Policy Sense Blog

Penn’s Gant Family Precision Medicine Consortium Takes on Sustainable Targeted Oncology

Sep. 20, 2018

Biomedical advances in genomics and oncology, combined with rising costs for targeted cancer therapies, challenge the way we currently deliver and pay for cancer care. To foster the economic sustainability of targeted therapies, the University of Pennsylvania convened the Gant Family Precision Cancer Medicine Consortium, a multidisciplinary work group of experts from health care economics, policy, law, regulation, biomedical research, patient advocacy, and the pharmaceutical and insurance industry.

Debating Medicaid Rules for Mental Health Care

Aug. 10, 2018

In a recent Scattergood Foundation report, LDI Senior Fellow Dominic Sisti and I tackle the curious case of the “institutions for mental diseases” (IMD) exclusion in Medicaid. For non-elderly adults, the national IMD exclusion prevents Medicaid from paying for inpatient care in institutions with more than 16 beds that primarily provide care for persons with “mental diseases” other than dementia or intellectual disabilities.

Hospitals, Skilled Nursing Facilities, and Bundled Payment

Aug. 10, 2018

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has rolled out a number of bundled payment programs in the hopes that they will help to control costs and improve coordination and quality of care. A focus of these programs is the care delivered by skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) – a post-acute care setting that currently accounts for a significant portion of cost variation and spending in Medicare.

Improving Opioid Stewardship for Acute Pain

Aug. 9, 2018

As the country faces an unprecedented opioid epidemic, there’s an active national conversation about how inappropriate prescribing contributes to chronic opioid use, misuse, and addiction. Evidence is rapidly evolving to inform the policy debate, especially regarding best practices for prescribing in acutely painful conditions, like an injury or surgery, but the evidence is less clear on the best policy solutions.

Restricted Provider Choice in the ACA Marketplace

Aug. 8, 2018

On November 1st, the sixth year of open enrollment on the ACA Marketplace will start. While the basic rules that govern the Marketplace and the sliding-scale subsidies remain intact, gains in enrollment are unlikely given the end of penalties for the individual mandate, the emergence of association health plans, and new rules related to “short-term limited duration.”

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.

Addressing Out-Of-Pocket Specialty Drug Costs In Medicare Part D: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, And The Ignored

Aug. 1, 2018

[Reposted: Jalpa A. Doshi, Amy R. Pettit, and Pengxiang Li. Addressing Out-Of-Pocket Specialty Drug Costs In Medicare Part D: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, And The Ignored, Health Affairs Blog, July 25, 2018. https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hblog20180724.734269/full/: Copyright ©2018 Health Affairs by Project HOPE – The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.]

Learning Your Alzheimer’s Risk: Implications for Long-Term Care Insurance

Jul. 25, 2018

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.

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