Do residents need more sleep? Two new studies in the New England Journal of Medicine compare the effects of standard versus flexible duty-hours on residents’ sleep and patient safety.
The iCOMPARE trial randomized 63 internal medicine residency programs, consisting of over 5,000 trainees, to standard duty-hour policies or flexible policies. All programs were held to an 80-hour work week, but flexible policies had no limits on shift lengths and did not mandate time off between shifts.
The durability and vulnerability of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was on full display last year amidst the Administration’s efforts to undermine it, according to LDI Senior Fellow and law professor Allison Hoffman. In the Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics, she makes the case that recent experience demonstrates the shortcomings of market-based health policy and draws insights for future health reforms.
Should providers participating in accountable care organizations (ACOs) be exempt from existing regulations that prevent financial conflicts of interest in physician referrals? On the one hand, these regulations, collectively known as the Stark Law, can impede efforts to coordinate care across providers and facilities. On the other hand, ACOs and other alternative payment and delivery models do not necessarily obviate the need for regulations that prohibit physician kickbacks or self-referrals.
Continuing the trend from last year, research by our Senior Fellows has made Health Affairs’ 2018 top 10 most-read and most-shared lists.
States are considered “laboratories of democracy,” allowing experimentation with innovative reforms that could potentially be adopted at the national level. To test new approaches in their Medicaid programs, states have embraced Section 1115 waivers, which permit innovations that do not meet federal program rules, but still promote the program’s objectives.
In the not-too-distant future, individuals may be able to learn their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease through biomarkers – measures of disease activity – detected up to 20 years before symptoms present. This information would allow individuals (and their loved ones) to prepare for future cognitive and functional decline, but it also has implications for the purchase of private long-term care insurance.
Financial conflicts of interest between the drug and device industry and physicians have long been recognized, but the frequency and scope of such conflicts between industry and patient advocacy organizations (PAOs) are less understood.
In a push to encourage “personal responsibility,” the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved work requirements as a condition for receiving Medicaid benefits in four states - Kentucky, Indiana, Arkansas, and most recently New Hampshire, with applications from other states pending.
As policymakers debate the best way to address pressing health care challenges, one ‘opinion’ that is sometimes drowned out is that of the public. At a recent Penn LDI seminar, Mollyann Brodie, PhD, MS, Senior Vice President for Executive Operations and Executive Director of Public Opinion and Survey Research at the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), underscored the value of public polling when it comes to health care policy and politics.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the first digital pill that tracks if patients have taken their medication. Our experts weighed in on the potential benefits of the new technology, as well as the potential for abuse.
Editor's Note: On November 7, 2017, University of Notre Dame employees received an email saying that contraceptive coverage will continue for health care plan members at no cost, because the third-party administrator will continue to provide the coverage free of charge.