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.
An interdisciplinary panel of experts from health care management, economics, and nursing came together at LDI’s 50th Anniversary Symposium to discuss their perspectives on how “organizational innovation” can be used to redesign health care systems and care delivery.
PolicyLab Director David Rubin and Health Policy Director Ahaviah Glaser, along with Cindy Mann, partner at Manatt and former director for Medicaid and CHIP at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and Omar Woodard, executive director of the GreenLight Fund in Philadelphia, participated in a panel that focused on bringing children into the federal health policy conversation, one in which they have largely been left out.
Moderated by Dave Grande, the session focused on ways to integrate clinical and non-clinical services, examined policies promoting health, and encouraged unique partnerships and opportunities for strategic innovation.
A recent report from the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) calls into question the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of abuse-deterrent formulations at both the individual patient and population levels. It finds limited evidence that these formulations have a real-world impact on opioid abuse, and its economic impact models suggest that any success comes with an eye-popping price tag.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) last week released his Medicare for All vision: a single-payer health care system that would ensure coverage for all Americans. His quest comes at a time when budget-motivated Republicans are revisiting efforts to curb costs in Medicaid through spending caps. These two efforts seem worlds apart, especially to people across the country who are counting on Congress to fix the cost and coverage challenges they are facing with their health insurance.
Most of the time, scientists generate research questions based on what they think is interesting and important. This approach can obviously yield valuable discoveries, but it also means that scientists don’t always have answers to the questions that urgently plague policymakers. I learned to embrace a different approach, one that aims to work with policymakers and influencers to identify and answer the research questions that they most need answered.
The national conversation over plans to reform health care in America has been focused on who would lose coverage and who would keep it under newly proposed plans, but this masks a different problem that’s just as significant: many Americans who currently have insurance may not be able to get the care they need when they get sick, and they may not even know it.