Although more women are entering academic medicine, they are less likely to be recognized as leaders, receive full professorship positions, or be considered experts. Journal article citations are a key measure of scholarly impact in the field and are often used in promotion decisions, raising the question whether a gender disparity in citations exists. A new study in JAMA Network Open from LDI Fellows Paula Chatterjee and Rachel M. Werner reveals that articles by women in high-impact medical journals are cited far less frequently than similar articles written by men, especially when women wrote together as primary and senior authors.
The pandemic has worsened an existing drug overdose crisis that claimed the lives of more than 81,000 people in the U.S. from May 2019-June 2020. As the Biden-Harris administration firms up and implements its proposed response to the opioid epidemic, this brief provides evidence-based recommendations to consider.
We focus our recommendations on the evidence and our experience in three areas: reducing the demand for opioids through policies that increase access to prevention, treatment, and recovery services; reducing the harms from opioid use through strategies that reduce morbidity and mortality; and reducing the supply of opioids through opioid stewardship that limits prescribing by the medical community and promotes adequate pain management. We also address the accountability of the pharmaceutical industry in contributing to the crisis and recommend ways to target settlement funds for maximal impact on the communities most affected.
Medicaid has long been a political litmus test and a target for substantial programmatic changes. But what does the public feel about Medicaid, especially during a pandemic? In this study, the authors analyze more than one million Medicaid-related tweets from December 1, 2018 to September 30, 2020. They found a high volume of political posts on Twitter around Medicaid topics, peaking in January 2020 in the context of news about Medicaid expansion and the prior administration’s Medicaid block grant proposal. As the pandemic hit, the number of Twitter posts about Medicaid and the pandemic increased, and the volume of political tweets on other Medicaid topics dropped. The posts themselves also appeared to be less polarized. These patterns suggest that when the public sees Medicaid operate as a safety net, the program is far less polarizing than partisan politics might indicate. Highlighting Medicaid’s role during the pandemic could help strengthen public support for the program in non-crisis times and better position it to respond to future economic downturns.
A decade of innovation and experimentation has failed to transform the health care system to one that pays for value rather than volume. It is now time to reconsider how value-based payment models can generate substantial savings and improve quality and health equity. Experts from the University of Pennsylvania, with input from a national panel of experts, reviewed the effectiveness of past payment reforms implemented by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and made recommendations about how to accelerate and complete the nation’s transformation to value-based payment. This brief summarizes recommendations that provide a path toward widespread adoption and success of alternative payment models, producing better health outcomes for all Americans, reducing wasteful spending, improving health equity, and more effectively stewarding taxpayer funds to support other national priorities.
The 2020s require a new strategy that moves from a short-term focus on testing new payment models to a long-term focus on expanding models that are most likely to generate substantial savings and improve quality. This white paper outlines a new direction for the federal government—primarily through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)—to chart over the next decade aimed at completing the transition to a health care system that pays for value and reduced health disparities, rather than high volumes of services.
To expand access to health care during the COVID-19 pandemic, many states relaxed or waived regulations that deﬁne the scope of health professional practice. This experience highlights the need to ensure that all health care professionals practice to the full extent of their capabilities—an issue that predates and will outlast the pandemic. In a virtual conference on November 20, 2020, Penn LDI and Penn Nursing brought together experts in law, economics, nursing, medicine, and dentistry to discuss current gaps in health professional scope of practice, what we have learned from COVID-19, and how to rethink scope of practice to better meet community and public health needs.
Pennsylvania is one of 28 states that has not expanded the scope of practice in its licensure laws for certified registered nurse practitioners (NPs), who must maintain formal collaborative agreements with physicians to practice. For many years, proposals to update licensure and adapt it to make it more compatible with current models of collaborative care could not overcome legislative logjams. Recognizing an opportunity to break the logjam, the University of Pennsylvania held a virtual workshop on November 20, 2020, bringing together researchers, health professionals, and consumers to chart a new path forward. This policy brief summarizes their recommendations to update scope of practice regulation to better meet the primary care needs of Pennsylvanians.
Among adults in rural Malawi, population health screening for high blood pressure (BP) led to a 22-percentage point drop in the likelihood of being hypertensive four years later. Individuals with elevated BP received a referral letter upon initial screening; at follow-up, they had lower BP and higher self-reported mental health than individuals with similar BP who were just below the threshold for referral. Population health screenings can reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases in low-income countries.
Despite concerns that duty hour reform might adversely affect the performance of new surgeons, this national study found no impact on patient outcomes, including 30-day mortality rates, failure-to-rescue, length of stay, and use of intensive care units. These findings should allay fears that reduced work hours during residency would produce surgeons less prepared for practice than their more experienced colleagues.
In this national study of 438,895 physicians, 45% provided care to hospitalized patients and 7% provided critical care. At the high estimate of patients requiring hospitalization at the projected peak of the pandemic, 18 states and Washington, DC would have patient to physician ratios greater than 15:1 (a level associated with poor outcomes among hospitalized patients). There was considerable geographic variation in the availability of physicians: 41% of hospital service areas did not have a physician with critical care experience.
How do leader tactics influence the creativity, implementation, and evolution of quality improvement (QI) ideas from clinicians and staff at federally qualified community health practices?
Mifepristone, a drug used to manage early miscarriage or end an early pregnancy, carries unique restrictions imposed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Patients are required to pick up the drug in person
from a doctor or a clinic, even though they can take the drug at home. In July, a federal court ruled that the FDA must suspend these restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, for patients seeking an early abortion,
although the ruling did not apply to women with an early pregnancy loss. But the challenges to FDA restrictions on mifepristone predate the pandemic. This Issue Brief provides the context for this ongoing controversy, and
reviews recent evidence on the clinical and cost effectiveness of mifepristone for the medical management of first trimester miscarriage.
A study of hospitals in New York and Illinois at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic found that most did not meet benchmark patient-to-nurse staffing ratios for medical-surgical or intensive care units. New York City hospitals had especially low staffing ratios. Understaffed hospitals were associated with less job satisfaction among nurses, unfavorable grades for patient safety and quality of care, and hesitance by nurses and patients to recommend their hospitals.
COVID-19 has had a major impact on U.S. nursing homes, resulting in a large and disproportionate share of COVID-19 deaths. Starting in April 2020, nursing homes were required to report COVID-19 cases to their state health department. Linking these reports to Medicare quality data, the authors examined the characteristics of 8,943 nursing homes in 23 states and Washington, D.C. Using data collected between April 22 and 29, they described the differences between facilities that reported COVID-19 cases (34%) and those that did not report cases.