Late last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that more than 70,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2017, a 9.6% increase from 2016. Deaths continue to soar, even as states and health systems implement policies to curb the overprescribing of opioids that led to the epidemic in the first place. It’s hard not to be discouraged by these numbers and our failure to reduce overdose deaths. To fully appreciate the shifting dynamics of the opioid crisis, we need to understand both the nature of the policies we are implementing as well as their likely short- and long-term effects.
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.
Two Senior Fellow articles make Health Affairs' Top 10 most shared list in 2017. Articles on the effects of the ACA on payday borrowing and the prevalence of completed advance directives captured the public's attention.
In response to Pennsylvania declaring a state of emergency for the heroin and opioid epidemic, we asked our Senior Fellows, physicians on the front lines of the epidemic, to share their thoughts on what the declaration means for their current approaches to identifying and treating substance use disorder patients.
In a New England Journal of Medicine Perspective on the proposed Right to Try Act, LDI Senior Fellows Steven Joffe and Holly Fernandez Lynch argue that the benefits of the proposal are more symbolic than real, while the potential long-term harms to the FDA’s public health mission are great.
In a recently published Health Working Paper for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Claudia Maier and LDI Senior Fellow Linda Aiken analyze the changing role of nurses in response to health care workforce demands in 37 OECD and European Union countries.
Community Health Workers (CHWs) work with people to detect and address the root causes of chronic illness, and to improve aspects of their lives that are contributing to poor health. This isn’t a new idea, but it seems like one whose time has come. Does the evidence support the use of CHWs as an effective and sustainable solution to addressing the evolving face of disease in America? The short answer is, it depends.
Similar to 23 other states, Pennsylvania requires nurse practitioners to maintain a collaborative practice agreement (CPA) with a physician as a condition of state occupational licensure. In a recent LDI seminar, Dan Gilman, Attorney Advisor of the Federal Trade Commission’s Office of Policy Planning, provided a relevant framework to consider how mandatory CPAs may undermine the delivery of health services to consumers.
Despite professional consensus, guidelines, and national campaigns, physicians continue to provide many low-value services. An emerging policy solution is to financially penalize the physicians who deliver low-value care, but physician support for these policies is largely unknown.