Health Care Topic: Health Policy

Jun 14, 2012

For more than 40 years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has served as America’s nutrition safety net. In fiscal year 2011, SNAP served nearly 45 million people, about one in seven Americans nationwide. SNAP promotes optimal health and the well-being of low-income individuals through improved nutrition and nutrition education.

Jun 7, 2012

This is my fourth blog on the topic of sustainable health spending (others are here: 1, 2, 3).  I have argued that 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 Medi

Jun 5, 2012

By Jay Hancock, Kaiser Health News.

Angela Wenger calls herself a self-reliant “German Midwesterner” who hates to complain. But the Wisconsin mom was dismayed when husband Dan’s employer switched to an insurance plan that increased the family’s medical expenses tenfold.

May 31, 2012

Overuse of health care is moving into the policy spotlight as a critical—and addressable—cost and quality issue. Overuse—providing care that is not medically warranted or expensive services that don’t add value over less costly ones—contributes to our high national health care costs. Strategies to address overuse are critical to improving quality, reducing health care costs and eliminating “waste” in the health care system.

May 22, 2012

Readers of this blog are familiar with—and mostly supportive of—these two claims: (1) that social and environmental factors are stronger than health care services in shaping the population’s health, but (2) those factors are weaker than health care services in securing funding and public attention. Most of us are convinced that sending more funds and public support toward healthy food and exercise would do more to improve health than sending those funds toward high-cost medications or surgeries,

May 10, 2012

Where does “health care transformation” exist? Google finds us 70,600,000 hits on the subject. Good luck with that. Is it out there in parts? On the horizon: in accountable care organizations; patient-centered medical homes? In gene therapy and epigenetics? In HIPPA-compliant health information networks? In our National Prevention Strategy? In diet therapies approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for cardiovascular disease?

Topics: Health Policy
May 8, 2012

Mini-Sentinel is the Food & Drug Administration’s new tool to assist in monitoring the safety of drugs and medical products after FDA approval. It is a pilot program for FDA’s larger sentinel system, a multifaceted effort by the FDA to develop a national electronic system that will complement existing methods of safety surveillance, which is currently under development.(1) (2)

May 1, 2012

“I’m thinking of getting a full-body CT scan,” Jane said. “What do you think?” Here was a healthy, active 72-year-old with no specific symptoms considering an expensive screening test. When asked for a reason, she shared that strokes run in her family and a doctor told her that she might be able to see if there was a possible bulge in a blood vessel in her brain. Plus, while they were looking, the scan could see if there was some other problem.

Apr 19, 2012

After a decade of conflict in Iraq, our troops have come home, producing the largest increase in the number of American veterans since the 1970s. After Vietnam, an America tired of war and consumed with political angst neglected its veterans. Fortunately, the veterans of today are receiving the homecoming they deserve. To make that homecoming complete, America needs to ensure that our returning warriors have access to one of the most important benefits they have earned: health care provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Apr 3, 2012

For small business, the 2010 health reform law means higher costs, more red-tape and fewer choices. Some provisions are already in effect (e.g., coverage expansions, drug tax, FSA limits). Others start in 2013 (e.g., medical device tax, increased “Medicare” taxes on business owners’ wages, a new “Medicare” tax on owners’ investments).


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