One of the controversial provisions in some health care reform proposals has been creation of a public plan, often analogized to Medicare, which would be an option offered alongside private insurance plans.
A pair of recent announcements by the American Medical Association pique one’s curiousity.
Illumina has announced that for $48,000 a consumer can have their entire DNA sequenced
Several prominent health industry segments have issued a follow-up statement identifying more specifically where they believe health care cost savings can be achieved.
The work of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission is always worth reading carefully. (Medpac website) It is one of the government groups that seems to do its job with a high degree of professionalism. MEDPAC’s reports contain useful data and it often provide unvarnished analysis and insight into America’s health care cost issues.
A not-for-profit group that has been a vigorous proponent of health care reform has released a report, Hidden Health Tax, on the costs of the uninsured and who ultimately bears that cost.
The American Hospital Association and the American Medical Association, in conjunction with a number of physician specialty organizations, have each released statements regarding proposals to help control health care costs by changing, even reducing payments to providers.
An interesting news report on Kaiser Health News gives an indication of why health reform that affects costs will be very difficult. The story details the fight in one New Jersey town over building a new hospital.
Massachusetts has become such a bellweather for health reform that every report analyzing the program’s outcomes is eagerly anticipated. Health Affairs, vol. 28, page w578 (May 2009), looks at some of the results as of the fall of 2008.
Several of the country’s largest health plans have recently issued reports or statements relating to health care reform. While the source needs to be considered in reading any discussion of health reform, these plans do have a significant body of experience regarding coverage, cost and quality issues and they retain formidable lobbying weight.
The Congressional Budget Office’s most recent missive on health reform (available here) discusses the budgetary treatment of health care reform proposals.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (“AHRQ”) Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project released a report in April 2009 outlining hospitalizations that might have been preventable had the patients been receiving appropriate ambulatory care.
A study reported in Health Affairs, vol. 28, page 897 (May/June 2009), provides a further input to the question of the relationship, if any, between costs and quality in health care.
The American Academy of Family Physicians has been at the forefront of efforts to re-emphasize the role of primary care physicians in the health system; and has participated in development of the patient-centered medical home as a method for revitalizing primary care.
A recent article in The American Journal of Managed Care (volume 15, page 295, May 2009), described findings from a comparison within the Kaiser Permanente system of patients with diabetes who were subject to a care management program and those who were not.