Janet Weiner, PhD, MPH @weinerja

The Origins of the Opioid Epidemic

Dec. 2, 2019

A state prescription drug policy first adopted in 1939, and last ended in 2004, appears to have influenced where Purdue Pharma chose to market its opioid drug OxyContin upon launch in 1996. The consequences of that decision reverberate to this day, according to a new NBER paper by LDI Senior Fellow Abby Alpert and colleagues, who estimate that states with the prescription policy had 11.4 fewer overdose deaths per 100,000 people in 2017. Let that sink in for a moment. In 2017.

Medicare Coverage, With a Catch

Oct. 1, 2019

There’s good news and bad news. The good news is Medicare drug plans are increasing coverage of newer, better drugs to prevent blood clots in people at risk. The bad news is that coverage comes with significant strings attached, including higher patient copayments that could prevent access to the newer, better drugs.

Do Cardiac Centers of Excellence Really Excel?

May. 20, 2019

If I needed a cardiac procedure, I might look for a hospital designated as a cardiac “center of excellence” (COE) by my insurer. I might assume that the hospital delivers higher quality care and achieves better outcomes than other hospitals. But that assumption might be wrong, according to a new study by LDI Associate Fellow Sameed Khatana and colleagues in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Penn LDI’s Top 10 Reads of 2018

Jan. 3, 2019

2018 was a year that defies easy categorization. In health policy, deep cynicism and hyperpartisanship often made evidence seem almost passé, a quaint paean to a time when research and data might contribute to thoughtful national debate. But if you listened closely, you also heard not-so-faint rumblings of a desire to get past slogans and bitter divides, to find areas of common ground, and to use evidence to improve health and health care, even if only incrementally. In 2018, people flocked to LDI in record numbers, with more than 550,000 page views on our web site.

Inside the Black Box of Patient-Centered Medical Homes

Aug. 2, 2018

The concept of a patient-centered medical home (PCMH) holds intuitive appeal, with its emphasis on coordination of care, improved patient-provider communication and patient engagement, use of health information technology, and expanded practice hours.

Where Patients Go After Hospital Discharge: Trends in Post-Acute Care

Apr. 17, 2018

As the largest single source of health care spending, hospitals have drawn considerable attention from policymakers. Efforts to reduce costs have led to decreased lengths of hospital stays, but far less attention has been paid to where those patients go immediately after discharge. Medicare payment reforms implemented in the wake of the Affordable Care Act, such as hospital readmissions penalties and bundled payments, have made hospitals accountable for care beyond their walls, including institutional post-acute care.

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