Health care “affordability” is a top concern for most Americans, but it means different things to different people. Affordability can be examined as an economic concept, a policy threshold, or through the decisions made by individuals and families. As part of Penn LDI's research partnership with United States of Care, we have developed a brief that explores the concept of affordability through these different lenses, and outlines key issues for policymakers to consider as they try to tackle this pressing problem. It is the first in a series that will examine the cost burden of health care in the United States.
If you want to start an intense debate within the medical community, just talk about duty-hours – the length of a physician-in-training’s shift. Krisda Chaiyachati describes the findings of a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine examining how shift length affects medical trainees' time spent on education, direct patient care, and overall satisfaction. He reflects on his own time as an internal medicine chief resident, and suggests new ways to improve training for medical residents.
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.
As part of a campus-wide, week-long ‘Teach-In,’ Penn LDI and the Penn Injury Science Center are co-hosting a session on Firearm Violence: Science, Policy, & Politics. In preparation for the event, our experts provided a “reading list” of studies that focus on the causes and effects of firearm violence in the United States. Together, they represent a good, quick overview of the evidence base that can inform firearm policy. Or at least the conversation about it.
Black men in the United States are disproportionately affected by traumatic injuries. Understanding the emotional consequences of injuries among this population is important for addressing the mental health challenges that may arise after injury. A study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing that was recently published in Injury examines how urban Black men described their emotional responses in the three months after acute traumatic injury.
Practice transformation and payment reform are defining features of contemporary health policy debates. But a new article in Milbank Quarterly by LDI Senior Fellows Lawton R. Burns and Mark V. Pauly poses an uncomfortable question: what if transformation is simply hype?
As the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services implement nearly $1.6 billion in cuts to the 340B Drug Pricing Program, a new study by Penn LDI PhD alumna Sunita Desai looks at the consequences of the program, and questions whether it has had its intended effect of helping safety-net hospitals serve poor and vulnerable populations.
The concern that value-based payments will worsen health disparities is not new. Much ink has been spilled about the best way to avoid punishing hospitals that care for disproportionately poor populations, without rewarding poor performance. Two new perspective pieces take a fresh look at the issue, highlighting the potential for value-based payments to reduce disparities rather than to exacerbate them.
The Trump administration recently agreed to let states get tough on Medicaid recipients who don’t work. Kentucky was the first to win approval of a plan to kick those who can work but don’t off the roles, and at least ten other states would like to do the same. However, work requirements will do little to improve the Medicaid program while posing the risk that many people who are fully entitled to benefits would suffer real harm.
At a recent LDI seminar, Nico Pronk, PhD, President of HealthPartners Institute, and Chief Science Officer of HealthPartners, Inc., called for a paradigm shift in how we think about health care in the U.S. “We pay a ton of money for medical care, [but] we don't get a lot of value for that investment. Do we need more medical care, or do we actually need a shift towards more health and well-being?” he asked.
In a post that originally appeared on the Health Affairs Blog, Amol Navathe and colleagues look at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) latest bundled payment model, and compare it to earlier models introduced by CMS during the previous Administration.
At Penn’s fourth annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Health Equity Symposium, keynote speaker Howard Koh, MD, MPH, former Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) called for building nontraditional partnerships to reduce health disparities and move the social-determinants-of-health approach forward. “Health is too important to be left to health professionals alone,” he said.
There have been concerns about the long-term health of retired National Football League (NFL) players. But evaluating these long-run consequences is challenging, because professional football players tend to be at the extremes of physical fitness. Finding an appropriate comparison group to such a highly select population is hard. So we reached back into NFL history and found the “replacement players” - generally men with some prior football experience (college, semi-pro, sometimes other pro leagues) who played during the three weeks of the NFL player strike in 1987 to use as a comparison group. Here's what we found.