports the livelihood of thousands of farmers, and creates a viable infrastructure for the development of sustainable local and regional food systems.

Getting Our Feet Wet in the Arabian Gulf

June 19, 2014

The Gulf region of the Middle East has made considerable strides in expanding health care capacity and developing existing infrastructure to provide better access to care and improve overall population health.

The Art of Caring for Older Patients

June 17, 2014

Last month at the annual meeting of the American Geriatrics Society, I heard an interesting presentation on the value of reducing a certain class of medications with potential side effects in people with dementia.

The Prescription Drug Share of National Health Expenditures: Retail and Nonretail

June 17, 2014

Each year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updates their historical and projected estimates of national health expenditures (NHE), including retail spending on prescription drugs.

Did Health Spending Actually Decelerate in the First Quarter of 2014?

June 13, 2014

This week, we are releasing our monthly briefs on health care employment and prices but have decided to delay the spending brief.

Sharing the Road for National Safety Month

June 12, 2014

Warm weather, abundant daylight, and 3 months off from school mean that many children and families will be walking, bicycling, and outside enjoying the good weather and free time that summer break can bring.

Proposed Changes to the Meaningful Use Timeline...Now What?

June 11, 2014

2014 has had a few twists thrown into the mix when it comes to Meaningful Use attestation and subsequent goals. And we are only in the second quarter.

National Women’s Health Week 2014: Out With the Old, In With the New!

June 10, 2014

At a time when digital communication changes almost daily, we as communicators need to stay ever vigilant about meeting our audiences where they are and sharing information in forms that resonate with them.

Nutrition Facts Label Update Impacts Public Health

June 5, 2014

With the current obesity crisis affecting at least 35% of Americans, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently proposed changes to the Nutrition Facts Panel (NFP) to improve health literacy and food choices among the American population.



Health Topics

Area of Expertise

Service Offerings

Research Center



For questions regarding the Health Policy Forum, or to contribute, please contact: