A recent, high-profile hospital acquisition in Massachusetts has sparked new debate about the continued trend toward consolidation among U.S. hospitals. Boston-based Partners HealthCare, already the largest health provider system in the state, made a bid earlier this year to acquire South Shore Hospital and its affiliated physician groups. An analysis of the proposed acquisition by the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission found that the merger could result in reduced market competition in the affected areas, leading to an increase in hospital charges of an estimated $23-26 million.
There is a growing childhood epidemic in this country: Tooth decay is now the most common chronic illness among children. The effects of this epidemic are wide-ranging. Children lose 51 million school hours each year due to dental-related illness. And a study in southern California found that untreated dental disease may also interfere with children’s ability to learn: The study found that children with reported tooth pain were four times more likely than their peers to have lower than average grades.
In this first installment of our “Two Takes” column occasional series, two of our experts who come from different perspectives—Caitlin Morris, who focuses on health system improvement, and Claire McAndrew, who focuses on private insurance reform and consumer protections—take on the tough questions surrounding this issue. How can we stop the unsustainable growth in health care costs if we allow consumers to continue receiving care from providers who don’t deliver good value? And on the other hand, how can we ensure that consumers can obtain adequate, timely, geographically accessible care if we further restrict their networks?
Today, we’re kicking off an occasional series of posts about the State Innovation Models (SIM) Initiative. Over the coming months, we’ll use the SIM Initiative to explore how states are engaging in innovative reforms geared at improving the quality and delivery of care and reducing costs.
In this first post, we’ll provide a brief backgrounder on the initiative. In future posts we’ll delve into what’s happening on the ground, talk to health care stakeholders about how SIM is playing out in their states, highlight best practices, and flag key issues for advocates.
For today’s health care consumers, the lack of side-by-side information on the price and quality of health care services can be exasperating. Without this information, making an informed decision about which provider to choose for a particular service—such as a surgery, screening, or care for an illness—can be nearly impossible. Providing this information up front is an important step toward the goal of creating a health care system that provides higher-quality health care while controlling costs.
We asked our policy experts to share their picks for 2014’s must-read—or, in some cases, must-see—articles, reports, videos, and more. Today, Caitlin Morris of our Health System Transformation team kicks off the series. See more best of” lists from our teams working on marketplace health insurance and enrollment.
In large part, 2014 was about demonstrating that a commitment to transparency and good medical evidence can improve health care. Part of that involves acknowledging our own shortcomings as we seek to transform the health care system.
Both a call to action and a roadmap for progress, Families USA’s latest report, Health Reform 2.0 lays out a path for securing high-quality, affordable health care to all Americans—regardless of income, age, race, or ethnicity—and for achieving the “Triple Aim”: improving health, enhancing quality of care, and reducing health care costs.
Today, Families USA issues a call to action in support of Health Reform 2.0 – a series of 19 specific proposals to improve health care for everyone in our nation. In the years ahead, we will build support for those proposals to hasten their adoption.
The timing for our proposals is challenging—many of you might reasonably wonder, at a point when the Affordable Care Act faces one of its most fundamental threats, is this the time to be thinking about the future of health care? Our answer is, “yes.”
One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to live a healthier lifestyle, often with a focus on eating better, exercising more regularly, and losing weight. So we thought we’d do our part in marking this year’s Healthy Weight Week (January 19–23) by spotlighting research funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to provide useful information about effective ways to fight obesity.