Allied Health Professionals

Part of the health care workforce with clinical training in fields other than medicine, nursing, pharmacy, or dentistry.

Transforming Mental Health Care Through Implementation of Evidence-Based Practices

Issue Brief
May. 21, 2020

Changing clinical practice is hard, and changing practices within larger organizations is even harder. Increasingly, policymakers are looking to implementation science—the study of why some changes prove more durable than others—to understand the dynamics of successful transformation. In this brief, we summarize the results of an ongoing community-academic partnership to increase the uptake of evidence-based practices in Philadelphia’s public behavioral health care system. Over five years, researchers found that widescale initiatives did successfully change the way care was delivered, albeit modestly and slowly. The evidence suggests that organizational factors, such as a proficient work culture, are more important than individual therapist factors, like openness in change, in influencing successful practice change. While practice transformation is possible, it requires focusing on underlying problems within organizations as well as championing new policies. 

Modernizing Medicare Funding for Nurse Education

Jun. 21, 2018

With policies rooted in the 1960s, it’s time to change how Medicare pays for nurse education. In a New England Journal of Medicine Perspective, LDI Senior Fellow Linda Aiken and colleagues present a compelling case for funding a new consortium model that trains nurse practitioners (NPs) in the community settings where they are a crucial source of primary care.

Dentists Tackle Opioid Epidemic

Apr. 25, 2018

 Last month, the American Dental Association (ADA) announced a new policy on opioid prescription. This is the latest in a series of statements issued by the ADA in response to the prominent role of dentistry in the opioid epidemic.

New OECD Report Highlights Expanded Primary Care Role for Nurses

Jan. 9, 2018

To meet population health care needs in developed countries, health systems must shift their focus from treating acute episodes to managing chronic conditions. With the rise of chronic care comes a new set of tasks that are more time-consuming and team-oriented. Policymakers in many countries are seeking to align the size and composition of their primary care workforce to meet these new needs, by expanding the role of advanced nurses.

Physicians and Advanced Practitioners Specializing in Nursing Home Care, 2012-2015

Research Brief
Nov. 29, 2017

The number of clinicians specializing in nursing home care increased by 33.7% from 2012 to 2015, although nursing home specialists made up only 21% of nursing home clinicians in 2015. Most of these specialists were advanced practitioners (physician assistants and nurse practitioners) delivering post-acute care. The change in number of nursing home specialists varied significantly by geographic region.

Networks in ACA Marketplaces are Narrower for Mental Health Care Than for Primary Care

Research Brief
Sep. 5, 2017

In 2016, ACA marketplace plans offered provider networks that were far narrower for mental health care than for primary care. On average, plan networks included 24 percent of all primary care providers and 11 percent of all mental health care providers in a given market. Just 43 percent of psychiatrists and 19 percent of nonphysician mental health providers participate in any network. These findings raise important questions about network sufficiency, consumer choice, and access to mental health care in marketplace plans.

Nursing skill mix in European hospitals: cross-sectional study of the association with mortality, patient ratings, and quality of care

Jul. 10, 2017

Linda H. Aiken, Douglas Sloane, Peter Griffiths, Anne Marie Rafferty, Luk Bruyneel, Matthew McHugh, Claudia B. Maier, Teresa Moreno-Casbas, Jane E. Ball, Dietmar Ausserhofer, Walter Sermeus

In BMJ Quality & Safety, Linda Aiken and colleagues, including Matthew McHugh examine the association of hospital nursing skill mix with patient mortality, patient ratings of care, and indicators of quality care among European hospitals. As policymakers around the world seek to reduce health spending, a popular target in Europe has been to transition from more professional nurses to fewer high-cost nurses supported by more lower-wage assistants. The authors analyzed how nursing skill mix affects indicators of quality patient care. The authors utilized cross-sectional patient...

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