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Sample records for affordable quality health

  1. Quality Health Care for Children and the Affordable Care Act: A Voltage Drop Checklist

    PubMed Central

    Wise, Paul H.; Halfon, Neal

    2014-01-01

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) introduces enormous policy changes to the health care system with several anticipated benefits and a growing number of unanticipated challenges for child and adolescent health. Because the ACA gives each state and their payers substantial autonomy and discretion on implementation, understanding potential effects will require state-by-state monitoring of policies and their impact on children. The “voltage drop” framework is a useful interpretive guide for assessing the impact of insurance market change on the quality of care received. Using this framework we suggest a state-level checklist to examine ACA statewide implementation, assess its impact on health care delivery, and frame policy correctives to improve child health system performance. Although children’s health care is a small part of US health care spending, child health provides the foundation for adult health and must be protected in ACA implementation. PMID:25225140

  2. Health insurers' financial performance and quality improvement expenditures in the Affordable Care Act's second year.

    PubMed

    McCue, Michael J; Hall, Mark

    2015-02-01

    The Affordable Care Act requires health insurers to rebate any amounts less than 80%-85% of their premiums that they fail to spend on medical claims or quality improvement. This study uses the new comprehensive reporting under this law to examine changes in insurers' financial performance and differences in their quality improvement expenditures. In the ACA's second year (2012), insurers' median medical loss ratios continued to increase and their median administrative cost ratios dropped, producing moderate operating margins in the group markets but a small operating loss in the individual market, at the median. For-profit insurers showed larger changes, in general, than did nonprofits. For quality improvement, insurers reported spending a significantly greater amount per member in their government plans than they did on their self-insured members, with spending on commercial insurance being in between these two extremes. The magnitude and source of these differences varied by corporate ownership.

  3. Constraining National Health Care Expenditures. Achieving Quality Care at an Affordable Cost.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1985-09-30

    and future * generations. Advances in orthopedic surgery and the development of laser surgery have also improved the patient’s health status and reduced...disabling bone and joint " ailments. Similarly, the development of laser surgery has . reduced the pain and suffering from many procedures and enabled...more surgery to be performed on an outpatient basis. For example, laser surgery to remove cataracts can frequently be performed on an outpatient basis

  4. Views on the ethical struggle for universal, high quality, affordable health care and its relevance for gerontology

    PubMed Central

    Martin, George M.

    2017-01-01

    The US pays about twice as much per capita for health care than any other developed country, yet its health metrics rank among the lowest among peer nations – for example, the US has 12.2 maternal mortality deaths per 100,000 compared to 4.8 in Canada which, like other developed nations, has a single payer health care program. The leading cause of bankruptcies in the US is attributable to medical expenses. Despite recently introduced legislation (the Affordable Care Act) many millions of Americans remain uninsured or underinsured. We shall consider views on the pathogenesis of such a dysfunctional health care system and make suggestions for how it can be improved. We shall also emphasize the importance of an integrated system of universal health care for population-based epidemiological research and preventive medicine, including its implications for the enhancement of the healthspans and lifespans of future generations via trans-generational inheritance. Finally, we suggest that the anticipated major health care savings of such a system, if partially invested in basic and translational research, should accelerate progress towards further gains in healthspans and lifespans. PMID:27105635

  5. America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009

    THOMAS, 111th Congress

    Rep. Dingell, John D. [D-MI-15

    2009-07-14

    10/14/2009 Placed on the Union Calendar, Calendar No. 168. (All Actions) Notes: For further action, see H.R.3590, which became Public Law 111-148 on 3/23/2010. H.R.3590, often referred to as the Affordable Care Act, is the bill that became the health care reform law. Tracker: This bill has the status IntroducedHere are the steps for Status of Legislation:

  6. Balancing adequacy and affordability?: Essential Health Benefits under the Affordable Care Act.

    PubMed

    Haeder, Simon F

    2014-12-01

    The Essential Health Benefits provisions under the Affordable Care Act require that eligible plans provide coverage for certain broadly defined service categories, limit consumer cost-sharing, and meet certain actuarial value requirements. Although the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was tasked with the regulatory development of these EHB under the ACA, the department quickly devolved this task to the states. Not surprisingly, states fully exploited the leeway provided by HHS, and state decision processes and outcomes differed widely. However, none of the states took advantage of the opportunity to restructure fundamentally their health insurance markets, and only a very limited number of states actually included sophisticated policy expertise in their decisionmaking processes. As a result, and despite a major expansion of coverage, the status quo ex ante in state insurance markets was largely perpetuated. Decisionmaking for the 2016 revisions should be transparent, included a wide variety of stakeholders and policy experts, and focus on balancing adequacy and affordability. However, the 2016 revisions provide an opportunity to address these previous shortcomings.

  7. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: opportunities for prevention and public health.

    PubMed

    Shaw, Frederic E; Asomugha, Chisara N; Conway, Patrick H; Rein, Andrew S

    2014-07-05

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was enacted by the US Congress in 2010, marks the greatest change in US health policy since the 1960s. The law is intended to address fundamental problems within the US health system, including the high and rising cost of care, inadequate access to health insurance and health services for many Americans, and low health-care efficiency and quality. By 2019, the law will bring health coverage--and the health benefits of insurance--to an estimated 25 million more Americans. It has already restrained discriminatory insurance practices, made coverage more affordable, and realised new provisions to curb costs (including tests of new health-care delivery models). The new law establishes the first National Prevention Strategy, adds substantial new funding for prevention and public health programmes, and promotes the use of recommended clinical preventive services and other measures, and thus represents a major opportunity for prevention and public health. The law also provides impetus for greater collaboration between the US health-care and public health systems, which have traditionally operated separately with little interaction. Taken together, the various effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act can advance the health of the US population.

  8. The Affordable Care Act: the ethical call for value-based leadership to transform quality.

    PubMed

    Piper, Llewellyn E

    2013-01-01

    Hospitals in America face a daunting and historical challenge starting in 2013 as leadership navigates their organizations toward a new port of call-the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law in March 2010 and held in abeyance waiting on 2 pivotal points-the Supreme Court's June 2012 ruling upholding the constitutionality of the ACA and the 2012 presidential election of Barack Obama bringing to reality to health care organizations that leadership now must implement the mandates of health care delivery under the ACA. This article addresses the need for value-based leadership to transform the culture of health care organizations in order to be successful in navigating uncharted waters under the unprecedented challenges for change in the delivery of quality health care.

  9. The Affordable Care Act, health care reform, prescription drug formularies and utilization management tools.

    PubMed

    Ung, Brian L; Mullins, C Daniel

    2015-01-01

    The U.S. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (hence, Affordable Care Act, or ACA) was signed into law on March 23, 2010. Goals of the ACA include decreasing the number of uninsured people, controlling cost and spending on health care, increasing the quality of care provided, and increasing insurance coverage benefits. This manuscript focuses on how the ACA affects pharmacy benefit managers and consumers when they have prescriptions dispensed. PBMs use formularies and utilization control tools to steer drug usage toward cost-effective and efficacious agents. A logic model was developed to explain the effects of the new legislation. The model draws from peer-reviewed and gray literature commentary about current and future U.S. healthcare reform. Outcomes were identified as desired and undesired effects, and expected unintended consequences. The ACA extends health insurance benefits to almost 32 million people and provides financial assistance to those up to 400% of the poverty level. Increased access to care leads to a similar increase in overall health care demand and usage. This short-term increase is projected to decrease downstream spending on disease treatment and stunt the continued growth of health care costs, but may unintentionally exacerbate the current primary care physician shortage. The ACA eliminates limitations on insurance and increases the scope of benefits. Online health care insurance exchanges give patients a central location with multiple insurance options. Problems with prescription drug affordability and control utilization tools used by PBMs were not addressed by the ACA. Improving communication within the U.S. healthcare system either by innovative health care delivery models or increased usage of health information technology will help alleviate problems of health care spending and affordability.

  10. Hospital and Health Plan Partnerships: The Affordable Care Act's Impact on Promoting Health and Wellness

    PubMed Central

    Vu, Michelle; White, Annesha; Kelley, Virginia P.; Hopper, Jennifer Kuca; Liu, Cathy

    2016-01-01

    Background The Affordable Care Act (ACA) healthcare reforms, centered on achieving the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Triple Aim goals of improving patient care quality and satisfaction, improving population health, and reducing costs, have led to increasing partnerships between hospitals and insurance companies and the implementation of employee wellness programs. Hospitals and insurance companies have opted to partner to distribute the risk and resources and increase coordination of care. Objective To examine the ACA's impact on the health and wellness programs that have resulted from the joint ventures of hospitals and health plans based on the published literature. Method We conducted a review of the literature to identify successful mergers and best practices of health and wellness programs. Articles published between January 2007 and January 2015 were compiled from various search engines, using the search terms “corporate,” “health and wellness program,” “health plan,” “insurance plan,” “hospital,” “joint venture,” and “vertical merger.” Publications that described consolidations or wellness programs not tied to health insurance plans were excluded. Noteworthy characteristics of these programs were summarized and tabulated. Results A total of 44 eligible articles were included in the analysis. The findings showed that despite rising healthcare costs, joint ventures prevent hospitals from trading-off quality and services for cost reductions. Administrators believed that partnering would allow the companies to meet ACA standards for improving clinical outcomes at reduced costs. Before the implementation of the ACA, some employers had wellness programs, but these were not standardized and did not need to produce measurable results. The ACA encouraged improvement of employee wellness programs by providing funding for expanded health services and by mandating quality care. Successful workplace health and wellness

  11. 78 FR 15553 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Establishment of Exchanges and Qualified Health Plans...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-03-11

    ... 45 CFR Parts 155 and 156 RIN 0938-AR76 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Establishment of... of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (collectively referred to as the Affordable Care Act) related to the Small Business...

  12. 77 FR 18309 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Establishment of Exchanges and Qualified Health Plans...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-03-27

    ...This final rule will implement the new Affordable Insurance Exchanges (``Exchanges''), consistent with title I of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, referred to collectively as the Affordable Care Act. The Exchanges will provide competitive marketplaces for individuals and small employers to directly......

  13. 76 FR 41865 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Establishment of Exchanges and Qualified Health Plans

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-07-15

    ...This proposed rule would implement the new Affordable Insurance Exchanges (``Exchanges''), consistent with title I of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-148) as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-152), referred to collectively as the Affordable Care Act. The Exchanges will provide competitive marketplaces for......

  14. Quality or Affordability: Trade-Offs for Early Childhood Programs? ERIC Digest.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Willer, Barbara

    The demand for child care services in the United States continues to grow, stretching the levels of program quality to the limit. In fact, the country is facing a crisis in child care. Affordable child care continues to be a major issue for many families. Solutions to the current crisis in child care must, in addition to insuring affordability,…

  15. Health Outcomes and Green Renovation of Affordable Housing

    PubMed Central

    Breysse, Jill; Jacobs, David E.; Weber, William; Dixon, Sherry; Kawecki, Carol; Aceti, Susan; Lopez, Jorge

    2011-01-01

    Objective This study sought to determine whether renovating low-income housing using “green” and healthy principles improved resident health and building performance. Methods We investigated resident health and building performance outcomes at baseline and one year after the rehabilitation of low-income housing using Enterprise Green Communities green specifications, which improve ventilation; reduce moisture, mold, pests, and radon; and use sustainable building products and other healthy housing features. We assessed participant health via questionnaire, provided Healthy Homes training to all participants, and measured ventilation, carbon dioxide, and radon. Results Adults reported statistically significant improvements in overall health, asthma, and non-asthma respiratory problems. Adults also reported that their children's overall health improved, with significant improvements in non-asthma respiratory problems. Post-renovation building performance testing indicated that the building envelope was tightened and local exhaust fans performed well. New mechanical ventilation was installed (compared with no ventilation previously), with fresh air being supplied at 70% of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers standard. Radon was <2 picocuries per liter of air following mitigation, and the annual average indoor carbon dioxide level was 982 parts per million. Energy use was reduced by 45% over the one-year post-renovation period. Conclusions We found significant health improvements following low-income housing renovation that complied with green standards. All green building standards should include health requirements. Collaboration of housing, public health, and environmental health professionals through integrated design holds promise for improved health, quality of life, building operation, and energy conservation. PMID:21563714

  16. Affording Housing at the Expense of Health: Exploring the Housing and Neighborhood Strategies of Poor Families

    PubMed Central

    Hernández, Diana

    2016-01-01

    Low-income families often simultaneously encounter housing and neighborhood problems pertaining to safety, affordability, and quality issues that necessitate strategies to maximize limited budgets and ensure safety. Such constrained decisions regarding inadequate housing and poor neighborhood conditions, however, may themselves create or exacerbate health risks. Building on the survival strategies literature, this article offers rich and detailed accounts of coping and management strategies on the part of vulnerable families facing housing and neighborhood hardships. The findings are based on in-depth interviews with 72 respondents and ethnographic observations in an urban community. The results illustrate how low-income women avoid neighborhood danger by relegating family life to the home environment, thereby increasing exposure to health risks such as stress, depression, and asthma. The discussion focuses on public health literature linking housing and health and proposes the use of legal strategies and community engagement as resources to complement current approaches to housing and neighborhood problems. PMID:27057078

  17. The Politics of Native American Health Care and the Affordable Care Act.

    PubMed

    Skinner, Daniel

    2016-02-01

    This article examines an important but largely overlooked dimension of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), namely, its significance for Native American health care. The author maintains that reading the ACA against the politics of Native American health care policy shows that, depending on their regional needs and particular contexts, many Native Americans are well-placed to benefit from recent Obama-era reforms. At the same time, the kinds of options made available by the ACA constitute a departure from the service-based (as opposed to insurance-based) Indian Health Service (IHS). Accordingly, the author argues that ACA reforms--private marketplaces, Medicaid expansion, and accommodations for Native Americans--are best read as potential "supplements" to an underfunded IHS. Whether or not Native Americans opt to explore options under the ACA will depend in the long run on the quality of the IHS in the post-ACA era. Beyond understanding the ACA in relation to IHS funding, the author explores how Native American politics interacts with the key tenets of Obama-era health care reform--especially "affordability"--which is critical for understanding what is required from and appropriate to future Native American health care policy making.

  18. 78 FR 13405 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Health Insurance Market Rules; Rate Review

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-02-27

    ...This final rule implements provisions related to fair health insurance premiums, guaranteed availability, guaranteed renewability, single risk pools, and catastrophic plans, consistent with title I of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, referred to collectively as the Affordable Care Act. The final rule......

  19. What Health Care Reform Means for Immigrants: Comparing the Affordable Care Act and Massachusetts Health Reforms.

    PubMed

    Joseph, Tiffany D

    2016-02-01

    The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed to provide more affordable health coverage to Americans beginning in 2014. Modeled after the 2006 Massachusetts health care reform, the ACA includes an individual mandate, Medicaid expansion, and health exchanges through which middle-income individuals can purchase coverage from private insurance companies. However, while the ACA provisions exclude all undocumented and some documented immigrants, Massachusetts uses state and hospital funds to extend coverage to these groups. This article examines the ACA reform using the Massachusetts reform as a comparative case study to outline how citizenship status influences individuals' coverage options under both policies. The article then briefly discusses other states that provide coverage to ACA-ineligible immigrants and the implications of uneven ACA implementation for immigrants and citizens nationwide.

  20. The Affordable Care Act and Implications for Health Care Services for American Indian and Alaska Native Individuals

    PubMed Central

    Ross, Raven E.; Garfield, Lauren D.; Brown, Derek S.; Raghavan, Ramesh

    2016-01-01

    American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations report poor physical and mental health outcomes while tribal health providers and the Indian Health Service (IHS) operate in a climate of significant under funding. Understanding how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) affects Native American tribes and the IHS is critical to addressing the improvement of the overall access, quality, and cost of health care within AI/AN communities. This paper summarizes the ACA provisions that directly and/or indirectly affect the service delivery of health care provided by tribes and the IHS. PMID:26548665

  1. Leveraging the Affordable Care Act to improve the health of mothers and newborns.

    PubMed

    Grande, David; Srinivas, Sindhu K

    2013-06-01

    Health insurance in the United States is a patchwork system whereby opportunities for coverage are strongly associated with life circumstances (ie, age, income, pregnancy, parental status). For pregnant women, this situation contributes to unstable coverage before, between, and after pregnancies. The Affordable Care Act has the potential to make coverage for women of reproductive age more stable and create new opportunities to intervene on conditions associated with maternal and neonatal morbidity. In this article, we discuss the health economics of the Affordable Care Act, its implications for maternal and neonatal health, specific challenges associated with implementation, and opportunities for obstetricians to leverage the Affordable Care Act to improve the care of women.

  2. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 and Children and Youth With Special Health Care Needs

    PubMed Central

    Buysse, Christina A.; Hubner, Lauren M.; Huffman, Lynne C.; Loe, Irene M.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was designed to (1) decrease the number of uninsured Americans, (2) make health insurance and health care affordable, and (3) improve health outcomes and performance of the health care system. During the design of ACA, children in general and children and youth with special health care needs and disabilities (CYSHCN) were not a priority because before ACA, a higher proportion of children than adults had insurance coverage through private family plans, Medicaid, or the State Children's Health Insurance Programs (CHIP). ACA benefits CYSHCN through provisions designed to make health insurance coverage universal and continuous, affordable, and adequate. Among the limitations of ACA for CYSHCN are the exemption of plans that had been in existence before ACA, lack of national standards for insurance benefits, possible elimination or reductions in funding for CHIP, and limited experience with new delivery models for improving care while reducing costs. Advocacy efforts on behalf of CYSHCN must track implementation of ACA at the federal and the state levels. Systems and payment reforms must emphasize access and quality improvements for CYSHCN over cost savings. Developmental-behavioral pediatrics must be represented at the policy level and in the design of new delivery models to assure high quality and cost-effective care for CYSHCN. PMID:25793891

  3. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 and children and youth with special health care needs.

    PubMed

    Feldman, Heidi M; Buysse, Christina A; Hubner, Lauren M; Huffman, Lynne C; Loe, Irene M

    2015-04-01

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was designed to (1) decrease the number of uninsured Americans, (2) make health insurance and health care affordable, and (3) improve health outcomes and performance of the health care system. During the design of ACA, children in general and children and youth with special health care needs and disabilities (CYSHCN) were not a priority because before ACA, a higher proportion of children than adults had insurance coverage through private family plans, Medicaid, or the State Children's Health Insurance Programs (CHIP). ACA benefits CYSHCN through provisions designed to make health insurance coverage universal and continuous, affordable, and adequate. Among the limitations of ACA for CYSHCN are the exemption of plans that had been in existence before ACA, lack of national standards for insurance benefits, possible elimination or reductions in funding for CHIP, and limited experience with new delivery models for improving care while reducing costs. Advocacy efforts on behalf of CYSHCN must track implementation of ACA at the federal and the state levels. Systems and payment reforms must emphasize access and quality improvements for CYSHCN over cost savings. Developmental-behavioral pediatrics must be represented at the policy level and in the design of new delivery models to assure high quality and cost-effective care for CYSHCN.

  4. The problem of choice: From the voluntary way to Affordable Care Act health insurance exchanges.

    PubMed

    Mulligan, Jessica

    2017-03-28

    This article takes a genealogical and ethnographic approach to the problem of choice, arguing that what choice means has been reworked several times since health insurance first figured prominently in national debates about health reform. Whereas voluntary choice of doctor and hospital used to be framed as an American right, contemporary choice rhetoric includes consumer choice of insurance plan. Understanding who has deployed choice rhetoric and to what ends helps explain how offering choices has become the common sense justification for defending and preserving the exclusionary health care system in the United States. Four case studies derived from 180 enrollment observations at the Rhode Island health insurance exchange conducted from March 2014-January 2017 and interviews with enrollees show how choice is experienced in this latest iteration of health reform. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 created new pathways to insurance coverage in the United States. Insurance exchanges were supposed to unleash the power of consumer decision-making through marketplaces where health plans compete on quality, coverage, and price. Consumers, however, contended with confusing insurance terminology and difficult to navigate websites. The ethnography shows that consumers experienced choice as confusing and overwhelming and did not feel "in charge" of their decisions. Instead, unstable employment, changes in income, existing health needs, and bureaucratic barriers shaped their "choices."

  5. Policy Dilemmas in Latino Health Care and Implementation of the Affordable Care Act

    PubMed Central

    Ortega, Alexander N.; Rodriguez, Hector P.; Bustamante, Arturo Vargas

    2016-01-01

    The changing Latino demographic in the United States presents a number of challenges to health care policy makers, clinicians, organizations, and other stakeholders. Studies have demonstrated that Latinos tend to have worse patterns of access to, and utilization of, health care than other ethnic and racial groups. The implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 may ameliorate some of these disparities. However, even with the ACA, it is expected that Latinos will continue to have problems accessing and using high-quality health care, especially in states that are not expanding Medicaid eligibility as provided by the ACA. We identify four current policy dilemmas relevant to Latinos’ health and ACA implementation: (a) the need to extend coverage to the undocumented; (b) the growth of Latino populations in states with limited insurance expansion; (c) demands on public and private systems of care; and (d) the need to increase the number of Latino physicians while increasing the direct patient-care responsibilities of nonphysician Latino health care workers. PMID:25581154

  6. Health Care Disparities in the Post–Affordable Care Act Era

    PubMed Central

    Preston, Michael A.; Gonzales, Gilbert

    2015-01-01

    Disparities in health care have been targeted for elimination by federal agencies and professional organizations, including the American Public Health Association. Although the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides a valuable first step in reducing the disparities gap, progress is contingent upon whether opportunities in the ACA help or hinder populations at risk for impaired health and limited access to medical care. PMID:25879149

  7. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; establishment of exchanges and qualified health plans; Small Business Health Options Program. Final rule.

    PubMed

    2013-06-04

    This final rule implements provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (collectively referred to as the Affordable Care Act) related to the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). Specifically, this final rule amends existing regulations regarding triggering events and special enrollment periods for qualified employees and their dependents and implements a transitional policy regarding employees' choice of qualified health plans (QHPs) in the SHOP.

  8. Relative Affordability of Health Insurance Premiums under CHIP Expansion Programs and the ACA.

    PubMed

    Gresenz, Carole Roan; Laugesen, Miriam J; Yesus, Ambeshie; Escarce, José J

    2011-10-01

    Affordability is integral to the success of health care reforms aimed at ensuring universal access to health insurance coverage, and affordability determinations have major policy and practical consequences. This article describes factors that influenced the determination of affordability benchmarks and premium-contribution requirements for Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) expansions in three states that sought to universalize access to coverage for youth. It also compares subsidy levels developed in these states to the premium subsidy schedule under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for health insurance plans purchased through an exchange. We find sizeable variability in premium-contribution requirements for children's coverage as a percentage of family income across the three states and in the progressivity and regressivity of the premium-contribution schedules developed. These findings underscore the ambiguity and subjectivity of affordability standards. Further, our analyses suggest that while the ACA increases the affordability of family coverage for families with incomes below 400 percent of the federal poverty level, the evolution of CHIP over the next five to ten years will continue to have significant implications for low-income families.

  9. From Health as a Rational Choice to Health as an Affordable Choice

    PubMed Central

    Ward, Kenneth D.

    2009-01-01

    Sedentary, consumption-based lifestyles are placing entire populations at serious health risks; obesity is a prime example. The individual approach to obesity, which targets those at risk, has largely failed because it ignores wider influences on behavior. Although the population–ecological approach is gaining support, it cannot disentangle clear targets for policy change. Consequently, health promotion has been relegated to the mass marketing of healthy behaviors, which is based on a rational notion that informed people tend to behave in their best interest. Creating environments that support behavior change and providing individuals incentives can be more effective to reduce lifestyle-related risks. A paradigm shift from trying to sell health to the public to creating the conditions whereby healthy choices become accessible and affordable is required. PMID:19833991

  10. The Affordable Care Act, Accountable Care Organizations, and Mental Health Care for Older Adults: Implications and Opportunities.

    PubMed

    Bartels, Stephen J; Gill, Lydia; Naslund, John A

    2015-01-01

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) represents the most significant legislative change in the United States health care system in nearly half a century. Key elements of the ACA include reforms aimed at addressing high-cost, complex, vulnerable patient populations. Older adults with mental health disorders are a rapidly growing segment of the population and are among the most challenging subgroups within health care, and they account for a disproportionate amount of costs. What does the ACA mean for geriatric mental health? We address this question by highlighting opportunities for reaching older adults with mental health disorders by leveraging the diverse elements of the ACA. We describe nine relevant initiatives: (1) accountable care organizations, (2) patient-centered medical homes, (3) Medicaid-financed specialty health homes, (4) hospital readmission and health care transitions initiatives, (5) Medicare annual wellness visit, (6) quality standards and associated incentives, (7) support for health information technology and telehealth, (8) Independence at Home and 1915(i) State Plan Home and Community-Based Services program, and (9) Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. We also consider potential challenges to full implementation of the ACA and discuss novel solutions for advancing geriatric mental health in the context of projected workforce shortages and the opportunities afforded by the ACA.

  11. Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturers Network: doing good by making high-quality vaccines affordable for all.

    PubMed

    Pagliusi, Sonia; Leite, Luciana C C; Datla, Mahima; Makhoana, Morena; Gao, Yongzhong; Suhardono, Mahendra; Jadhav, Suresh; Harshavardhan, Gutla V J A; Homma, Akira

    2013-04-18

    The Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturers Network (DCVMN) is a unique model of a public and private international alliance. It assembles governmental and private organizations to work toward a common goal of manufacturing and supplying high-quality vaccines at affordable prices to protect people around the world from known and emerging infectious diseases. Together, this group of manufacturers has decades of experience in manufacturing vaccines, with technologies, know-how, and capacity to produce more than 40 vaccines types. These manufacturers have already contributed more than 30 vaccines in various presentations that have been prequalified by the World Health Organization for use by global immunization programmes. Furthermore, more than 45 vaccines are in the pipeline. Recent areas of focus include vaccines to protect against rotavirus, human papillomavirus (HPV), Japanese encephalitis, meningitis, hepatitis E, poliovirus, influenza, and pertussis, as well as combined pentavalent vaccines for children. The network has a growing number of manufacturers that produce a growing number of products to supply the growing demand for vaccines in developing countries.

  12. “White Box” Epidemiology and the Social Neuroscience of Health Behaviors: The Environmental Affordances Model

    PubMed Central

    Mezuk, Briana; Abdou, Cleopatra M.; Hudson, Darrell; Kershaw, Kiarri N.; Rafferty, Jane A.; Lee, Hedwig; Jackson, James S.

    2013-01-01

    Crucial advances have been made in our knowledge of the social determinants of health and health behaviors. Existing research on health disparities, however, generally fails to address a known paradox in the literature: While blacks have higher risk of medical morbidity relative to non-Hispanic whites, blacks have lower rates of common stress-related forms of psychopathology such as major depression and anxiety disorders. In this article we propose a new theoretical approach, the Environmental Affordances Model, as an integrative framework for the origins of both physical and mental health disparities. We highlight early empirical support and a growing body of experimental animal and human research on self-regulatory health behaviors and stress coping that is consistent with the proposed framework. We conclude that transdisciplinary approaches, such as the Environmental Affordances Model, are needed to understand the origins of group-based disparities to implement effective solutions to racial and ethnic group inequalities in physical and mental health. PMID:24224131

  13. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the regulation of the health insurance industry.

    PubMed

    Jha, Saurabh; Baker, Tom

    2012-12-01

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a comprehensive and multipronged reform of the US health care system. The legislation makes incremental changes to Medicare, Medicaid, and the market for employer-sponsored health insurance. However, it makes substantial changes to the market for individual and small-group health insurance. The purpose of this article is to introduce the key regulatory reforms in the market for individual and small-group health insurance and explain how these reforms tackle adverse selection and risk classification and improve access to health care for the hitherto uninsured or underinsured population.

  14. Housing tenure and affordability and mental health following disability acquisition in adulthood.

    PubMed

    Kavanagh, Anne M; Aitken, Zoe; Baker, Emma; LaMontagne, Anthony D; Milner, Allison; Bentley, Rebecca

    2016-02-01

    Acquiring a disability in adulthood is associated with a reduction in mental health and access to secure and affordable housing is associated with better mental health. We hypothesised that the association between acquisition of disability and mental health is modified by housing tenure and affordability. We used twelve annual waves of data (2001-2012) (1913 participants, 13,037 observations) from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey. Eligible participants reported at least two consecutive waves of disability preceded by two consecutive waves without disability. Effect measure modification, on the additive scale, was tested in three fixed-effects linear regression models (which remove time-invariant confounding) which included a cross-product term between disability and prior housing circumstances: housing tenure by disability; housing affordability by disability and, in a sub-sample (896 participants 5913 observations) with housing costs, tenure/affordability by disability. The outcome was the continuous mental component summary (MCS) of SF-36. Models adjusted for time-varying confounders. There was statistical evidence that prior housing modified the effect of disability acquisition on mental health. Our findings suggested that those in affordable housing had a -1.7 point deterioration in MCS (95% CI -2.1, -1.3) following disability acquisition and those in unaffordable housing had a -4.2 point reduction (95% CI -5.2, -1.4). Among people with housing costs, the largest declines in MCS were for people with unaffordable mortgages (-5.3, 95% CI -8.8, -1.9) and private renters in unaffordable housing (-4.0, 95% CI -6.3, -1.6), compared to a -1.4 reduction (95% CI -2.1, -0.7) for mortgagors in affordable housing. In sum, we used causally-robust fixed-effects regression and showed that deterioration in mental health following disability acquisition is modified by prior housing circumstance with the largest negative associations found for those

  15. Health outcomes and related effects of using social media in chronic disease management: a literature review and analysis of affordances.

    PubMed

    Merolli, Mark; Gray, Kathleen; Martin-Sanchez, Fernando

    2013-12-01

    Whilst the future for social media in chronic disease management appears to be optimistic, there is limited concrete evidence indicating whether and how social media use significantly improves patient outcomes. This review examines the health outcomes and related effects of using social media, while also exploring the unique affordances underpinning these effects. Few studies have investigated social media's potential in chronic disease, but those we found indicate impact on health status and other effects are positive, with none indicating adverse events. Benefits have been reported for psychosocial management via the ability to foster support and share information; however, there is less evidence of benefits for physical condition management. We found that studies covered a very limited range of social media platforms and that there is an ongoing propensity towards reporting investigations of earlier social platforms, such as online support groups (OSG), discussion forums and message boards. Finally, it is hypothesized that for social media to form a more meaningful part of effective chronic disease management, interventions need to be tailored to the individualized needs of sufferers. The particular affordances of social media that appear salient in this regard from analysis of the literature include: identity, flexibility, structure, narration and adaptation. This review suggests further research of high methodological quality is required to investigate the affordances of social media and how these can best serve chronic disease sufferers. Evidence-based practice (EBP) using social media may then be considered.

  16. Proposed regulations could limit access to affordable health coverage for workers' children and family members.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, Ken; Graham-Squire, Dave; Roby, Dylan H; Kominski, Gerald F; Kinane, Christina M; Needleman, Jack; Watson, Greg; Gans, Daphna

    2011-12-01

    Key Findings. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is designed to offer premium subsidies to help eligible individuals and their families purchase insurance coverage when affordable job-based coverage is not available. However, the law is unclear on how this affordability protection is applied in those instances where self-only coverage offered by an employer is affordable but family coverage is not. Regulations recently proposed by the Department of the Treasury would make family members ineligible for subsidized coverage in the exchange if an employee is offered affordable self-only coverage by an employer, even if family coverage is unaffordable. This could have significant financial consequences for low- and moderate-income families that fall in this gap. Using an alternative interpretation of the law could allow the entire family to enter the exchange when family coverage is unaffordable, which would broaden access to coverage. However, this option has been cited as cost prohibitive. In this brief we consider a middle ground alternative that would base eligibility for the individual worker on the cost of self-only coverage, but would use the additional cost to the employee for family coverage as the basis for determining affordability and eligibility for subsidies for the remaining family members. We find that: Under the middle ground alternative scenario an additional 144,000 Californians would qualify for and use premium subsidies in the California Health Benefit Exchange, half of whom are children. Less than 1 percent of those with employer-based coverage would move to subsidized coverage in the California Health Benefit Exchange as a result of having unaffordable coverage on the job.

  17. Enrollment in Health Insurance Through the Marketplace After Implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Texas.

    PubMed

    Gong, Gordon; Huey, Cassandra C; Johnson, Coleman; Curti, Debra; Philips, Billy U

    2016-10-01

    One of the goals of the Affordable Care Act aims to provide affordable health insurance through the health insurance exchange marketplace (the Marketplace). This study explores enrollments in the Marketplace in Texas and in rural vs urban areas in the East, South, and West regions of the state. Data are derived from the US Census Bureau and the Department of Health and Human Services. A total of 92.7% of eligible non-elderly adult Texans (NEATs) had enrolled in Marketplace insurance as of February 2015. Rural residents were less likely than urban residents to use the Marketplace. Most enrollees (85%) had received tax credits, and 58.6% had received cost-sharing reductions. The number of uninsured NEATs was reduced by 710,000 by 2014, which is equivalent to two-thirds of the enrollees in the Marketplace. One-third of the enrollees previously had private or employer-based insurance before enrollment into the Marketplace.

  18. Affordability as a discursive accomplishment in a changing National Health Service.

    PubMed

    Russell, Jill; Greenhalgh, Trisha

    2012-12-01

    Health systems worldwide face the challenges of rationing. The English National Health Service (NHS) was founded on three core principles: universality, comprehensiveness, and free at the point of delivery. Yet patients are increasingly hearing that some treatments are unaffordable on the NHS. We considered affordability as a social accomplishment and sought to explore how those charged with allocating NHS resources achieved this in practice. We undertook a linguistic ethnography to examine the work practices of resource allocation committees in three Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) in England between 2005 and 2012, specifically deliberations over 'individual funding requests' (IFRs)--requests by patients and their doctors for the PCT to support a treatment not routinely funded. We collected and analysed a diverse dataset comprising policy documents, legal judgements, audio recordings, ethnographic field notes and emails from PCT committee meetings, interviews and a focus group with committee members. We found that the fundamental values of universality and comprehensiveness strongly influenced the culture of these NHS organisations, and that in this context, accomplishing affordability was not easy. Four discursive practices served to confer legitimacy on affordability as a guiding value of NHS health care: (1) categorising certain treatments as only eligible for NHS funding if patients could prove 'exceptional' circumstances; (2) representing resource allocation decisions as being not (primarily) about money; (3) indexical labelling of affordability as an ethical principle, and (4) recontextualising legal judgements supporting refusal of NHS treatment on affordability grounds as 'rational'. The overall effect of these discursive practices was that denying treatment to patients became reasonable and rational for an organisation even while it continued to espouse traditional NHS values. We conclude that deliberations about the funding of treatments at the margins of NHS

  19. Progress in increasing affordability of medicines for non-communicable diseases since the introduction of mandatory health insurance in the Republic of Moldova

    PubMed Central

    Ferrario, Alessandra; Chitan, Elena; Seicas, Rita; Sautenkova, Nina; Bezverhni, Zinaida; Kluge, Hans; Habicht, Jarno

    2016-01-01

    Background: To assess progress in improving affordability of medicines since the introduction of mandatory health insurance in the Republic of Moldova. Method: Using data from national health insurance, we estimate affordability of partially reimbursed medicines for the treatment of non-communicable diseases, and analyse which factors contributed to changes in affordability. Results: Affordability of subsidized medicines improved over time. In 2013, it took a median of 0.84 days of income for the lowest income quintile (ranging from 0 to 3.32 days) to purchase 1 month of treatment for cardiovascular conditions in comparison to 1.85 days in 2006. This improvement however was mainly driven by higher incomes rather than deeper coverage through the reimbursement list. Conclusion: If mandatory health insurance is to improve affordability of medicines for the Moldovan population, more funds need to be (re-)allocated to enable higher percentage coverage of essential medicines and efficiencies need to be generated within the health system. These should include a budget reallocation between secondary and primary care, strengthening primary care to manage chronic conditions and raise population awareness, implementation of evidence-based selection and quality use of medicines in both outpatient and inpatient settings, improving monitoring and regulation of prices and the supply chain; and alignment of national treatment guidelines and clinical practice with international best practices and evidence-based medicine. PMID:26830363

  20. How health navigators legitimize the Affordable Care Act to the uninsured poor.

    PubMed

    Vargas, Robert

    2016-09-01

    Health navigators are a new health care workforce created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to assist low-income minority populations with acquiring health insurance. Given the high levels of distrust among the poor toward government and the medical profession, this article asks: How do health navigators build the legitimacy necessary to persuade low-income uninsured clients to enroll in health insurance? Through ethnography of face-to-face interaction between navigators and the uninsured poor in Chicago, this study shows that successful navigators deployed a combination of cultural repertoires for building trust and legitimacy. These repertoires included ceding control of the conversation, creating ethnic solidarity, and disassociating themselves from government bureaucrats or self-serving insurance employees. These findings demonstrate the usefulness of cultural sociology for understanding health insurance provision to the poor, ACA outreach efforts, and the more general study of how occupations legitimize themselves to clients.

  1. The Relevance of the Affordable Care Act for Improving Mental Health Care.

    PubMed

    Mechanic, David; Olfson, Mark

    2016-01-01

    Provisions of the Affordable Care Act provide unprecedented opportunities for expanded access to behavioral health care and for redesigning the provision of services. Key to these reforms is establishing mental and substance abuse care as essential coverage, extending Medicaid eligibility and insurance parity, and protecting insurance coverage for persons with preexisting conditions and disabilities. Many provisions, including Accountable Care Organizations, health homes, and other structures, provide incentives for integrating primary care and behavioral health services and coordinating the range of services often required by persons with severe and persistent mental health conditions. Careful research and experience are required to establish the services most appropriate for primary care and effective linkage to specialty mental health services. Research providing guidance on present evidence and uncertainties is reviewed. Success in redesign will follow progress building on collaborative care and other evidence-based practices, reshaping professional incentives and practices, and reinvigorating the behavioral health workforce.

  2. Integrating Community Health Workers Within Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Implementation

    PubMed Central

    Islam, Nadia; Nadkarni, Smiti Kapadia; Zahn, Deborah; Skillman, Megan; Kwon, Simona C.; Trinh-Shevrin, Chau

    2015-01-01

    Context The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (PPACA) emphasis on community-based initiatives affords a unique opportunity to disseminate and scale up evidence-based community health worker (CHW) models that integrate CHWs within health care delivery teams and programs. Community health workers have unique access and local knowledge that can inform program development and evaluation, improve service delivery and care coordination, and expand health care access. As a member of the PPACA-defined health care workforce, CHWs have the potential to positively impact numerous programs and reduce costs. Objective This article discusses different strategies for integrating CHW models within PPACA implementation through facilitated enrollment strategies, patient-centered medical homes, coordination and expansion of health information technology (HIT) efforts, and also discusses payment options for such integration. Results Title V of the PPACA outlines a plan to improve access to and delivery of health care services for all individuals, particularly low-income, underserved, uninsured, minority, health disparity, and rural populations. Community health workers’ role as trusted community leaders can facilitate accurate data collection, program enrollment, and provision of culturally and linguistically appropriate, patient- and family-centered care. Because CHWs already support disease management and care coordination services, they will be critical to delivering and expanding patient-centered medical homes and Health Home services, especially for communities that suffer disproportionately from multiple chronic diseases. Community health workers’ unique expertise in conducting outreach make them well positioned to help enroll people in Medicaid or insurance offered by Health Benefit Exchanges. New payment models provide opportunities to fund and sustain CHWs. Conclusion Community health workers can support the effective implementation of PPACA if the capacity

  3. Trends and affordability of cigarette prices: ample room for tax increases and related health gains

    PubMed Central

    Guindon, G; Tobin, S; Yach, D

    2002-01-01

    Objectives: To compare cigarette price data from more than 80 countries using varying methods, examine trends in prices and affordability during the 1990s, and explore various policy implications pertaining to tobacco prices. Design: March 2001 cigarette price data from the Economist Intelligence Unit are used to compare cigarette prices across countries. To facilitate comparison and to assess affordability, prices are presented in US dollars, purchasing power parity (PPP) units using the Big Mac index as an indicator of PPP and in terms of minutes of labour required to purchase a pack of cigarettes. Annual real percentage changes in cigarette prices between 1990 and 2000 and annual changes in the minutes of labour required to buy cigarettes between 1991 and 2000 are also calculated to examine trends. Results: Cigarette prices tend to be higher in wealthier countries and in countries that have strong tobacco control programmes. On the other hand, minutes of labour required to purchase cigarettes vary vastly between countries. Trends between 1990 and 2000 in real prices and minutes of labour indicate, with some exceptions, that cigarettes have become more expensive in most developed countries but more affordable in many developing countries. However, in the UK, despite recent increases in price, cigarettes are still more affordable than they were in the 1960s. Conclusions: The results suggest that there is ample room to increase tobacco prices through taxation. In too many countries, cigarette prices have failed to keep up with increases in the general price level of goods and services, rendering them more affordable in 2000 than they were at the beginning of the decade. Opportunities to increase government revenue and improve health through reduced consumption brought about by higher prices have been overlooked in many countries. PMID:11891366

  4. Implementing the Affordable Care Act: The Promise and Limits of Health Care Reform.

    PubMed

    Oberlander, Jonathan

    2016-08-01

    The Obama administration has confronted a formidable array of obstacles in implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA has overcome those obstacles to substantially expand access to health insurance, though significant problems with its approach have emerged. What does the ACA's performance to date tell us about the possibilities and limits of health care reform in the United States? I identify key challenges in ACA implementation-the inherently disruptive nature of reform, partisan polarization, the limits of "near universal" coverage, complexity, and divided public opinion-and analyze how these issues have shaped its evolution. The article concludes by exploring the political and policy challenges that lie ahead for the ACA.

  5. Women’s Health and the Affordable Care Act: High Hopes Versus Harsh Realities?

    PubMed Central

    Fendrick, A. Mark; Zochowski, Melissa; Dalton, Vanessa K.

    2014-01-01

    Our population-based survey of 1078 randomly sampled US women, aged 18 to 55 years, sought to characterize their understanding of and attitudes toward the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Most women, especially socially disadvantaged groups, had negative or uncertain attitudes toward the ACA and limited understanding of its health benefits, including its relevance for their own health service coverage and utilization. Our findings are important for continued research, policy, and practice, with implications for whether, when, and how improved coverage will translate to improved access and outcomes for US women. PMID:24922171

  6. The essential health benefits provisions of the Affordable Care Act: implications for people with disabilities.

    PubMed

    Rosenbaum, Sara; Teitelbaum, Joel; Hayes, Katherine

    2011-03-01

    In establishing minimum coverage standards for health insurance plans, the Affordable Care Act includes an "essential health benefits" statute that directs the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services not to make coverage decisions, determine reimbursement rates, establish incentive programs, or design benefits in ways that discriminate against individuals because of their age, disability, or expected length of life. This issue brief examines how this statute will help Americans with disabilities, who currently are subject to discrimination by insurers based on health status and health care need. The authors also discuss the complex issues involved in implementing the essential benefits provision and offer recommendations to federal policymakers for ensuring that people with disabilities receive the full insurance benefits to which they are entitled.

  7. Role of vaccine manufacturers in developing countries towards global healthcare by providing quality vaccines at affordable prices.

    PubMed

    Jadhav, S; Gautam, M; Gairola, S

    2014-05-01

    Vaccines represent one of the greatest achievements of science and medicine in the fight against infectious diseases. Vaccination is one of the most cost-effective public health tools to prevent infectious diseases. Significant progress has been made in expanding the coverage of vaccines globally, resulting in the prevention of more than two million deaths annually. In 2010, nearly 200 countries endorsed a shared vision to extend the benefits of vaccines to every person by 2020, known as the Decade of Vaccine Initiative (DoV). Vaccine manufacturers in developing countries, as represented by the Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturers Network (DCVMN), make a significant contribution to DoV by supplying quality vaccines at affordable prices to the people who need them most. About 70% of the global Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) vaccine supplies are met by DCVMN. Besides EPI vaccine supplies, DCVMN is also targeting vaccines against rotavirus, Japanese encephalitis, pneumonia, human papillomavirus, meningitis and neglected tropical diseases. This article reviews the roles and contributions of DCVMN in making the vaccines accessible and affordable to all.

  8. Reducing Health Care Disparities for Minority Women in the Era of the Affordable Care Act: Opportunities within Primary Care.

    PubMed

    Karliner, Leah; Marks, Angela; Mutha, Sunita

    2016-01-01

    Despite improvements in overall health of the American population, disparities persist, particularly for minority women. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) offers the potential to reduce disparities through expanded insurance coverage, greater access to high-quality care, and bolstered prevention efforts in the context of new models of care such as the patient-centered medical home (PCMH). We use case studies representing three clinical conditions (breast cancer, HIV, and coronary heart disease) to present strategies for how a PCMH could reduce disparities for minority women. The case studies highlight the opportunity that further implementation of the ACA provides to improve screening, risk assessment, and prevention for a range of conditions that impact the health of minority women, as well as areas ripe for future investigation.

  9. Group health plans and health insurance issuers relating to coverage of preventive services under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Interim final rules with request for comments.

    PubMed

    2011-08-03

    This document contains amendments to the interim final regulations implementing the rules for group health plans and health insurance coverage in the group and individual markets under provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act regarding preventive health services.

  10. Modelling the affordability and distributional implications of future health care financing options in South Africa.

    PubMed

    McIntyre, Di; Ataguba, John E

    2012-03-01

    South Africa is considering introducing a universal health care system. A key concern for policy-makers and the general public is whether or not this reform is affordable. Modelling the resource and revenue generation requirements of alternative reform options is critical to inform decision-making. This paper considers three reform scenarios: universal coverage funded by increased allocations to health from general tax and additional dedicated taxes; an alternative reform option of extending private health insurance coverage to all formal sector workers and their dependents with the remainder using tax-funded services; and maintaining the status quo. Each scenario was modelled over a 15-year period using a spreadsheet model. Statistical analyses were also undertaken to evaluate the impact of options on the distribution of health care financing burden and benefits from using health services across socio-economic groups. Universal coverage would result in total health care spending levels equivalent to 8.6% of gross domestic product (GDP), which is comparable to current spending levels. It is lower than the status quo option (9.5% of GDP) and far lower than the option of expanding private insurance cover (over 13% of GDP). However, public funding of health services would have to increase substantially. Despite this, universal coverage would result in the most progressive financing system if the additional public funding requirements are generated through a surcharge on taxable income (but not if VAT is increased). The extended private insurance scheme option would be the least progressive and would impose a very high payment burden; total health care payments on average would be 10.7% of household consumption expenditure compared with the universal coverage (6.7%) and status quo (7.5%) options. The least pro-rich distribution of service benefits would be achieved under universal coverage. Universal coverage is affordable and would promote health system equity, but

  11. Housing affordability and mental health: does the relationship differ for renters and home purchasers?

    PubMed

    Mason, Kate E; Baker, Emma; Blakely, Tony; Bentley, Rebecca J

    2013-10-01

    There is increasing evidence of a direct association between unaffordable housing and poor mental health, over and above the effects of general financial hardship. Type of housing tenure may be an important factor in determining how individuals experience and respond to housing affordability problems. This study investigated whether a relationship exists between unaffordable housing and mental health that differs for home purchasers and private renters among low-income households. Data from 2001 to 2010 of the longitudinal Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey were analysed using fixed-effects linear regression to examine change in the SF-36 Mental Component Summary (MCS) score of individuals aged 25-64 years, associated with changes in housing affordability, testing for an interaction with housing tenure type. After adjusting for age, survey year and household income, among individuals living in households in the lower 40% of the national income distribution, private renters in unaffordable housing experienced somewhat poorer in mental health than when their housing was affordable (difference in MCS = -1.18 or about 20% of one S.D. of the MCS score; 95% CI: -1.95,-0.41; p = 0.003) while home purchasers experienced no difference on average. The statistical evidence for housing tenure modifying the association between unaffordable housing and mental health was moderate (p = 0.058). When alternatives to 40% were considered as income cut-offs for inclusion in the sample, evidence of a difference between renters and home purchasers was stronger amongst households in the lowest 50% of the income distribution (p = 0.020), and between the 30th and 50th percentile (p = 0.045), with renters consistently experiencing a decline in mental health while mean MCS scores of home purchasers did not change. In this study, private renters appeared to be more vulnerable than home purchasers to mental health effects of unaffordable housing. Such a modified

  12. Implementing the Affordable Care Act: Revisiting the ACA's Essential Health Benefits Requirements.

    PubMed

    Giovannelli, Justin; Lucia, Kevin W; Corlette, Sabrina

    2014-10-01

    The Affordable Care Act broadens and strengthens the health insurance benefits available to consumers by requiring insurers to provide coverage of a minimum set of medical services known as "essential health benefits." Federal officials implemented this reform using transitional policies that left many important decisions to the states, while pledging to reassess that approach in time for the 2016 coverage year. This issue brief examines how states have exercised their options under the initial federal essential health benefits framework. We find significant variation in how states have developed their essential health benefits packages, including their approaches to benefit substitution and coverage of habilitative services. Federal regulators should use insurance company data describing enrollees' experiences with their coverage--information called for under the law's delayed transparency requirements--to determine whether states' differing strategies are producing the coverage improvements promised by reform.

  13. Seizing opportunities under the Affordable Care Act for transforming the mental and behavioral health system.

    PubMed

    Mechanic, David

    2012-02-01

    The Affordable Care Act, along with Medicaid expansions, offers the opportunity to redesign the nation's highly flawed mental health system. It promotes new programs and tools, such as health homes, interdisciplinary care teams, the broadening of the Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services option, co-location of physical health and behavioral services, and collaborative care. Provisions of the act offer extraordinary opportunities, for instance, to insure many more people, reimburse previously unreimbursed services, integrate care using new information technology tools and treatment teams, confront complex chronic comorbidities, and adopt underused evidence-based interventions. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and its Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation should work intensively with the states to implement these new programs and other arrangements and begin to fulfill the many unmet promises of community mental health care.

  14. Neurosurgery value and quality in the context of the Affordable Care Act: a policy perspective.

    PubMed

    Menger, Richard P; Guthikonda, Bharat; Storey, Christopher M; Nanda, Anil; McGirt, Matthew; Asher, Anthony

    2015-12-01

    Neurosurgeons provide direct individualized care to patients. However, the majority of regulations affecting the relative value of patient-related care are drafted by policy experts whose focus is typically system- and population-based. A central, prospectively gathered, national outcomes-related database serves as neurosurgery's best opportunity to bring patient-centered outcomes to the policy arena. In this study the authors analyze the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the determination of quality and value in neurosurgery care through the scope, language, and terminology of policy experts. The methods by which the ACA came into law and the subsequent quality implications this legislation has for neurosurgery will be discussed. The necessity of neurosurgical patient-oriented clinical registries will be discussed in the context of imminent and dramatic reforms related to medical cost containment. In the policy debate moving forward, the strength of neurosurgery's argument will rest on data, unity, and proactiveness. The National Neurosurgery Quality and Outcomes Database (N(2)QOD) allows neurosurgeons to generate objective data on specialty-specific value and quality determinations; it allows neurosurgeons to bring the patient-physician interaction to the policy debate.

  15. In The Affordable Care Act's Shadow: The Fate Of The Children's Health Insurance Program.

    PubMed

    Oberlander, Jonathan; Jones, David K; Spivack, Steven; Singer, Phillip M

    2016-10-01

    The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is a success story. CHIP has contributed greatly to ensuring affordable insurance and access to medical services for millions of children. The 2015 two-year extension of CHIP funding appeared to confirm its longstanding status as a bipartisan program. Yet that appearance obscures important changes in CHIP politics. In recent years, there have been calls to end the program, and its bipartisan coalition has frayed. In this article we analyze CHIP's funding extension, explore its shifting political environment, and discuss the implications for the program's future.

  16. How Has the Affordable Care Act Affected Health Insurers' Financial Performance?

    PubMed

    Hall, Mark A; McCue, Michael J

    2016-07-01

    Starting in 2014, the Affordable Care Act transformed the market for individual health insurance by changing how insurance is sold and by subsidizing coverage for millions of new purchasers. Insurers, who had no previous experience under these market conditions, competed actively but faced uncertainty in how to price their products. This issue brief uses newly available data to understand how health insurers fared financially during the ACA's first year of full reforms. Overall, health insurers' financial performance began to show some strain in 2014, but the ACA's reinsurance program substantially buffered the negative effects for most insurers. Although a quarter of insurers did substantially worse than others, experience under the new market rules could improve the accuracy of pricing decisions in subsequent years.

  17. Landscape and Health: Connecting Psychology, Aesthetics, and Philosophy through the Concept of Affordance

    PubMed Central

    Menatti, Laura; Casado da Rocha, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    In this paper we address a frontier topic in the humanities, namely how the cultural and natural construction that we call landscape affects well-being and health. Following an updated review of evidence-based literature in the fields of medicine, psychology, and architecture, we propose a new theoretical framework called “processual landscape,” which is able to explain both the health-landscape and the medical agency-structure binomial pairs. We provide a twofold analysis of landscape, from both the cultural and naturalist points of view: in order to take into account its relationship with health, the definition of landscape as a cultural product needs to be broadened through naturalization, grounding it in the scientific domain. Landscape cannot be distinguished from the ecological environment. For this reason, we naturalize the idea of landscape through the notion of affordance and Gibson’s ecological psychology. In doing so, we stress the role of agency in the theory of perception and the health-landscape relationship. Since it is the result of continuous and co-creational interaction between the cultural agent, the biological agent and the affordances offered to the landscape perceiver, the processual landscape is, in our opinion, the most comprehensive framework for explaining the health-landscape relationship. The consequences of our framework are not only theoretical, but ethical also: insofar as health is greatly affected by landscape, this construction represents something more than just part of our heritage or a place to be preserved for the aesthetic pleasure it provides. Rather, we can talk about the right to landscape as something intrinsically linked to the well-being of present and future generations. PMID:27199808

  18. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; standards related to essential health benefits, actuarial value and accreditation. Final rule.

    PubMed

    2013-02-25

    This final rule sets forth standards for health insurance issuers consistent with title I of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, referred to collectively as the Affordable Care Act. Specifically, this final rule outlines Exchange and issuer standards related to coverage of essential health benefits and actuarial value. This rule also finalizes a timeline for qualified health plans to be accredited in Federally-facilitated Exchanges and amends regulations providing an application process for the recognition of additional accrediting entities for purposes of certification of qualified health plans.

  19. How the affordable care act and mental health parity and addiction equity act greatly expand coverage of behavioral health care.

    PubMed

    Beronio, Kirsten; Glied, Sherry; Frank, Richard

    2014-10-01

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) will expand coverage of mental health and substance use disorder benefits and federal parity protections to over 60 million Americans. The key to this expansion is the essential health benefit provision in the ACA that requires coverage of mental health and substance use disorder services at parity with general medical benefits. Other ACA provisions that should improve access to treatment include requirements on network adequacy, dependent coverage up to age 26, preventive services, and prohibitions on annual and lifetime limits and preexisting exclusions. The ACA offers states flexibility in expanding Medicaid (primarily to childless adults, not generally eligible previously) to cover supportive services needed by those with significant behavioral health conditions in addition to basic benefits at parity. Through these various new requirements, the ACA in conjunction with Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) will expand coverage of behavioral health care by historic proportions.

  20. Faith-based organizations and the Affordable Care Act: Reducing Latino mental health care disparities.

    PubMed

    Villatoro, Alice P; Dixon, Elizabeth; Mays, Vickie M

    2016-02-01

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA; 2010) is expected to increase access to mental health care through provisions aimed at increasing health coverage among the nation's uninsured, including 10.2 million eligible Latino adults. The ACA will increase health coverage by expanding Medicaid eligibility to individuals living below 138% of the federal poverty level, subsidizing the purchase of private insurance among individuals not eligible for Medicaid, and requiring employers with 50 or more employees to offer health insurance. An anticipated result of this landmark legislation is improvement in the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of mental disorders in racial/ethnic minorities, particularly for Latinos, who traditionally have had less access to these services. However, these efforts alone may not sufficiently ameliorate mental health care disparities for Latinos. Faith-based organizations (FBOs) could play an integral role in the mental health care of Latinos by increasing help seeking, providing religion-based mental health services, and delivering supportive services that address common access barriers among Latinos. Thus, in determining ways to eliminate Latino mental health care disparities under the ACA, examining pathways into care through the faith-based sector offers unique opportunities to address some of the cultural barriers confronted by this population. We examine how partnerships between FBOs and primary care patient-centered health homes may help reduce the gap of unmet mental health needs among Latinos in this era of health reform. We also describe the challenges FBOs and primary care providers need to overcome to be partners in integrated care efforts.

  1. Food assistance programs for children afford mixed dietary quality based on HEI-2010.

    PubMed

    Byker, Carmen; Smith, Teresa

    2015-01-01

    Backpack programs across the United States distribute easy-to-prepare foods in a backpack to potentially food-insecure students on Fridays to help reduce weekend hunger. This study used Healthy Eating Index 2010 (HEI-2010) to assess foods provided in Montana backpack programs. Healthy Eating Index 2010 measures compliance with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines and is a tool to assess the diet quality of foods provided in supplemental food assistance programs. We hypothesized that HEI-2010 scores would be of average dietary quality. One randomly selected menu was collected from each Montana backpack program (n = 5) from the 2011-2012 academic year. Each food provided was analyzed for diet quality using HEI-2010 to obtain component and total scores. Descriptive statistics and t tests were calculated to assess whether mean HEI-2010 component scores and total scores differed significantly (P < .05) from the maximum scores. The mean total score for HEI-2010 was significantly lower than the maximum score of 100 (58.65; SD, 15.59; P = .004). Analysis resulted in significantly lower mean scores for total vegetables (2.26; SD, 1.37; P = .011), greens and beans (0; SD, 0; P < .001), fatty acids (0; SD, 0; P < .001), and sodium (3.90; SD, 2.52; P = .006). Dietary quality of backpack programs may further improve with information sharing between programs about the availability of specific food group items. To better suit children's nutritional needs and increase HEI-2010 scores, researchers, practitioners, and the food industry should identify food options for the backpack program that are easy to prepare, appealing, and affordable.

  2. Patient protection and Affordable Care Act; data collection to support standards related to essential health benefits; recognition of entities for the accreditation of qualified health plans. Final rule.

    PubMed

    2012-07-20

    This final rule establishes data collection standards necessary to implement aspects of section 1302 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Affordable Care Act), which directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to define essential health benefits. This final rule outlines the data on applicable plans to be collected from certain issuers to support the definition of essential health benefits. This final rule also establishes a process for the recognition of accrediting entities for purposes of certification of qualified health plans.

  3. The Health Insurance Gap After Implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Texas.

    PubMed

    Gong, Gordon; Huey, Cassandra C; Johnson, Coleman; Curti, Debra; Philips, Billy U

    2017-03-01

    Households with incomes between 18% and 99% of the federal poverty level (FPL) are ineligible for Medicaid or enrollment in the health insurance exchange marketplace in Texas, resulting in the health insurance gap. We sought to determine the number of non-elderly adult Texans (NEATs) aged between 18 and 64 years in the insurance gap in rural vs urban areas in East Texas, West Texas, and South Texas. Data were obtained from the US Census Bureau website. In 2014, there were 1,101,000 NEATs in the insurance gap, accounting for 24.5% of all uninsured persons in Texas. The gap was significantly higher in rural vs urban areas in East and South Texas and in Texas as a whole. Large coverage gaps in states like Texas not expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act pose major hurdles to reducing the number of uninsured individuals in these states.

  4. Comparing Individual Health Coverage On and Off the Affordable Care Act's Insurance Exchanges.

    PubMed

    McCue, Michael J; Hall, Mark A

    2015-08-01

    The new health insurance exchanges are the core of the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) reforms, but how the law improves the nonsubsidized portion of the individual market is also important. This issue brief compares products sold on and off the exchanges to gain insight into how the ACA's market reforms are functioning. Initial concerns that insurers might seek to enroll lower-risk customers outside the exchanges have not been realized. Instead, more-generous benefit plans, which appeal to people with health problems, constitute a greater portion of plans sold off-exchange than those sold on-exchange. Although insur­ers that sell mostly on the exchanges incur an additional fee, they still devote a greater portion of their premium dollars to medical care. Their projected admin­istrative costs and profit margins are lower than are those of insurers selling only off the exchanges.

  5. Not-for-profit hospitals and Affordable Care Act: Navigating the new health care landscape.

    PubMed

    Nakra, Prema; Nakra, Sushma

    2016-08-01

    On a sunny Thursday morning, June 25, 2015, President Obama strode into the Rose Garden and declared a victory for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by stating that the act was working exactly the way it was supposed to work. He further reinforced that ACA has enabled young Americans up to the age of 26 to remain on their parents' health plans. It disallows the insurance companies from denying coverage based on preexisting conditions. Above all, an expansion of Medicaid has also brought an additional 16 million Americans under health coverage in a span of less than 2 years. The ACA went into full effect on January 1, 2014, ushering in health insurance reforms and new health coverage options across the country. As the states expand Medicaid and provide new coverage options through the federal health insurance marketplace, they are busy streamlining application and enrollment processes for coverage programs. This article highlights the positive impact of the ACA on uninsured and the challenges that not-for-profit and public hospitals are facing as they navigate the new health care landscape.

  6. Anonymous HIV workplace surveys as an advocacy tool for affordable private health insurance in Namibia

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background With an estimated adult HIV prevalence of 15%, Namibia is in need of innovative health financing strategies that can alleviate the burden on the public sector. Affordable and private health insurances were recently developed in Namibia, and they include coverage for HIV/AIDS. This article reports on the efficacy of HIV workplace surveys as a tool to increase uptake of these insurances by employees in the Namibian formal business sector. In addition, the burden of HIV among this population was examined by sector. Methods Cross-sectional anonymous HIV prevalence surveys were conducted in 24 private companies in Namibia between November 2006 and December 2007. Non-invasive oral fluid-based HIV antibody rapid tests were used. Anonymous test results were provided to the companies in a confidential report and through presentations to their management, during which the advantages of affordable private health insurance and the available insurance products were discussed. Impact assessment was conducted in October 2008, when new health insurance uptake by these companies was evaluated. Results Of 8500 targeted employees, 6521 were screened for HIV; mean participation rate was 78.6%. Overall 15.0% (95% CI 14.2-15.9%) of employees tested HIV positive (range 3.0-23.9% across companies). The mining sector had the highest percentage of HIV-positive employees (21.0%); the information technology (IT) sector had the lowest percentage (4.0%). Out of 6205 previously uninsured employees, 61% had enrolled in private health insurance by October 2008. The majority of these new insurances (78%) covered HIV/AIDS only. Conclusion The proportion of HIV-positive formal sector employees in Namibia is in line with national prevalence estimates and varies widely by employment sector. Following the surveys, there was a considerable increase in private health insurance uptake. This suggests that anonymous HIV workplace surveys can serve as a tool to motivate private companies to provide

  7. Health literacy and the Affordable Care Act: a policy analysis for children with special health care needs in the USA

    PubMed Central

    Keim-Malpass, Jessica; Letzkus, Lisa C; Kennedy, Christine

    2015-01-01

    Children with special health care needs (CSHCN) represent populations with chronic health conditions that are often high utilizers of health care. Limited health literacy has emerged as a key indicator of adverse health outcomes, and CSHCN from limited health literacy families are particularly vulnerable. The purpose of this policy analysis is to outline key provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that incorporate health literacy approaches for implementation and have implications for CSHCN in the USA. Several key provisions are incorporated in the ACA that involve health literacy and have implications for CSHCN. These include: expansion of public insurance coverage and simplifying the enrollment process, provisions assuring equity in health care and communication among all populations, improving access to patient-centered medical homes that can offer care coordination, ensuring enhanced medication safety by changing liquid medication labeling requirements, and provisions to train health care providers on literacy issues. More research is needed to determine how provisions pertaining to health literacy in the ACA are implemented in various states. PMID:25897270

  8. Benefits of a health impact assessment in relation to fuel poverty: assessing Luton's Affordable Warmth Strategy and the need for a national mandatory strategy.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Jill; Habgood, Veronica

    2008-05-01

    The links between fuel poverty and poor health are well documented, yet there is no statutory requirement on local authorities to develop fuel poverty strategies, which tend to be patchy nationally and differ substantially in quality. Fuel poverty starts from the perspective of income, even though interventions can improve health. The current public health agenda calls for more partnership-based, cost-effective strategies based on sound evidence. Fuel poverty represents a key area where there is currently little local evidence quantifying and qualifying health gain arising from strategic interventions. As a result, this initial study sought to apply the principles of a health impact assessment to Luton's Affordable Warmth Strategy, exploring the potential to identify health impact arising--as a baseline for future research--in the context of the public health agenda. A national strategy would help ensure the promotion of targeted fuel poverty strategies.

  9. The health reform monitoring survey: addressing data gaps to provide timely insights into the affordable care act.

    PubMed

    Long, Sharon K; Kenney, Genevieve M; Zuckerman, Stephen; Goin, Dana E; Wissoker, Douglas; Blavin, Fredric; Blumberg, Linda J; Clemans-Cope, Lisa; Holahan, John; Hempstead, Katherine

    2014-01-01

    The Health Reform Monitoring Survey (HRMS) was launched in 2013 as a mechanism to obtain timely information on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) during the period before federal government survey data for 2013 and 2014 will be available. Based on a nationally representative, probability-based Internet panel, the HRMS provides quarterly data for approximately 7,400 nonelderly adults and 2,400 children on insurance coverage, access to health care, and health care affordability, along with special topics of relevance to current policy and program issues in each quarter. For example, HRMS data from summer 2013 show that more than 60 percent of those targeted by the health insurance exchanges struggle with understanding key health insurance concepts. This raises concerns about some people's ability to evaluate trade-offs when choosing health insurance plans. Assisting people as they attempt to enroll in health coverage will require targeted education efforts and staff to support those with low health insurance literacy.

  10. Which moral hazard? Health care reform under the Affordable Care Act of 2010.

    PubMed

    Mendoza, Roger Lee

    2016-06-20

    Purpose - Moral hazard is a concept that is central to risk and insurance management. It refers to change in economic behavior when individuals are protected or insured against certain risks and losses whose costs are borne by another party. It asserts that the presence of an insurance contract increases the probability of a claim and the size of a claim. Through the US Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010, this study seeks to examine the validity and relevance of moral hazard in health care reform and determine how welfare losses or inefficiencies could be mitigated. Design/methodology/approach - This study is divided into three sections. The first contrasts conventional moral hazard from an emerging or alternative theory. The second analyzes moral hazard in terms of the evolution, organization, management, and marketing of health insurance in the USA. The third explains why and how salient reform measures under the ACA might induce health care consumption and production in ways that could either promote or restrict personal health and safety as well as social welfare maximization. Findings - Insurance generally induces health care (over) consumption. However, not every additional consumption, with or without adverse selection, can be considered wasteful or risky, even if it might cost insurers more in the short run. Moral hazard can generate welfare and equity gains. These gains might vary depending on which ACA provisions, insured population, covered illnesses, treatments, and services, as well as health outcomes are taken into account, and because of the relative ambiguities surrounding definitions of "health." Actuarial risk models can nonetheless benefit from incorporating welfare and equity gains into their basic assumptions and estimations. Originality/value - This is the first study which examines the ACA in the context of the new or alternative theory of moral hazard. It suggests that containing inefficient moral hazard, and encouraging its desirable

  11. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: impact on mental health services demand and provider availability.

    PubMed

    Pearlman, Shoshannah A

    2013-01-01

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) will greatly increase the demand for mental health (MH) services, as 62.5 million Americans from relatively high-need populations will be newly eligible for MH benefits. Consequently, the supply of MH care provider services is expected to proportionately decrease by 18% to 21% in 2014. ACA funding does not demonstrate the ability to increase turnout of psychiatrists sufficiently to meet the need. Available data indicate that the numbers of advanced practice psychiatric nurses (APPNs) continue to increase at a much greater rate, but information from either a clinical perspective or a market perspective is complicated by the weak distinctions that are made between nurse practitioners (NPs) and other nonphysician care professionals. The following recommendations are made: (a) some of the ACA funding for research into efficient and effective care delivery systems should be allocated to acquiring data on APPNs in leadership roles or clinical settings in which they are ultimately responsible for management of MH care, as differentiated from settings in which they provide support for psychiatrists; and (b) since the available data indicate nurse practitioners achieve good outcomes and are more economically viable than psychiatrists, placement of psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners in community settings should be recognized as a realistic solution to the shortfall of MH services.

  12. Effects of the Affordable Care Act on Consumer Health Care Spending and Risk of Catastrophic Health Costs.

    PubMed

    Nowak, Sarah A; Eibner, Christine; Adamson, David M; Saltzman, Evan

    2014-01-01

    This study examines the likely effects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on average annual consumer health care spending and the risk of catastrophic medical costs for the United States overall and in two large states that have decided not to expand their Medicaid programs (Texas and Florida). The ACA will have varied impacts on individuals' and families' spending on health care, depending on income level and on estimated 2016 insurance status without the ACA. The authors find that average out-of-pocket spending is expected to decrease for all groups considered in the analysis, although decreases in out-of-pocket spending will be largest for those who would otherwise be uninsured. People who would otherwise be uninsured who transition to the individual market under the ACA will have higher total health care spending on average after implementation of the ACA because they will now incur the cost of health insurance premiums. The authors also find that risk of catastrophic health care spending will decrease for individuals of all income levels for the insurance transitions considered; decreases will be greatest for those at the lowest income levels. Case studies found that in Texas and Florida, Medicaid expansion would substantially reduce out-of-pocket and total health care spending for those with incomes below 100 percent of the federal poverty level, compared with a scenario in which the ACA is implemented without Medicaid expansion. Expansion would reduce the risk of high medical spending for those covered under Medicaid who would remain uninsured without expansion.

  13. Affordable Care?

    PubMed

    Goldstein, Adam O

    2015-01-01

    Once a year, Stuart, a long-haul truck driver, visited a physician to get a signature on the forms that allowed him to continue driving his 18-wheeler. Over 8 years, he had never seen the same physician twice, in large part because of a lack of health insurance. Upon seeing him for the first time, I assured him that we could make financial arrangements, and he subsequently became my continuity patient. Two years later, we both looked forward to his impending 65th birthday, allowing Medicare to ease his fiscal health care burdens. His unexpected death made me ponder how a lack of access to affordable health care profoundly affects patients and their clinicians.

  14. Group health plans and health insurance issuers relating to coverage of preventive services under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Final rules.

    PubMed

    2012-02-15

    These regulations finalize, without change, interim final regulations authorizing the exemption of group health plans and group health insurance coverage sponsored by certain religious employers from having to cover certain preventive health services under provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

  15. Convergent innovation for sustainable economic growth and affordable universal health care: innovating the way we innovate.

    PubMed

    Dubé, Laurette; Jha, Srivardhini; Faber, Aida; Struben, Jeroen; London, Ted; Mohapatra, Archisman; Drager, Nick; Lannon, Chris; Joshi, P K; McDermott, John

    2014-12-01

    This paper introduces convergent innovation (CI) as a form of meta-innovation-an innovation in the way we innovate. CI integrates human and economic development outcomes, through behavioral and ecosystem transformation at scale, for sustainable prosperity and affordable universal health care within a whole-of-society paradigm. To this end, CI combines technological and social innovation (including organizational, social process, financial, and institutional), with a special focus on the most underserved populations. CI takes a modular approach that convenes around roadmaps for real world change-a portfolio of loosely coupled complementary partners from the business community, civil society, and the public sector. Roadmaps serve as collaborative platforms for focused, achievable, and time-bound projects to provide scalable, sustainable, and resilient solutions to complex challenges, with benefits both to participating partners and to society. In this paper, we first briefly review the literature on technological innovation that sets the foundations of CI and motivates its feasibility. We then describe CI, its building blocks, and enabling conditions for deployment and scaling up, illustrating its operational forms through examples of existing CI-sensitive innovation.

  16. Bridging gaps in discovery and development: chemical and biological sciences for affordable health, wellness and sustainability.

    PubMed

    Chauhan, Prem Man Singh

    2011-05-01

    To commemorate 2011 as the International Year of Chemistry, the Indian Society of Chemists and Biologists organized its 15th International Conference on 'Bridging Gaps in Discovery and Development: Chemical and Biological Sciences for Affordable Health, Wellness and Sustainability' at Hotel Grand Bhagwati, in association with Saurashtra University, Rajkot, India. Anamik Shah, President of the Indian Society of Chemists and Biologists, was organizing secretary of the conference. Nicole Moreau, President of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry and Secretary General of the Comité National de la Chimie, National Centre for Scientific Research France, was chief guest of the function. The four-day scientific program included 52 plenary lectures, 24 invited lectures by eminent scientists in the field and 12 oral presentations. A total of 317 posters were presented by young scientists and PhD students in three different poster sessions. Approximately 750 delegates from India, the USA, UK, France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Sweden, Japan and other countries attended the conference. The majority of the speakers gave presentations related to their current projects and areas of interest and many of the talks covered synthesis, structure-activity relationships, current trends in medicinal chemistry and drug research.

  17. The Affordable Care Act's Impacts on Access to Insurance and Health Care for Low-Income Populations.

    PubMed

    Kominski, Gerald F; Nonzee, Narissa J; Sorensen, Andrea

    2017-03-20

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) expands access to health insurance in the United States, and, to date, an estimated 20 million previously uninsured individuals have gained coverage. Understanding the law's impact on coverage, access, utilization, and health outcomes, especially among low-income populations, is critical to informing ongoing debates about its effectiveness and implementation. Early findings indicate that there have been significant reductions in the rate of uninsurance among the poor and among those who live in Medicaid expansion states. In addition, the law has been associated with increased health care access, affordability, and use of preventive and outpatient services among low-income populations, though impacts on inpatient utilization and health outcomes have been less conclusive. Although these early findings are generally consistent with past coverage expansions, continued monitoring of these domains is essential to understand the long-term impact of the law for underserved populations.

  18. Interim final rules for group health plans and health insurance coverage relating to status as a grandfathered health plan under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Interim final rules with request for comments.

    PubMed

    2010-06-17

    This document contains interim final regulations implementing the rules for group health plans and health insurance coverage in the group and individual markets under provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act regarding status as a grandfathered health plan.

  19. The Affordable Care Act's implications for a public health workforce agenda: taxonomy, enumeration, and the Standard Occupational Classification system.

    PubMed

    Montes, J Henry; Webb, Susan C

    2015-01-01

    The Affordable Care Act brings a renewed emphasis on the importance of public health services and those whose occupations are defined by performing the essential public health functions. The Affordable Care Act Prevention and Public Health Fund is a signal to the field that its work is important and critical to the health of the nation. Recent reports by the Institute of Medicine describe the changing dimensions of public health work in primary care integration and the need for enhanced financing of public health as investment. Gaining knowledge about the public health workforce, that is, how many workers there are and what they are doing, is of growing interest and concern for the field. Although enumeration of the public health workforce has been attempted several times by the federal government beginning as early as 1982, it was not until the year 2000 that a major effort was undertaken to obtain more complete information. Limitations that hampered Enumeration 2000 have persisted however. With implementation of the Affordable Care Act and other new ventures, key federal agencies are developing strategies to pursue a systemic and systematic enumeration and consistent taxonomy process. Included in these efforts is use of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Standard Occupational Classification system. A clear and accurate understanding of the public health workforce and its characteristics is a major challenge. A well-constructed, systematic enumeration process can add to our understanding of the nature and functions of that workforce. In addition, discussion of enumeration must include the need for a consensus within the field that leads to a consistent taxonomy for the public health occupations. This article will provide a stage-setting brief of historical actions regarding enumeration, and it will examine selected enumeration activities taking place currently. It will discuss positive and negative implications facing public health and the potential for enhancing the

  20. Residential building codes, affordability, and health protection: a risk-tradeoff approach.

    PubMed

    Hammitt, J K; Belsky, E S; Levy, J I; Graham, J D

    1999-12-01

    Residential building codes intended to promote health and safety may produce unintended countervailing risks by adding to the cost of construction. Higher construction costs increase the price of new homes and may increase health and safety risks through "income" and "stock" effects. The income effect arises because households that purchase a new home have less income remaining for spending on other goods that contribute to health and safety. The stock effect arises because suppression of new-home construction leads to slower replacement of less safe housing units. These countervailing risks are not presently considered in code debates. We demonstrate the feasibility of estimating the approximate magnitude of countervailing risks by combining the income effect with three relatively well understood and significant home-health risks. We estimate that a code change that increases the nationwide cost of constructing and maintaining homes by $150 (0.1% of the average cost to build a single-family home) would induce offsetting risks yielding between 2 and 60 premature fatalities or, including morbidity effects, between 20 and 800 lost quality-adjusted life years (both discounted at 3%) each year the code provision remains in effect. To provide a net health benefit, the code change would need to reduce risk by at least this amount. Future research should refine these estimates, incorporate quantitative uncertainty analysis, and apply a full risk-tradeoff approach to real-world case studies of proposed code changes.

  1. Private sector participation in delivering tertiary health care: a dichotomy of access and affordability across two Indian states

    PubMed Central

    Katyal, Anuradha; Singh, Prabal Vikram; Bergkvist, Sofi; Samarth, Amit; Rao, Mala

    2015-01-01

    Poor quality care in public sector hospitals coupled with the costs of care in the private sector have trapped India's poor in a vicious cycle of poverty, ill health and debt for many decades. To address this, the governments of Andhra Pradesh (AP) and Maharashtra (MH), India, have attempted to improve people’s access to hospital care by partnering with the private sector. A number of government-sponsored schemes with differing specifications have been launched to facilitate this strategy. Aims This article aims to compare changes in access to, and affordability and efficiency of private and public hospital inpatient (IP) treatments between MH and AP from 2004 to 2012 and to assess whether the health financing innovations in one state resulted in larger or smaller benefits compared with the other. Methods We used data from household surveys conducted in 2004 and 2012 in the two states and undertook a difference-in-difference (DID) analysis. The results focus on hospitalization, out-of-pocket expenditure and length of stay. Results The average IP expenditure for private hospital care has increased in both states, but more so in MH. There was also an observable increase in both utilization of and expenditure on nephrology treatment in private hospitals in AP. The duration of stay recorded in days for private hospitals has increased slightly in MH and declined in AP with a significant DID. The utilization of public hospitals has reduced in AP and increased in MH. Conclusion The state of AP appears to have benefited more than MH in terms of improved access to care by involving the private sector. The Aarogyasri scheme is likely to have contributed to these impacts in AP at least in part. Our study needs to be followed up with repeated evaluations to ascertain the long-term impacts of involving the private sector in providing hospital care. PMID:25759452

  2. Service quality in health care.

    PubMed

    Kenagy, J W; Berwick, D M; Shore, M F

    1999-02-17

    Although US health care is described as "the world's largest service industry," the quality of service--that is, the characteristics that shape the experience of care beyond technical competence--is rarely discussed in the medical literature. This article illustrates service quality principles by analyzing a routine encounter in health care from a service quality point of view. This illustration and a review of related literature from both inside and outside health care has led to the following 2 premises: First, if high-quality service had a greater presence in our practices and institutions, it would improve clinical outcomes and patient and physician satisfaction while reducing cost, and it would create competitive advantage for those who are expert in its application. Second, many other industries in the service sector have taken service quality to a high level, their techniques are readily transferable to health care, and physicians caring for patients can learn from them.

  3. Achieving Quality in Occupational Health

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    O'Donnell, Michele (Editor); Hoffler, G. Wyckliffe (Editor)

    1997-01-01

    The conference convened approximately 100 registered participants of invited guest speakers, NASA presenters, and a broad spectrum of the Occupational Health disciplines representing NASA Headquarters and all NASA Field Centers. Centered on the theme, "Achieving Quality in Occupational Health," conferees heard presentations from award winning occupational health program professionals within the Agency and from private industry; updates on ISO 9000 status, quality assurance, and information technologies; workshops on ergonomics and respiratory protection; an overview from the newly commissioned NASA Occupational Health Assessment Team; and a keynote speech on improving women's health. In addition, NASA occupational health specialists presented 24 poster sessions and oral deliveries on various aspects of current practice at their field centers.

  4. Farmworker Housing Quality and Health.

    PubMed

    Arcury, Thomas A; Jacobs, Ilene J; Ruiz, Virginia

    2015-11-01

    On 11 November 2014, Farmworker Housing Quality and Health: A Transdisciplinary Conference was convened to draw together experts from the variety of disciplines who contribute to research and practice focused on farmworker housing and health in order to delineate current knowledge and propose next steps. The conference addressed three specific aims: (1) to consolidate current knowledge on characteristics and quality of housing provided for farmworkers; (2) to delineate pertinent directions and areas for farmworker housing health and safety research and policy; and (3) to facilitate the development of working groups to support the implementation of research, education, and engineering projects to improve farmworker housing. This article provides an overview of the conference.

  5. Helping You Choose Quality Behavioral Health Care

    MedlinePlus

    Helping You Choose Quality Behavioral Health Care Selecting quality behavioral health care services for yourself, a relative or friend requires special thought and attention. The Joint Commission on ...

  6. High-quality, affordable healthcare in the United States--an achievable goal.

    PubMed

    Barton, Glen A

    2004-01-01

    We have evidence that quality and efficiency work together for better healthcare processes for patients while providing cost savings for employers. The complex processes and frequent disconnects among providers who care for the same patients are obviously an area of opportunity for improvement. By standardizing processes for care, we can begin to effectively measure quality and efficiency throughout the value chain. When we work as a team, focusing on quality and measurement, we can look to a future when the best possible care is efficiently and effectively delivered to patients. The future will also be brighter for employers dedicated to providing high-quality, competitive benefits for their valued employees and retirees while maintaining profitability.

  7. The Challenge of College Affordability: The Student Lens. Hearing of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, United States Senate, One Hundred Thirteenth Congress, First Session on Examining College Affordability (April 16, 2013). Senate Hearing 113-673

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    US Senate, 2015

    2015-01-01

    In 2012, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions launched a series of hearings to examine the challenge of college affordability. In the first three hearings, the Committee heard from the administration, from both traditional and online universities and community colleges, from State officials, higher education associations,…

  8. Public health law: the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

    PubMed

    De Ville, Kenneth

    2011-01-01

    Congress of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was immediately challenged by lawsuits attacking the constitutionality of the legislation. The lawsuits, joined by over 2 dozen state's attorney generals, contend that PPACA is an unconstitutional exercise of federal power. Specifically, the suits argue that the individual insurance mandate portion of the law is justified by neither the "Commerce Power" nor Congress' authority to "tax" and provide for "the general welfare." This essay outlines and analyzes the constitutional arguments for, and against, PPACA forecasting the likely resolution of the debate if the suits reach the US Supreme Court.

  9. Students implement the Affordable Care Act: a model for undergraduate teaching and research in community health and sociology.

    PubMed

    Green, Brandn; Jones, Kristal; Boyd, Neil; Milofsky, Carl; Martin, Eric

    2015-06-01

    The implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides an opportunity for undergraduate students to observe and experience first-hand changing social policies and their impacts for individuals and communities. This article overviews an action research and teaching project developed at an undergraduate liberal arts university and focused on providing ACA enrollment assistance as a way to support student engagement with community health. The project was oriented around education, enrollment and evaluation activities in the community, and students and faculty together reflected on and analyzed the experiences that came from the research and outreach project. Student learning centered around applying concepts of diversity and political agency to health policy and community health systems. Students reported and faculty observed an unexpected empowerment for students who were able to use their university-learned critical thinking skills to explain complex systems to a wide range of audiences. In addition, because the project was centered at a university with no health professions programs, the project provided students interested in community and public health with the opportunity to reflect on how health and access to health care is conditioned by social context. The structure and pedagogical approaches and implications of the action research and teaching project is presented here as a case study for how to engage undergraduates in questions of community and public health through the lens of health policy and community engagement.

  10. Support for Government Provision of Health Care and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

    PubMed Central

    Corman, Juliane; Levin, David

    2016-01-01

    Since the 1930s, US politicians have argued about whether healthcare should be the responsibility of the federal government. Both major political parties have cited public opinion concerning Americans’ support for or rejection of government provision of healthcare to support their position. With the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, however, the political debate has changed. Where it had been about the government provision of healthcare as an abstract principle, it became a debate imbued with evaluations of the implementation of the ACA itself. This spawned a new line of research examining the consequences of the ACA’s implementation on public attitudes toward government provision of healthcare. The change in support for government provision of healthcare and the new post-ACA research highlight a need for a long-term examination of trends in support over the past two decades that will provide context for the new studies. This study provides that examination. PMID:27257309

  11. The Value of Companion Diagnostics: Overcoming Access Barriers to Transform Personalised Health Care into an Affordable Reality in Europe.

    PubMed

    Wurcel, Victoria; Perche, Olivier; Lesteven, Daniel; Williams, Doris-Ann; Schäfer, Birgit; Hopley, Colin; Jungwirth, Rebecca; Postulka, Anne; Pasmans, Raf; Hermansson, Lisse-Lotte; Ott, Markus; Glorioso, Valeria

    2016-01-01

    Personalised health care is an evolution, moving away from a disease-focused model of care, translating scientific and technological advances into benefits for patients, and placing them at the centre of the patients' health and care. Companion diagnostics emerge as a very specific and special group of in vitro diagnostics among the different technologies shaping the personalised health care spectrum. Companion diagnostics provide highly valuable information, allowing patients, health practitioners and payers to decide with a higher level of certainty on the potential benefits of a treatment or care pathway. Decreasing uncertainty may result in a more efficient selection of treatments and care, targeted at subpopulations that are most likely to benefit. Companion diagnostics account for a minimal portion of the already small expenditure on in vitro diagnostics (far less than 1% of total health care expenditure), and yet they provide the means to limit inefficient use of health care resources while optimising patient outcomes. It is clear that equal access to personalised health care is still an issue across the EU. One of the most common perceived barriers is affordability. The investment in companion diagnostics can provide long-term value for patients and health care systems, shifting resources to areas of need. Health systems do not fully recognise yet the value that companion diagnostics bring to make personalised health care more affordable across the EU. This inhibits patient access to personalised treatments and care, preventing improved outcomes. In many countries, market access frameworks for diagnostic tests are fragmented and not aligned with specific funding and reimbursement mechanisms, discouraging the use of these tests. Emerging evidence shows that patients are missing out on the appropriate tests and treatments while a reduction in the inefficient use of health care resources is not realised. This article outlines some of these market access

  12. 78 FR 12833 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Standards Related to Essential Health Benefits...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-02-25

    ... Qualified Health Plan SHOP Small Business Health Options Program SSA Social Security Administration The Act Social Security Act The Code Internal Revenue Code of 1986 USP United States Pharmacopeia...

  13. Keeping up with the Cadillacs: What Health Insurance Disparities, Moral Hazard, and the Cadillac Tax Mean to The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

    PubMed

    Fletcher, Rebecca Adkins

    2016-03-01

    A major goal of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is to broaden health care access through the extension of insurance coverage. However, little attention has been given to growing disparities in access to health care among the insured, as trends to reduce benefits and increase cost sharing (deductibles, co-pays) reduce affordability and access. Through a political economic perspective that critiques moral hazard, this article draws from ethnographic research with the United Steelworkers (USW) at a steel mill and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) at a food-processing plant in urban Central Appalachia. In so doing, this article describes difficulties of health care affordability on the eve of reform for differentially insured working families with employer-sponsored health insurance. Additionally, this article argues that the proposed Cadillac tax on high-cost health plans will increase problems with appropriate health care access and medical financial burden for many families.

  14. 78 FR 33233 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Establishment of Exchanges and Qualified Health Plans...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-06-04

    ... used total Accident and Health earned premiums as a proxy for annual receipts. We estimated that there are 28 small entities with less than $7 million in accident and health earned premiums offering... premium assistance under Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or loses...

  15. Achieving moral, high quality, affordable medical care in America through a true free market.

    PubMed

    McKalip, David

    2016-11-01

    The basis of a just and moral economic model for health care is examined in the context of Catholic social teaching. The performance of the current model of "central economic planning" in medicine is evaluated in terms of the core principles of the social doctrine of the Catholic Church and compared to freedom-based economic models. It is clear that the best way to respect and serve human dignity, the common good, subsidiarity, and solidarity in medicine is through the establishment of a true, free-market health economy. Lay Summary : This article reviews the impact of recent healthcare reforms as well as traditional "third party payment" models for healthcare financing in America (insurance). Impact on patients and doctors are evaluated in the context of Catholic social doctrine and the Catechism. The many shortcomings and negative consequences of an economy planned centrally by government are compared to the benefits of a true free-market medical economy with empowered individuals. The analysis shows that interference in the patient-physician relationship and the centrally planned medical economy itself violates Catholic teachings, harms patients and doctors, and create morally evil outcomes and economic structures.

  16. The income divide in health care: how the Affordable Care Act will help restore fairness to the U.S. health system.

    PubMed

    Collins, Sara R; Robertson, Ruth; Garber, Tracy; Doty, Michelle M

    2012-02-01

    The new Commonwealth Fund Health Insurance Tracking Survey of U.S.Adults finds nearly three of five adults in families earning less than 133 percent of the federal poverty level were uninsured for a time in 2011; two of five were uninsured for one or more years. Low- and moderate-income adults who were uninsured during the year were much less likely to have a regular source of health care than people in the same income range who were insured all year. In addition, uninsured lower-income adults were more likely than insured adults in the same income group to cite factors other than medical emergencies as reasons for going to the emergency room. These included needing a prescription drug, not having a regular doctor, or saying that other places cost too much. The Affordable Care Act will substantially narrow these inequities through an extensive set of affordable coverage options starting in 2014.

  17. Growth and variability in health plan premiums in the individual insurance market before the Affordable Care Act.

    PubMed

    Gruber, Jonathan

    2014-06-01

    Before we can evaluate the impact of the Affordable Care Act on health insurance premiums in the individual market, it is critical to understand the pricing trends of these premiums before the implementation of the law. Using rates of increase in the individual insurance market collected from state regulators, this issue brief documents trends in premium growth in the pre-ACA period. From 2008 to 2010, premiums grew by 10 percent or more per year. This growth was also highly variable across states, and even more variable across insurance plans within states. The study suggests that evaluating trends in premiums requires looking across a broad array of states and plans, and that policymakers must examine how present and future changes in premium rates compare with the more than 10 percent per year premium increases in the years preceding health reform.

  18. The Great Recession and Health Spending among Uninsured U.S. Immigrants: Implications for the Affordable Care Act Implementation

    PubMed Central

    Bustamante, Arturo Vargas; Chen, Jie

    2014-01-01

    Objective We study the association between the timing of the Great Recession (GR) and health spending among uninsured adults distinguishing by citizenship/nativity status and time of U.S. residence. Data Source Uninsured U.S. citizens and noncitizens from the 2005–2006 and 2008–2009 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Study Design The probability of reporting any health spending and the natural logarithm of health spending are our main dependent variables. We compare health spending across population categories before/during the GR. Subsequently, we implement two-part regression analyses of total and specific health-spending measures. We predict average health spending before/during the GR with a smearing estimation. Principal Findings The probability of reporting any spending diminished for recent immigrants compared to citizens during the GR. For those with any spending, recent immigrants reported higher spending during the GR (27 percent). Average reductions in total spending were driven by the decline in the share of the population reporting any spending among citizens and noncitizens. Conclusions Our study findings suggest that recent immigrants could be forgoing essential care, which later translates into higher spending. It portrays the vulnerability of a population that would remain exposed to income shocks, even after the Affordable Care Act (ACA) implementation. PMID:24962550

  19. THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT AND INCENTIVIZED HEALTH WELLNESS PROGRAMS--A TALE OF FEDERALISM AND SHIFTING ADMINISTRATIVE BURDEN.

    PubMed

    Sirpal, Sanjeev

    2014-01-01

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act creates new incentives and builds on existing wellness program policies to promote employer wellness programs and encourage opportunities to support healthier workplaces. The proposed rules are promulgated by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Labor, and the Treasury Department, and seek to encourage appropriately designed, consumer-protective wellness programs in group health coverage. This legislative landscape raises significant federalism concerns insofar as it largely shifts the responsibility for administration of health incentive programs to the states. Little attention has been paid to the shifting "administrative burden" that would thereby ensue. This paper will address the distribution of power in the American federal system vis-à-vis subnational counterparts in the wake of rampant, recent health care reform efforts. This paper will therefore explore the willingness of the national government to delegate policymaking responsibility to state governments in the context of an important aspect of healthcare reform. This, in turn, can be used to assess the distribution of powers between governmental levels--a subject that has received little systematic inquiry to date. Finally, this paper will explore the degree of administrative burden shifting that may likely occur as a result of these changes in health reform and what potential impacts it may have on individual health.

  20. How the Affordable Care Act Has Improved Americans’ Ability to Buy Health Insurance on Their Own: Findings from the Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey, 2016.

    PubMed

    Collins, Sara R; Gunja, Munira Z; Doty, Michelle M; Beutel, Sophie

    2017-01-01

    Issue: Since 2001, long before the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey has examined health coverage and consumers’ experiences buying insurance and using health care. Goals: To examine long-term trends and to make comparisons before and after passage of health reform. Methods: Analysis of the Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey, 2016. Findings and Conclusions: There have been dramatic improvements in people’s ability to buy health plans on their own following the passage of the ACA. For adults with family incomes less than $48,500, uninsured rates dropped about 17 percentage points below their 2010 peak. Lower-income whites, blacks, and Latinos have experienced drops this large, though Latinos are uninsured at higher rates. Among working-age adults who had shopped for plans in the individual market and ACA marketplaces over the prior three years, the percentage who reported it was very difficult to find affordable plans fell by nearly half from 2010, prior to the ACA reforms, to 2016. Coverage gains are helping working-age Americans get the care they need: the number of adults who reported problems getting needed health care and filling prescriptions because of costs fell from a high of 80 million in 2012 to an estimated 63 million in 2016.

  1. Affordability Calculations on a Health Education Campaign to Promote the Use of Aspirin in Wales

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morgan, Gareth

    2008-01-01

    Aspirin has far-reaching public health potential in reducing the risk of heart attacks, ischemic strokes and possibly cancer. Balanced against this potential are undesirable effects of the drug. It seems reasonable to allow every individual over the age of 50 years to make an informed choice about whether or not to take aspirin. A health education…

  2. Ninety-day waiting period limitation and technical amendments to certain health coverage requirements under the Affordable Care Act. Final rule.

    PubMed

    2014-02-24

    These final regulations implement the 90-day waiting period limitation under section 2708 of the Public Health Service Act, as added by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Affordable Care Act), as amended, and incorporated into the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 and the Internal Revenue Code. These regulations also finalize amendments to existing regulations to conform to Affordable Care Act provisions. Specifically, these rules amend regulations implementing existing provisions such as some of the portability provisions added by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) because those provisions of the HIPAA regulations have become superseded or require amendment as a result of the market reform protections added by the Affordable Care Act.

  3. Community Health Centers Play a Critical Role in Caring for the Remaining Uninsured in the Affordable Care Act Era.

    PubMed

    Wallace, Steven P; Young, Marie-Elena; Rodriguez, Michael A

    2016-10-01

    Federally Qualified Health Centers--commonly referred to as Community Health Centers (CHCs)--serve as a safety net for people who did not gain health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including those immigrants not eligible for Medicaid or health insurance exchange coverage. ACA-driven changes in health insurance coverage, funding, and related policy have created new challenges for these safety net organizations. This policy brief reports the findings from analyses of the U.S. HRSA Uniform Data System and interviews conducted in 2014-16 with the leadership of 31 CHCs. The CHCs were located in communities with high concentrations of immigrants and uninsured residents, in states that either expanded Medicaid (California and New York) or that chose not to expand it (Georgia and Texas). The study found that most CHCs now see more patients, including significant numbers without insurance. The ACA has brought new resources to CHCs but has also reinforced challenges, including the need for stable revenue streams, sufficient staffing support, and assistance in leveraging new reimbursement mechanisms. Policy recommendations to address these challenges include continuing core federal funding, insuring the remaining uninsured, addressing workforce challenges, and preparing CHCs for alternative payment mechanisms.

  4. The role of perceived need and health insurance in substance use treatment: implications for the Affordable Care Act.

    PubMed

    Ali, Mir M; Teich, Judith L; Mutter, Ryan

    2015-07-01

    The expansions in insurance coverage under the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (ACA) that took full effect in 2014 have been projected to increase the number of users of behavioral health services. By analyzing data from the 2008-2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, this paper examines whether health insurance expansion may result in an increase in substance use disorder (SUD) treatment utilization. The study sample includes 18,600 adults with SUD but no diagnosable mental health condition. The analysis finds that over 80% of that population receives no treatment and 97% do not perceive a need for treatment. When they do receive treatment, they are more likely to receive mental health treatment. Using multinomial logistic regression, the study finds that having Medicaid or private insurance is associated with higher likelihood of receiving SUD treatment, but only when individuals perceive a need for it, compared to being uninsured and not perceiving a need for treatment (the reference category). These results indicate that increased service utilization is associated with perceiving a need for substance abuse treatment, implying that outreach initiatives to raise awareness about SUD and the effective role of substance use treatment are needed to enhance the impact of the structural changes to the substance abuse treatment system resulting from the ACA.

  5. Propulsion Health Management System Development for Affordable and Reliable Operation of Space Exploration Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Melcher, Kevin J.; Maul, William A.; Garg, Sanjay

    2007-01-01

    The constraints of future Exploration Missions will require unique integrated system health management capabilities throughout the mission. An ambitious launch schedule, human-rating requirements, long quiescent periods, limited human access for repair or replacement, and long communication delays, all require an integrated approach to health management that can span distinct, yet interdependent vehicle subsystems, anticipate failure states, provide autonomous remediation and support the Exploration Mission from beginning to end. Propulsion is a critical part of any space exploration mission, and monitoring the health of the propulsion system is an integral part of assuring mission safety and success. Health management is a somewhat ubiquitous technology that encompasses a large spectrum of physical components and logical processes. For this reason, it is essential to develop a systematic plan for propulsion health management system development. This paper provides a high-level perspective of propulsion health management systems, and describes a logical approach for the future planning and early development that are crucial to planned space exploration programs. It also presents an overall approach, or roadmap, for propulsion health management system development and a discussion of the associated roadblocks and challenges.

  6. Amendment to the interim final rules for group health plans and health insurance coverage relating to status as a grandfathered health plan under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Amendment to interim final rules with request for comments.

    PubMed

    2010-11-17

    This document contains an amendment to interim final regulations implementing the rules for group health plans and health insurance coverage in the group and individual markets under provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act regarding status as a grandfathered health plan; the amendment permits certain changes in policies, certificates, or contracts of insurance without loss of grandfathered status.

  7. Touch Affordances

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slegers, Karin; de Roeck, Dries; Arnall, Timo

    The workshop “Touch Affordances” addresses a concept relevant to human computer interactions based on touch. The main topic is the challenge of applying the notion of affordances to domains related to touch interactions (e.g. (multi)touch screens, RFID & NFC, ubiquitous interfaces). The goals of this workshop are to launch a community of researchers, designers, etc. interested in this topic, to create a common understanding of the field of touch affordances and to generate ideas for new research areas for intuitive touch interactions. The workshop will be highly interactive and will have a creative, generative character.

  8. 76 FR 60788 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Establishment of Exchanges and Qualified Health Plans...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-09-30

    ... Medicare & Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services, Room 445-G, Hubert H. Humphrey... building. A stamp- in clock is available for persons wishing to retain a proof of filing by stamping in...

  9. Indoor air quality and health

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, A. P.

    During the last two decades there has been increasing concern within the scientific community over the effects of indoor air quality on health. Changes in building design devised to improve energy efficiency have meant that modern homes and offices are frequently more airtight than older structures. Furthermore, advances in construction technology have caused a much greater use of synthetic building materials. Whilst these improvements have led to more comfortable buildings with lower running costs, they also provide indoor environments in which contaminants are readily produced and may build up to much higher concentrations than are found outside. This article reviews our current understanding of the relationship between indoor air pollution and health. Indoor pollutants can emanate from a range of sources. The health impacts from indoor exposure to combustion products from heating, cooking, and the smoking of tobacco are examined. Also discussed are the symptoms associated with pollutants emitted from building materials. Of particular importance might be substances known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which arise from sources including paints, varnishes, solvents, and preservatives. Furthermore, if the structure of a building begins to deteriorate, exposure to asbestos may be an important risk factor for the chronic respiratory disease mesothelioma. The health effects of inhaled biological particles can be significant, as a large variety of biological materials are present in indoor environments. Their role in inducing illness through immune mechanisms, infectious processes, and direct toxicity is considered. Outdoor sources can be the main contributors to indoor concentrations of some contaminants. Of particular significance is Radon, the radioactive gas that arises from outside, yet only presents a serious health risk when found inside buildings. Radon and its decay products are now recognised as important indoor pollutants, and their effects are

  10. Young Adults' Health Care Utilization and Expenditures Prior to the Affordable Care Act

    PubMed Central

    Lau, Josephine S.; Adams, Sally H.; Boscardin, W. John; Irwin, Charles E.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose Examine young adults' health care utilization and expenditures prior to the ACA. Methods We used 2009 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) to 1) compare young adults' health care utilization and expenditures of a full-spectrum of health services to children and adolescents and 2) identify disparities in young adults' utilization and expenditures, based on access (insurance and usual source of care) and other socio-demographic factors, including race/ethnicity and income. Results Young adults had: 1) significantly lower rates of overall utilization (72%) than other age groups (83-88%, P<.001) and 2), the lowest rate of office-based utilization (55% vs. 67-77%, P<.001) and higher rate of ER visits compared to adolescents (15% v. 12%, P<.01). Uninsured young adults had high out-of-pocket expenses. Compared to the young adults with private insurance, the uninsured spent less than half on health care ($1,040 vs. $2,150/ person, P<.001), but essentially the same out-of-pocket expenses ($403 vs. $380/person, p =.57). Among young adults, we identified significant disparities in utilization and expenditures based on the presence/absence of a usual source of care, race/ethnicity, home language and sex. Conclusions Young adults may not be utilizing the health care system optimally by having low rates of office-based visits and high rates of ER visits. The ACA provision of insurance for those previously uninsured or under-insured will likely increase their utilization and expenditures and lower their out-of-pocket expenses. Further effort is needed to address non-insurance barriers and ensure equal access to health services. PMID:24702839

  11. Affordable Care Act Qualified Health Plan Enrollment for AIDS Drug Assistance Program Clients: Virginia's Experience and Best Practices

    PubMed Central

    Rodney, Robert C.; Rhodes, Anne; Bailey, Steven; Dillingham, Rebecca

    2016-01-01

    Abstract With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2014, many safety net resources, including state AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs), incorporated ACA Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) into their healthcare delivery model. This article highlights the benefits of the ACA for persons living with HIV. It also describes the range of strategies employed by state ADAPs to enroll patients in QHPs. The Virginia ADAP ACA implementation experience is described to illustrate one ADAP's shift to purchasing QHPs in addition to providing direct medications. Virginia ADAP is in a Medicaid nonexpansion state and funds the full costs of the QHP premiums, deductibles, and medication copayments. Virginia's experience is applicable to other Medicaid nonexpansion states and to state ADAPs in Medicaid expansion states, who are looking for options for their Medicaid ineligible clients. This article provides practical details of Virginia ADAP's ACA implementation as well as insights and best practices at both the state and clinic level. PMID:27346694

  12. Affordable Care Act Qualified Health Plan Enrollment for AIDS Drug Assistance Program Clients: Virginia's Experience and Best Practices.

    PubMed

    McManus, Kathleen A; Rodney, Robert C; Rhodes, Anne; Bailey, Steven; Dillingham, Rebecca

    2016-09-01

    With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2014, many safety net resources, including state AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs), incorporated ACA Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) into their healthcare delivery model. This article highlights the benefits of the ACA for persons living with HIV. It also describes the range of strategies employed by state ADAPs to enroll patients in QHPs. The Virginia ADAP ACA implementation experience is described to illustrate one ADAP's shift to purchasing QHPs in addition to providing direct medications. Virginia ADAP is in a Medicaid nonexpansion state and funds the full costs of the QHP premiums, deductibles, and medication copayments. Virginia's experience is applicable to other Medicaid nonexpansion states and to state ADAPs in Medicaid expansion states, who are looking for options for their Medicaid ineligible clients. This article provides practical details of Virginia ADAP's ACA implementation as well as insights and best practices at both the state and clinic level.

  13. 77 FR 70583 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Health Insurance Market Rules; Rate Review

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-11-26

    ... states allow age rating (often unlimited). While 37 states explicitly allow gender rating, three states that prohibit gender rating do not require maternity coverage in all individual market policies... allow some form of gender rating in practice. In the small group market, 38 states allow health...

  14. 77 FR 70643 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Standards Related to Essential Health Benefits...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-11-26

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office ] Vol. 77 Monday, No. 227 November 26, 2012 Part V Department of Health and Human Services 45 CFR Parts 147, 155, and 156 Patient... Federal Register online database through Federal Digital System (FDsys), a service of the U.S....

  15. “Will Employers Drop Health Insurance Coverage because of the Affordable Care Act?” Health Affairs 32(9): 1522–1530

    PubMed Central

    Buchmueller, Thomas; Carey, Colleen; Levy, Helen G.

    2014-01-01

    Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, there has been considerable speculation about how many employers will stop offering health insurance once the major coverage provisions of the Act take effect. While some observers predict little aggregate effect, others believe that 2014 marks the beginning of the end for our current system of employer- sponsored insurance. We address the question “how will employer health insurance offering respond to health reform?” using theoretical and empirical evidence. First, we describe economic models of why employers offer insurance. Second, we recap the relevant provisions of health reform and use our economic framework to consider how they may affect employer offers. Third, we review the various predictions that have been made on this subject. Finally, we offer some observations on interpreting early data from 2014. PMID:24019355

  16. Availability, prices and affordability of the World Health Organization’s essential medicines for children in Guatemala

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Several World Health Organization (WHO) initiatives aim to improve the accessibility of safe and effective medicines for children. A first step in achieving this goal is to obtain a baseline measure of access to essential medicines. The objective of this project was to measure the availability, prices, and affordability of children’s medicines in Guatemala. Methods An adaption of the standardized methodology developed by the World Health Organization and Health Action International (HAI) was used to conduct a cross sectional survey to collect data on availability and final patient prices of medicines in public and private sector medicine outlets during April and May of 2010. Results A subset of the public sector, Programa de Accesibilidad a los Medicamentos (PROAM), had the lowest average availability (25%) compared to the private sector (35%). In the private sector, highest and lowest priced medicines were 22.7 and 10.7 times more expensive than their international reference price comparison. Treatments were generally unaffordable, costing as much as 15 days wages for a course of ceftriaxone. Conclusions Analysis of the procurement, supply and distribution of specific medicines is needed to determine reasons for lack of availability. Improvements to accessibility could be made by developing an essential medicines list for children and including these medicines in national purchasing lists. PMID:22747646

  17. Early Impacts of the Affordable Care Act on Health Insurance Coverage in Medicaid Expansion and Non-Expansion States.

    PubMed

    Courtemanche, Charles; Marton, James; Ukert, Benjamin; Yelowitz, Aaron; Zapata, Daniela

    2017-01-01

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) aimed to achieve nearly universal health insurance coverage in the United States through a combination of insurance market reforms, mandates, subsidies, health insurance exchanges, and Medicaid expansions, most of which took effect in 2014. This paper estimates the causal effects of the ACA on health insurance coverage in 2014 using data from the American Community Survey. We utilize difference-in-difference-in-differences models that exploit cross-sectional variation in the intensity of treatment arising from state participation in the Medicaid expansion and local area pre-ACA uninsured rates. This strategy allows us to identify the effects of the ACA in both Medicaid expansion and non-expansion states. Our preferred specification suggests that, at the average pre-treatment uninsured rate, the full ACA increased the proportion of residents with insurance by 5.9 percentage points compared to 2.8 percentage points in states that did not expand Medicaid. Private insurance expansions from the ACA were due to increases in both employer-provided and non-group coverage. The coverage gains from the full ACA were largest for those without a college degree, non-whites, young adults, unmarried individuals, and those without children in the home. We find no evidence that the Medicaid expansion crowded out private coverage.

  18. Evaluating the "Keep Your Health Plan Fix": Implications for the Affordable Care Act Compared to Legislative Alternatives.

    PubMed

    Saltzman, Evan; Eibner, Christine

    2014-01-01

    President Obama's promise that Americans could keep their existing health care plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has received increased scrutiny in the wake of millions of Americans having their plans cancelled. These cancellations primarily occurred in the individual or nongroup market, where individuals purchase health care plans directly from an insurer instead of through an employer. Many such plans do not meet the minimum coverage requirements of the ACA, leading insurers to send plan-cancellation notices to their enrollees. This study describes a comparative analysis of three proposals to remedy the situation: one by the White House, another by Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and a third by Representative Fred Upton (R-MI). The proposals are evaluated based on their potential impact on the ACA-compliant market and the cost and coverage of health insurance. The possibility of each proposal causing a "death spiral," in which rising premiums and decreasing enrollment undermine the viability of the ACA-compliant market, is also addressed. The authors find that the three proposals vary from slight to moderate impact on ACA premiums, enrollment, and federal spending, but none of them would result in the unraveling of the ACA-compliant market.

  19. The enigma of value: in search of affordable and accessible health care.

    PubMed

    Szucs, Thomas D; Weiss, Martina; Klaus, Guido

    2016-12-02

    In times of shrinking resources and pharmaceutical breakthrough situations, our value-assessing systems are stretched to their very limits. Assessing value is highly complex. Current value-assessment systems risk neglecting important factors, such as therapy duration, budget impact, or the importance of combination therapies. Especially when dealing with breakthrough therapies within high-prevalence indications, these factors play an important role in health care spending. When it comes to assessing value in Switzerland, the system is innovation and access-friendly; the price level of pharmaceutical products, however, is relatively high in comparison to neighboring countries. The Swiss pricing and reimbursement system can still improve in terms of efficiency and transparency.

  20. Housing characteristics and their influence on health-related quality of life in persons living with HIV in Ontario, Canada: results from the positive spaces, healthy places study.

    PubMed

    Rourke, Sean B; Bekele, Tsegaye; Tucker, Ruthann; Greene, Saara; Sobota, Michael; Koornstra, Jay; Monette, LaVerne; Bacon, Jean; Bhuiyan, Shafi; Rueda, Sergio; Watson, James; Hwang, Stephen W; Dunn, James; Hambly, Keith

    2012-11-01

    Although lack of housing is linked with adverse health outcomes, little is known about the impacts of the qualitative aspects of housing on health. This study examined the association between structural elements of housing, housing affordability, housing satisfaction and health-related quality of life over a 1-year period. Participants were 509 individuals living with HIV in Ontario, Canada. Regression analyses were conducted to examine relationships between housing variables and physical and mental health-related quality of life. We found significant cross-sectional associations between housing and neighborhood variables-including place of residence, housing affordability, housing stability, and satisfaction with material, meaningful and spatial dimensions of housing-and both physical and mental health-related quality of life. Our analyses also revealed longitudinal associations between housing and neighborhood variables and health-related quality of life. Interventions that enhance housing affordability and housing satisfaction may help improve health-related quality of life of people living with HIV.

  1. How Does Religious Affiliation Affect Women’s Attitudes Toward Reproductive Health Policy? Implications for the Affordable Care Act

    PubMed Central

    Patton, Elizabeth W.; Hall, Kelli Stidham; Dalton, Vanessa K.

    2015-01-01

    Structured Abstract Background Supreme Court cases challenging the Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandate for employer-provided reproductive health care have focused on religiously based opposition to coverage. Little is known about women’s perspectives on such reproductive health policies. Study Design Data were drawn from the Women’s Health Care Experiences and Preferences survey, a randomly selected, nationally representative sample of 1078 US women age 18–55. We examined associations between religious affiliation and attitudes toward employer-provided insurance coverage of contraception and abortion services, and the exclusion of religious institutions from this coverage. We used chi-square and multivariable logistic regression for analysis. Results Respondents self-identified as Baptist (18%), Protestant (Other Mainline, 17%), Catholic (17%), Other Christian (20%), Religious, Non-Christian (7%) or no affiliation (21%). Religious affiliation was associated with proportions of agreement for contraception (p = 0.03), abortion (p <0.01), and religious exclusion (p <0.01) policies. In multivariable models, differences in the odds of agreement varied across religious affiliations and frequency of service attendance. For example, compared to non-affiliated women, Baptists and Other Nondenominational Christians (but not Catholics) had lower odds of agreement with employer coverage of contraception (OR 0.63, 95% CI 0.4-0.1 and OR 0.57, CI 0.4–0.9, respectively); women who attended services weekly or more than weekly had lower odds of agreement (OR 0.53, 95% CI 0.3–0.8 and OR 0.33, CI 0.2–0.6, respectively), compared to less frequent attenders. Conclusions Recent religiously motivated legal challenges to employer-provided reproductive health care coverage may not represent the attitudes of many religious women. PMID:25727764

  2. Bypassing health providers: the quest for better price and quality of health care in Chad.

    PubMed

    Gauthier, Bernard; Wane, Waly

    2011-08-01

    This paper investigates individuals' bypassing behavior in the health sector in Chad and the determinants of individuals' facility choice. We introduce a new way for measuring bypassing which uses the patients' own knowledge of alternative health providers available to them, instead of assuming perfect information as previously done. We analyze how objective and perceived health care quality and prices impact patients' bypassing decisions. The analysis uses data from a health sector survey carried out in 2004 covering 281 primary health care centers and 1801 patients. We observe that income inequalities translate into health service inequalities. We find evidence of two distinct types of bypassing activities in Chad: (1) patients from low-income households bypass high quality facilities they cannot afford and go to low-quality facilities, and (2) rich individuals bypass low-quality facilities and aim for more expensive facilities which also offer a higher quality of care. These significant differences in patients' facility choices are observed across income groups as well as between rural and urban areas.

  3. Fish and its multiple human health effects in times of threat to sustainability and affordability: are there alternatives?

    PubMed

    Li, Duo; Hu, Xiaojie

    2009-01-01

    Fish (finfish or shellfish) has been classified as healthy by health professionals despite containing contaminants, since fish is high in long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids which have multiple beneficial health effects such as decreased risk of stroke via anti-thrombotic and vasodilative effects, increased heart rate variability, reducing serum triacylglycerol and blood pressure, anti-inflammatory activities, improving visual function, improving attention-deficit conditions/ hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenic and dementia; and may be effective in managing depression in adults. All these beneficial effects are thought to be mediated through altering cell membrane composition, fluidity, receptors and membrane-bound enzymes, gene expression and eicosanoid production. However, natural marine and freshwater fish populations are declining as a result of over-fishing, temperature and climate changes etc. To re-establish and maintain the fish population in China, fishing has been banned for 2-3 months during specified periods of the year, which differs depending on the area, since 1995. The fish population has recovered since implementation of these banned fishing periods, and thereby maintaining the sustainability and affordability of fish. Aquaculture products have had a significant contribution to China's food system, with significant increase in output over the past few decades, from one million tons in 1978 to 32 million tons in 2007. Aquaculture fish represents a higher portion of total aquatic products compared with natural marine and freshwater fish, which has only been achieved in China, and this has contributed greatly to food and health security. China's success in this area is a good model for other developing countries.

  4. Health insurance coverage in the Houston-Galveston area under the patient protection and affordable care act.

    PubMed

    Begley, Charles; Deshmukh, Ashish; Eschbach, Karl; Fouladi, Negin; Liu, Qian June; Reynolds, Thomas

    2012-11-01

    This study projects the number of nonelderly people who could gain coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) for the period from 2014 through 2020 in the 13-county Houston-Galveston area region. The major PPACA provisions aimed at expanding coverage as well as the populations targeted by those provisions are described. Projections of the impact of PPACA on coverage in the area are based on estimates of growth in the size of targeted populations in each county and the anticipated responses of those populations to the major provisions of PPACA. The projections indicate that, if fully implemented, PPACA could cut the uninsurance rate in the region by half, from 26% in 2010 to 13% in 2020. This change translates into health insurance coverage for approximately 2 million additional people, from the current 4.2 million to a projected 5.9 million. The number of Medicaid enrollees could increase by an estimated 600,000 (a 79% increase), although private insurance coverage, which could increase by as much as 1 million enrollees (a 30% increase), will remain the primary source of coverage for most people. Coverage gains from PPACA will vary considerably by county, depending on the age-income-citizenship characteristics of the population, current uninsurance rates, and the rate of population growth.

  5. The impact of the Affordable Care Act on hospital-led community health evaluation in the U.S. Appalachian Ohio region.

    PubMed

    Franz, Berkeley; Skinner, Daniel; Kelleher, Kelly

    2017-04-03

    In recent years, policy developments in the United States have dramatically changed how nonprofit hospitals interact with surrounding communities. However, despite the importance of these changes encoded in Internal Revenue Service regulations, little is known about how these requirements have affected how nonprofit hospitals are approaching community health evaluation. We present qualitative findings from interviews with hospital employees and consultants overseeing preliminary rounds of community health needs assessments, as required by the Affordable Care Act. The sample comes from the Appalachian region of Ohio, an area targeted because of significant health challenges. Our findings suggest that the Affordable Care Act has led hospitals to formalize their processes, focus on developing an evidence base, cultivate local partnerships, and reflect on the role of the hospital in public health.

  6. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010: reforming the health care reform for the new decade.

    PubMed

    Manchikanti, Laxmaiah; Caraway, David L; Parr, Allan T; Fellows, Bert; Hirsch, Joshua A

    2011-01-01

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the ACA, for short) became law with President Obama's signature on March 23, 2010. It represents the most significant transformation of the American health care system since Medicare and Medicaid. It is argued that it will fundamentally change nearly every aspect of health care, from insurance to the final delivery of care. The length and complexity of the legislation and divisive and heated debates have led to massive confusion about the impact of ACA. It also became one of the centerpieces of 2010 congressional campaigns. Essentials of ACA include: 1) a mandate for individuals and businesses requiring as a matter of law that nearly every American have an approved level of health insurance or pay a penalty; 2) a system of federal subsidies to completely or partially pay for the now required health insurance for about 34 million Americans who are currently uninsured - subsidized through Medicaid and exchanges; 3) extensive new requirements on the health insurance industry; and 4) numerous regulations on the practice of medicine. The act is divided into 10 titles. It contains provisions that went into effect starting on June 21, 2010, with the majority of provisions going into effect in 2014 and later. The perceived major impact on practicing physicians in the ACA is related to growing regulatory authority with the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) and the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). In addition to these specifics is a growth of the regulatory regime in association with further discounts in physician reimbursement. With regards to cost controls and projections, many believe that the ACA does not fix the finances of our health care system - neither public nor private. It has been suggested that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the administration have used creative accounting to arrive at an alleged deficit reduction; however, if everything is included appropriately and

  7. Affordable Health Choices Act

    THOMAS, 111th Congress

    Sen. Harkin, Tom [D-IA

    2009-09-17

    09/17/2009 Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 161. (All Actions) Notes: For further action, see H.R.3590, which became Public Law 111-148 on 3/23/2010. Tracker: This bill has the status IntroducedHere are the steps for Status of Legislation:

  8. Improving Health and Quality of Life

    MedlinePlus

    ... Supplements Managing Activities and Exercise Improving Health and Quality of Life Pediatric Definition and Diagnosis Management and Treatment Factsheets Healthcare Professionals Parents Education Professionals ...

  9. Women at risk: why increasing numbers of women are failing to get the health care they need and how the Affordable Care Act will help. Findings from the Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey of 2010.

    PubMed

    Robertson, Ruth; Collins, Sara R

    2011-05-01

    Women have greater health care needs than men, and generally play larger roles in the health care of family members. Rising health care costs combined with sluggish income growth has contributed to losses in health insurance among women and rising rates of problems gaining necessary health care and paying medical bills. Women who seek coverage in the individual insurance market face additional hurdles--few plans offer maternity coverage and, in most states, insurance carriers charge higher premium rates to young women than men of the same age. The Affordable Care Act is bringing change for women through required free coverage of preventive care services, small business tax credits, new affordable coverage options, and insurance market reforms, including bans on gender rating. When the law is fully implemented in 2014, nearly all the 27 million working-age women who went without health insurance in 2010 will gain affordable and comprehensive benefits.

  10. Quality and Electronic Health Records in Community Health Centers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lesh, Kathryn A.

    2014-01-01

    Adoption and use of health information technology, the electronic health record (EHR) in particular, has the potential to help improve the quality of care, increase patient safety, and reduce health care costs. Unfortunately, adoption and use of health information technology has been slow, especially when compared to the adoption and use of…

  11. 75 FR 60482 - Proposed Extension of Information Collection Request Submitted for Public Comment; Affordable...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-09-30

    ... Comment; Affordable Care Act Enrollment Opportunity Notice Relating to Dependent Coverage; Affordable Care Act Grandfathered Health Plan Disclosure and Recordkeeping Requirement; Affordable Care Act Rescission Notice; Affordable Care Act Patient Protections Notice; Affordable Care Act Enrollment Opportunity...

  12. Organisational Learning for School Quality and Health

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lagrosen, Yvonne; Lagrosen, Stefan

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to shed light upon the connections between quality management, employee health and organisational learning in a school setting. Design/methodology/approach: The study is based on a quantitative survey. Items measuring health status and values of quality management were included in a questionnaire addressed to…

  13. Quality improvement in public health institutions.

    PubMed

    Sanadia, Bharti N

    2005-02-01

    Quality issues are integral to providing primary health care. The delivery of health care is a complex process that involves a number of factors such as interpersonal skill, culture, technology and available resources. In general, quality is defined as customer satisfaction at competitive cost. As per John Guaspari, "Quality should not be positioned as the absence of problems as defined by us. It should be positioned as the presence of Value and satisfaction as defined by the customers/clients."

  14. Statutory caps: an involuntary contribution to the medical malpractice insurance crisis or a reasonable mechanism for obtaining affordable health care?

    PubMed

    Chupkovich, P J

    1993-01-01

    extremely important in light of proposed health care legislation entitled the Health Care Liability Reform and Quality of Care Improvement Act of 1992 [the "Health Care Bill"]. This Comment critically examines the constitutionality of statutory caps on damages in medical malpractice actions. It focuses on the public policy behind the caps and the constitutional issues embodied in limiting an individual's recovery. It also analyzes the impact of the Health Care Bill on statutory caps. Part I outlines the medical malpractice insurance crisis, describes the statutory reforms and discusses the public policy behind tort reform. Part II examines the constitutionality of statutory caps and summarizes the arguments of the proponents and the opponents of these caps. Part III discusses the Health Care Bill and its impact on medical malpractice legislation with respect to statutory caps. This Comment concludes that a compromise must be reached that addresses both the growing health care insurance crisis and the protection of individual rights. The Health Care Liability Reform and Quality of Care Improvement Act of 1992 attempts to achieve this compromise.

  15. Health care quality and safety issues.

    PubMed

    Cornett, Becky Sutherland

    2006-05-01

    Our health-care system is burdened with high costs, health-care disparities, overtreatment, undertreatment, high error rates, and fraud and abuse. At the same time, the United States has achieved spectacular medical advances using the latest technology. As a result, health-care quality measurement, publicly reported patient safety and quality indicators, and evaluation of patients' experience of care are watchwords of a new era of accountability for health-care professionals and organizations. The health-care industry is subject to increasing regulation, private sector challenges, and public demand to make significant improvements in all three components of the quality triad: structure, process, and outcome. This article examines regulatory initiatives and industry trends pertaining to patient safety and quality measurement and concludes with specific suggestions for the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology.

  16. "Medical tourism" and the global marketplace in health services: U.S. patients, international hospitals, and the search for affordable health care.

    PubMed

    Turner, Leigh

    2010-01-01

    Health services are now advertised in a global marketplace. Hip and knee replacements, ophthalmologic procedures, cosmetic surgery, cardiac care, organ transplants, and stem cell injections are all available for purchase in the global health services marketplace. "Medical tourism" companies market "sun and surgery" packages and arrange care at international hospitals in Costa Rica, India, Mexico, Singapore, Thailand, and other destination nations. Just as automobile manufacturing and textile production moved outside the United States, American patients are "offshoring" themselves to facilities that use low labor costs to gain competitive advantage in the marketplace. Proponents of medical tourism argue that a global market in health services will promote consumer choice, foster competition among hospitals, and enable customers to purchase high-quality care at medical facilities around the world. Skeptics raise concerns about quality of care and patient safety, information disclosure to patients, legal redress when patients are harmed while receiving care at international hospitals, and harms to public health care systems in destination nations. The emergence of a global market in health services will have profound consequences for health insurance, delivery of health services, patient-physician relationships, publicly funded health care, and the spread of medical consumerism.

  17. Health Insurance Challenges in the Post-Affordable Care Act (ACA) Era: a Qualitative Study of the Perspective of Low-Income People of Color in Metropolitan Detroit.

    PubMed

    Patel, Minal R; Jensen, Alison; Ramirez, Erminia; Tariq, Madiha; Lang, Ian; Kowalski-Dobson, Theresa; Pettway, Joslyn; Famulare, Michelle; Lichtenstein, Richard

    2017-02-07

    Low-income people of color are at risk of remaining uninsured due to a variety of factors. This study examined Affordable Care Act (ACA)-related and other health insurance enrollment experiences, observations, navigation needs, and experiences maintaining health insurance coverage among low-income communities of color in an economically disadvantaged community (Metropolitan Detroit). We conducted nine focus groups (n = 87) between May and June 2015. Participants were recruited through community-based organizations serving our key populations of interest. Using an inductive thematic analysis approach, codes and themes were generated. Findings from six themes demonstrated that although health insurance is perceived as important, confusion and frustration persist around health plan benefits and coverage, eligibility requirements and key provisions of the ACA, and enrollment. Individuals face difficulties justifying the cost of health insurance. More focused insurance outreach efforts are needed to achieve the ultimate goal of improving the health of low-income communities of color.

  18. Partisan Politics or Public-Health Need? An empirical analysis of state choice during initial implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

    PubMed

    Mayer, Martin; Kenter, Robert; Morris, John C

    2015-01-01

    States' policy decisions regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 have often been explained as predominantly, if not solely, partisan. Might rival explanations also apply? Using a cross-sectional 50-state regression model, we studied standard political variables coupled with public-health indicators. This work differs from existing research by employing a dependent variable of five additive measures of ACA support, examining the impact of both political and socioeconomic indicators on state policy decisions. Expanding on recent empirical studies with our more nuanced additive index of support measures, we found that same-party control of a state's executive and legislative branches was indeed by far the single best predictor of policy decisions. Public-health indicators, overwhelmed by partisan effect, did not sufficiently explain state policy choice. This result does not allay the concerns that health policy has become synonymous with health politics and that health politics now has little to do with health itself.

  19. [Health care quality assurance in the Netherlands].

    PubMed

    Reerink, E

    1990-01-01

    In this paper the main structural features of the dutch health system are described, together with a historical survey of its development in recent years. The basic elements of quality assurance in the country are also discussed.

  20. Total quality management in health care.

    PubMed

    McDonald, S C

    1994-01-01

    Total quality management (TQM), continuous quality improvement (CQI) and quality control are terms that are becoming very familiar to workers in the health care environment. The purpose of this article is to discuss these terms and the concepts they describe. The origins of TQM and the keen interest in its application to the health care environment today are addressed. In other environments, TQM has shown significant increases in productivity while increasing effectiveness. Its application to the health care environment is the provision of the best possible care through continuously improving service to meet or exceed the needs and expectations of the customer. The customer in the health care environment could be the patient, staff, physician and community serviced by the hospital. Characteristics of the new organizational structure are reviewed. Established techniques and processes are commonly used to identify process-improvement opportunities to assist the manager in continuously evaluating quality trends.

  1. "They Treat you a Different Way:" Public Insurance, Stigma, and the Challenge to Quality Health Care.

    PubMed

    Martinez-Hume, Anna C; Baker, Allison M; Bell, Hannah S; Montemayor, Isabel; Elwell, Kristan; Hunt, Linda M

    2017-03-01

    Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid Expansion programs are extending Medicaid eligibility and increasing access to care. However, stigma associated with public insurance coverage may importantly affect the nature and content of the health care beneficiaries receive. In this paper, we examine the health care stigma experiences described by a group of low-income public insurance beneficiaries. They perceive stigma as manifest in poor quality care and negative interpersonal interactions in the health care setting. Using an intersectional approach, we found that the stigma of public insurance was compounded with other sources of stigma including socioeconomic status, race, gender, and illness status. Experiences of stigma had important implications for how subjects evaluated the quality of care, their decisions impacting continuity of care, and their reported ability to access health care. We argue that stigma challenges the quality of care provided under public insurance and is thus a public health issue that should be addressed in Medicaid policy.

  2. Measuring Physical Neighborhood Quality Related to Health

    PubMed Central

    Rollings, Kimberly A.; Wells, Nancy M.; Evans, Gary W.

    2015-01-01

    Although sociodemographic factors are one aspect of understanding the effects of neighborhood environments on health, equating neighborhood quality with socioeconomic status ignores the important role of physical neighborhood attributes. Prior work on neighborhood environments and health has relied primarily on level of socioeconomic disadvantage as the indicator of neighborhood quality without attention to physical neighborhood quality. A small but increasing number of studies have assessed neighborhood physical characteristics. Findings generally indicate that there is an association between living in deprived neighborhoods and poor health outcomes, but rigorous evidence linking specific physical neighborhood attributes to particular health outcomes is lacking. This paper discusses the methodological challenges and limitations of measuring physical neighborhood environments relevant to health and concludes with proposed directions for future work. PMID:25938692

  3. 78 FR 69418 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Exchanges and Qualified Health Plans, Quality Rating...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-11-19

    ... Immunization Status 0038 X X Chlamydia Screening in Women (Ages 16-20). 0033 X Cholesterol Management for... Prescribed ADHD Medication: Initiation Phase. Cardiovascular Care... Cholesterol Management for Patients With Cardiovascular Conditions: LDL-C screening. Cholesterol Management for Patients With Cardiovascular...

  4. Quality of health care for the disadvantaged.

    PubMed

    Brook, R H; Williams, K N

    1975-01-01

    Literature review points out that: (a) differentials in health status between the disadvantaged and the nondisadvantaged persist, often to a large degree; (b) differentials in the overall amount of care received are less striking now than heretofore, but standardization by level of need demonstrates measurable discrepancies in health services provided to the disadvantaged compared with the nondisadvantaged; (c) the quality of health care for the disadvantaged is not strikingly poorer than care for the nondisadvantaged, but, in view of demonstrable shortcomings in the quality of health care in general, this is not viewed as a positive statement; and (d) attempts to improve quality of care for the disadvantaged have not had the hoped-for impact. Four new avenues are suggested for possible further research; increased patient responsibility, increased consumer knowledge, financial accountability, and quality assurance activities. Because of the likelihood of only marginal changes in health status, rigorous evaluation of any experimental program is emphasized. During the last decade, many attempts have been made by private and governmental bodies to improve the health of the American people. In general, these efforts have focused on improving the health of members of disadvantaged groups and have included such diverse activities as building OEO health centers, developing maternal and infant care programs, and financing care for the elderly. During the last few years, a different movement, concerned with assuring high quality care for all people, has produced efforts such as quality assurance activities in health maintenance organizations, the Professional Standards Review Organization program, and the medical care evaluation program of the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Hospitals. Consideration of these two issues, i.e., improving the health of disadvantaged groups and improving the quality of care for all people, has led to two policy-relevant questions: "Can

  5. Quality assurance guides health reform in Jordan.

    PubMed

    Abubaker, W; Abdulrahman, M

    1996-01-01

    In November 1995, a World Bank mission went to Jordan to conduct a study of the health sector. The study recommended three strategies to reform the health sector: decentralization of Ministry of Health (MOH) management; improvement of clinical practices, quality of care, and consumer satisfaction; and adoption of treatment protocols and standards. The MOH chose quality assurance (QA) methods and quality management (QM) techniques to accomplish these reforms. The Monitoring and QA Directorate oversees QA applications within MOH. It also institutes and develops the capacity of local QA units in the 12 governorates. The QA units implement and monitor day-to-day QA activities. The QM approach encompasses quality principles: establish objectives; use a systematic approach; teach lessons learned and applicable research; use QA training to teach quality care, quality improvement, and patient satisfaction; educate health personnel about QM approaches; use assessment tools and interviews; measure the needs and expectations of local health providers and patients; ensure feedback on QA improvement projects; ensure valid and reliable data; monitor quality improvement efforts; standardize systemic data collection and outcomes; and establish and disseminate QA standards and performance improvement efforts. The Jordan QA Project has helped with the successful institutionalization of a QA system at both the central and local levels. The bylaws of the QA councils and committees require team participation in the decision-making process. Over the last two years, the M&QA Project has adopted 21 standards for nursing, maternal and child health care centers, pharmacies, and medications. The Balqa pilot project has developed 44 such protocols. Quality improvement (COUGH) studies have examined hyper-allergy, analysis of patient flow rate, redistribution of nurses, vaccine waste, and anemic pregnant women. There are a considerable number of on-going clinical and non-clinical COUGH studies

  6. Patient and provider perspectives on quality and health system effectiveness in a transition economy: evidence from Ukraine.

    PubMed

    Luck, J; Peabody, J W; DeMaria, L M; Alvarado, C S; Menon, R

    2014-08-01

    Facing a severe population health crisis due to noncommunicable diseases, Ukraine and other former Soviet republics and Eastern European countries have a pressing need for more effective health systems. Policies to enhance health system effectiveness should consider the perspectives of different stakeholder groups, including providers as well as patients. In addition, policies that directly target the quality of clinical care should be based on objective performance measures. In 2009 and 2010 we conducted a coordinated series of household and facility-level surveys to capture the perspectives of Ukrainian household members, outpatient clinic patients, and physicians regarding the country's health system overall, as well as the quality, access, and affordability of health care. We objectively measured the quality of care for heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease using CPV(®) vignettes. There was broad agreement among household respondents (79%) and physicians (95%) that Ukraine's health system should be reformed. CPV(®) results indicate that the quality of care for common noncommunicable diseases is poor in all regions of the country and in hospitals as well as polyclinics. However, perspectives about the quality of care differ, with household respondents seeing quality as a serious concern, clinic patients having more positive perceptions, and physicians not viewing quality as a reform priority. All stakeholder groups viewed affordability as a problem. These findings have several implications for policies to enhance health system effectiveness. The shared desire for health system reform among all stakeholder groups provides a basis for action in Ukraine. Improving quality, strengthening primary care, and enhancing affordability should be major goals of new health policies. Policies to improve quality directly, such as pay-for-performance, would be mutually reinforcing with purchasing reforms such as transparent payment mechanisms. Such policies

  7. Affordable Care Act and Diabetes Mellitus.

    PubMed

    Shi, Qian; Nellans, Frank P; Shi, Lizheng

    2015-12-01

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has the potential for great impact on U.S. health care, especially for chronic disease patients requiring long-term care and management. The act was designed to improve insurance coverage, health care access, and quality of care for all Americans, which will assist patients with diabetes mellitus in acquiring routine monitoring and diabetes-related complication screening for better health management and outcomes. There is great potential for patients with diabetes to benefit from the new policy mandating health insurance coverage and plan improvement, Medicaid expansion, minimum coverage guarantees, and free preventative care. However, policy variability among states and ACA implementation present challenges to people with diabetes in understanding and optimizing ACA impact. This paper aims to select the most influential components of the ACA as relates to people with diabetes and discuss how the ACA may improve health care for this vulnerable population.

  8. Quality measurement indicators for Iranian Health Centers

    PubMed Central

    Moslehi, Shandiz; Atefi Manesh, Pezhman; Sarabi Asiabar, Ali

    2015-01-01

    Background: Recently, quality is a serious concern in development of organizations. There are various indicators to assess quality and the purpose of this study was to identify the main indicators for quality measurement of Iranian health centers. Methods: This qualitative study was conducted in three stages: first, review of the literature was performed to identify different indicators for quality measurement in health centers; second, a tworound Delphi process was used with participation of 18 experts in both rounds; third, Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) method was applied to give weights to each indicator. Results: Twenty-seven indicators were identified from the literature review stage. The Delphi method reduced the list to 4 indicators. Developing a quality plan in the health center had the highest weight (38%) and percentage of followed complaints the lowest (12%). The consistency rate was 7.2% indicating appropriateness of the data. Conclusion: This list of indicators can be used as a template for measuring quality of health centers in Iran and possibly in other developing countries. PMID:26034730

  9. The Affordable Care Act: a primer for plastic surgeons.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jenny T; Israel, Jacqueline S; Poore, Samuel O; Rao, Venkat K

    2014-11-01

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, sometimes referred to as Obamacare, was signed into law on March 23, 2010. It represents the most extensive overhaul of the country's health care system since the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. The Affordable Care Act has two goals. The first goal is to reduce the uninsured population in the United States. Key elements to covering the uninsured include the following: (1) expanding Medicaid coverage for low-income individuals and (2) establishing health insurance marketplaces for moderate-income individuals with subsidies and tax cuts in an effort to make health insurance more affordable. The second goal of the Affordable Care Act is to address concerns about quality and the overall cost of U.S. health care. It is imperative that plastic surgeons thoroughly understand the impact that the Affordable Care Act will undoubtedly have on the country, on our patients, and on our clinical practices. Plastic surgery will see many changes in the future. This will include an overall increase in the number of insured patients, a push toward joining accountable care organizations, and a shift in payment systems to bundled reimbursement for episodes of care. In this article, the authors describe how these changes are likely to occur and what plastic surgeons must do to be part of the change.

  10. Data Quality in Electronic Health Records Research.

    PubMed

    Feder, Shelli L

    2017-01-01

    The proliferation of the electronic health record (EHR) has led to increasing interest and opportunities for nurse scientists to use EHR data in a variety of research designs. However, methodological problems pertaining to data quality may arise when EHR data are used for nonclinical purposes. Therefore, this article describes common domains of data quality and approaches for quality appraisal in EHR research. Common data quality domains include data accuracy, completeness, consistency, credibility, and timeliness. Approaches for quality appraisal include data validation with data rules, evaluation and verification of data abstraction methods with statistical measures, data comparisons with manual chart review, management of missing data using statistical methods, and data triangulation between multiple EHR databases. Quality data enhance the validity and reliability of research findings, form the basis for conclusions derived from the data, and are, thus, an integral component in EHR-based study design and implementation.

  11. Gaining ground: Americans' health insurance coverage and access to care after the Affordable Care Act's first open enrollment period.

    PubMed

    Collins, Sara R; Rasmussen, Petra W; Doty, Michelle M

    2014-07-01

    A new Commonwealth Fund survey finds that in the wake of the Affordable Care Act's first open enrollment period, significantly fewer working-age adults are uninsured than just before the sign-up period began, and many have used their new coverage to obtain needed care. The uninsured rate for people ages 19 to 64 declined from 20 percent in the July-to-September 2013 period to 15 percent in the April-to-June 2014 period. An estimated 9.5 million fewer adults were uninsured. Young men and women drove a large part of the decline: the uninsured rate for 19-to-34-year-olds declined from 28 percent to 18 percent, with an estimated 5.7 million fewer young adults uninsured. By June, 60 percent of adults with new coverage through the marketplaces or Medicaid reported they had visited a doctor or hospital or filled a prescription; of these, 62 percent said they could not have accessed or afforded this care previously.

  12. [Quality assurance in occupational health services].

    PubMed

    Michalak, J

    1996-01-01

    The general conditions influencing the quality assurance and audit in Polish occupational health services are presented. The factors promoting or hampering the implementation of quality assurance and audits are also discussed. The major influence on the transformation of Polish occupational health services in exorted by employers who are committed to cover the costs of the obligatory prophylactic examination of their employees. This is the factor which also contributes to the improvement of quality if services. The definitions of the most important terms are reviewed to highlight their accordance with the needs of occupational health services in Poland. The examples of audit are presented and the elements of selected methods of auditing are suggested to be adopted in Poland.

  13. Overview of the Affordable Care Act's impact on military and veteran mental health services: nine implications for significant improvements in care.

    PubMed

    Russell, Mark C; Figley, Charles R

    2014-01-01

    On March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law. Implications of the ACA on mental health care for 9.7 million military active-duty, reserve, and family members and 22.2 million veterans, as well as 1.3 uninsured veterans, is reviewed in light of a major crisis. The authors trace historical roots of the ACA to the World War II generation and efforts to transform the mental health care system by implementing hard-won war trauma lessons. The authors posit 9 principles reflected in the ACA that represent unfulfilled generational war trauma lessons and potential transformation of the military and national mental health care systems.

  14. Quality and Certification of Electronic Health Records

    PubMed Central

    Hoerbst, A.; Ammenwerth, E.

    2010-01-01

    Background Numerous projects, initiatives, and programs are dedicated to the development of Electronic Health Records (EHR) worldwide. Increasingly more of these plans have recently been brought from a scientific environment to real life applications. In this context, quality is a crucial factor with regard to the acceptance and utility of Electronic Health Records. However, the dissemination of the existing quality approaches is often rather limited. Objectives The present paper aims at the description and comparison of the current major quality certification approaches to EHRs. Methods A literature analysis was carried out in order to identify the relevant publications with regard to EHR quality certification. PubMed, ACM Digital Library, IEEExplore, CiteSeer, and Google (Scholar) were used to collect relevant sources. The documents that were obtained were analyzed using techniques of qualitative content analysis. Results The analysis discusses and compares the quality approaches of CCHIT, EuroRec, IHE, openEHR, and EN13606. These approaches differ with regard to their focus, support of service-oriented EHRs, process of (re-)certification and testing, number of systems certified and tested, supporting organizations, and regional relevance. Discussion The analyzed approaches show differences with regard to their structure and processes. System vendors can exploit these approaches in order to improve and certify their information systems. Health care organizations can use these approaches to support selection processes or to assess the quality of their own information systems. PMID:23616834

  15. Indoor air quality and human health

    SciTech Connect

    Turiel, I.

    1985-01-01

    The air inside buildings can contain various threats to human health: cigarette smoke, fumes from fires and cookers, microbes, gases, allergens and fumes produced by household products or building materials. Higher standards of insulation and draught-proofing and more use of air conditioning can increase the problems. This book provides a summary of indoor air quality problems in homes, offices and public buildings. Contents: Preface; Introduction; Formaledhyde and other household contaminants; Radon; Particulates; Combustion products; Involuntary smoking; Energy-efficient buildings and indoor air quality; Control of indoor air pollutants; Indoor air quality problems in office buildings; Legal and regulatory issues; Appendices; Sources and suggested reading; Glossary; Index.

  16. TRICARE and VA Health Care: Impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-04-22

    if enacted, clarify that the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA), Spina Bifida Health Care Program...5 Will VA Coverage of Children with Spina Bifida and Certain Birth Defects... Spina Bifida and Certain Birth Defects Meet the “Minimum Essential Coverage” Requirement? It is unclear weather the Spina Bifida Health Care Program

  17. End-stage renal disease: a proving ground for quality improvement in health care.

    PubMed

    Rutherford, W E; Gibney, R

    1997-05-01

    This article chronicles the health care quality improvement efforts that relate to patients with end stage renal disease (ESRD). The emphasis is on quality improvement as a management system as opposed to the quality improvements that resulted from strictly technical dialysis-related issues. The government has exercised considerable oversight on the ESRD program because of its growth and cost. History has shown that quality assurance (QA) has had little effect on improving quality or decreasing cost. The philosophy, methods, and tools of continuous quality improvement (CQI) have been shown to work in health care. CQI is a management system that offers hope for higher quality affordable health care. Computer technology is at last sophisticated enough to permit the collection of large amounts of clinical data at the point of care. This will permit CQI methods and tools to be applied generally at reasonable costs. Physicians in general and nephrologists in particular are beginning to understand the managed care environment. They are beginning to understand the paradigm shift that is required to effect the changes necessary for physicians to assume their leadership role in health care. This article reviews the quality efforts of the past and present. It discusses the strengths and weaknesses of efforts to improve quality and lastly presents a vision for the future.

  18. Critical Anthropology of Global Health "takes a stand" statement: a critical medical anthropological approach to the U.S.'s Affordable Care Act.

    PubMed

    Horton, Sarah; Abadía, Cesar; Mulligan, Jessica; Thompson, Jennifer Jo

    2014-03-01

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010--the U.S.'s first major health care reform in over half a century-has sparked new debates in the United States about individual responsibility, the collective good, and the social contract. Although the ACA aims to reduce the number of the uninsured through the simultaneous expansion of the private insurance industry and government-funded Medicaid, critics charge it merely expands rather than reforms the existing fragmented and costly employer-based health care system. Focusing in particular on the ACA's individual mandate and its planned Medicaid expansion, this statement charts a course for ethnographic contributions to the on-the-ground impact of the ACA while showcasing ways critical medical anthropologists can join the debate. We conclude with ways that anthropologists may use critiques of the ACA as a platform from which to denaturalize assumptions of "cost" and "profit" that underpin the global spread of market-based medicine more broadly.

  19. Why Uninsured Free Clinic Patients Don't Apply for Affordable Care Act Health Insurance in a Non-expanding Medicaid State.

    PubMed

    Kamimura, Akiko; Tabler, Jennifer; Chernenko, Alla; Aguilera, Guadalupe; Nourian, Maziar M; Prudencio, Liana; Ashby, Jeanie

    2016-02-01

    Even after the introduction of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), uninsured visits remain high, especially in states that opted out of Medicaid expansion. Since the ACA does not provide universal coverage, free clinics serve as safety nets for the un- or under-insured, and will likely continue serving underserved populations. The purpose of this study is to examine factors influencing intentions to not apply for health insurance via the ACA among uninsured free clinic patients in a state not expanding Medicaid. Uninsured primary care patients utilizing a free clinic (N = 551) completed a self-administered survey in May and June 2015. Difficulty obtaining information, lack of instruction to apply, and cost, are major factors influencing intention not to apply for health insurance through the ACA. US born English speakers, non-US born English speakers, and Spanish speakers reported different kinds of perceived barriers to applying for health insurance through the ACA. Age is an important factor impacting individuals' intentions not to apply for health insurance through the ACA, as older patients in particular need assistance to obtain relevant information about the ACA and other resources. A number of unchangeable factors limit the free clinics' ability to promote enrollment of health insurance through the ACA. Yet free clinics could be able to provide some educational programs or the information of resources to patients. In particular, non-US born English speakers, Spanish speakers, and older adults need specific assistance to better understand health insurance options available to them.

  20. The Changing Dynamics Of US Health Insurance And Implications For The Future Of The Affordable Care Act.

    PubMed

    Graves, John A; Nikpay, Sayeh S

    2017-02-01

    The introduction of Medicaid expansions and state Marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have reduced the uninsurance rate to historic lows, changing the choices Americans make about coverage. In this article we shed light on these changing dynamics. We drew upon multistate transition models fit to nationally representative longitudinal data to estimate coverage transition probabilities between major insurance types in the years leading up to and including 2014. We found that the ACA's unprecedented coverage changes increased transitions to Medicaid and nongroup coverage among the uninsured, while strengthening the existing employer-sponsored insurance system and improving retention of public coverage. However, our results suggest possible weakness of state Marketplaces, since people gaining nongroup coverage were disproportionately older than other potential enrollees. We identified key opportunities for policy makers and insurers to improve underlying Marketplace risk pools by focusing on people transitioning from employer-sponsored coverage; these people are disproportionately younger and saw almost no change in their likelihood of becoming uninsured in 2014 compared to earlier years.

  1. When worlds collide: medicine, business, the Affordable Care Act and the future of health care in the U.S.

    PubMed

    Wicks, Andrew C; Keevil, Adrian A C

    2014-01-01

    The dialogue about the future of health care in the US has been impeded by flawed conceptions about medicine and business. The present paper re-examines some of the underlying assumptions about both medicine and business, and uses more nuanced readings of both terms to frame debates about the ACA and the emerging health care environment.

  2. Sharing risk between payer and provider by leasing health technologies: an affordable and effective reimbursement strategy for innovative technologies?

    PubMed

    Edlin, Richard; Hall, Peter; Wallner, Klemens; McCabe, Christopher

    2014-06-01

    The challenge of implementing high-cost innovative technologies in health care systems operating under significant budgetary pressure has led to a radical shift in the health technology reimbursement landscape. New reimbursement strategies attempt to reduce the risk of making the wrong decision, that is, paying for a technology that is not good value for the health care system, while promoting the adoption of innovative technologies into clinical practice. The remaining risk, however, is not shared between the manufacturer and the health care payer at the individual purchase level; it continues to be passed from the manufacturer to the payer at the time of purchase. In this article, we propose a health technology payment strategy-technology leasing reimbursement scheme-that allows the sharing of risk between the manufacturer and the payer: the replacing of up-front payments with a stream of payments spread over the expected duration of benefit from the technology, subject to the technology delivering the claimed health benefit. Using trastuzumab (Herceptin) in early breast cancer as an exemplar technology, we show how a technology leasing reimbursement scheme not only reduces the total budgetary impact of the innovative technology but also truly shares risk between the manufacturer and the health care system, while reducing the value of further research and thus promoting the rapid adoption of innovative technologies into clinical practice.

  3. Music-making for health and wellbeing in youth justice settings: mediated affordances and the impact of context and social relations.

    PubMed

    Daykin, Norma; de Viggiani, Nick; Moriarty, Yvonne; Pilkington, Paul

    2017-03-23

    Young people in the criminal justice system experience significant health and wellbeing issues that often stem from poverty and disadvantage and, in turn, are linked with offending and reoffending behaviour. There is ongoing interest in interventions such as participatory music programmes that seek to foster social reintegration, support mental wellbeing and equip young offenders with life skills, competencies and emotional resilience. However, there is a need for a situated understanding of both positive and negative experiences that shape potential outcomes of music projects. This article reports on a research study undertaken between 2010 and 2013 with 118 young people aged 13-21 years across eight youth justice settings in England and Wales. Using mixed methods we explored the experiences of young people and their responses to a participatory music programme led by a national UK arts charity. Here, we explore the impact of young people's encounters with music and musicians with reference to the notion of 'musical affordances' (DeNora , ). We examine the ways that such affordances, including unintended outcomes, are mediated by features of the youth justice environment, including its rules and regulations, as well as issues of power, identity and social relations.

  4. UnitedHealth Group

    Cancer.gov

    UnitedHealth Group provides accessible and affordable services, improved quality of care, coordinated health care efforts, and a supportive environment for shared decision making between patients and their physicians.

  5. Practical and affordable measures for the protection of health care workers from tuberculosis in low-income countries.

    PubMed Central

    Harries, A. D.; Maher, D.; Nunn, P.

    1997-01-01

    With the global upsurge in tuberculosis (TB), fueled by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) pandemic, and the increase in multidrug-resistant TB, the condition has become a serious occupational hazard for health care workers worldwide. Much of the current understanding about nosocomial TB transmission stems from the USA; however, little is known about the risk of such transmission in low-income countries. The focus of this review is on sub-Saharan Africa, since this is the region with the highest TB incidence, the highest HIV incidence, the worst epidemic of HIV-related TB, and where the risk to health care workers is probably greatest. Measures used in industralized countries to control nosocomial TB transmission (ventilation systems, isolation rooms, personal protective equipment) are beyond the resources of low-income countries. Protecting health care workers in these settings involves practical measures relating to diagnosis and treatment of infectious cases; appropriate environmental control; and relevant personal protection and surveillance of health care workers. Research needs to be carried out to examine the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of measures such as voluntary HIV-testing of health care workers (to enable known HIV-positive health care workers to avoid high-risk settings) and isoniazid preventive therapy for workers in high-risk settings. More resources are also needed to ensure full implementation of currently recommended measures to decrease the risk of nosocomial and laboratory-acquired TB. PMID:9447782

  6. [Quality management in a public health agency].

    PubMed

    Villalbí, Joan R; Ballestín, Manuela; Casas, Conrad; Subirana, Teresa

    2012-01-01

    This article describes the introduction of quality improvement actions in a public health organization. After ISO 17025 accreditation, which was legally mandated, was granted to the official control laboratory, the management decided to expand a quality policy in 2003, through a series of actions based on process analysis and proposals for improvement, further definition of standard operating procedures, exploration of users' opinions, the creation of improvement groups, and external audits or certification. The organizational response to these initiatives was diverse. External audit or certification of services seems to be the most powerful tool for change. Costing studies showed that up to 75% of the total expenditure of the agency in 2010 was spent on public health services subject to external audit or certification.

  7. Health care quality improvement publication trends.

    PubMed

    Sun, Gordon H; MacEachern, Mark P; Perla, Rocco J; Gaines, Jean M; Davis, Matthew M; Shrank, William H

    2014-01-01

    To analyze the extent of academic interest in quality improvement (QI) initiatives in medical practice, annual publication trends for the most well-known QI methodologies being used in health care settings were analyzed. A total of 10 key medical- and business-oriented library databases were examined: PubMed, Ovid MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, ISI Web of Science, Scopus, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, ABI/INFORM, and Business Source Complete. A total of 13 057 articles were identified that discuss at least 1 of 10 well-known QI concepts used in health care contexts, 8645 (66.2%) of which were classified as original research. "Total quality management" was the only methodology to demonstrate a significant decline in publication over time. "Continuous quality improvement" was the most common topic of study across all publication years, whereas articles discussing Lean methodology demonstrated the largest growth in publication volume over the past 2 decades. Health care QI publication volume increased substantially beginning in 1991.

  8. Making Quality Health Websites a National Public Health Priority: Toward Quality Standards

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Background Most US adults have limited health literacy skills. They struggle to understand complex health information and services and to make informed health decisions. The Internet has quickly become one of the most popular places for people to search for information about their health, thereby making access to quality information on the Web a priority. However, there are no standardized criteria for evaluating Web-based health information. Every 10 years, the US Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) develops a set of measurable objectives for improving the health of the nation over the coming decade, known as Healthy People. There are two objectives in Healthy People 2020 related to website quality. The first is objective Health Communication and Health Information Technology (HC/HIT) 8.1: increase the proportion of health-related websites that meet 3 or more evaluation criteria for disclosing information that can be used to assess information reliability. The second is objective HC/HIT-8.2: increase the proportion of health-related websites that follow established usability principles. Objective The ODPHP conducted a nationwide assessment of the quality of Web-based health information using the Healthy People 2020 objectives. The ODPHP aimed to establish (1) a standardized approach to defining and measuring the quality of health websites; (2) benchmarks for measurement; (3) baseline data points to capture the current status of website quality; and (4) targets to drive improvement. Methods The ODPHP developed the National Quality Health Website Survey instrument to assess the quality of health-related websites. The ODPHP used this survey to review 100 top-ranked health-related websites in order to set baseline data points for these two objectives. The ODPHP then set targets to drive improvement by 2020. Results This study reviewed 100 health-related websites. For objective HC/HIT-8.1, a total of 58 out

  9. An affordable physician- and consumer-friendly health care system: 2008 democratic and republican presidential candidates' views.

    PubMed

    Herzlinger, Regina E

    2008-01-01

    Winter issues of The American Heart Hospital Journal traditionally focus on health care policy issues. As health care reform in the United States is a topic of major importance in the upcoming presidential election, we invited Dr Regina E. Herzlinger, the Nancy R. McPherson Professor of Business Administration at Harvard University and a noted expert in the field, to provide an analysis of the major proposals currently under debate by the candidates. We invite your comments in the coming months as the field of candidates narrows and the focus on reform sharpens.-Sylvan Lee Weinberg, Editor in Chief.

  10. Impact of Provider Incentives on Quality and Value of Health Care.

    PubMed

    Doran, Tim; Maurer, Kristin A; Ryan, Andrew M

    2017-03-20

    The use of financial incentives to improve quality in health care has become widespread. Yet evidence on the effectiveness of incentives suggests that they have generally had limited impact on the value of care and have not led to better patient outcomes. Lessons from social psychology and behavioral economics indicate that incentive programs in health care have not been effectively designed to achieve their intended impact. In the United States, Medicare's Hospital Readmission Reduction Program and Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program, created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), provide evidence on how variations in the design of incentive programs correspond with differences in effect. As financial incentives continue to be used as a tool to increase the value and quality of health care, improving the design of programs will be crucial to ensure their success.

  11. Quality of Life, Health Status, and Depression

    PubMed Central

    Pike, Nancy A.; Evangelista, Lorraine S.; Doering, Lynn V.; Eastwood, Jo-Ann; Lewis, Alan B.; Child, John S.

    2012-01-01

    Background Quality of life (QOL) in adolescents and adults who have undergone the Fontan procedure and are living with only 1 ventricle is presumed to be diminished. Objectives This study aimed to compare QOL, health status, and prevalence of depression in adolescents/adults after the Fontan procedure with healthy counterparts and to identify predictors of QOL in the Fontan group. Methods Using a comparative, cross-sectional design, 54 adolescents and adults with single ventricle congenital heart disease who have undergone the Fontan procedure were compared with 66 age-matched healthy counterparts. Quality of life, health status, depression, and social support were measured using the Satisfaction With Life Scale, Short Form Survey Version 2, Patient Health Questionnaire Depression Module, and Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support. Clinical variables were abstracted from medical records. Predictors of QOL were determined using multiple linear regression. Results Adolescents and adults in the Fontan group reported lower physical health status (mean [SD] = 46.5 [9.3] vs mean [SD] = 55.9 [5.1], P < .001) and were more depressed (mean [SD] = 7.3 [5.9] vs mean [SD] = 4.5 [4.3], P < .004) than their healthy counterparts. There were no differences in QOL, mental health status, or social support between the 2 groups. Functional status (New York Heart Association class), depression, and social support accounted for 55% of the variance in QOL in the Fontan group. Conclusions Despite lower levels of physical health, the QOL of Fontan patients was comparable with that of their healthy counterparts; this finding contradicts previous proxy reports, self-reports, and assumptions that QOL is lower in patients with complex single ventricle congenital heart disease. However, because Fontan patients were more depressed than their healthy counterparts, the need for early screening and detection is warranted. PMID:21912272

  12. Managing Requirements for Acquisition Program Affordability

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-04-14

    to buy weapon systems at a lower cost and higher quality by leveraging commercial technology. He also directed program managers (PMs) and... Managing Requirements for Acquisition Program Affordability by Colonel James O. Winbush, Jr. United States Army...2011 to 11-04-2012 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Managing Requirements for Acquisition Program Affordability 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c

  13. College Affordability: Implications for College Opportunity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perna, Laura W.; Li, Chunyan

    2006-01-01

    By examining trends in college affordability, this article explores the extent to which the public perception that college is not affordable is justified. First, the article describes trends in national indicators that contribute to ability to pay, including income growth, health care costs, debt burden, and personal savings rates. Trends in…

  14. Assuring quality health care outcomes: lessons learned from car dealers?

    PubMed Central

    Dimsdale, Joel E

    2017-01-01

    Health care systems want quality but struggle to find the right tools because, typically, they track quality in only one or two ways. Because of the complexity of health care, high quality will emerge only when health care systems employ multiple approaches, including, importantly, patient-reported outcome perspectives. Sustained changes are unlikely to emerge in the absence of such multipronged interventions. PMID:28123314

  15. Affordability, availability and acceptability barriers to health care for the chronically ill: Longitudinal case studies from South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Goudge, Jane; Gilson, Lucy; Russell, Steven; Gumede, Tebogo; Mills, Anne

    2009-01-01

    Background There is an increasing burden of chronic illness in low and middle income countries, driven by TB/HIV, as well as non-communicable diseases. Few health systems are organized to meet the needs of chronically ill patients, and patients' perspectives on the difficulties of accessing care need to be better understood, particularly in poor resourced settings, to achieve this end. This paper describes the experience of poor households attempting to access chronic care in a rural area of South Africa. Methods A household survey (n = 1446 individuals) was combined with qualitative longitudinal research that followed 30 case study households over 10 months. Illness narratives and diaries provided descriptive textual data of household interactions with the health system. Results In the survey 74% of reported health problems were 'chronic', 48% of which had no treatment action taken in the previous month. Amongst the case study households, of the 34 cases of chronic illness, only 21 (62%) cases had an allopathic diagnosis and only 12 (35%) were receiving regular treatment. Livelihoods exhausted from previous illness and death, low income, and limited social networks, prevented consultation with monthly expenditure for repeated consultations as high as 60% of income. Interrupted drug supplies, insufficient clinical services at the clinic level necessitating referral, and a lack of ambulances further hampered access to care. Poor provider-patient interaction led to inadequate understanding of illness, inappropriate treatment action, 'healer shopping', and at times a break down in cooperation, with the patient 'giving up' on the public health system. However, productive patient-provider interactions not only facilitated appropriate treatment action but enabled patients to justify their need for financial assistance to family and neighbours, and so access care. In addition, patients and their families with understanding of a disease became a community resource drawn on

  16. [Quality management is associated with high quality services in health care].

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Tenna Hassert; Riis, Allan; Mainz, Jan; Jensen, Anne-Louise Degn

    2013-12-09

    In these years, quality management has been the focus in order to meet high quality services for the patients in Danish health care. This article provides information on quality management and quality improvement and it evaluates its effectiveness in achieving better organizational structures, processes and results in Danish health-care organizations. Our findings generally support that quality management is associated with high quality services in health care.

  17. Water Quality and Sustainable Environmental Health

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Setegn, S. G.

    2014-12-01

    Lack of adequate safe water, the pollution of the aquatic environment and the mismanagement of resources are major causes of ill-health and mortality, particularly in the developing countries. In order to accommodate more growth, sustainable fresh water resource management will need to be included in future development plans. One of the major environmental issues of concern to policy-makers is the increased vulnerability of ground water quality. The main challenge for the sustainability of water resources is the control of water pollution. To understand the sustainability of the water resources, one needs to understand the impact of future land use and climate changes on the natural resources. Providing safe water and basic sanitation to meet the Millennium Development Goals will require substantial economic resources, sustainable technological solutions and courageous political will. A balanced approach to water resources exploitation for development, on the one hand, and controls for the protection of health, on the other, is required if the benefits of both are to be realized without avoidable detrimental effects manifesting themselves. Meeting the millennium development goals for water and sanitation in the next decade will require substantial economic resources, sustainable technological solutions and courageous political will. In addition to providing "improved" water and "basic" sanitation services, we must ensure that these services provide: safe drinking water, adequate quantities of water for health, hygiene, agriculture and development and sustainable sanitation approaches to protect health and the environment.

  18. [Influence of stomatological health upon the quality of life].

    PubMed

    Simanovskaia, O E

    2008-01-01

    The parameters of quality of life of 58 stomatological patients were investigated. 3 groups of dentist health were allocated. On the basis of correlation dependence was proved that stomatological diseases sharply reduced the quality of life and health. The application for the invention quality of a life on indexes of stomatologic health> is issued, allowing to define individual volume of treatment-and-prophylactic actions depending the parameters of quality of life.

  19. [Quality of health care, accreditation, and health technology assessment in Croatia: role of agency for quality and accreditation in health].

    PubMed

    Mittermayer, Renato; Huić, Mirjana; Mestrović, Josipa

    2010-12-01

    Avedis Donabedian defined the quality of care as the kind of care, which is expected to maximize an inclusive measure of patient welfare, after taking into account the balance of expected gains and losses associated with the process of care in all its segments. According to the World Medical Assembly, physicians and health care institutions have an ethical and professional obligation to strive for continuous quality improvement of services and patient safety with the ultimate goal to improve both individual patient outcomes as well as population health. Health technology assessment (HTA) is a multidisciplinary process that summarizes information about the medical, social, economic and ethical issues related to the use of a health technology in a systematic, transparent, unbiased, robust manner, with the aim to formulate safe and effective health policies that are patient focused and seek to achieve the highest value. The Agency for Quality and Accreditation in Health was established in 2007 as a legal, public, independent, nonprofit institution under the Act on Quality of Health Care. The Agency has three departments: Department of Quality and Education, Department of Accreditation, and Department of Development, Research, and Health Technology Assessment. According to the Act, the Agency should provide the procedure of granting, renewal and cancellation of accreditation of healthcare providers; proposing to the Minister, in cooperation with professional associations, the plan and program for healthcare quality assurance, improvement, promotion and monitoring; proposing the healthcare quality standards as well as the accreditation standards to the Minister; keeping a register of accreditations and providing a database related to accreditation, healthcare quality improvement, and education; providing education in the field of healthcare quality assurance, improvement and promotion; providing the HTA procedure and HTA database, supervising the healthcare insurance

  20. 78 FR 13575 - Coverage of Certain Preventive Services Under the Affordable Care Act; Correction

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-02-28

    ... Affordable Care Act; Correction AGENCY: Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury. ACTION: Correction to... Health Service Act, as added by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended,...

  1. Quality in health care and globalization of health services: accreditation and regulatory oversight of medical tourism companies.

    PubMed

    Turner, Leigh G

    2011-02-01

    Patients are crossing national borders in search of affordable and timely health care. Many medical tourism companies are now involved in organizing cross-border health services. Despite the rapid expansion of the medical tourism industry, few standards exist to ensure that these businesses organize high-quality, competent international health care. Addressing the regulatory vacuum, 10 standards are proposed as a framework for regulating the medical tourism industry. Medical tourism companies should have to undergo accreditation review. Care should be arranged only at accredited international health-care facilities. Standards should be established to ensure that clients of medical tourism companies make informed choices. Continuity of care needs to become an integral feature of cross-border care. Restrictions should be placed on the use of waiver of liability forms by medical tourism companies. Medical tourism companies must ensure that they conform to relevant legislation governing privacy and confidentiality of patient information. Restrictions must be placed on the types of health services marketed by medical tourism companies. Representatives of medical tourism agencies should have to undergo training and certification. Medical travel insurance and medical complications insurance should be included in the health-care plans of patients traveling for care. To protect clients from financial losses, medical tourism companies should be mandated to contribute to compensation funds. Establishing high standards for the operation of medical tourism companies should reduce risks facing patients when they travel abroad for health care.

  2. Theory and practice for measuring health care quality

    PubMed Central

    Berwick, Donald M.; Knapp, Marian Gilbert

    1987-01-01

    As competition, cost control, and new modes of delivery emerge in health care, there is a need to reexamine both the traditional definitions of health care quality and the methods by which it is measured. Industries other than health care have much to teach regarding the methods for obtaining, analyzing, and displaying data; techniques for problem identification, problem solving, and reassessment; and ideas about organizational factors that produce a high quality product or service. The Quality-of-Care Measurement Department at the Harvard Community Health Plan has built a program that draws from a distinguished health care quality assurance tradition and incorporates techniques that have been successful in other industries. PMID:10312319

  3. The Effects of School Quality on Long-Term Health

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sansani, Shahar

    2011-01-01

    In this paper I estimate the relationship between school quality and mortality. Although many studies have linked the quantity of education to health outcomes, the effect of school quality on health has yet to be examined. I construct synthetic birth cohorts and relate the quality of education they attained to their mortality rates. I find that…

  4. Patient turnover and nursing employment in Massachusetts hospitals before and after health insurance reform: implications for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

    PubMed

    Shindul-Rothschild, Judith; Gregas, Matt

    2013-01-01

    The Affordable Care Act is modeled after Massachusetts insurance reforms enacted in 2006. A linear mixed effect model examined trends in patient turnover and nurse employment in Massachusetts, New York, and California nonfederal hospitals from 2000 to 2011. The linear mixed effect analysis found that the rate of increase in hospital admissions was significantly higher in Massachusetts hospitals (p<.001) than that in California and New York (p=.007). The rate of change in registered nurses full-time equivalent hours per patient day was significantly less (p=.02) in Massachusetts than that in California and was not different from zero. The rate of change in admissions to registered nurses full-time equivalent hours per patient day was significantly greater in Massachusetts than California (p=.001) and New York (p<.01). Nurse staffing remained flat in Massachusetts, despite a significant increase in hospital admissions. The implications of the findings for nurse employment and hospital utilization following the implementation of national health insurance reform are discussed.

  5. The ACA’s Cost-Sharing Reduction Plans: A Key to Affordable Health Coverage for Millions of U.S. Workers.

    PubMed

    Gabel, Jon; Whitmore, Heidi; Green, Matthew; Call, Adrienne; Stromberg, Sam; Oran, Rebecca

    2016-10-01

    Issue: Without the cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) made available by the Affordable Care Act, health plans sold in the marketplaces may be unaffordable for many low-income people. CSRs are available to households earning between 100 percent and 250 percent of the federal poverty level that choose a silver-level marketplace plan. In 2016, about 7 million people received cost-sharing reductions that substantially lowered their deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, and out-of-pocket limits. Goal: To examine variations in consumer cost-sharing reductions between silver-level plans with CSRs to traditional marketplace plans and to employer-based insurance. Methods: Data analysis of 1,209 CSR-eligible plans sold in individual marketplaces in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Key findings and conclusions: Cost-sharing amounts in silver plans with CSRs are much less than those in non-CSR base silver plans; silver plans with CSRs generally offer far better financial protection than those without. General annual deductibles range from $246 for CSR silver plans with a platinum-level actuarial value (94%) to as much as $3,063 for non-CSR silver plans. Out-of-pocket limits vary from $6,223 in base silver plans to $1,102 in silver plans with CSRs and a platinum-level actuarial level.

  6. Quality assurance in health care: past, present and future.

    PubMed

    Bilawka, E; Craig, B J

    2003-08-01

    Quality of health care delivery is a growing concern globally given current budget restraints and increasing demands on health care providers. The variety of quality assurance and quality management activities equals the numerous ways health care practitioners of all genres provide health care. Dental hygienists around the world must be knowledgeable about quality assurance and management in health care as it is a significant factor in the evolution of the dental hygiene profession and the quality of oral health care provided by dental hygienists. The objective of this research was to conduct a literature review on quality assurance and quality management. A MEDLINE search from 1966 to 2002 was conducted. The search resulted in approximately 145 articles. Additional references from works generated by the search were also obtained. The literature revealed information on the background and history of quality assurance and quality management. Much of the literature was devoted to discussions of the validity, reliability and effectiveness of most prominent quality management activities being utilised in health care today. The investigation revealed numerous issues and barriers surrounding quality management. This article concludes with suggestions for future directions of quality assurance and quality management.

  7. Improving the quality of health care through contracting: a study of health authority practice.

    PubMed Central

    Gray, J D; Donaldson, L J

    1996-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: To investigate approaches of district health authorities to quality in contracting. DESIGN: Descriptive survey. SETTING: All district health authorities in one health region of England in a National Health Service accounting year. MATERIAL: 129 quality specifications used in contracting for services in six specialties (eight general quality specifications and 121 service specific quality specifications) MAIN MEASURES: Evaluation of the use of quality specifications; their scope and content in relation to established criteria of healthcare quality. RESULTS: Most district health authorities developed quality specifications which would be applicable to their local hospital. When purchasing care outside their boundaries they adopted the quality specifications developed by other health authorities. The service specific quality specifications were more limited in scope than the general quality specifications. The quality of clinical care was referred to in 75% of general and 43% of service specific quality specifications. Both types of specification considered quality issues in superficial and broad terms only. Established features of quality improvement were rarely included. Prerequisites to ensure provider accountability and satisfactory delivery of service specifications were not routinely included in contracts. CONCLUSION: Quality specifications within service contracts are commonly used by health authorities. This study shows that their use of this approach to quality improvement is inconsistent and unlikely to achieve desired quality goals. Continued reliance on the current approach is holding back a more fundamental debate on how to create effective management of quality improvement through the interaction between purchasers and providers of health care. PMID:10164143

  8. Evidence-based characteristics of nurse-managed health centers for quality and outcomes.

    PubMed

    Holt, Jeana; Zabler, Bev; Baisch, Mary Jo

    2014-01-01

    There are approximately 250 nurse-managed health centers (NMHC) in the United States, but there are few consistent descriptions of their functions and even fewer reports of their outcomes. Because NMHCs have been identified as a unique and effectual health care delivery care model (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act), a description of their characteristics and a framework for outcome evaluation are required for their continued evolution and expansion. This study identifies the principal characteristics of U.S. NMHCs described in the professional literature through an integrative review and classifies these characteristics through a multistage qualitative analysis in relation to Donabedian's structure-process-outcomes model, a well-established model for evaluating quality in health care. This study yielded an evidence-based definition of NMHCs that is more reflective of current NMHC practice across settings and recognizes the full scope of nursing practice that is considered one solution to the health care crisis in the country. Using the results from this study, NMHCs will be able to structure self-evaluations of quality care and compare their quality related to structure, processes, and outcomes with other primary health care delivery systems.

  9. Afghanistan's national strategy for improving quality in health care

    PubMed Central

    Rahimzai, Mirwais; Amiri, Mirwais; Burhani, Nadera Hayat; Leatherman, Sheila; Hiltebeitel, Simon; Rahmanzai, Ahmed Javed

    2013-01-01

    Quality problem or issue When the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan began reconstructing the health system in 2003, it faced serious challenges. Decades of war had severely damaged the health infrastructure and the country's ability to deliver health services. Initial assessment A national health resources assessment in 2002 revealed huge structural and resource disparities fundamental to improving health care. For example, only 9% of the population was able to access basic health services, and about 40% of health facilities had no female health providers, severely constraining access of women to health care. Multiple donor programs and the MoPH had some success in improving quality, but questions about sustainability, as well as fragmentation and poor coordination, existed. Plan of action In 2009, MoPH resolved to align and accelerate quality improvement efforts as well as build structural and skill capacity. Implementation The MoPH established a new quality unit within the ministry and undertook a year-long consultative process that drew on international evidence and inputs from all levels of the health system to developed a National Strategy for Improving Quality in Health Care consisting of a strategy implementation framework and a five-year operational plan. Lessons Learned Even in resource-restrained countries, under the most adverse circumstances, quality of health care can be improved at the front-lines and a consensual and coherent national quality strategy developed and implemented. PMID:23485422

  10. Indoor air quality and health in schools*

    PubMed Central

    Ferreira, Ana Maria da Conceição; Cardoso, Massano

    2014-01-01

    Objective: To determine whether indoor air quality in schools is associated with the prevalence of allergic and respiratory diseases in children. Methods: We evaluated 1,019 students at 51 elementary schools in the city of Coimbra, Portugal. We applied a questionnaire that included questions regarding the demographic, social, and behavioral characteristics of students, as well as the presence of smoking in the family. We also evaluated the indoor air quality in the schools. Results: In the indoor air of the schools evaluated, we identified mean concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) above the maximum reference value, especially during the fall and winter. The CO2 concentration was sometimes as high as 1,942 ppm, implying a considerable health risk for the children. The most prevalent symptoms and respiratory diseases identified in the children were sneezing, rales, wheezing, rhinitis, and asthma. Other signs and symptoms, such as poor concentration, cough, headache, and irritation of mucous membranes, were identified. Lack of concentration was associated with CO2 concentrations above the maximum recommended level in indoor air (p = 0.002). There were no other significant associations. Conclusions: Most of the schools evaluated presented with reasonable air quality and thermal comfort. However, the concentrations of various pollutants, especially CO2, suggest the need for corrective interventions, such as reducing air pollutant sources and improving ventilation. There was a statistically significant association between lack of concentration in the children and exposure to high levels of CO2. The overall low level of pollution in the city of Coimbra might explain the lack of other significant associations. PMID:25029649

  11. Global affordability of fluoride toothpaste

    PubMed Central

    Goldman, Ann S; Yee, Robert; Holmgren, Christopher J; Benzian, Habib

    2008-01-01

    Objective Dental caries remains the most common disease worldwide and the use of fluoride toothpaste is a most effective preventive public health measure to prevent it. Changes in diets following globalization contribute to the development of dental caries in emerging economies. The aim of this paper is to compare the cost and relative affordability of fluoride toothpaste in high-, middle- and low-income countries. The hypothesis is that fluoride toothpaste is not equally affordable in high-, middle- and low-income countries. Methods Data on consumer prices of fluoride toothpastes were obtained from a self-completion questionnaire from 48 countries. The cost of fluoride toothpaste in high-, middle- and low-income countries was compared and related to annual household expenditure as well as to days of work needed to purchase the average annual usage of toothpaste per head. Results The general trend seems to be that the proportion of household expenditure required to purchase the annual dosage of toothpaste increases as the country's per capita household expenditure decreases. While in the UK for the poorest 30% of the population only 0.037 days of household expenditure is needed to purchase the annual average dosage (182.5 g) of the lowest cost toothpaste, 10.75 days are needed in Kenya. The proportion of annual household expenditure ranged from 0.02% in the UK to 4% in Zambia to buy the annual average amount of lowest cost toothpaste per head. Conclusion Significant inequalities in the affordability of this essential preventive care product indicate the necessity for action to make it more affordable. Various measures to improve affordability based on experiences from essential pharmaceuticals are proposed. PMID:18554382

  12. Quality Enhancement Research Initiative in Mental Health.

    PubMed

    Fischer, E P; Marder, S R; Smith, G R; Owen, R R; Rubenstein, L; Hedrick, S C; Curran, G M

    2000-06-01

    The Veterans Administration (VA) recently introduced its Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI) to facilitate the translation of best practices into usual clinical care. The Mental Health QUERI (MHQ) was charged with developing strategic plans for major depressive disorder (MDD) and schizophrenia. Twenty percent or more of VA service users are affected by 1 of these 2 disorders, disorders that often have a devastating impact on affected individuals. Despite the increasing availability of efficacious treatments for each disorder, substantial gaps remain between best practices and routine care. In this context, the MHQ identified steps critical to the success of a sustained process of rapid-cycle health care improvement for MDD and schizophrenia, including research initiatives to close gaps in knowledge of best treatment practices, demonstration projects to close gaps in practice and to expand understanding of effective strategies for implementing clinical guidelines, targeted enhancements of the VA information system, and research and dissemination initiatives to increase the availability of resources to support the accelerated incorporation of best practices into routine care. This article presents an overview of the elements in the initial MHQ strategic plans and the rationale behind them.

  13. Air quality standards must protect public health

    SciTech Connect

    Norman Edelman

    2006-06-15

    Leading medical and public health organizations are deeply concerned about the proposed revisions to the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced in December 2005. Led by the American Lung Association (ALA), these groups are fighting to force EPA to finalize stricter standards for fine and coarse particles when the final decision is announced in September 2006. The ALA disagrees strongly with the proposal to exempt coarse particles from agriculture and mining sources, and to exclude communities with populations fewer than 100,000 from protection and monitoring requirements. ALA urges EPA to set the following health-based NAAQS for PM: Annual average PM2.5 standard of 12 {mu}mg/m{sup 3}; 24 hour average PM2.5 standard of 25 {mu}mg.m{sup 3} (99th percentile); 24-hour average PM10-2.5 standard of 25-30 {mu}g/m{sup 3} (99th percentile), applied equally to all areas of the country and to all types of particles. 72 refs., 2 figs., 1 tab.

  14. Paths to partnership: Veterans Health Administration's Journey in pilot testing breast cancer care quality measures.

    PubMed

    Hogg, Lori Hoffman

    2014-01-01

    Prioritizing personalized, proactive, patient-driven health care is among the Veterans Health Administration's (VHA's) transformational initiatives. As one of the largest integrated healthcare systems, the VHA sets standards for performance measures and outcomes achieved in quality of care. Evidence-based practice (EBP) is a hallmark in oncology nursing care. EBP can be linked to positive outcomes and improving quality that can be influenced directly by nursing interventions. VHA oncology nurses had the opportunity to partner with the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS), ONS Foundation, and the Joint Commission in the multiyear development of a comprehensive approach to quality cancer care. Building on a platform of existing measures and refining measurement sets culminated in testing evidence-based, nursing-sensitive quality measures for reliability through the ONS Foundation-supported Breast Cancer Care (BCC) Quality Measures Set. The BCC Measures afforded the VHA to have its many sites collectively assess documentation of the symptoms of patients with breast cancer, the use of colony-stimulating factors, and education about neutropenia precautions provided. Parallel paths of the groups, seeking evidence-based measures, led to the perfect partnership in the VHA's journey in pilot testing the BCC Measures in veterans with breast cancer. This generated further quality assessments and continuous improvement projects for spread and sustainability throughout the VHA.

  15. Who Can Afford Health Care? Evaluating the Socio-Economic Conditions and the Ability to Contribute to Health Care in a Post-Conflict Area in DR Congo

    PubMed Central

    Gerstl, Sibylle; Sauter, Justin; Kasanda, Joseph; Kinzelbach, Alfred

    2013-01-01

    Introduction The Democratic Republic of the Congo is today one of the poorest countries in the world; the health status of the population ranks among the worst in Sub-Saharan Africa. Public health services charge user fees and drug prices. Since 2008, north-eastern Congo is facing a guerrilla war. Malteser International is assisting with free health care for internally displaced persons as well as the general population. Before the incursion the health system was based on user fees. The aim of this study was to determine the socio-economic conditions of the population and to assess their ability to contribute to health care. Methodology Heads of 552 randomly selected households in 23 clusters in two health zones were interviewed using a standardised questionnaire. Findings The demographic description and socio-economic conditions of the study population were homogenous. Major source of income was agriculture (57%); 47% of the households earned less than US$ 5.5/week. Ninety-two percent of the interviewed households estimated that they would be able to contribute to consultation fees (maximum amount of US$ 0.27) and 79% to the drug prices (maximum amount of US$ 1.10). Six percent opted for free consultations and 19% for free drugs. Conclusions Living conditions were very basic; the estimated income of the study population was low. Almost half of the population perceived their current living situation as fairly good/good. More than 90% of the study population estimated to be able to contribute to consultation fees and 80% to drug prices. As a result Malteser International suggested introducing flat-rates for health care services. Once the project ends, the population will have to pay again for their health service. One solution would be the introduction of a health care financing system with the goal to reach universal coverage to health care. PMID:24204819

  16. Understanding the relationships between air quality and human health

    SciTech Connect

    S.T. Rao

    2006-09-15

    Although there has been substantial progress in improving ambient air quality in the United States, atmospheric concentrations of ozone and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) continue to exceed the National Ambient Air Quality Standards in many locations. Consequently, a large portion of the U.S. population continues to be exposed to unhealthful levels of ozone and fine particles. This issue of EM, entitled 'Understanding the relationships between air quality and human health' presents a series of articles that focus on the relationships between air quality and human health - what we know so far and the challenges that remain. Their titles are: Understanding the effects of air pollution on human health; Assessing population exposures in studies of human health effects of PM2.5; Establishing a national environmental public health tracking network; Linking air quality and exposure models; and On alert: air quality forecasting and health advisory warnings.

  17. [Quality of life and oral health in children].

    PubMed

    Versloot, J; Klaassen, M A

    2011-03-01

    In recent years, research on the influence of oral health on quality of life among children has become increasingly popular Half of the children and adolescents will have had moments of diminished oral health and that can lead to functional problems, pain and decreased quality of life. While measuring oral health-related quality of life of children, reports of parents are frequently used as a proxy. Diminished oral health not only has an impact on the child's quality of life, but also on that of his family members. Results from studies on oral health-related quality of life in children may be used as the basis for useful guidance for parents and children on improving oral health and quality of life.

  18. Attributes of Quality in Audiovisual Materials for Health Professionals.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Suter, Emanuel; Waddell, Wendy H.

    1981-01-01

    Defines attributes of quality in content, instructional design, technical production, and packaging of audiovisual materials used in the education of health professionals. Seven references are listed. (FM)

  19. Research on Health and Environmental Effects of Air Quality

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Research has linked regulated air pollutants such as ozone and particulate matter, to lung, heart disease and other health problems. Further investigation is needed to understand the role poor air quality plays on health and disease

  20. AIR QUALITY CHARACTERIZATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL PUBLIC HEALTH TRACKING

    EPA Science Inventory

    The EPA and the CDC have conducted a collaborative effort entitled the Public Health Air Surveillance Evaluation (PHASE) to pilot the development of integrated air quality data sets, from routinely available sources, for specific use by public health officials.

  1. Creating Quality Improvement Culture in Public Health Agencies

    PubMed Central

    Mahanna, Elizabeth; Joly, Brenda; Zelek, Michael; Riley, William; Verma, Pooja; Fisher, Jessica Solomon

    2014-01-01

    Objectives. We conducted case studies of 10 agencies that participated in early quality improvement efforts. Methods. The agencies participated in a project conducted by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (2007–2008). Case study participants included health directors and quality improvement team leaders and members. We implemented multiple qualitative analysis processes, including cross-case analysis and logic modeling. We categorized agencies according to the extent to which they had developed a quality improvement culture. Results. Agencies were conducting informal quality improvement projects (n = 4), conducting formal quality improvement projects (n = 3), or creating a quality improvement culture (n = 4). Agencies conducting formal quality improvement and creating a quality improvement culture had leadership support for quality improvement, participated in national quality improvement initiatives, had a greater number of staff trained in quality improvement and quality improvement teams that met regularly with decision-making authority. Agencies conducting informal quality improvement were likely to report that accreditation is the major driver for quality improvement work. Agencies creating a quality improvement culture were more likely to have a history of evidence-based decision-making and use quality improvement to address emerging issues. Conclusions. Our findings support previous research and add the roles of national public health accreditation and emerging issues as factors in agencies’ ability to create and sustain a quality improvement culture. PMID:24228680

  2. Risk Selection Threatens Quality Of Care For Certain Patients: Lessons From Europe's Health Insurance Exchanges.

    PubMed

    van de Ven, Wynand P M M; van Kleef, Richard C; van Vliet, Rene C J A

    2015-10-01

    Experience in European health insurance exchanges indicates that even with the best risk-adjustment formulas, insurers have substantial incentives to engage in risk selection. The potentially most worrisome form of risk selection is skimping on the quality of care for underpriced high-cost patients--that is, patients for whom insurers are compensated at a rate lower than the predicted health care expenses of these patients. In this article we draw lessons for the United States from twenty years of experience with health insurance exchanges in Europe, where risk selection is a serious problem. Mistakes by European legislators and inadequate evaluation criteria for risk selection incentives are discussed, as well as strategies to reduce risk selection and the complex trade-off among selection (through quality skimping), efficiency, and affordability. Recommended improvements to the risk-adjustment process in the United States include considering the adoption of risk adjusters used in Europe, investing in the collection of data, using a permanent form of risk sharing, and replacing the current premium "band" restrictions with more flexible restrictions. Policy makers need to understand the complexities of regulating competitive health insurance markets and to prevent risk selection that threatens the provision of good-quality care for underpriced high-cost patients.

  3. The Affordable Care Act and the future of clinical medicine: the opportunities and challenges.

    PubMed

    Kocher, Robert; Emanuel, Ezekiel J; DeParle, Nancy-Ann M

    2010-10-19

    The Affordable Care Act is a once-in-a-generation change to the U.S. health system. It guarantees access to health care for all Americans, creates new incentives to change clinical practice to foster better coordination and quality, gives physicians more information to make them better clinicians and patients more information to make them more value-conscious consumers, and changes the payment system to reward value. The Act and the health information technology provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act remove many barriers to delivering high-quality care, such as unnecessary administrative complexity, inaccessible clinical data, and insufficient access to primary care and allied health providers. We hope that physicians will embrace the opportunities created by the Affordable Care Act that will enable them to provide better care for their patients and lead the U.S. health system in a more positive direction. To fully realize the benefits of the Affordable Care Act for their practices and their patients, physicians will design their offices for seamless care, employing new practice models and using technology to integrate patient information with professional society guidelines to keep patients with chronic conditions healthy and out of the hospital. Under the Affordable Care Act, physicians who effectively collaborate with other providers to improve patient outcomes, the value of medical services, and patient experiences will thrive and be the leaders of the health care system.

  4. Private health insurance and quality of life: perspectives of older Australians with multiple chronic conditions.

    PubMed

    Jeon, Yun-Hee; Black, Annie; Govett, Janelle; Yen, Laurann; McRae, Ian

    2012-01-01

    A qualitative study was conducted to explore in-depth issues relating to the health costs of chronic illness as identified in a previous study. A key theme that emerged from interviews carried out was the benefits and challenges of private health insurance (PHI) membership, and choices older Australians with multimorbidity make in accessing health services, with and without PHI. This is the focus of this paper. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 40 older people with multiple chronic conditions. Data were analysed using content analysis. Key motivators for maintaining PHI included: fear of an inability to access timely health care; the opportunity to exercise choice in service provider; a belief of being 'better off' both medically and financially, which was often ill-founded; and the core values of self reliance and independence. Most described financial pressure caused by rising PHI premiums as well as other out-of-pocket health related expenses. Many older people who can ill afford PHI still struggle to maintain it, potentially at the cost of their quality of life, based on beliefs about costs of health care that they have never properly assessed. The findings highlight the degree to which people whose resources are constrained are prepared to go to maintain access to private hospital care. Attention should be given to assisting older people to make informed and valid choices of health insurance derived from the facts, rather than being based on fear and assumptions.

  5. INTEGRATING AIR QUALITY DATA TO INFORM HUMAN HEALTH DECISIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The August 1-2, 2005 EPA-NIEHS workshop is addressing the linkages between air quality and human health. My presentation will discuss the strengths and limitations of various databases for relating air quality to health impacts. Specifically, the need for fusing ground-based, s...

  6. Quality and Evaluation in a Comprehensive Health Organization.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anderson, Malcolm; Brazil, Kevin

    1995-01-01

    An innovative approach to delivering health care is being developed in several Ontario (Canada) communities. This report describes the initial framework for quality and evaluation for a comprehensive health organization (CHO). As CHOs become operational, there is great opportunity to develop a comprehensive approach to quality and evaluation. (SLD)

  7. Affordable Vehicle Avionics Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cockrell, James J.

    2015-01-01

    Public and private launch vehicle developers are reducing the cost of propulsion for small commercial launchers, but conventional high-performance, high-reliability avionics remain the disproportionately high cost driver for launch. AVA technology performs as well or better than conventional launch vehicle avionics, but with a fraction of the recurring costs. AVA enables small launch providers to offer affordable rides to LEO to nano-satellites as primary payloads meaning, small payloads can afford to specify their own launch and orbit parameters

  8. Affordable Vehicle Avionics Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cockrell, James J.

    2015-01-01

    Public and private launch vehicle developers are reducing the cost of propulsion for small commercial launchers, but conventional high-performance, high-reliability avionics remain the disproportionately high cost driver for launch. AVA technology performs as well or better than conventional launch vehicle avionics, but with a fraction of the recurring costs. AVA enables small launch providers to offer affordable rides to LEO to nano-satellites as primary payloads meaning, small payloads can afford to specify their own launch and orbit parameters.

  9. Affordable Care Act.

    PubMed

    Rak, Sofija; Coffin, Janis

    2013-01-01

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA), although a subject of much debate in the Unites States, was enacted on March 23, 2010, and upheld by the Supreme Court on June 28, 2012. This act advocates that "healthcare is a right, not a privilege." The main goals of PPACA are to minimize the number of uninsured Americans and make healthcare available to everyone at an affordable price. The Congressional Budget Office has determined that 94% of Americans will have healthcare coverage while staying under the $900 billion limit that President Barack Obama established by bending the healthcare cost curve and reducing the deficit over the next 10 years.

  10. Mystery shopping as a quality adjunct in public health organizations.

    PubMed

    Hartley, R

    1995-12-01

    Public health in Australia is undergoing unprecedented emphasis on meeting customers' needs, wants and expectations. Mystery shopping, common in the commercial world, has much to offer health organizations in their push towards quality. This paper describes this inexpensive technique and reports on its use in North West Health Service, a large rural health provider. The potential exists for its widescale adoption in health to better meet customer focus objectives.

  11. Financial Health of Child Care Facilities Affects Quality of Care.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brower, Mary R.; Sull, Theresa M.

    2003-01-01

    Contends that child care facility owners, boards of directors, staff, and parents need to focus on financial management, as poor financial health compromises the quality of care for children. Specifically addresses the issues of: (1) concern for providing high quality child care; (2) the connection between quality and money; and (3) strengthening…

  12. The role of academic medicine in improving health care quality.

    PubMed

    Brindis, Ralph G; Spertus, John

    2006-09-01

    Academic medicine, often entrenched in biomedical and clinical research, has largely ignored the development and application of quality metrics to ensure the delivery of high-quality health care. Nevertheless, academic medicine has substantial opportunities to lead the charge in building a quality infrastructure with the goal of delivering high-quality and cost-efficient health care to all Americans. The American College of Cardiology (ACC) and American Heart Association (AHA) have worked jointly to measure and improve the quality of cardiovascular care. This effort has led to the development of clinical practice guidelines, performance measures, data standards, national registries, and appropriateness criteria for cardiovascular care. Academic medicine should actively embrace and promote the type of quality metrics and criteria developed by ACC and AHA and apply this model across the entire academic medicine community. Academic medicine, with its many resources, could lead the way in the expanding field of quality science by supporting fundamental research in quality improvement, supporting academicians to improve quality at their own institutions, developing educational models for quality assessment and improvement, creating and implementing data registries, and serving as a conduit for developing the emerging science of quality assessment. In this and many other ways, academic medicine must offer the health care community leadership for improving our nation's health care quality with the same fervor presently exhibited for the advancement of basic science, the development of specialized and experimental therapy, and as centers for tertiary and quaternary patient care.

  13. Sexual Activity and Psychological Health As Mediators of the Relationship Between Physical Health and Marital Quality

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Objectives. The pathways linking spousal health to marital quality in later life have been little examined at the population level. We develop a conceptual model that links married older adults’ physical health and that of their spouse to positive and negative dimensions of marital quality via psychological well-being of both partners and their sexual activity. Methods. We use data from 1,464 older adults in 732 marital dyads in the 2010–2011 wave of the National Social Life Health and Aging Project. Results. We find that own fair or poor physical health is linked to lower positive and higher negative marital quality, spouse’s health to positive quality, and that own and spouse’s mental health and more frequent sex are associated with higher positive and lower negative marital quality. Further, we find that (a) sexual activity mediates the association between own and partner’s physical health and positive marital quality, (b) own mental health mediates the association between one’s own physical health and both positive and negative marital quality, and (c) partner’s mental health mediates the associations of spouse’s physical health with positive marital quality. These results are robust to alternative specifications of the model. Discussion. The results suggest ways to protect marital quality among older adults who are struggling with physical illness in themselves or their partners. PMID:24470175

  14. Affordances: Ten Years On

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Jill P.; Stillman, Gloria

    2014-01-01

    Ten years ago the construct, affordance, was rising in prominence in scholarly literature. A proliferation of different uses and meanings was evident. Beginning with its origin in the work of Gibson, we traced its development and use in various scholarly fields. This paper revisits our original question with respect to its utility in mathematics…

  15. Health-Related Quality of Life in Cardiovascular Disease.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaplan, Robert M.

    1988-01-01

    Reviews several current approaches to the assessment of health outcomes in cardiovascular disease, including health-related quality of life. Offers a general health policy model as a method for comparing program options in cardiovascular disease that may have very different objectives. Uses examples from hypertension screening and treatment, heart…

  16. Health-Related Quality of Life in HIV Disease.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hays, Ron D.; And Others

    1995-01-01

    The structure of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in persons with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was studied in 205 symptomatic adults. Confirmatory factor analysis supported a two-factor model of HRQOL, with physical and mental health dimensions. Correlations of HRQOL with other aspects of health and support are discussed. (SLD)

  17. LINKING PUBLIC HEALTH AND AIR QUALITY DATA FOR ACCOUNTABILITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Program Area: Environmental Health

    Topic Area: Linking Public Health Data into Action

    Title of Presentation: Linking Public Health and Air Quality Data for Accountability

    Background and Significance

    Tracking environmental exposures to air pollutan...

  18. Higher Education State Funding Trends and Policies on Affordability. Report to the Chairman, Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, United States Senate. GAO-15-151

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Emrey-Arras, Melissa

    2014-01-01

    There is widespread concern that the rising costs of higher education are making college unaffordable for many students and their families. Federal and state support is central to promoting college affordability; however, persistent state budget constraints have limited funding for public colleges. GAO was asked to study state policies affecting…

  19. Corporate management of quality in employee health plans.

    PubMed

    Maxwell, James; Temin, Peter

    2003-01-01

    As large companies move their employees into managed care, they must concern themselves with the quality and price of their employees' health care. Based on a survey of Fortune 500 companies, we show that most are integrating several aspects of quality into their purchasing and contracting decisions by focusing on three dimensions--customer service, network composition, and clinical quality. Companies focus on the customer service dimension while the medical community emphasizes clinical quality.

  20. Health information technology and quality of health care: strategies for reducing disparities in underresourced settings.

    PubMed

    Millery, Mari; Kukafka, Rita

    2010-10-01

    Health information technology (health IT) has potential for facilitating quality improvement and reducing quality disparities found in underresourced settings (URSs). With this systematic literature review, complemented by key informant interviews, the authors sought to identify evidence regarding health IT and quality outcomes in URSs. The review included 105 peer-reviewed studies (2004-2009) in all settings. Only 15 studies included URSs, and 8 focused on URSs. Based on literature across settings, most evidence was available for quality impact of order entry, clinical decision support systems, and computerized reminders. Study designs were predominantly quasi-experimental (37%) or descriptive (35%); 90% of the studies focused on the microsystem level of quality improvement, indicating a need for expanding research into patient experience and organizational and environmental levels. Key informants highlighted organizational partnerships and health IT champions and emphasized that for health IT to have an impact on quality, there must be an organizational culture of quality improvement.

  1. Issues in Measuring and Improving Health Care Quality

    PubMed Central

    Friedman, Maria A.

    1995-01-01

    This issue of the Health Care Financing Review focuses on issues and advances in measuring and improving the quality of care, particularly for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. Discussions of quality-related topics are especially timely, given the growing and widespread interest in improving quality in the organization, financing, and delivery of health care services. This article has several purposes. The first is to provide a brief description of some of the causes underlying the growth of the health care quality movement; the second is to provide a contextual framework for discussion of some of the overarching themes that emerge in this issue. These themes include examining conceptual issues, developing quality measures for specific sites and populations, and creating or adapting data sets for quality-measurement purposes. PMID:10151882

  2. School-Based Health Education Programmes, Health-Learning Capacity and Child Oral Health--related Quality of Life

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Freeman, Ruth; Gibson, Barry; Humphris, Gerry; Leonard, Helen; Yuan, Siyang; Whelton, Helen

    2016-01-01

    Objective: To use a model of health learning to examine the role of health-learning capacity and the effect of a school-based oral health education intervention (Winning Smiles) on the health outcome, child oral health-related quality of life (COHRQoL). Setting: Primary schools, high social deprivation, Ireland/Northern Ireland. Design: Cluster…

  3. Access To Care And Affordability Have Improved Following Affordable Care Act Implementation; Problems Remain.

    PubMed

    Shartzer, Adele; Long, Sharon K; Anderson, Nathaniel

    2016-01-01

    There is growing evidence that millions of adults have gained insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act, but less is known about how access to and affordability of care may be changing. This study used data from the Health Reform Monitoring Survey to describe changes in access and affordability for nonelderly adults from September 2013, just prior to the first open enrollment period in the Marketplace, to March 2015, after the end of the second open enrollment period. Overall, we found strong improvements in access to care for all nonelderly adults and across income and state Medicaid expansion groups. We also found improvements in the affordability of care for all adults and for low- and moderate-income adults. Despite this progress, there were still large gaps in access and affordability in March 2015, particularly for low-income adults.

  4. CHARACTERIZING AIR QUALITY FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PUBLIC HEALTH

    EPA Science Inventory

    NERL's Human Exposure and Atmospheric Sciences Division and other participants in the Public Health Air Surveillance Evaluation (PHASE) project will be presenting their results to the Environmnetal Public Health Tracking (EPHT) workshop in Tampa FL. The PHASE project is a collab...

  5. Health, Quality of Care and Quality of Life: A Case of Frail Older Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hsieh, Chang-Ming

    2009-01-01

    This study explores the relationship between health, quality of care of geriatric case management and quality of life for the purpose of furthering the understanding of the relationship between quality of life and geriatric case management. Using survey data from a group of frail older adults, this study assesses the relative merit of two…

  6. Remote Sensing, Air Quality, and Public Health

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Quattrochi, Dale A.; Rickman, Douglas; Mohammad, Al-Hamdan; Crosson, William; Estes, Maurice, Jr.; Limaye, Ashutosh; Qualters, Judith

    2008-01-01

    HELIX-Atlanta was developed to support current and future state and local EPHT programs to implement data linking demonstratio'n projects which could be part of the EPHT Network. HELIX-Atlanta is a pilot linking project in Atlanta for CDC to learn about the challenges the states will encounter. NASA/MSFC and the CDC are partners in linking environmental and health data to enhance public health surveillance. The use of NASA technology creates value - added geospatial products from existing environmental data sources to facilitate public health linkages. Proving the feasibility of the approach is the main objective

  7. At Federally Funded Health Centers, Medicaid Expansion Was Associated With Improved Quality Of Care.

    PubMed

    Cole, Megan B; Galárraga, Omar; Wilson, Ira B; Wright, Brad; Trivedi, Amal N

    2017-01-01

    In 2014 many uninsured, low-income nonelderly adults gained access to health insurance in states that expanded Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act. Federally funded community health centers were likely to be particularly affected by this expansion because many of their patients were uninsured and low income. We used a difference-in-differences approach to compare changes among 1,057 such centers in expansion versus nonexpansion states from 2011 to 2014, in terms of their patients' insurance coverage, the number of patients they served, and the quality of care they provided. Medicaid expansion was associated with large increases (12 percentage points) in Medicaid coverage and corresponding declines (11 percentage points) in uninsurance rates. The numbers of patients served increased in both expansion and nonexpansion states, and the magnitude of increase did not differ significantly between the groups of states. Medicaid expansion was associated with improved quality on four of eight measures examined: asthma treatment, Pap testing, body mass index assessment, and hypertension control. This analysis suggests that states' decisions about Medicaid expansion have important consequences for health center patients, with expansion improving treatment and outcomes of chronic disease and bolstering the use of recommended preventive services.

  8. Assessing Metadata Quality of a Federally Sponsored Health Data Repository.

    PubMed

    Marc, David T; Beattie, James; Herasevich, Vitaly; Gatewood, Laël; Zhang, Rui

    2016-01-01

    The U.S. Federal Government developed HealthData.gov to disseminate healthcare datasets to the public. Metadata is provided for each datasets and is the sole source of information to find and retrieve data. This study employed automated quality assessments of the HealthData.gov metadata published from 2012 to 2014 to measure completeness, accuracy, and consistency of applying standards. The results demonstrated that metadata published in earlier years had lower completeness, accuracy, and consistency. Also, metadata that underwent modifications following their original creation were of higher quality. HealthData.gov did not uniformly apply Dublin Core Metadata Initiative to the metadata, which is a widely accepted metadata standard. These findings suggested that the HealthData.gov metadata suffered from quality issues, particularly related to information that wasn't frequently updated. The results supported the need for policies to standardize metadata and contributed to the development of automated measures of metadata quality.

  9. [Health and quality of life vs. occupational activity].

    PubMed

    Kowalska, Małgorzata; Szemik, Szymon

    The level of quality of life and health status of the population largely depends on the determinants related to occupational activity. The results of reviewed bibliography indicate a significant and growing importance of employment conditions on the quality of life and population health status in most countries of the world, especially in those with market economy. Of the evaluated determinants the following factors should be listed in particular: sources and the amount of income, stability of the income and employment, the nature of work and the degree of job satisfaction, as well as autonomy and career prospects. Moreover, they proved that the situation of persisting and long-term unemployment and precarious employment leads to a significant deterioration in the quality of life and health, especially among young people. In conclusion, the study of quality of life and population health status should take into consideration factors related to occupational activity. Med Pr 2016;67(5):663-671.

  10. Assessing Metadata Quality of a Federally Sponsored Health Data Repository

    PubMed Central

    Marc, David T.; Beattie, James; Herasevich, Vitaly; Gatewood, Laël; Zhang, Rui

    2016-01-01

    The U.S. Federal Government developed HealthData.gov to disseminate healthcare datasets to the public. Metadata is provided for each datasets and is the sole source of information to find and retrieve data. This study employed automated quality assessments of the HealthData.gov metadata published from 2012 to 2014 to measure completeness, accuracy, and consistency of applying standards. The results demonstrated that metadata published in earlier years had lower completeness, accuracy, and consistency. Also, metadata that underwent modifications following their original creation were of higher quality. HealthData.gov did not uniformly apply Dublin Core Metadata Initiative to the metadata, which is a widely accepted metadata standard. These findings suggested that the HealthData.gov metadata suffered from quality issues, particularly related to information that wasn’t frequently updated. The results supported the need for policies to standardize metadata and contributed to the development of automated measures of metadata quality. PMID:28269883

  11. Quality, CQI, and reengineering in health services organizations.

    PubMed

    Rakich, J S

    2001-01-01

    Quality in health care is defined with a focus on satisfying customer needs. The contemporary management philosophies of continuous quality improvement (CQI) and reengineering are defined; attributes and applications of each are described. Criticism of reengineering appearing in the literature is presented. It is likely that CQI will remain a predominate management philosophy in health services, while reengineering may not endure in its form of radical change.

  12. The structural quality of Tanzanian primary health facilities.

    PubMed Central

    Gilson, L.; Magomi, M.; Mkangaa, E.

    1995-01-01

    Structural quality is a key element in the quality of care provided at the primary level, which aims to offer health care interventions of proven efficacy. This assessment of the structural quality of Tanzanian primary health services indicated serious weaknesses in the available physical infrastructure, as well as supervision and other support, both for government and nongovernmental services and for dispensary and first referral-level services. Addressing these weaknesses is likely to require some additional funding and review of the functions of different groups of health care facilities within the primary care system. Although district health management teams have an important role to play in tackling the weaknesses, the existing division of management responsibilities indicates that they can only do so with the support of the regional and national levels of the health management structure. Study methods might be adapted to facilitate improved supervision and management. PMID:7704920

  13. The Legacy of the U. S. Public Health Services Study of Untreated Syphilis in African American Men at Tuskegee on the Affordable Care Act and Health Care Reform Fifteen Years After President Clinton’s Apology

    PubMed Central

    Mays, Vickie M.

    2013-01-01

    This special issue addresses the legacy of the United States Public Health Service Syphilis Study on health reform, particularly the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The 12 manuscripts cover the history and current practices of ethical abuses affecting American Indians, Latinos, Asian Americans and African Americans in the United States and in one case, internationally. Commentaries and essays include the voice of a daughter of one of the study participants in which we learn of the stigma and maltreatment some of the families experienced and how the study has impacted generations within the families. Consideration is given in one essay to utilizing narrative storytelling with the families to help promote healing. This article provides the reader a roadmap to the themes that emerged from the collection of articles. These themes include population versus individual consent issues, need for better government oversight in research and health care, the need for overhauling our bioethics training to develop a population level, culturally driven approach to research bioethics. The articles challenge and inform us that some of our assumptions about how the consent process best works to protect racial/ethnic minorities may be merely assumptions and not proven facts. Articles challenge the belief that low participation rates seen in biomedical studies have resulted from the legacy of the USPHS Syphilis Study rather than a confluence of factors rooted in racism, bias and negative treatment. Articles in this special issue challenge the “cultural paranoia” of mistrust and provide insights into how the distrust may serve to lengthen rather than shorten the lives of racial/ethnic minorities who have been used as guinea pigs on more than one occasion. We hope that the guidance offered on the importance of developing a new framework to bioethics can be integrated into the foundation of health care reform. PMID:23630410

  14. "Affordable" Private Schools in South Africa. Affordable for Whom?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Languille, Sonia

    2016-01-01

    The paper sets out to challenge the notions of "affordable" private schools in the context of South Africa. It is guided by one main question: "affordable private schools for whom?" It argues that, contrary to claims by its public and private proponents, affordable private schools in South Africa do not cater for poor children.…

  15. Improving Health Promotion Using Quality Improvement Techniques in Australian Indigenous Primary Health Care.

    PubMed

    Percival, Nikki; O'Donoghue, Lynette; Lin, Vivian; Tsey, Komla; Bailie, Ross Stewart

    2016-01-01

    Although some areas of clinical health care are becoming adept at implementing continuous quality improvement (CQI) projects, there has been limited experimentation of CQI in health promotion. In this study, we examined the impact of a CQI intervention on health promotion in four Australian Indigenous primary health care centers. Our study objectives were to (a) describe the scope and quality of health promotion activities, (b) describe the status of health center system support for health promotion activities, and (c) introduce a CQI intervention and examine the impact on health promotion activities and health centers systems over 2 years. Baseline assessments showed suboptimal health center systems support for health promotion and significant evidence-practice gaps. After two annual CQI cycles, there were improvements in staff understanding of health promotion and systems for planning and documenting health promotion activities had been introduced. Actions to improve best practice health promotion, such as community engagement and intersectoral partnerships, were inhibited by the way health center systems were organized, predominately to support clinical and curative services. These findings suggest that CQI can improve the delivery of evidence-based health promotion by engaging front line health practitioners in decision-making processes about the design/redesign of health center systems to support the delivery of best practice health promotion. However, further and sustained improvements in health promotion will require broader engagement of management, senior staff, and members of the local community to address organizational and policy level barriers.

  16. Improving Health Promotion Using Quality Improvement Techniques in Australian Indigenous Primary Health Care

    PubMed Central

    Percival, Nikki; O’Donoghue, Lynette; Lin, Vivian; Tsey, Komla; Bailie, Ross Stewart

    2016-01-01

    Although some areas of clinical health care are becoming adept at implementing continuous quality improvement (CQI) projects, there has been limited experimentation of CQI in health promotion. In this study, we examined the impact of a CQI intervention on health promotion in four Australian Indigenous primary health care centers. Our study objectives were to (a) describe the scope and quality of health promotion activities, (b) describe the status of health center system support for health promotion activities, and (c) introduce a CQI intervention and examine the impact on health promotion activities and health centers systems over 2 years. Baseline assessments showed suboptimal health center systems support for health promotion and significant evidence-practice gaps. After two annual CQI cycles, there were improvements in staff understanding of health promotion and systems for planning and documenting health promotion activities had been introduced. Actions to improve best practice health promotion, such as community engagement and intersectoral partnerships, were inhibited by the way health center systems were organized, predominately to support clinical and curative services. These findings suggest that CQI can improve the delivery of evidence-based health promotion by engaging front line health practitioners in decision-making processes about the design/redesign of health center systems to support the delivery of best practice health promotion. However, further and sustained improvements in health promotion will require broader engagement of management, senior staff, and members of the local community to address organizational and policy level barriers. PMID:27066470

  17. [Quality in occupational health education and training].

    PubMed

    Manno, M

    2010-01-01

    According to the International Code of Ethics of the International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH) "occupational health practice must be performed according to the highest professional standards and ethical principles". So, the first ethical requirement for an occupational physician is a scientifically and professionally sound conduct, and vice-versa, the ethical principles must be an integral part of his/her education and training. The different tools and contexts for the education and training in occupational health (OH) in Italy, at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level, are presented. Moreover, the past and present contribution of the academic institutions and professional associations active in occupational health, to improve the professional standards of the occupational physicians is discussed. It is suggested that the objectives and the contents in OH education and training should not be limited to simply fulfil the legal requirements aimed to the protection of health and safety in the workplace (as it seems to be largely the case today), but they should rather anticipate and overcome them, by also including a thorough discussion of the fundamental ethical principles and duties to be accomplished in OH.

  18. Construction of an environmental quality index for public health research

    EPA Science Inventory

    A more comprehensive estimate of environmental quality would improve our understanding of the relationship between environmental conditions and human health. An environmental quality index (EQI) for all counties in the U.S. was developed. The EQI was developed in four parts: doma...

  19. The Quality Assurance Project: introducing quality improvement to primary health care in less developed countries.

    PubMed

    Nicholas, D D; Heiby, J R; Hatzell, T A

    1991-01-01

    Persistently excessive morbidity and mortality rates in less developed countries (LDCs) served by primary health care systems suggest that the quality of services is inadequate. The PRICOR project, sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development, has designed and implemented methods for quality assessment and problem solving in LDC health systems. After developing comprehensive lists of essential activities and tasks, similar to practice parameters, for seven child survival interventions, PRICOR supported comprehensive quality assessment studies in twelve LDC countries. The studies, yielding over 6000 observations of health worker-client encounters, indicated highly prevalent, serious program deficiencies in areas including diagnosis, treatment, patient education and supervision. To facilitate corrective action, PRICOR assisted managers in conducting operations research to resolve priority problems revealed by the assessments. The recently initiated Quality Assurance Project is building on PRICOR techniques in designing and implementing sustainable continuous quality improvement programs for LDC health systems.

  20. Measuring the quality of child health care at first-level facilities.

    PubMed

    Gouws, Eleanor; Bryce, Jennifer; Pariyo, George; Armstrong Schellenberg, Joanna; Amaral, João; Habicht, Jean-Pierre

    2005-08-01

    Sound policy and program decisions require timely information based on valid and relevant measures. Recent findings suggest that despite the availability of effective and affordable guidelines for the management of sick children in first-level health facilities in developing countries, the quality and coverage of these services remains low. We report on the development and evaluation of a set of summary indices reflecting the quality of care received by sick children in first-level facilities. The indices were first developed through a consultative process to achieve face validity by involving technical experts and policymakers. The definition of evaluation measures for many public health programs stops at this point. We added a second phase in which standard statistical techniques were used to evaluate the content and construct validity of the indices and their reliability, drawing on data sets from the multi-country evaluation of integrated management of childhood illness (MCE) in Brazil, Tanzania and Uganda. The statistical evaluation identified important conceptual errors in the indices arising from the theory-driven expert review. The experts had combined items into inappropriate indicators resulting in summary indices that were difficult to interpret and had limited validity for program decision making. We propose a revised set of summary indices for the measurement of child health care in developing countries that is supported by both expert and statistical reviews and that led to similar programmatic insights across the three countries. We advocate increased cross-disciplinary research within public health to improve measurement approaches. Child survival policymakers, program planners and implementers can use these tools to improve their monitoring and so increase the health impact of investments in health facility care.

  1. [The objective assessment of the quality of oral health care and development of quality indicators].

    PubMed

    Pinke, Ildikó; Paulik, Edit; Kivovics, Péter; Segatto, Emil; Nagy, Katalin

    2011-12-01

    Public health care administration and decision-makers need appropriate tools and information to assess and monitor oral health needs and improve the performance of the oral health system. The aim of the article is to introduce the available methods of measurement of the quality of service, to give a brief summary considering the role of quality indicators in domestic and international sources and the European indicator project (EGOHID) and to introduce ICDAS (International Caries Detection and Assessment System), the method used for clinical examinations. The clinical indicators - that are produced from data gained from the questionnaires and screenings--provide an opportunity to improve and develop quality. Quality indicators are objective measure of the process or outcome of patient care. The 40 indicators were created by the experts of EGOHID program which are described in four categories. Part A is indicators for monitoring the oral health of children and adolescents, Part B is in general population, Part C is indicators for monitoring the oral health systems, Part D concerns indicators for monitoring the oral health quality of life. The purpose of developing public health care and--within it--dental care is the effective use of resources and besides it, reaching the popular level of health gain for which it is a necessary tool when forming and continuously developing the quality approach of providers.

  2. The Health-Related Quality of Life of Custodial Grandparents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Neely-Barnes, Susan L.; Graff, J. Carolyn; Washington, Gregory

    2010-01-01

    Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) was explored in a sample of 119 custodial grandparents. A latent profile analysis identified three groups of grandparents along a continuum of good to poor HRQOL, with most custodial grandparents reporting Short Form-12 Health Survey (version 2) scores significantly below U.S. population means. Grandparent…

  3. Health Conditions and Perceived Quality of Life in Retirement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dorfman, Lorraine T.

    1995-01-01

    Investigates the effects of specific health conditions on perceived quality of life for retirees (n=451). Pulmonary disease was a predictor of dissatisfaction for both sexes. Pulmonary disease and heart attack were the strongest predictors of dissatisfaction with health for men, followed closely by stroke. Arthritis was the strongest predictor of…

  4. Quality Improvement and School-Based Mental Health Programs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nabors, Laura; Weist, Mark; Acosta, Olga; Tashman, Nancy

    This report discusses the outcomes of a study that reviewed activities to ensure quality of care for adolescents receiving mental health services in the School Mental Health Program (SMHP), based in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. For this program a team of clinicians, as well as trainees in each…

  5. CHARACTERIZING AIR QUALITY FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PUBLIC HEALTH TRACKING

    EPA Science Inventory

    This presentation provides a brief summary of EPA's perspective on Environmental Public Health Tracking, the Public Health Air Surveillance Evaluation (PHASE), and EPA's efforts to provide air quality data to three states (Maine, New York, and Wisconsin) that are partners with CD...

  6. [Hypermedia in medical education: quality of health care].

    PubMed

    Kusec, Sanja; Jaksić, Zelimir; Vuletić, Gorka; Kovacić, Luka; Pavleković, Gordana

    2002-09-01

    The recent technological developments have found its place in medical education as well. Hypermedia has become very popular through the widespread use of the Internet. In its research project, the Department of Educational Technology of the Andrija Stampar School of Public Health studied and applied the educational methods in continuing training of health professionals using hypermedia and taking into account the specificities of medical and health practices. Potentials of hypermedia in medical education are presented within the topic on quality of health care. The result of this project is an interactive educational disk designed for physicians and other health professionals in primary health care faced with the issue of quality. This paper gives an overview of the experience gained during the work on the project and describes the created educational disk with all its specificities observed in the development of the educational hypermedia materials.

  7. Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Quality of Health Care.

    PubMed

    Fiscella, Kevin; Sanders, Mechelle R

    2016-01-01

    The annual National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports document widespread and persistent racial and ethnic disparities. These disparities result from complex interactions between patient factors related to social disadvantage, clinicians, and organizational and health care system factors. Separate and unequal systems of health care between states, between health care systems, and between clinicians constrain the resources that are available to meet the needs of disadvantaged groups, contribute to unequal outcomes, and reinforce implicit bias. Recent data suggest slow progress in many areas but have documented a few notable successes in eliminating these disparities. To eliminate these disparities, continued progress will require a collective national will to ensure health care equity through expanded health insurance coverage, support for primary care, and public accountability based on progress toward defined, time-limited objectives using evidence-based, sufficiently resourced, multilevel quality improvement strategies that engage patients, clinicians, health care organizations, and communities.

  8. Environmental Quality Index and Childhood Mental Health

    EPA Science Inventory

    Childhood mental disorders affect between 13%-20% of children in the United States (US) annually and impact the child, family, and community. Literature suggests associations exist between environmental and children’s mental health such as air pollution with autism and ADHD...

  9. Internal marketing: creating quality employee experiences in health care organizations.

    PubMed

    Masri, Maysoun Dimachkie; Oetjen, Dawn; Rotarius, Timothy

    2011-01-01

    To cope with the recent challenges within the health care industry, health care managers need to engage in the internal marketing of their various services. Internal marketing has been used as an effective management tool to increase employees' motivation, satisfaction, and productivity (J Mark Commun. 2010;16(5):325-344). Health care managers should understand that an intense focus on internal marketing factors will lead to a quality experience for employees that will ultimately have a positive effect on the patient experiences.

  10. [Valuation of health-related quality of life and utilities in health economics].

    PubMed

    Greiner, Wolfgang; Klose, Kristina

    2014-01-01

    Measuring health-related quality of life is an important aspect in economic evaluation of health programmes. The development of utility-based (preference-based) measures is advanced by the discipline of health economics. Different preference measures are applied for valuing health states to produce a weighted health state index. Those preference weights should be derived from a general population sample in case of resource allocation on a collective level (as in current valuation studies of the EuroQol group).

  11. Creating a culture for health care quality and safety.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Velma; Perryman, Martha M

    2007-01-01

    Approximately 67% of hospital quality indicators require some type of laboratory testing to monitor compliance. Unfortunately, in many hospitals, laboratory data information systems remain an untapped resource in eliminating medical errors and improving patient safety. Using case scenarios, this article demonstrates potential consequences for patient safety and quality of care when information sharing between medical technologists and nurses is not a part of a hospital's culture. The outcome for this patient could have been avoided if a more inclusive health care quality and safety culture existed. Creating a culture for health care quality and safety requires consensus building by clinical and administrative leaders. Consensus building occurs by managing relationships among and between a team of independent, autonomous physicians, nurses, allied health professionals, and health care administrators. These relationships are built on mutual respect and effective communication. Creating a quality culture is a challenging but necessary prerequisite for eliminating medical errors and ensuring patient safety. Physician leaders promoting and advancing cultural change in clinical care from one of exclusive decision making authority to a culture that is based on shared decision making are a necessary first step. Shared decision making requires mutual respect, trust, confidentiality, responsiveness, empathy, effective listening, and communication among all clinical team members. Physician and administrative leaders with a focus on patient safety and a willingness to change will ensure a culture of health care quality and safety.

  12. 77 FR 17143 - Medicaid Program; Eligiblity Changes Under the Affordable Care Act of 2010

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-03-23

    ...This final rule implements several provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (collectively referred to as the Affordable Care Act). The Affordable Care Act expands access to health insurance coverage through improvements to the Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance (CHIP) programs, the establishment of......

  13. Low health-related quality of life among abused women.

    PubMed

    Alsaker, Kjersti; Moen, Bente E; Nortvedt, Monica W; Baste, Valborg

    2006-08-01

    In a cross-sectional study, we sent a self-administered questionnaire to all the women's shelters in Norway to describe health-related quality of life among women who had experienced violence from an intimate partner. Every woman who could understand Norwegian and was staying at a women's shelter in Norway for more than 1 week from October 2002 to May 2003 was asked to participate. We described violence by intimate partners by using the Severity of Violence against Women Scale and the Psychological Maltreatment of Women Index. We used the SF-36 Health Survey to measure health-related quality of life. These women experienced a multitude of threats and actual physical and psychological violence during their partnership. Their health-related quality of life was low and significantly (p<0.001) below the norm for the female population of Norway in all dimensions. The SF-36 mental health dimension was 2.5 standard deviations below the norm. Women at women's shelters in Norway who had experienced domestic violence had very low and clinically significantly reduced health-related quality of life scores. Health care workers must give priority to developing intervention plans for victims of violence from intimate partners.

  14. Service quality perceptions in primary health care centres in Greece

    PubMed Central

    Papanikolaou, Vicky; Zygiaris, Sotiris

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Context  The paper refers to the increased competition between health care providers and the need for patient‐centred services in Greece. Using service quality methodology, this paper investigates service quality perceptions of patients in Greek public primary health centres. Objective  To test the internal consistency and applicability of SERVQUAL in primary health care centres in Greece. Strategy  SERVQUAL was used to examine whether patients have different expectations from health care providers and whether different groups of patients may consider some dimensions of care more important than others. Results  The analysis showed that there were gaps in all dimensions measured by SERVQUAL. The largest gap was detected in empathy. Further analysis showed that there were also differences depending on gender, age and education levels. A separate analysis of expectations and perceptions revealed that this gap was because of differences in patients’ perceptions rather than expectations. Discussion and conclusions  This paper raises a number of issues that concern the applicability of SERVQUAL in health care services and could enhance current discussions about SERVQUAL improvement. Quality of health care needs to be redefined by encompassing multiple dimensions. Beyond a simple expectations–perceptions gap, people may hold different understandings of health care that, in turn, influence their perception of the quality of services. PMID:22296402

  15. Price and quality transparency: how effective for health care reform?

    PubMed

    Nyman, John A; Li, Chia-Hsuan W

    2009-07-01

    Many in Minnesota and the United States are promoting price and quality transparency as a means for reforming health care. The assumption is that with such information, consumers and providers would be motivated to change their behavior and this would lead to lower costs and higher-quality care.This article attempts to determine the extent to which publicizing information about the cost and quality of medical care does, in fact, improve quality and lower costs, and thus should be included in any reform strategy. The authors reviewed a number of studies and concluded that there is a general lack of empirical evidence on the effect of price transparency on health care costs and that the evidence on the effectiveness of quality transparency is mixed.

  16. Quality of sleep and health-related quality of life in renal transplant recipients

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Hong-Xia; Lin, Jun; Lin, Xiao-Hong; Wallace, Linda; Teng, Sha; Zhang, Shu-Ping; Hao, Yu-Fang

    2015-01-01

    Aims and objectives: The purpose of this study was to examine the sleep quality and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in patients after renal transplantation and to explore the relationship between the quality of sleep and the HRQOL. Background: Sleep disorders are still an important clinical problem after renal transplantation. Previous studies mainly focused on patients’ sleep quality before kidney transplant. More studies are needed to document sleep quality after renal transplantation. Design: A cross-sectional design was used in this study. Methods: A convenience sample of renal transplant recipients was recruited at an outpatient transplant clinic of a general hospital in Beijing, China. The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) was used to measure quality of sleep. The Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short Form (MOS SF-36) was used to measure health-related quality of life. Results: The average PSQI score of the 204 renal transplant recipients was 5.81±3.52, significantly lower than the norm. Fifty (24.5%) recipients were classified as having poor sleep quality (global PSQI > 7). The mean scores of renal transplant recipients for SF-36 Mental Component Summary (MCS) and Physical Component Summary (PCS) were 47.57±6.71 and 48.26±9.66 respectively. Compared with residents in Sichuan province, recipients’ scores for SF-36 dimensions were statistically lower except the dimension of mental health. SF-36 scores of poor sleepers (PSQI > 7) were significantly lower than the good sleepers (PSQI ≤ 7) in both the MCS and PCS. Significant differences exist between the groups in physical function, bodily pain, vitality, and mental health dimensions. Conclusions: Sleep quality and HRQOL of patients after renal transplantation were lower than the norm. Poor sleep is associated with lower HRQOL. Relevance to clinical practice: Health professionals need to pay attention to sleep quality and HRQOL in renal transplant recipients and take appropriate measures to

  17. Repeal and Replace of Affordable Care: A Complex, but Not an Impossible Task.

    PubMed

    Manchikanti, Laxmaiah; Hirsch, Joshua A

    2016-01-01

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA), signature legislation of President Obama, was arguably the most consequential and comprehensive health care reform since Medicare was introduced as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson's great society. It has been claimed that many of the law's reforms are now so integrated in the health system that full repeal would be impractical, while others including President Elect Trump have rejected that idea and called for full repeal and replacement claiming ACA law cannot be fixed. A tsunami of increasing regulatory burden over the past 8 years, the current health care milieu has moved independent practitioners towards hospital employment in great numbers. In addition, public opinion has been slowly climbing against ObamaCare with 54% of Americans now opposing the law.President Obama has indicated that the law has accomplished many of its goals, including increasing accessibility, affordability, and quality of health care. However, others have contradicted these assertions and described the ACA as "insurance for many with coverage for few." Some believe that the ACA might be more appropriately labeled the "Medicaid Expansion Act."There are multiple plans developed over the years by republican members of the congress; however, of significant consequence and importance are President-elect Trump's proposals and the plan developed by Speaker Paul Ryan to repeal and replace the ACA. The President-elect has described the problems he perceives with the ACA; rapidly rising premiums and deductibles, narrow networks, and limits of coverage imposed by health insurance companies. The President-elect has indicated that his goal will be to create a patient-centered health care system that promotes choice, quality, and affordability with health insurance and health care, and take any needed action to alleviate the burdens imposed on American families and businesses by law.Key words: Affordable Care Act, ObamaCare, Medicaid, exchanges, Trump plan, repeal

  18. Health-Related Quality of Life and Health-Promoting Behaviors in Black Men

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Calvert, Wilma J.; Isaac,, E. Paulette; Johnson, Sharon

    2012-01-01

    This study examined the health-related quality of life and health-promoting behaviors in a convenience sample of low-income black men. Almost three-fourths reported their overall health as good or better. However, the mean number of recent (that is, past 30 days) mentally unhealthy days was 13.12, and more than half reported frequent (greater than…

  19. Air Quality Index (AQI) -- A Guide to Air Quality and Your Health

    MedlinePlus

    ... the AQI value, the greater the level of air pollution and the greater the health concern. For example, ... to 50. Air quality is considered satisfactory, and air pollution poses little or no risk. "Moderate" AQI is ...

  20. How the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement could undermine PHARMAC and threaten access to affordable medicines and health equity in New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Gleeson, Deborah; Lopert, Ruth; Reid, Papaarangi

    2013-10-01

    New Zealand's Pharmaceutical Management Agency (PHARMAC) has been highly successful in facilitating affordable access to medicines through a combination of aggressive price negotiations, innovative procurement mechanisms, and careful evaluation of value for money. Recently the US government, through the establishment of a series of bilateral and plurilateral "free" trade agreements, has attempted to constrain the pharmaceutical access programs of other countries in order to promote the interests of the pharmaceutical industry. The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) represents the latest example; through the TPPA the US is seeking to eliminate therapeutic reference pricing, introduce appeals processes for pharmaceutical companies to challenge formulary listing and pricing decisions, and introduce onerous disclosure and "transparency" provisions that facilitate industry involvement in decision-making around coverage and pricing of medicines (and medical devices). This paper argues that the US agenda, if successfully prosecuted, would be likely to increase costs and reduce access to affordable medicines for New Zealanders. This would in turn be likely to exacerbate known inequities in access to medicines and thus disproportionately affect disadvantaged population groups, including Māori and Pacific peoples.

  1. Medicare and Medicaid Programs; CY 2016 Home Health Prospective Payment System Rate Update; Home Health Value-Based Purchasing Model; and Home Health Quality Reporting Requirements. Final rule.

    PubMed

    2015-11-05

    This final rule will update Home Health Prospective Payment System (HH PPS) rates, including the national, standardized 60-day episode payment rates, the national per-visit rates, and the non-routine medical supply (NRS) conversion factor under the Medicare prospective payment system for home health agencies (HHAs), effective for episodes ending on or after January 1, 2016. As required by the Affordable Care Act, this rule implements the 3rd year of the 4-year phase-in of the rebasing adjustments to the HH PPS payment rates. This rule updates the HH PPS case-mix weights using the most current, complete data available at the time of rulemaking and provides a clarification regarding the use of the "initial encounter'' seventh character applicable to certain ICD-10-CM code categories. This final rule will also finalize reductions to the national, standardized 60-day episode payment rate in CY 2016, CY 2017, and CY 2018 of 0.97 percent in each year to account for estimated case-mix growth unrelated to increases in patient acuity (nominal case-mix growth) between CY 2012 and CY 2014. In addition, this rule implements a HH value-based purchasing (HHVBP) model, beginning January 1, 2016, in which all Medicare-certified HHAs in selected states will be required to participate. Finally, this rule finalizes minor changes to the home health quality reporting program and minor technical regulations text changes.

  2. Competition and quality in home health care markets.

    PubMed

    Jung, Kyoungrae; Polsky, Daniel

    2014-03-01

    Market-based solutions are often proposed to improve health care quality; yet evidence on the role of competition in quality in non-hospital settings is sparse. We examine the relationship between competition and quality in home health care. This market is different from other markets in that service delivery takes place in patients' homes, which implies low costs of market entry and exit for agencies. We use 6 years of panel data for Medicare beneficiaries during the early 2000s. We identify the competition effect from within-market variation in competition over time. We analyze three quality measures: functional improvements, the number of home health visits, and discharges without hospitalization. We find that the relationship between competition and home health quality is nonlinear and its pattern differs by quality measure. Competition has positive effects on functional improvements and the number of visits in most ranges, but in the most competitive markets, functional outcomes and the number of visits slightly drop. Competition has a negative effect on discharges without hospitalization that is strongest in the most competitive markets. This finding is different from prior research on hospital markets and suggests that market-specific environments should be considered in developing polices to promote competition.

  3. Improving Data Quality in Mass-Gatherings Health Research.

    PubMed

    Guy, Andrew; Prager, Ross; Turris, Sheila; Lund, Adam

    2017-03-09

    Mass gatherings attract large crowds and can strain the planning and health resources of the community, city, or nation hosting an event. Mass-Gatherings Health (MGH) is an evolving niche of prehospital care rooted in emergency medicine, emergency management, public health, and disaster medicine. To explore front-line issues related to data quality in the context of mass gatherings, the authors draw on five years of management experience with an online, mass-gathering event and patient registry, as well as clinical and operational experience amassed over several decades. Here the authors propose underlying human, environmental, and logistical factors that may contribute to poor data quality at mass gatherings, and make specific recommendations for improvement through pre-event planning, on-site actions, and post-event follow-up. The advancement of MGH research will rely on addressing factors that influence data quality and developing strategies to mitigate or enhance those factors. This is an exciting time for MGH research as higher order questions are beginning to be addressed; however, quality research must start from the ground up to ensure optimal primary data capture and quality. Guy A , Prager R , Turris S , Lund A . Improving data quality in mass-gatherings health research. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32(3):1-4.

  4. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

    THOMAS, 111th Congress

    Rep. Rangel, Charles B. [D-NY-15

    2009-09-17

    03/23/2010 Became Public Law No: 111-148. (TXT | PDF) (All Actions) Notes: H.R.4872 makes a number of health-related financing and revenue changes to this bill. Read together, this bill and the health care-related provisions of H.R.4872 are commonly referred to as the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Tracker: This bill has the status Became LawHere are the steps for Status of Legislation:

  5. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

    THOMAS, 111th Congress

    Rep. Rangel, Charles B. [D-NY-15

    2009-09-17

    03/23/2010 Became Public Law No: 111-148. (PDF) (All Actions) Notes: H.R.4872 makes a number of health-related financing and revenue changes to this bill. Read together, this bill and the health care-related provisions of H.R.4872 are commonly referred to as the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Tracker: This bill has the status Became LawHere are the steps for Status of Legislation:

  6. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

    THOMAS, 111th Congress

    Rep. Rangel, Charles B. [D-NY-15

    2009-09-17

    03/23/2010 Became Public Law No: 111-148. (TXT | PDF) (All Actions) Notes: H.R.4872 makes a number of health-related financing and revenue changes to this bill. Read together, this bill and the health care-related provisions of H.R.4872 are commonly referred to as the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Tracker: This bill has the status Became LawHere are the steps for Status of Legislation:

  7. [Nosocomial infections and quality of health care].

    PubMed

    Navarrete-Navarro, S; Rangel-Frausto, M S

    1999-01-01

    The main objective of a hospital-acquired infections control program is to decrease the risk of acquisition and the morbidity and costs associated. The organization of a team with technical and humanistic leadership is essential. Every infection control program must also develop strategies that allow: a) identification of the problems, b) to establish the importance of each one, c) to determine their causes, d) to develop solutions and e) the evaluation of the recommended solutions. The development of technical and humanistic abilities by the leader and the members of the team, and the use of the tools mentioned above have produced the only validate and highly effective program of quality improvement in the hospital.

  8. Achieving Sustainable Construction in Affordable Housing

    SciTech Connect

    Barcik, M.K.; Creech, D.B.; Ternes, M.P.

    1998-12-07

    An energy-efficient design and construction checklist and information sheets on energy-efficient design and construction are two products being developed. These products will help affordable housing providers take the first steps toward a whole-house approach to the design and implementation of energy-efficient construction practices. The checklist presents simple and clear guidance on energy improvements that can be readily addressed now by most affordable housing providers. The information sheets complement the checklist by providing installation instructions and material specifications that are accompanied by detailed graphics. The information sheets also identify benefits of recommended energy-efficiency measures and procedures including cost savings and impacts on health and comfort. This paper presents details on the checklist and information sheets and discusses their use in two affordable housing projects.

  9. Service Quality Assessment Scale (SQAS): An Instrument for Evaluating Service Quality of Health-Fitness Clubs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lam, Eddie T. C.; Zhang, James J.; Jensen, Barbara E.

    2005-01-01

    This study was designed to develop the Service Quality Assessment Scale to evaluate the service quality of health-fitness clubs. Through a review of literature, field observations, interviews, modified application of the Delphi technique, and a pilot study, a preliminary scale with 46 items was formulated. The preliminary scale was administered to…

  10. Cocoa agronomy, quality, nutritional, and health aspects.

    PubMed

    Badrie, Neela; Bekele, Frances; Sikora, Elzbieta; Sikora, Marek

    2015-01-01

    The history of cocoa and chocolate including the birth and the expansion of the chocolate industry was described. Recent developments in the industry and cocoa economy were briefly depicted. An overview of the classification of cacao as well as studies on phenotypic and genetic diversity was presented. Cocoa agronomic practices including traditional and modern propagation techniques were reviewed. Nutrition-related health benefits derived from cocoa consumption were listed and widely reviewed. The specific action of cocoa antioxidants was compared to those of teas and wines. Effects of adding milk to chocolate and chocolate drinks versus bioavailability of cocoa polyphenols were discussed. Finally, flavor, sensory, microbiological, and toxicological aspects of cocoa consumption were presented.

  11. Patient perceptions of the quality of health services.

    PubMed

    Sofaer, Shoshanna; Firminger, Kirsten

    2005-01-01

    As calls are made for a more patient-centered health care system, it becomes critical to define and measure patient perceptions of health care quality and to understand more fully what drives those perceptions. This chapter identifies conceptual and methodological issues that make this task difficult, including the confusion between patient perceptions and patient satisfaction and the difficulty of determining whether systematic variations in patient perceptions should be attributed to differences in expectations or actual experiences. We propose a conceptual model to help unravel these knotty issues; review qualitative studies that report directly from patients on how they define quality; provide an overview of how health plans, hospitals, physicians, and health care in general are currently viewed by patients; assess whether and how patient health status and demographic characteristics relate to perceptions of health care quality; and identify where further, or more appropriately designed, research is needed. Our aim is to find out what patients want, need and experience in health care, not what professionals (however well-motivated) believe they need or get.

  12. Assessing Quality across Health Care Subsystems in Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Puig, Andrea; Pagán, José A.; Wong, Rebeca

    2012-01-01

    Recent healthcare reform efforts in Mexico have focused on the need to improve the efficiency and equity of a fragmented healthcare system. In light of these reform initiatives, there is a need to assess whether healthcare subsystems are effective at providing high-quality healthcare to all Mexicans. Nationally representative household survey data from the 2006 Encuesta Nacional de Salud y Nutrición (National Health and Nutrition Survey) were used to assess perceived healthcare quality across different subsystems. Using a sample of 7234 survey respondents, we found evidence of substantial heterogeneity in healthcare quality assessments across healthcare subsystems favoring private providers over social security institutions. These differences across subsystems remained even after adjusting for socioeconomic, demographic, and health factors. Our analysis suggests that improvements in efficiency and equity can be achieved by assessing the factors that contribute to heterogeneity in quality across subsystems. PMID:19305224

  13. [ISO 9000: guidelines for a total quality system in health].

    PubMed

    Pasini, E; Opasich, C; Scherillo, M

    1998-04-01

    The Italian National Health System has recently been revised and reorganized. In the new scenario, the quality of the service being provided is considered extremely important. The international ISO 9000 standard has made it possible to implement a total-quality management system that can be documented and certified independently by a third party. Several hospitals in Italy and abroad have implemented a total-quality system according to ISO 9000 standards in order to provide a service that can satisfy the expectations of the patients in a controlled and efficient way. This article describes ISO 9000, proposes its application to ensure quality in the structures and organizations involved in the national health system and reports several examples of how the standard has been implemented in hospitals.

  14. The management of health care service quality. A physician perspective.

    PubMed

    Bobocea, L; Gheorghe, I R; Spiridon, St; Gheorghe, C M; Purcarea, V L

    2016-01-01

    Applying marketing in health care services is presently an essential element for every manager or policy maker. In order to be successful, a health care organization has to identify an accurate measurement scale for defining service quality due to competitive pressure and cost values. The most widely employed scale in the services sector is SERVQUAL scale. In spite of being successfully adopted in fields such as brokerage and banking, experts concluded that the SERVQUAL scale should be modified depending on the specific context. Moreover, the SERVQUAL scale focused on the consumer's perspective regarding service quality. While service quality was measured with the help of SERVQUAL scale, other experts identified a structure-process-outcome design, which, they thought, would be more suitable for health care services. This approach highlights a different perspective on investigating the service quality, namely, the physician's perspective. Further, we believe that the Seven Prong Model for Improving Service Quality has been adopted in order to effectively measure the health care service in a Romanian context from a physician's perspective.

  15. The management of health care service quality. A physician perspective

    PubMed Central

    Bobocea, L; Gheorghe, IR; Spiridon, St; Gheorghe, CM; Purcarea, VL

    2016-01-01

    Applying marketing in health care services is presently an essential element for every manager or policy maker. In order to be successful, a health care organization has to identify an accurate measurement scale for defining service quality due to competitive pressure and cost values. The most widely employed scale in the services sector is SERVQUAL scale. In spite of being successfully adopted in fields such as brokerage and banking, experts concluded that the SERVQUAL scale should be modified depending on the specific context. Moreover, the SERVQUAL scale focused on the consumer’s perspective regarding service quality. While service quality was measured with the help of SERVQUAL scale, other experts identified a structure-process-outcome design, which, they thought, would be more suitable for health care services. This approach highlights a different perspective on investigating the service quality, namely, the physician’s perspective. Further, we believe that the Seven Prong Model for Improving Service Quality has been adopted in order to effectively measure the health care service in a Romanian context from a physician’s perspective. PMID:27453745

  16. High-quality Health Information Provision for Stroke Patients

    PubMed Central

    Du, Hong-Sheng; Ma, Jing-Jian; Li, Mu

    2016-01-01

    Objective: High-quality information provision can allow stroke patients to effectively participate in healthcare decision-making, better manage the stroke, and make a good recovery. In this study, we reviewed information needs of stroke patients, methods for providing information to patients, and considerations needed by the information providers. Data Sources: The literature concerning or including information provision for patients with stroke in English was collected from PubMed published from 1990 to 2015. Study Selection: We included all the relevant articles on information provision for stroke patients in English, with no limitation of study design. Results: Stroke is a major public health concern worldwide. High-quality and effective health information provision plays an essential role in helping patients to actively take part in decision-making and healthcare, and empowering them to effectively self-manage their long-standing chronic conditions. Different methods for providing information to patients have their relative merits and suitability, and as a result, the effective strategies taken by health professionals may include providing high-quality information, meeting patients’ individual needs, using suitable methods in providing information, and maintaining active involvement of patients. Conclusions: It is suggested that to enable stroke patients to access high-quality health information, greater efforts need to be made to ensure patients to receive accurate and current evidence-based information which meets their individual needs. Health professionals should use suitable information delivery methods, and actively involve stroke patients in information provision. PMID:27569241

  17. Introducing quality management into primary health care services in Uganda.

    PubMed Central

    Omaswa, F.; Burnham, G.; Baingana, G.; Mwebesa, H.; Morrow, R.

    1997-01-01

    In 1994, a national quality assurance programme was established in Uganda to strengthen district-level management of primary health care services. Within 18 months both objective and subjective improvements in the quality of services had been observed. In the examples documented here, there was a major reduction in maternal mortality among pregnant women referred to Jinja District Hospital, a reduction in waiting times and increased patient satisfaction at Masaka District Hospital, and a marked reduction in reported cases of measles in Arua District. Beyond these quantitative improvements, increased morale of district health team members, improved satisfaction among patients, and greater involvement of local government in the decisions of district health committees have been observed. At the central level, the increased coordination of activities has led to new guidelines for financial management and the procurement of supplies. District quality management workshops followed up by regular support visits from the Ministry of Health headquarters have led to a greater understanding by central staff of the issues faced at the district level. The quality assurance programme has also fostered improved coordination among national disease-control programmes. Difficulties encountered at the central level have included delays in carrying out district support visits and the failure to provide appropriate support. At the district level, some health teams tackled problems over which they had little control or which were overly complex; others lacked the management capacity for problem solving. PMID:9185368

  18. Improving the quality of health care: what's taking so long?

    PubMed

    Chassin, Mark R

    2013-10-01

    Nearly fourteen years ago the Institute of Medicine's report, To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System, triggered a national movement to improve patient safety. Despite the substantial and concentrated efforts that followed, quality and safety problems in health care continue to routinely result in harm to patients. Desired progress will not be achieved unless substantial changes are made to the way in which quality improvement is conducted. Alongside important efforts to eliminate preventable complications of care, there must also be an effort to seriously address the widespread overuse of health services. That overuse, which places patients at risk of harm and wastes resources at the same time, has been almost entirely left out of recent quality improvement endeavors. Newer and much more effective strategies and tools are needed to address the complex quality challenges confronting health care. Tools such as Lean, Six Sigma, and change management are proving highly effective in tackling problems as difficult as hand-off communication failures and patient falls. Finally, the organizational culture of most American hospitals and other health care organizations must change. To create a culture of safety, leaders must eliminate intimidating behaviors that suppress the reporting of errors and unsafe conditions. Leaders must also hold everyone accountable for adherence to safe practices.

  19. Disparities in Health Care Quality among Asian Children with Special Health Care Needs.

    PubMed

    Son, Esther; Parish, Susan L; Igdalsky, Leah

    2017-03-02

    There is a dearth of information on the quality of health care for Asian American children and particularly Asian children with special health care needs (CSHCN). The goal of this article was to determine whether there were disparities in quality of health care for Asian CSHCN, whose experiences have not been studied. Data were derived from the 2009-2010 National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs (ns = 355 non-Hispanic Asian children and 4,343 non-Hispanic white CSHCN). Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine the relationship between racial identity (that is, non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic Asian) and quality of health care. Racial disparities in quality of health care were substantial between Asian and white CSHCN in 2009-2010. Asian parents were significantly less likely than white parents to report that their health care provider provided the specific information they needed, helped them feel like a partner in their child's care, and was sensitive to the family's values and customs. The development and testing of specific, targeted policy and practice interventions to reduce disparities in health care quality for these children are urgently needed.

  20. Using social determinants of health to link health workforce diversity, care quality and access, and health disparities to achieve health equity in nursing.

    PubMed

    Williams, Shanita D; Hansen, Kristen; Smithey, Marian; Burnley, Josepha; Koplitz, Michelle; Koyama, Kirk; Young, Janice; Bakos, Alexis

    2014-01-01

    It is widely accepted that diversifying the nation's health-care workforce is a necessary strategy to increase access to quality health care for all populations, reduce health disparities, and achieve health equity. In this article, we present a conceptual model that utilizes the social determinants of health framework to link nursing workforce diversity and care quality and access to two critical population health indicators-health disparities and health equity. Our proposed model suggests that a diverse nursing workforce can provide increased access to quality health care and health resources for all populations, and is a necessary precursor to reduce health disparities and achieve health equity. With this conceptual model as a foundation, we aim to stimulate the conceptual and analytical work-both within and outside the nursing field-that is necessary to answer these important but largely unanswered questions.

  1. Using Social Determinants of Health to Link Health Workforce Diversity, Care Quality and Access, and Health Disparities to Achieve Health Equity in Nursing

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, Kristen; Smithey, Marian; Burnley, Josepha; Koplitz, Michelle; Koyama, Kirk; Young, Janice; Bakos, Alexis

    2014-01-01

    It is widely accepted that diversifying the nation's health-care workforce is a necessary strategy to increase access to quality health care for all populations, reduce health disparities, and achieve health equity. In this article, we present a conceptual model that utilizes the social determinants of health framework to link nursing workforce diversity and care quality and access to two critical population health indicators—health disparities and health equity. Our proposed model suggests that a diverse nursing workforce can provide increased access to quality health care and health resources for all populations, and is a necessary precursor to reduce health disparities and achieve health equity. With this conceptual model as a foundation, we aim to stimulate the conceptual and analytical work—both within and outside the nursing field—that is necessary to answer these important but largely unanswered questions. PMID:24385662

  2. Affordability of Defense Acquisition Programs

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-02-01

    the Office of Director, Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE). The DPP is a particularly useful tool for assessing the affordability of DOD...within the Service programming communities. • The Defense Program Projection is a valuable tool for DOD’s use in assessing affordability; however, in... tool for assessing the affordability of future acquisition in the spirit of the Better Buying Power initiative. A. Ground Rules, Assumptions, and

  3. The Impact of the Coverage-Related Provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on Insurance Coverage and State Health Care Expenditures in Montana: An Analysis from RAND COMPARE.

    PubMed

    Auerbach, David I; Nowak, Sarah A; Ringel, Jeanne S; Girosi, Federico; Eibner, Christine; McGlynn, Elizabeth A; Wasserman, Jeffrey

    2011-01-01

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) contains substantial new requirements aimed at increasing rates of health insurance coverage. Because many of these provisions impose additional costs on the states, officials need reliable estimates of the likely impact of the ACA in their state. To demonstrate the usefulness of modeling for state-level decisionmaking, RAND undertook a preliminary analysis of the impact of the ACA on five states-California, Connecticut, Illinois, Montana, and Texas-using the RAND COMPARE microsimulation model. For Montana, the model predicts that, in 2016 (the year that all of the provisions in the ACA related to coverage expansion will be fully implemented), the uninsured rate in Montana will fall to 3 percent; without the law, it would remain at 18 percent. The model projects that total state government spending on health care will be 3 percent higher for the combined 2011-2020 period because of the ACA.

  4. The Impact of the Coverage-Related Provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on Insurance Coverage and State Health Care Expenditures in Illinois: An Analysis from RAND COMPARE.

    PubMed

    Auerbach, David I; Nowak, Sarah A; Ringel, Jeanne S; Girosi, Federico; Eibner, Christine; McGlynn, Elizabeth A; Wasserman, Jeffrey

    2011-01-01

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) contains substantial new requirements aimed at increasing rates of health insurance coverage. Because many of these provisions impose additional costs on the states, officials need reliable estimates of the likely impact of the ACA in their state. To demonstrate the usefulness of modeling for state-level decisionmaking, RAND undertook a preliminary analysis of the impact of the ACA on five states-California, Connecticut, Illinois, Montana, and Texas-using the RAND COMPARE microsimulation model. For Illinois, the model predicts that, in 2016 (the year that all of the provisions in the ACA related to coverage expansion will be fully implemented), the uninsured rate in Illinois will fall to 3 percent; without the law, it would remain near 15 percent. The model projects that total state government spending on health care will be 10 percent higher for the combined 2011-2020 period because of the ACA.

  5. The Impact of the Coverage-Related Provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on Insurance Coverage and State Health Care Expenditures in California: An Analysis from RAND COMPARE.

    PubMed

    Auerbach, David I; Nowak, Sarah A; Ringel, Jeanne S; Girosi, Federico; Eibner, Christine; McGlynn, Elizabeth A; Wasserman, Jeffrey

    2011-01-01

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) contains substantial new requirements aimed at increasing rates of health insurance coverage. Because many of these provisions impose additional costs on the states, officials need reliable estimates of the likely impact of the ACA in their state. To demonstrate the usefulness of modeling for state-level decisionmaking, RAND undertook a preliminary analysis of the impact of the ACA on five states-California, Connecticut, Illinois, Montana, and Texas-using the RAND COMPARE microsimulation model. For California, the model predicts that, in 2016 (the year that all of the provisions in the ACA related to coverage expansion will be fully implemented), the uninsured rate in California will fall to 4 percent; without the law, it would remain at 20 percent. The model projects that total state government spending on health care will be 7 percent higher for the combined 2011-2020 period because of the ACA.

  6. The Impact of the Coverage-Related Provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on Insurance Coverage and State Health Care Expenditures in Texas: An Analysis from RAND COMPARE.

    PubMed

    Auerbach, David I; Nowak, Sarah A; Ringel, Jeanne S; Girosi, Federico; Eibner, Christine; McGlynn, Elizabeth A; Wasserman, Jeffrey

    2011-01-01

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) contains substantial new requirements aimed at increasing rates of health insurance coverage. Because many of these provisions impose additional costs on the states, officials need reliable estimates of the likely impact of the ACA in their state. To demonstrate the usefulness of modeling for state-level decisionmaking, RAND undertook a preliminary analysis of the impact of the ACA on five states-California, Connecticut, Illinois, Montana, and Texas-using the RAND COMPARE microsimulation model. For Texas, the model predicts that, in 2016 (the year that all of the provisions in the ACA related to coverage expansion will be fully implemented), the uninsured rate in Texas will fall to 6 percent; without the law, it would remain at 28 percent, the highest in the nation. The model projects that total state government spending on health care will be 10 percent higher for the combined 2011-2020 period because of the ACA.

  7. Health impact assessment of quality wine production in Hungary.

    PubMed

    Adám, Balázs; Molnár, Agnes; Bárdos, Helga; Adány, Róza

    2009-12-01

    Alcohol-related health outcomes show strikingly high incidence in Hungary. The effects of alcohol consumption are influenced not only by the quantity, but also the quality of drinks; therefore, wine production can have an important effect on public health outcomes. Nevertheless, the Hungarian wine sector faces several vital problems and challenges influenced by the country's accession to the European Union and by the need for restructuring. A comprehensive health impact assessment (HIA) based on the evaluation of the Hungarian legislation related to the wine sector has been carried out, aiming to assess the impact of the production of quality wine versus that of table wine, using a range of public health and epidemiological research methods and data as well as HIA guidelines. The study finds that the toxic effects of alcohol can be reduced with an increased supply of quality wine and with decreased overall consumption due to higher cost, although this might drive some people to seek illegal sources. Quality wine production allows for improved use of land, creates employment opportunities and increases the incomes of producers and local communities; however, capital-scarce producers unable to manage restructuring may lose their source of subsistence. The supply of quality wine can promote social relations, contribute to a healthy lifestyle and reduce criminality related to alcohol's influence and adulteration. In general, the production and supply of quality wine can have an overall positive impact on health. Nevertheless, because of the several possible negative effects expected without purposeful restructuring, recommendations for the maximization of favourable outcomes and suggestions for monitoring the success of the analysis have been provided.

  8. Does Satisfaction Reflect the Technical Quality of Mental Health Care?

    PubMed Central

    Edlund, Mark J; Young, Alexander S; Kung, Fuan Yue; Sherbourne, Cathy D; Wells, Kenneth B

    2003-01-01

    Objective To analyze the relationship between satisfaction and technical quality of care for common mental disorders. Data Source A nationally representative telephone survey of 9,585 individuals conducted in 1997–1998. Study Design Using multinomial logistic regression techniques we investigated the association between a five-level measure of satisfaction with the mental health care available for personal or emotional problems and two quality indicators. The first measure, appropriate technical quality, was defined as use of either appropriate counseling or psychotropic medications during the prior year for a probable depressive or anxiety disorder. The second, active treatment, indicated whether the respondent had received treatment for a psychiatric disorder in the past year. Covariates included measures of physical and mental health and sociodemographic indicators. Principal Findings Appropriate technical quality of care was significantly associated with higher levels of satisfaction. The strength of the association was moderate. Conclusions Satisfaction is associated with technical quality of care. However, profiling quality of care with satisfaction will likely require large samples and case-mix adjustment, which may be more difficult for plans or provider groups to implement than measuring technical indicators. More importantly, satisfaction is not the same as technical quality, and our results suggest that at this time they cannot be made to approach each other closely enough to eliminate either. PMID:12785565

  9. Marital quality and health: A meta-analytic review

    PubMed Central

    Robles, Theodore F.; Slatcher, Richard B.; Trombello, Joseph M.; McGinn, Meghan M.

    2013-01-01

    This meta-analysis reviewed 126 published empirical articles over the past 50 years describing associations between marital relationship quality and physical health in over 72,000 individuals. Health outcomes included clinical endpoints (objective assessments of function, disease severity, and mortality; subjective health assessments) and surrogate endpoints (biological markers that substitute for clinical endpoints, such as blood pressure). Biological mediators included cardiovascular reactivity and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity. Greater marital quality was related to better health, with mean effect sizes from r = .07 to .21, including lower risk of mortality, r = .11, and lower cardiovascular reactivity during marital conflict, r = −.13, but not daily cortisol slopes or cortisol reactivity during conflict. The small effect sizes were similar in magnitude to previously found associations between health behaviors (e.g., diet) and health outcomes. Effect sizes for a small subset of clinical outcomes were susceptible to publication bias. In some studies, effect sizes remained significant after accounting for confounds such as age and socioeconomic status. Studies with a higher proportion of women in the sample demonstrated larger effect sizes, but we found little evidence for gender differences in studies that explicitly tested gender moderation, with the exception of surrogate endpoint studies. Our conclusions are limited by small numbers of studies for specific health outcomes, unexplained heterogeneity, and designs that limit causal inferences. These findings highlight the need to explicitly test affective, health behavior, and biological mechanisms in future research, and focus on moderating factors that may alter the relationship between marital quality and health. PMID:23527470

  10. 78 FR 65045 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Program Integrity: Exchange, Premium Stabilization...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-10-30

    ...This final rule implements provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (collectively referred to as the Affordable Care Act). Specifically, this final rule outlines financial integrity and oversight standards with respect to Affordable Insurance Exchanges, qualified health plan (QHP) issuers in Federally-facilitated......

  11. The effect of health insurance on workers' compensation filing: Evidence from the affordable care act's age-based threshold for dependent coverage.

    PubMed

    Dillender, Marcus

    2015-09-01

    This paper identifies the effect of health insurance on workers' compensation (WC) filing for young adults by implementing a regression discontinuity design using WC medical claims data from Texas. The results suggest health insurance factors into the decision to have WC pay for discretionary care. The implied instrumental variables estimates suggest a ten-percentage-point decrease in health insurance coverage increases WC bills by 15.3 percent. Despite the large impact of health insurance on the number of WC bills, the additional cost to WC at age 26 appears to be small as most of the increase comes from small bills.

  12. Ventilation, indoor air quality, and health in homes undergoing weatherization.

    PubMed

    Francisco, P W; Jacobs, D E; Targos, L; Dixon, S L; Breysse, J; Rose, W; Cali, S

    2017-03-01

    Ventilation standards, health, and indoor air quality have not been adequately examined for residential weatherization. This randomized trial showed how ASHRAE 62-1989 (n=39 houses) and ASHRAE 62.2-2010 (n=42 houses) influenced ventilation rates, moisture balance, indoor air quality, and self-reported physical and mental health outcomes. Average total airflow was nearly twice as high for ASHRAE 62.2-2010 (79 vs. 39 cfm). Volatile organic compounds, formaldehyde and carbon dioxide were all significantly reduced for the newer standard and first-floor radon was marginally lower, but for the older standard, only formaldehyde significantly decreased. Humidity in the ASHRAE 62.2-2010 group was only about half that of the ASHRAE 62-1989 group using the moisture balance metric. Radon was higher in the basement but lower on the first floor for ASHRAE 62.2-2010. Children in each group had fewer headaches, eczema, and skin allergies after weatherization and adults had improvements in psychological distress. Indoor air quality and health improve when weatherization is accompanied by an ASHRAE residential ventilation standard, and the 2010 ASHRAE standard has greater improvements in certain outcomes compared to the 1989 standard. Weatherization, home repair, and energy conservation projects should use the newer ASHRAE standard to improve indoor air quality and health.

  13. Health effects of air quality regulations in Delhi, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foster, Andrew; Kumar, Naresh

    2011-03-01

    This, the first systematic study, quantifies the health effects of air quality regulations in Delhi, which adopted radical measures to improve air quality, including, for example, the conversion of all commercial vehicles to compressed natural gas (CNG), and the closure of polluting industries in residential areas from 2000 to 2002. Air pollution data, collected at 113 sites (spread across Delhi and its neighboring areas) from July-December 2003, were used to compute exposure at the place of residence of 3989 subjects. A socio-economic and respiratory health survey was administered in 1576 households. This survey collected time-use, residence histories, demographic information, and direct measurements of lung function with subjects. The optimal interpolation methods were used to link air pollution and respiratory health data at the place of their residence. Resident histories, in combination with secondary data, were used to impute cumulative exposure prior to the air-quality interventions, and the effects of recent air quality measures on lung function were then evaluated. Three important findings emerge from the analysis. First, the interventions were associated with a significant improvement in respiratory health. Second, the effect of these interventions varied significantly by gender and income. Third, consistent with a causal interpretation of these results, effects were the strongest among those individuals who spend a disproportionate share of their time out-of-doors.

  14. The Case for Quality Health Care for the Poor.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Allen, Ethel D.

    1978-01-01

    This article shows that, while there has been a modification of health care facilities and new approaches to medical care, little change has been effected in the interrelationship between the poor and the delivery of quality medical care. (Author/GC)

  15. Water Quality Criteria for Human Health and Aquatic Life

    EPA Science Inventory

    Collaborative effort with the Office of Water to provide science in support of the development and implementation of new or revised ambient water quality criteria for microbial and chemical contaminants for human health and aquatic life. The research also addresses implementation...

  16. Leadership and management quality: key factors in effective health systems.

    PubMed

    Pfeffermann, Guy

    2012-01-01

    The effectiveness of health care systems in the developing world is related to the quality of their leadership and management, yet that factor has been neglected by academics and funders. Based on replicable existing models, the article proposes an approach to strengthening local management training institutions.

  17. College Student Mental Health and Quality of Workplace Relationships

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vaughn, Allison A.; Drake, Richard R.; Haydock, Sarah

    2016-01-01

    Objective: The goal of this study was to examine the effect of quality of workplace relationships on the mental health of employed undergraduates, with work-related variables as a potential mechanism. Participants: Participants were 170 employed students (76% female, average age = 19.9) recruited in March 2011. Most worked part-time and had been…

  18. Hostility, Relationship Quality, and Health among African American Couples

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Guyll, Max; Cutrona, Carolyn; Burzette, Rebecca; Russell, Daniel

    2010-01-01

    Objective: This study investigated the association between hostility and health and whether it is moderated by the quality of an individual's primary romantic relationship. Method: Longitudinal data were provided by 184 African Americans, including 166 women. Participants averaged 38 years old and were married or in long-term marriagelike…

  19. Health-related quality of life in patients undergoing cholecystectomy.

    PubMed

    Hsueh, Li-Na; Shi, Hon-Yi; Wang, Tsai-Fan; Chang, Chiung-Ying; Lee, King-Teh

    2011-07-01

    This large-scale prospective cohort study of a Taiwan population applied generalized estimating equations to evaluate predictors of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) after open cholecystectomy (OC) and laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) procedures performed between February 2007 and November 2008. The Gastrointestinal Quality of Life Index and Short Form-36 were used in a preoperative assessment and in 3(rd) month and 6(th) month postoperative assessments of 38 OC and 259 LC patients. The HRQOL of the cholecystectomy patients were significantly improved at 3 months and 6 months postsurgery (p<0.05). At 3 months postsurgery, HRQOL improvement was significantly larger in LC patients than in OC patients. Patient characteristics, clinical characteristics, and health care quality were also significantly related to HRQOL improvement (p<0.05). Additionally, after controlling for related variables, preoperative health status was significantly and positively associated with each subscale of the Gastrointestinal Quality of Life Index and Short Form-36 throughout the 6 months (p<0.05). Patients should be advised that their postoperative HRQOL may depend not only on their postoperative health care but also on their preoperative functional status.

  20. Challenges in Data Quality Assurance in Pervasive Health Monitoring Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sriram, Janani; Shin, Minho; Kotz, David; Rajan, Anand; Sastry, Manoj; Yarvis, Mark

    Wearable, portable, and implantable medical sensors have ushered in a new paradigm for healthcare in which patients can take greater responsibility and caregivers can make well-informed, timely decisions. Health-monitoring systems built on such sensors have huge potential benefit to the quality of healthcare and quality of life for many people, such as patients with chronic medical conditions (such as blood-sugar sensors for diabetics), people seeking to change unhealthy behavior (such as losing weight or quitting smoking), or athletes wishing to monitor their condition and performance. To be effective, however, these systems must provide assurances about the quality of the sensor data. The sensors must be applied to the patient by a human, and the sensor data may be transported across multiple networks and devices before it is presented to the medical team. While no system can guarantee data quality, we anticipate that it will help for the system to annotate data with some measure of confidence. In this paper, we take a deeper look at potential health-monitoring usage scenarios and highlight research challenges required to ensure and assess quality of sensor data in health-monitoring systems.

  1. Identifying Key Hospital Service Quality Factors in Online Health Communities

    PubMed Central

    Jung, Yuchul; Hur, Cinyoung; Jung, Dain

    2015-01-01

    Background The volume of health-related user-created content, especially hospital-related questions and answers in online health communities, has rapidly increased. Patients and caregivers participate in online community activities to share their experiences, exchange information, and ask about recommended or discredited hospitals. However, there is little research on how to identify hospital service quality automatically from the online communities. In the past, in-depth analysis of hospitals has used random sampling surveys. However, such surveys are becoming impractical owing to the rapidly increasing volume of online data and the diverse analysis requirements of related stakeholders. Objective As a solution for utilizing large-scale health-related information, we propose a novel approach to identify hospital service quality factors and overtime trends automatically from online health communities, especially hospital-related questions and answers. Methods We defined social media–based key quality factors for hospitals. In addition, we developed text mining techniques to detect such factors that frequently occur in online health communities. After detecting these factors that represent qualitative aspects of hospitals, we applied a sentiment analysis to recognize the types of recommendations in messages posted within online health communities. Korea’s two biggest online portals were used to test the effectiveness of detection of social media–based key quality factors for hospitals. Results To evaluate the proposed text mining techniques, we performed manual evaluations on the extraction and classification results, such as hospital name, service quality factors, and recommendation types using a random sample of messages (ie, 5.44% (9450/173,748) of the total messages). Service quality factor detection and hospital name extraction achieved average F1 scores of 91% and 78%, respectively. In terms of recommendation classification, performance (ie, precision) is

  2. Impacts of Climate Policy on Regional Air Quality, Health, and Air Quality Regulatory Procedures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, T. M.; Selin, N. E.

    2011-12-01

    Both the changing climate, and the policy implemented to address climate change can impact regional air quality. We evaluate the impacts of potential selected climate policies on modeled regional air quality with respect to national pollution standards, human health and the sensitivity of health uncertainty ranges. To assess changes in air quality due to climate policy, we couple output from a regional computable general equilibrium economic model (the US Regional Energy Policy [USREP] model), with a regional air quality model (the Comprehensive Air Quality Model with Extensions [CAMx]). USREP uses economic variables to determine how potential future U.S. climate policy would change emissions of regional pollutants (CO, VOC, NOx, SO2, NH3, black carbon, and organic carbon) from ten emissions-heavy sectors of the economy (electricity, coal, gas, crude oil, refined oil, energy intensive industry, other industry, service, agriculture, and transportation [light duty and heavy duty]). Changes in emissions are then modeled using CAMx to determine the impact on air quality in several cities in the Northeast US. We first calculate the impact of climate policy by using regulatory procedures used to show attainment with National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone and particulate matter. Building on previous work, we compare those results with the calculated results and uncertainties associated with human health impacts due to climate policy. This work addresses a potential disconnect between NAAQS regulatory procedures and the cost/benefit analysis required for and by the Clean Air Act.

  3. Quality at the centre of universal health coverage.

    PubMed

    Sobel, Howard L; Huntington, Dale; Temmerman, Marleen

    2016-05-01

    The last decade of the MDG era witnessed substantial focus on reaching the bottom economic quintiles in low and middle income countries. However, the inordinate focus on reducing financial risk burden and increasing coverage without sufficient focus on expanding quality of services may account for slow progress of the MDGs in many countries. Human Resources for Health underlie quality and service delivery improvements, yet remains under-addressed in many national strategies to achieve Universal Health Coverage. Without adequate investments in improving and expanding health professional education, making and sustaining gains will be unlikely. The transition from the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), with exciting new financing initiatives such as the Global Financing Facility brings the potential to enact substantial gains in the quality of services delivered and upgrading human health resources. This focus should ensure effective methodologies to improve health worker competencies and change practice are employed and ineffective and harmful ones eliminated (including undue influence of commercial interests).

  4. Adult Day Health Center Participation and Health-Related Quality of Life

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schmitt, Eva M.; Sands, Laura P.; Weiss, Sara; Dowling, Glenna; Covinsky, Kenneth

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess the association between Adult Day Health Center (ADHC) participation and health-related quality of life. Design and Methods: Case-controlled prospective study utilizing the Medical Outcomes Survey Form 36 (SF-36) to compare newly enrolled participants from 16 ADHC programs with comparable…

  5. Quality and Health-Optimizing Physical Education: Using Assessment at the Health and Education Nexus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dudley, Dean; Goodyear, Victoria; Baxter, David

    2016-01-01

    Background: The United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) recognizes quality physical education (QPE) must, along with physical, social and affective educative goals, seek to improve the health status of youth (UNESCO, 2015). Health-Optimizing Physical Education (HOPE) is a model of physical education (PE) that…

  6. Water, water quality and health (Chapter 3 in Book entitled: Environmental Tracking for Public Health Surveillance).

    EPA Science Inventory

    This chapter identifies the role environmental tracking plays in identifying public health water hazard and water quality issues. It outlines public health issues to be examined and provides an integrated overview of water and diseases by combining knowledge of the hydrological ...

  7. Space Station Environmental Health System water quality monitoring

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vincze, Johanna E.; Sauer, Richard L.

    1990-01-01

    One of the unique aspects of the Space Station is that it will be a totally encapsulated environment and the air and water supplies will be reclaimed for reuse. The Environmental Health System, a subsystem of CHeCS (Crew Health Care System), must monitor the air and water on board the Space Station Freedom to verify that the quality is adequate for crew safety. Specifically, the Water Quality Subsystem will analyze the potable and hygiene water supplies regularly for organic, inorganic, particulate, and microbial contamination. The equipment selected to perform these analyses will be commercially available instruments which will be converted for use on board the Space Station Freedom. Therefore, the commercial hardware will be analyzed to identify the gravity dependent functions and modified to eliminate them. The selection, analysis, and conversion of the off-the-shelf equipment for monitoring the Space Station reclaimed water creates a challenging project for the Water Quality engineers and scientists.

  8. Monitoring Indoor Air Quality for Enhanced Occupational Health.

    PubMed

    Pitarma, Rui; Marques, Gonçalo; Ferreira, Bárbara Roque

    2017-02-01

    Indoor environments are characterized by several pollutant sources. Because people spend more than 90% of their time in indoor environments, several studies have pointed out the impact of indoor air quality on the etiopathogenesis of a wide number of non-specific symptoms which characterizes the "Sick Building Syndrome", involving the skin, the upper and lower respiratory tract, the eyes and the nervous system, as well as many building related diseases. Thus, indoor air quality (IAQ) is recognized as an important factor to be controlled for the occupants' health and comfort. The majority of the monitoring systems presently available is very expensive and only allow to collect random samples. This work describes the system (iAQ), a low-cost indoor air quality monitoring wireless sensor network system, developed using Arduino, XBee modules and micro sensors, for storage and availability of monitoring data on a web portal in real time. Five micro sensors of environmental parameters (air temperature, humidity, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and luminosity) were used. Other sensors can be added for monitoring specific pollutants. The results reveal that the system can provide an effective indoor air quality assessment to prevent exposure risk. In fact, the indoor air quality may be extremely different compared to what is expected for a quality living environment. Systems like this would have benefit as public health interventions to reduce the burden of symptoms and diseases related to "sick buildings".

  9. Health programmes for school employees: improving quality of life, health and productivity.

    PubMed

    Kolbe, Lloyd J; Tirozzi, Gerald N; Marx, Eva; Bobbitt-Cooke, Mary; Riedel, Sara; Jones, Jack; Schmoyer, Michael

    2005-01-01

    School health programmes in the 21st century could include eight components: 1) health services; 2) health education; 3) healthy physical and psychosocial environments; 4) psychological, counselling, and social services; 5) physical education and other physical activities; 6) healthy food services; and 7) integrated efforts of schools, families, and communities to improve the health of school students and employees. The eighth component of modern school health programmes, health programmes for school employees, is the focus of this article. Health programmes for school employees could be designed to increase the recruitment, retention, and productivity of school employees by partially focusing each of the preceding seven components of the school health programme on improving the health and quality of life of school employees as well as students. Thus, efforts to improve the quality of life, health, and productivity of school employees may be distinct from, but integrated with, efforts to improve the quality of life, health, and education of students. School employee health programmes can improve employee: 1) recruitment; 2) morale; 3) retention; and 4) productivity. They can reduce employee: 5) risk behaviours (e.g., physical inactivity); 6) risk factors (e.g., stress, obesity, high blood pressure); (7) illnesses; 8) work-related injuries; 9) absentee days; 10) worker compensation and disability claims; and 11) health care and health insurance costs. Further, if we hope to improve our schools' performance and raise student achievement levels, developing effective school employee health programmes can increase the likelihood that employees will: 12) serve as healthy role models for students; 13) implement effective school health programmes for students; and 14) present a positive image of the school to the community. If we are to improve the quality of life, health, and productivity of school employees in the 21st century: school administrators, employees, and

  10. World Health Assembly Resolution WHA68.15: "Strengthening Emergency and Essential Surgical Care and Anesthesia as a Component of Universal Health Coverage"—Addressing the Public Health Gaps Arising from Lack of Safe, Affordable and Accessible Surgical and Anesthetic Services.

    PubMed

    Price, Raymond; Makasa, Emmanuel; Hollands, Michael

    2015-09-01

    On May 22 2015, the 68th World Health Assembly (WHA) adopted resolution WHA68.15, "Strengthening emergency and essential surgical care and anesthesia as a component of universal health coverage (UHC)." For the first time, governments worldwide acknowledged and recognized surgery and anesthesia as key components of UHC and health systems strengthening. The resolution details and outlines the highest level of political commitments to address the public health gaps arising from lack of safe, affordable, and accessible surgical and anesthetic services in an integrated approach. This article reviews the background of resolution WHA68.15 and discusses how it can be of use to surgeons, anesthetists, advanced practice clinicians, nurses, and others caring for the surgical patients, especially in low- and middle-income countries.

  11. The Partnered Research Center for Quality Care: Developing Infrastructure to Support Community-partnered Participatory Research in Mental Health

    PubMed Central

    Lizaola, Elizabeth; Schraiber, Ron; Braslow, Joel; Kataoka, Sheryl; Springgate, Benjamin F.; Wells, Kenneth B.; Jones, Loretta

    2013-01-01

    Evidence-based programs have been shown to improve functioning and mental health outcomes, especially for vulnerable populations. However, these populations face numerous barriers to accessing care including lack of resources and stigma surrounding mental health issues. In order to improve mental health outcomes and reduce health disparities, it is essential to identify methods for reaching such populations with unmet need. A promising strategy for reducing barriers and improving access to care is Community Partnered Participatory Research (CPPR). Given the power of this methodology to transform the impact of research in resource-poor communities, we developed an NIMH-funded Center, the Partnered Research Center for Quality Care, to support partnerships in developing, implementing, and evaluating mental health services research and programs. Guided by a CPPR framework, center investigators, both community and academic, collaborated in all phases of research with the goal of establishing trust, building capacity, increasing buy-in, and improving the sustainability of interventions and programs. They engaged in two-way capacity-building, which afforded the opportunity for practical problems to be raised and innovative solutions to be developed. This article discusses the development and design of the Partnered Research Center for Quality Care and provides examples of partnerships that have been formed and the work that has been conducted as a result. PMID:22352082

  12. Developing a risk-based air quality health index

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, Tze Wai; Tam, Wilson Wai San; Yu, Ignatius Tak Sun; Lau, Alexis Kai Hon; Pang, Sik Wing; Wong, Andromeda H. S.

    2013-09-01

    We developed a risk-based, multi-pollutant air quality health index (AQHI) reporting system in Hong Kong, based on the Canadian approach. We performed time series studies to obtain the relative risks of hospital admissions for respiratory and cardiovascular diseases associated with four air pollutants: sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, and particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter less than 10 μm (PM10). We then calculated the sum of excess risks of the hospital admissions associated with these air pollutants. The cut-off points of the summed excess risk, for the issuance of different health warnings, were based on the concentrations of these pollutants recommended as short-term Air Quality Guidelines by the World Health Organization. The excess risks were adjusted downwards for young children and the elderly. Health risk was grouped into five categories and sub-divided into eleven bands, with equal increments in excess risk from band 1 up to band 10 (the 11th band is 'band 10+'). We developed health warning messages for the general public, including at-risk groups: young children, the elderly, and people with pre-existing cardiac or respiratory diseases. The new system addressed two major shortcomings of the current standard-based system; namely, the time lag between a sudden rise in air pollutant concentrations and the issue of a health warning, and the reliance on one dominant pollutant to calculate the index. Hence, the AQHI represents an improvement over Hong Kong's existing air pollution index.

  13. Quality of Life and Health-Related Quality of Life of Adolescents with Cerebral Palsy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rosenbaum, Peter L.; Livingston, Michael H.; Palisano, Robert J.; Galuppi, Barbara E.; Russell, Dianne J.

    2007-01-01

    This study assessed quality of life (QOL) and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of 203 adolescents with cerebral palsy (111 males, 92 females; mean age 16y [SD 1y 9mo]). Participants were classified using the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS), as Level I (n=60), Level II (n=33), Level III (n=28), Level IV (n=50), or Level V…

  14. Diabetes and the Affordable Care Act

    PubMed Central

    Schade, David S.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The Affordable Care Act—“Obamacare”—is the most important federal medical legislation to be enacted since Medicare. Although the goal of the Affordable Care Act is to improve healthcare coverage, access, and quality for all Americans, people with diabetes are especially poised to benefit from the comprehensive reforms included in the act. Signed into law in 2010, this massive legislation will slowly be enacted over the next 10 years. In the making for at least a decade, it will affect every person in the United States, either directly or indirectly. In this review, we discuss the major changes in healthcare that will take place in the next several years, including (1) who needs to purchase insurance on the Web-based exchange, (2) the cost to individuals and the rebates that they may expect, (3) the rules and regulations for purchasing insurance, (4) the characteristics of the different “metallic” insurance plans that are available, and (5) the states that have agreed to participate. With both tables and figures, we have tried to make the Affordable Care Act both understandable and appreciated. The goal of this comprehensive review is to highlight aspects of the Affordable Care Act that are of importance to practitioners who care for people with diabetes by discussing both the positive and the potentially negative aspects of the program as they relate to diabetes care. PMID:24927108

  15. Critical Care Implications of the Affordable Care Act

    PubMed Central

    Dogra, Anjali P.; Dorman, Todd

    2015-01-01

    Objectives To provide an overview of key elements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). To evaluate ways in which the ACA will likely impact the practice of critical care medicine. To describe strategies that may help health systems and providers effectively adapt to changes brought about by the ACA. Data Sources and Synthesis Data sources for this concise review include search results from the PubMed and Embase databases, as well as sources relevant to public policy such as the text of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and reports of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). As all of the ACA's provisions will not be fully implemented until 2019, we also drew upon cost, population and utilization projections as well as the experience of existing state-based healthcare reforms. Conclusion The ACA represents the furthest reaching regulatory changes in the US healthcare system since the 1965 Medicare and Medicaid provisions of the Social Security Act. The ACA aims to expand health insurance coverage to millions of Americans and place an emphasis on quality and cost-effectiveness of care. From models which link pay and performance to those which center on episodic care, the ACA outlines sweeping changes to health systems, reimbursement structures, and the delivery of critical care. Staffing models that include daily rounding by an intensivist, palliative care integration, and expansion of the role of telemedicine in areas where intensivists are inaccessible are potential strategies that may improve quality and profitability of ICU care in the post-ACA era. PMID:26565630

  16. Alternatives to the ACA's Affordability Firewall

    PubMed Central

    Nowak, Sarah A.; Saltzman, Evan; Cordova, Amado

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was designed to increase health insurance coverage while limiting the disruption to individuals with existing sources of insurance coverage, particularly those with employer-sponsored insurance (ESI). To limit disruption to those with coverage, the ACA implements the employer mandate, which requires firms with more than 50 employees to offer health insurance or face penalties, and the individual “affordability firewall,” which limits subsidies to individuals lacking access to alternative sources of coverage that are “affordable.” This article examines the policy impacts of the affordability firewall and investigates two potential modifications. Option 1, which is the “entire family” scenario, involves allowing an exception to the firewall for anyone in a family where the family ESI premium contribution exceeds 9.5 percent of the worker's household income. In Option 2, the “dependents only” scenario, only dependents (and not the worker) become eligible for Marketplace subsidies when the ESI premium contribution exceeds 9.5 percent of the worker's household income. Relative to the ACA, RAND researchers estimate that nongroup enrollment will increase by 4.1 million for Option 1 and by 1.4 million for Option 2. However, the number without insurance only declines by 1.5 million in Option 1 and 0.7 million in Option 2. The difference between the increase in nongroup enrollment and the decrease in uninsurance is primarily due to ESI crowd-out, which is more pronounced for Option 1. Researchers also estimated that about 1.3 million families who have ESI and unsubsidized nongroup coverage under current ACA policy would receive Marketplace subsidies under the alternative affordability firewall scenarios. For these families, health insurance coverage would become substantially more affordable; these families' risk of spending at least 20 percent of income on health care would drop by more than two thirds. We additionally

  17. Alternatives to the ACA's Affordability Firewall.

    PubMed

    Nowak, Sarah A; Saltzman, Evan; Cordova, Amado

    2016-05-09

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was designed to increase health insurance coverage while limiting the disruption to individuals with existing sources of insurance coverage, particularly those with employer-sponsored insurance (ESI). To limit disruption to those with coverage, the ACA implements the employer mandate, which requires firms with more than 50 employees to offer health insurance or face penalties, and the individual "affordability firewall," which limits subsidies to individuals lacking access to alternative sources of coverage that are "affordable." This article examines the policy impacts of the affordability firewall and investigates two potential modifications. Option 1, which is the "entire family" scenario, involves allowing an exception to the firewall for anyone in a family where the family ESI premium contribution exceeds 9.5 percent of the worker's household income. In Option 2, the "dependents only" scenario, only dependents (and not the worker) become eligible for Marketplace subsidies when the ESI premium contribution exceeds 9.5 percent of the worker's household income. Relative to the ACA, RAND researchers estimate that nongroup enrollment will increase by 4.1 million for Option 1 and by 1.4 million for Option 2. However, the number without insurance only declines by 1.5 million in Option 1 and 0.7 million in Option 2. The difference between the increase in nongroup enrollment and the decrease in uninsurance is primarily due to ESI crowd-out, which is more pronounced for Option 1. Researchers also estimated that about 1.3 million families who have ESI and unsubsidized nongroup coverage under current ACA policy would receive Marketplace subsidies under the alternative affordability firewall scenarios. For these families, health insurance coverage would become substantially more affordable; these families' risk of spending at least 20 percent of income on health care would drop by more than two thirds. We additionally estimated that federal

  18. Housing Affordability And Children's Cognitive Achievement.

    PubMed

    Newman, Sandra; Holupka, C Scott

    2016-11-01

    Housing cost burden-the fraction of income spent on housing-is the most prevalent housing problem affecting the healthy development of millions of low- and moderate-income children. By affecting disposable income, a high burden affects parents' expenditures on both necessities for and enrichment of their children, as well as investments in their children. Reducing those expenditures and investments, in turn, can affect children's development, including their cognitive skills and physical, social, and emotional health. This article summarizes the first empirical evidence of the effects of housing affordability on children's cognitive achievement and on one factor that appears to contribute to these effects: the larger expenditures on child enrichment by families in affordable housing. We found that housing cost burden has the same relationship to both children's cognitive achievement and enrichment spending on children, exhibiting an inverted U shape in both cases. The maximum benefit occurs when housing cost burden is near 30 percent of income-the long-standing rule-of-thumb definition of affordable housing. The effect of the burden is stronger on children's math ability than on their reading comprehension and is more pronounced with burdens above the 30 percent standard. For enrichment spending, the curve is "shallower" (meaning the effect of optimal affordability is less pronounced) but still significant.

  19. Changes in Quality of Health Care Delivery after Vertical Integration

    PubMed Central

    Carlin, Caroline S; Dowd, Bryan; Feldman, Roger

    2015-01-01

    Objectives To fill an empirical gap in the literature by examining changes in quality of care measures occurring when multispecialty clinic systems were acquired by hospital-owned, vertically integrated health care delivery systems in the Twin Cities area. Data Sources/Study Setting Administrative data for health plan enrollees attributed to treatment and control clinic systems, merged with U.S. Census data. Study Design We compared changes in quality measures for health plan enrollees in the acquired clinics to enrollees in nine control groups using a differences-in-differences model. Our dataset spans 2 years prior to and 4 years after the acquisitions. We estimated probit models with errors clustered within enrollees. Data Collection/Extraction Methods Data were assembled by the health plan’s informatics team. Principal Findings Vertical integration is associated with increased rates of colorectal and cervical cancer screening and more appropriate emergency department use. The probability of ambulatory care–sensitive admissions increased when the acquisition caused disruption in admitting patterns. Conclusions Moving a clinic system into a vertically integrated delivery system resulted in limited increases in quality of care indicators. Caution is warranted when the acquisition causes disruption in referral patterns. PMID:25529312

  20. Partnering health disparities research with quality improvement science in pediatrics.

    PubMed

    Lion, K Casey; Raphael, Jean L

    2015-02-01

    Disparities in pediatric health care quality are well described in the literature, yet practical approaches to decreasing them remain elusive. Quality improvement (QI) approaches are appealing for addressing disparities because they offer a set of strategies by which to target modifiable aspects of care delivery and a method for tailoring or changing an intervention over time based on data monitoring. However, few examples in the literature exist of QI interventions successfully decreasing disparities, particularly in pediatrics, due to well-described challenges in developing, implementing, and studying QI with vulnerable populations or in underresourced settings. In addition, QI interventions aimed at improving quality overall may not improve disparities, and in some cases, may worsen them if there is greater uptake or effectiveness of the intervention among the population with better outcomes at baseline. In this article, the authors review some of the challenges faced by researchers and frontline clinicians seeking to use QI to address health disparities and propose an agenda for moving the field forward. Specifically, they propose that those designing and implementing disparities-focused QI interventions reconsider comparator groups, use more rigorous evaluation methods, carefully consider the evidence for particular interventions and the context in which they were developed, directly engage the social determinants of health, and leverage community resources to build collaborative networks and engage community members. Ultimately, new partnerships between communities, providers serving vulnerable populations, and QI researchers will be required for QI interventions to achieve their potential related to health care disparity reduction.

  1. Oral Health Related Quality of Life in Diabetic Patients

    PubMed Central

    Sadeghi, Rokhsareh; Taleghani, Ferial; Farhadi, Sareh

    2014-01-01

    Background and aims. Diabetic patients display an increased risk of oral disorders, and oral health related quality of life (OHRQL) might affect their management and treatment modalities. The aim of the present study was to determine OHRQL and associated parameters in patients with diabetes. Materials and methods. In this study two hundred patients were recruited from the diabetes clinic in Mustafa Khomeini Hospital in Tehran, Iran. OHRQL was assessed using Oral Health Impact Profile Questionnaire (OHIP-20). Also, another questionnaire was designed which contained questions regarding participants’ knowledge about oral complications of diabetes and oral health behavior. OHRQL was categorized as low and good. Data were analyzed using logistic regression at P = 0.05. Results. Of the diabetic patients assessed, 77.5% were in good and 22.5% were in low categories of OHRQL. This quality was significantly associated with age (OR = 4.03, 95% CI = 1.63-11.29), knowledge about diabetes oral complications (OR = 18.17 95% CI = 4.42-158.6), educational level (OR = 26.31 95% CI = 4.2-1080.3), referred for dental visit by physician (OR = 3.16 95% CI = 1.48-6.69), frequency of brushing (OR = 10.29 95% CI = 3.96-31.2) and length of time diagnosed with diabetes (OR = 6.21 95% CI = 2.86-13.63). Conclusion. Oral health related quality of life was not negatively affected by diabetes mellitus in the assessed sample. PMID:25587385

  2. Partnering Health Disparities Research With Quality Improvement Science in Pediatrics

    PubMed Central

    Lion, K. Casey

    2015-01-01

    Disparities in pediatric health care quality are well described in the literature, yet practical approaches to decreasing them remain elusive. Quality improvement (QI) approaches are appealing for addressing disparities because they offer a set of strategies by which to target modifiable aspects of care delivery and a method for tailoring or changing an intervention over time based on data monitoring. However, few examples in the literature exist of QI interventions successfully decreasing disparities, particularly in pediatrics, due to well-described challenges in developing, implementing, and studying QI with vulnerable populations or in underresourced settings. In addition, QI interventions aimed at improving quality overall may not improve disparities, and in some cases, may worsen them if there is greater uptake or effectiveness of the intervention among the population with better outcomes at baseline. In this article, the authors review some of the challenges faced by researchers and frontline clinicians seeking to use QI to address health disparities and propose an agenda for moving the field forward. Specifically, they propose that those designing and implementing disparities-focused QI interventions reconsider comparator groups, use more rigorous evaluation methods, carefully consider the evidence for particular interventions and the context in which they were developed, directly engage the social determinants of health, and leverage community resources to build collaborative networks and engage community members. Ultimately, new partnerships between communities, providers serving vulnerable populations, and QI researchers will be required for QI interventions to achieve their potential related to health care disparity reduction. PMID:25560436

  3. 77 FR 42738 - Request for Information on Quality Measurement Enabled by Health IT

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-07-20

    ... Enabled by Health IT AGENCY: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Health and Human Services... information technology (IT) system developers, including vendors; payers, quality measure developers, end... regarding quality measurement enabled by health IT. Quality measurement--the assessment of the...

  4. New metrics of affordable nutrition: which vegetables provide most nutrients for least cost?

    PubMed

    Drewnowski, Adam

    2013-09-01

    Measuring food prices per gram, rather than per calorie, is one way to make healthful vegetables appear less expensive. However, a better measure of affordability would take the nutrient content of vegetables into account. This study, based on analyses of US Department of Agriculture datasets, aimed to identify which vegetables, including juices and soups, provided the most nutrients per unit cost. Nutrient density was measured using the Nutrient Rich Foods (NRF) index, based on nine nutrients to encourage: protein; fiber; vitamins A, C, and E; calcium; iron; magnesium; and potassium; and on three nutrients to limit: saturated fat, added sugar, and sodium. Food cost in dollars was calculated per 100 g, per 100 kcal, per serving, and per nutrient content. One-way analyses of variance with post hoc tests were used to determine statistical significance. Results showed that tomato juices and tomato soups, dark green leafy and nonleafy vegetables, and deep yellow vegetables, including sweet potatoes, had the highest NRF scores overall. Highest NRF scores per dollar were obtained for sweet potatoes, white potatoes, tomato juices and tomato soups, carrots, and broccoli. Tomato sauces, raw tomatoes, and potato chips were eaten more frequently than were many other vegetables that were both more affordable and more nutrient-rich. These new measures of affordable nutrition can help foodservice and health professionals identify those vegetables that provide the highest nutrient density per unit cost. Processed vegetables, including soups and juices, can contribute to the quality and the affordability of the diet.

  5. Chronic Ischemic Heart Disease Affects Health Related Quality of Life

    PubMed Central

    Goreishi, Abolfazl; Shajari, Zahra; Mohammadi, Zeinab

    2012-01-01

    Background Chronic diseases endanger not only physical health but also psychological and social health of patient. Thus, evaluation of such patients for psychological treatment decisions is very important. Method This is a descriptive study that was performed with 50 chronic patients (ischemic heart disease) selected from Valiasr and Mousavi at cardiac wards in Zanjan Province. They were given three types of questionnaire: demographic, WHOQOL, and Zung depression and anxiety index. The information was statically analyzed by frequency chart, central indexes, dispersion, Chi-Square and t tests, Pearson’s correlation index (P < 0.05). Results The average of quality of life in all patients were calculated as was respectively 12.19, 11.98, 12.08, and 12.4 in physical, psychological, social and environmental domains respectively, 68 percent of total number of the patients had various degrees of anxiety and 78 percent of them had various degrees of depression. There was a significant relationship between the life quality average in all domains and anxiety intensity and depression intensity (P < 0.05) and there was a significant relationship between life quality average in all domains and income (P < 0.05). Conclusion As the level of depression and anxiety goes up, quality of life decreases pointing out that they have a reverse relationship. Depression and anxiety are one of the most significant factors of quality of life among other variables. Regarding specific conditions of the treatment, it is necessary to pay special attention to psychological aspects.

  6. Affordable College Textbook Act

    THOMAS, 113th Congress

    Sen. Durbin, Richard [D-IL

    2013-11-14

    11/14/2013 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. (text of measure as introduced: CR S8051-8052) (All Actions) Tracker: This bill has the status IntroducedHere are the steps for Status of Legislation:

  7. Exploring Social Quality and Community Health Outcomes: An Ecological Model.

    PubMed

    Jung, Minsoo

    2015-01-01

    Quality of life is widely used as a measure of individual well-being in developed countries. Social quality (SQ), however, describes how favorable the socioenvironmental components are that impact the life chance of an individual. Despite the associations between SQ, including institutional capacity and citizen capacity, and other community indicators, the impact of SQ on community health status has not been fully examined. This study investigated the interrelationships among institutional capacity, citizen capacity, and their associations with community-level health indicators such as mortality and suicide among 230 local governments in South Korea. Under the principles of conceptual suitability, clarity, reliability, consistency, changeability, and comparability, a total of 81 SQ indicators were collected, and 19 indicators of the 81 indicators were selected. The 19 indicators were transformed by the imputation of missing values, standardization, and geographic information system transformation. It was found that the health outcome of local government was superior as social welfare, political participation, and education were higher. According to the result of the regression analysis based on the regional type, social welfare had the most influence on the health level of local government in both metropolises and small-/medium-sized cities. In addition, education and political participation had a positive effect on the health indicator of local metropolis government. However, SQ indicators did not have any meaningful influence at the county level. Therefore, small- and medium-sized cities need to promote the collective health of the local government through improving social welfare, and metropolises need to consider the complex relationship among other indicators while increasing the level of social welfare and education. Meanwhile, counties need to develop health indicators that reflect aged population characteristics and social environment of rural areas

  8. Measurement-based management of mental health quality and access in VHA: SAIL mental health domain.

    PubMed

    Lemke, Sonne; Boden, Matthew Tyler; Kearney, Lisa K; Krahn, Dean D; Neuman, Matthew J; Schmidt, Eric M; Trafton, Jodie A

    2017-02-01

    We outline the development of a Mental Health Domain to track accessibility and quality of mental health care in the United States Veterans Health Administration (VHA) as part of a broad-based performance measurement system. This domain adds an important element to national performance improvement efforts by targeting regional and facility leadership and providing them a concise yet comprehensive measure to identify facilities facing challenges in their mental health programs. We present the conceptual framework and rationale behind measure selection and development. The Mental Health Domain covers three important aspects of mental health treatment: Population Coverage, Continuity of Care, and Experience of Care. Each component is a composite of existing and newly adapted measures with moderate to high internal consistency; components are statistically independent or moderately related. Development and dissemination of the Mental Health Domain involved a variety of approaches and benefited from close collaboration between local, regional, and national leadership and from coordination with existing quality-improvement initiatives. During the first year of use, facilities varied in the direction and extent of change. These patterns of change were generally consistent with qualitative information, providing support for the validity of the domain and its component measures. Measure maintenance remains an iterative process as the VHA mental health system and potential data resources continue to evolve. Lessons learned may be helpful to the broader mental health-provider community as mental health care consolidates and becomes increasingly integrated within healthcare systems. (PsycINFO Database Record

  9. Improving health in the Arctic region through safe and affordable access to household running water and sewer services: an Arctic Council initiative.

    PubMed

    Hennessy, Thomas W; Bressler, Jonathan M

    2016-01-01

    Important health disparities have been documented among the peoples of the Arctic and subarctic, including those related to limited access to in-home improved drinking water and sanitation services. Although improving water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) has been a focus of the United Nations for decades, the Arctic region has received little attention in this regard. A growing body of evidence highlights inequalities across the region for the availability of in-home drinking WASH services and for health indicators associated with these services. In this review, we highlight relevant data and describe an initiative through the Arctic Council's Sustainable Development Working Group to characterize the extent of WASH services in Arctic nations, the related health indicators and climate-related vulnerabilities to WASH services. With this as a baseline, efforts to build collaborations across the Arctic will be undertaken to promote innovations that can extend the benefits of water and sanitation services to all residents.

  10. Improving health in the Arctic region through safe and affordable access to household running water and sewer services: an Arctic Council initiative

    PubMed Central

    Hennessy, Thomas W.; Bressler, Jonathan M.

    2016-01-01

    Important health disparities have been documented among the peoples of the Arctic and subarctic, including those related to limited access to in-home improved drinking water and sanitation services. Although improving water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) has been a focus of the United Nations for decades, the Arctic region has received little attention in this regard. A growing body of evidence highlights inequalities across the region for the availability of in-home drinking WASH services and for health indicators associated with these services. In this review, we highlight relevant data and describe an initiative through the Arctic Council's Sustainable Development Working Group to characterize the extent of WASH services in Arctic nations, the related health indicators and climate-related vulnerabilities to WASH services. With this as a baseline, efforts to build collaborations across the Arctic will be undertaken to promote innovations that can extend the benefits of water and sanitation services to all residents. PMID:27132632

  11. The business case for health-care quality improvement.

    PubMed

    Swensen, Stephen J; Dilling, James A; Mc Carty, Patrick M; Bolton, Jeffrey W; Harper, Charles M

    2013-03-01

    The business case for health-care quality improvement is presented. We contend that investment in process improvement is aligned with patients' interests, the organization's reputation, and the engagement of their workforce. Four groups benefit directly from quality improvement: patients, providers, insurers, and employers. There is ample opportunity, even in today's predominantly pay-for-volume (that is, evolving toward value-based purchasing) insurance system, for providers to deliver care that is in the best interest of the patient while improving their financial performance.

  12. Total quality management and the Army health care system.

    PubMed

    Jeffer, E K

    1991-10-01

    Total quality management (TQM) is the newest in a long line of magic formulas which have been touted as saviors for American industry and medicine. The author discusses the basic concepts of TQM and notes that much of it resembles philosophical beliefs long held by the medical community. TQM does offer many opportunities to refine old concepts and further those goals of quality care to which health care providers have always aspired. If, however, it becomes simply another codified bureaucracy, then a great deal of time and money will be invested for very little gain.

  13. Tools for evaluating oral health and quality of life

    PubMed Central

    Bettie, Nirmal F.; Ramachandiran, Hari; Anand, Vijay; Sathiamurthy, Anusha; Sekaran, Preethi

    2015-01-01

    The seven dimensions of quality of life are required for a healthy living. Any impairment or disability affects any one or more of these dimensions resulting in functional impairment or handicap, which indicates the presence of disease. The success of any oral treatment depends on how far the individual is relieved of his disease process. Relief of symptoms provides patient comfort and enable functional activities. This well-being is considered as a measure of oral health and reflects patient satisfaction. This article presents various instruments or tools available in the form of a questionnaire that estimates patient satisfaction and thereby oral health. PMID:26538889

  14. Air Quality Strategies on Public Health and Health Equity in Europe-A Systematic Review.

    PubMed

    Wang, Li; Zhong, Buqing; Vardoulakis, Sotiris; Zhang, Fengying; Pilot, Eva; Li, Yonghua; Yang, Linsheng; Wang, Wuyi; Krafft, Thomas

    2016-12-02

    Air pollution is an important public health problem in Europe and there is evidence that it exacerbates health inequities. This calls for effective strategies and targeted interventions. In this study, we conducted a systematic review to evaluate the effectiveness of strategies relating to air pollution control on public health and health equity in Europe. Three databases, Web of Science, PubMed, and Trials Register of Promoting Health Interventions (TRoPHI), were searched for scientific publications investigating the effectiveness of strategies on outdoor air pollution control, public health and health equity in Europe from 1995 to 2015. A total of 15 scientific papers were included in the review after screening 1626 articles. Four groups of strategy types, namely, general regulations on air quality control, road traffic related emission control interventions, energy generation related emission control interventions and greenhouse gas emission control interventions for climate change mitigation were identified. All of the strategies reviewed reported some improvement in air quality and subsequently in public health. The reduction of the air pollutant concentrations and the reported subsequent health benefits were more significant within the geographic areas affected by traffic related interventions. Among the various traffic related interventions, low emission zones appeared to be more effective in reducing ambient nitrogen dioxide (NO₂) and particulate matter levels. Only few studies considered implications for health equity, three out of 15, and no consistent results were found indicating that these strategies could reduce health inequity associated with air pollution. Particulate matter (particularly fine particulate matter) and NO₂ were the dominant outdoor air pollutants examined in the studies in Europe in recent years. Health benefits were gained either as a direct, intended objective or as a co-benefit from all of the strategies examined, but no

  15. Air Quality Strategies on Public Health and Health Equity in Europe—A Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Li; Zhong, Buqing; Vardoulakis, Sotiris; Zhang, Fengying; Pilot, Eva; Li, Yonghua; Yang, Linsheng; Wang, Wuyi; Krafft, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Air pollution is an important public health problem in Europe and there is evidence that it exacerbates health inequities. This calls for effective strategies and targeted interventions. In this study, we conducted a systematic review to evaluate the effectiveness of strategies relating to air pollution control on public health and health equity in Europe. Three databases, Web of Science, PubMed, and Trials Register of Promoting Health Interventions (TRoPHI), were searched for scientific publications investigating the effectiveness of strategies on outdoor air pollution control, public health and health equity in Europe from 1995 to 2015. A total of 15 scientific papers were included in the review after screening 1626 articles. Four groups of strategy types, namely, general regulations on air quality control, road traffic related emission control interventions, energy generation related emission control interventions and greenhouse gas emission control interventions for climate change mitigation were identified. All of the strategies reviewed reported some improvement in air quality and subsequently in public health. The reduction of the air pollutant concentrations and the reported subsequent health benefits were more significant within the geographic areas affected by traffic related interventions. Among the various traffic related interventions, low emission zones appeared to be more effective in reducing ambient nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter levels. Only few studies considered implications for health equity, three out of 15, and no consistent results were found indicating that these strategies could reduce health inequity associated with air pollution. Particulate matter (particularly fine particulate matter) and NO2 were the dominant outdoor air pollutants examined in the studies in Europe in recent years. Health benefits were gained either as a direct, intended objective or as a co-benefit from all of the strategies examined, but no consistent

  16. Quality of life and oral health in elderly

    PubMed Central

    Torrijos-Gómez, Gema; González-Serrano, José; López-Pintor-Muñoz, Rosa-María; López-Bermejo, Miguel-Ángel; Hernández-Vallejo, Gonzalo

    2016-01-01

    Background We want to assess quality of life in elderly patients in relation to the number of remaining teeth, the number of ingested drugs and xerostomía and to determine the correlation between an increased intake of drugs and a greater feeling of dry mouth and to know the most commonly used measures to control xerostomia. Material and Methods 30 subjects aged between 65 and 95 years (14 males, 16 females) completed the OHIP questionnaire to determine quality of life. For oral status, the number of remaining teeth according to WHO criteria and xerostomia using the xerostomia index (XI) were studied. In cases of dry mouth sensation, the measures to alleviate it were asked. Results The average quality of life according to the OHIP rate is 19.23 (Dt = 10.58), being 56 the worst quality of life. The Pearson correlation coefficient indicates that quality of life is not related to the number of remaining teeth (r = -0.046; p = 0.810) nor the number of ingested drugs (r = 0.226; p = 0.23) but a greater sensation of dry mouth is related to a poorer quality of life (r = 0.678; p = 0.230). There is no association between the number of ingested drugs and the xerostomia index (r = 0.144; p = 0.447). The most frequently measures used against dry mouth were drinking water (21 subjects) and sugarless candies (15 subjects). Conclusions Quality of life is not related to the number of remaining teeth nor the number of ingested drugs. However, a higher level of xerostomia was significantly associated with a poorer quality of life. There is no association between the number of drugs ingested and xerostomia index. Sugarless candies and drinking water are the more frequently used measures to alleviate dry mouth. Key words:Quality of life, oral health, elderly. PMID:27957276

  17. Health, Quality of Life and Population Density: A Preliminary Study on "Contextualized" Quality of Life

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fassio, Omar; Rollero, Chiara; De Piccoli, Norma

    2013-01-01

    Quality of life concerns individual (physical and psychological health), interpersonal (social relationships) and contextual (environment) aspects, which are both subjective and objective. In considering contextual characteristics, empirical findings have demonstrated that people's relation to their living environment is a key issue for their…

  18. Assessing the Quality and Value of Psychological Health Care in Civilian Health Plans

    PubMed Central

    Martsolf, Grant R.; Osilla, Karen Chan; Mandel, Daniel; Hepner, Kimberly A.; Farmer, Carrie M.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The Military Health System (MHS) strives to provide high-quality care and improve outcomes for individuals with psychological health conditions. Over the last decade, the MHS has provided care to a growing number of individuals with psychological health conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depressive disorder (MDD). However, little is known about the extent to which the MHS delivers care that is consistent with evidence-based clinical practice guidelines or if it is achieving positive outcomes for its service members. To better understand these issues, the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) asked the RAND Corporation to describe civilian health plansâ; approaches to systematically measuring the quality of psychological health care delivered by providers in their networks. This work was part of a larger effort by RAND to develop a framework and identify a set of measures for monitoring the quality of care provided by the MHS for psychological health conditions. PMID:28083426

  19. An easy to use and affordable home-based personal eHealth system for chronic disease management based on free open source software.

    PubMed

    Burkow, Tatjana M; Vognild, Lars K; Krogstad, Trine; Borch, Njål; Ostengen, Geir; Bratvold, Astrid; Risberg, Marijke Jongsma

    2008-01-01

    This paper describes an easy to use home-based eHealth system for chronic disease management. We present the design and implementation of a prototype for home based education, exercises, treatment and following-up, with the TV and a remote control as user interface. We also briefly describe field trials of the system for patients with COPD and diabetes, and their experience with the technology.

  20. Air quality monitoring in NIS (SERBIA) and health impact assessment.

    PubMed

    Nikic, Dragana; Bogdanovic, Dragan; Nikolic, Maja; Stankovic, Aleksandra; Zivkovic, Nenad; Djordjevic, Amelija

    2009-11-01

    The aim of this study is to indicate the significance of air quality monitoring and to determine the air quality fields for the assessment of air pollution health effects, with special attention to risk population. Radial basis function network was used for air quality index mapping. Between 1991 and 2005, on the territory of Nis, several epidemiological studies were performed on risk groups (pre-school children, school children, pregnant women and persons older than 65). The total number of subjects was 5837. The exposed group comprised individuals living in the areas with unhealthy AQI, while the control group comprised individuals living in city areas with good or moderate AQI. It was determined that even relatively low levels of air pollution had impact on respiratory system and the occurrence of anaemia, allergy and skin symptoms.

  1. Improving Quality of Emergency Care Through Integration of Mental Health.

    PubMed

    Okafor, Martha; Wrenn, Glenda; Ede, Victor; Wilson, Nana; Custer, William; Risby, Emile; Claeys, Michael; Shelp, Frank E; Atallah, Hany; Mattox, Gail; Satcher, David

    2016-04-01

    The goal of this study was to better integrate emergency medical and psychiatric care at a large urban public hospital, identify impact on quality improvement metrics, and reduce healthcare cost. A psychiatric fast track service was implemented as a quality improvement initiative. Data on disposition from the emergency department from January 2011 to May 2012 for patients impacted by the pilot were analyzed. 4329 patients from January 2011 to August 2011 (pre-intervention) were compared with 4867 patients from September 2011 to May 2012 (intervention). There was a trend of decline on overall quality metrics of time to triage and time from disposition to discharge. The trend analysis of the psychiatric length of stay and use of restraints showed significant reductions. Integrated emergency care models are evidence-based approach to ensuring that patients with mental health needs receive proper and efficient treatment. Results suggest that this may also improve overall emergency department's throughput.

  2. The Impact of the Coverage-Related Provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on Insurance Coverage and State Health Care Expenditures in Connecticut: An Analysis from RAND COMPARE.

    PubMed

    Auerbach, David I; Nowak, Sarah A; Ringel, Jeanne S; Girosi, Federico; Eibner, Christine; McGlynn, Elizabeth A; Wasserman, Jeffrey

    2011-01-01

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) contains substantial new requirements aimed at increasing rates of health insurance coverage. Because many of these provisions impose additional costs on the states, officials need reliable estimates of the likely impact of the ACA in their state. To demonstrate the usefulness of modeling for state-level decisionmaking, RAND undertook a preliminary analysis of the impact of the ACA on five states-California, Connecticut, Illinois, Montana, and Texas-using the RAND COMPARE microsimulation model. For Connecticut, the model predicts that, in 2016 (the year that all of the provisions in the ACA related to coverage expansion will be fully implemented), the uninsured rate in Connecticut will fall to 5 percent; without the law, it would remain at 11 percent. The model projects that total state government spending on health care will be 10 percent lower for the combined 2011-2020 period than it would be without the ACA, mostly because of federal subsidies for residents who would have been covered by Connecticut's state-run health insurance program (State-Administered General Assistance).

  3. An Affordable Open-Source Turbidimeter

    PubMed Central

    Kelley, Christopher D.; Krolick, Alexander; Brunner, Logan; Burklund, Alison; Kahn, Daniel; Ball, William P.; Weber-Shirk, Monroe

    2014-01-01

    Turbidity is an internationally recognized criterion for assessing drinking water quality, because the colloidal particles in turbid water may harbor pathogens, chemically reduce oxidizing disinfectants, and hinder attempts to disinfect water with ultraviolet radiation. A turbidimeter is an electronic/optical instrument that assesses turbidity by measuring the scattering of light passing through a water sample containing such colloidal particles. Commercial turbidimeters cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, putting them beyond the reach of low-resource communities around the world. An affordable open-source turbidimeter based on a single light-to-frequency sensor was designed and constructed, and evaluated against a portable commercial turbidimeter. The final product, which builds on extensive published research, is intended to catalyze further developments in affordable water and sanitation monitoring. PMID:24759114

  4. Forensic mental health assessment in France: recommendations for quality improvement.

    PubMed

    Combalbert, Nicolas; Andronikof, Anne; Armand, Marine; Robin, Cécile; Bazex, Hélène

    2014-01-01

    The quality of forensic mental health assessment has been a growing concern in various countries on both sides of the Atlantic, but the legal systems are not always comparable and some aspects of forensic assessment are specific to a given country. This paper describes the legal context of forensic psychological assessment in France (i.e. pre-trial investigation phase entrusted to a judge, with mental health assessment performed by preselected professionals called "experts" in French), its advantages and its pitfalls. Forensic psychiatric or psychological assessment is often an essential and decisive element in criminal cases, but since a judiciary scandal which was made public in 2005 (the Outreau case) there has been increasing criticism from the public and the legal profession regarding the reliability of clinical conclusions. Several academic studies and a parliamentary report have highlighted various faulty aspects in both the judiciary process and the mental health assessments. The heterogeneity of expert practices in France appears to be mainly related to a lack of consensus on several core notions such as mental health diagnosis or assessment methods, poor working conditions, lack of specialized training, and insufficient familiarity with the Code of Ethics. In this article we describe and analyze the French practice of forensic psychologists and psychiatrists in criminal cases and propose steps that could be taken to improve its quality, such as setting up specialized training courses, enforcing the Code of Ethics for psychologists, and calling for consensus on diagnostic and assessment methods.

  5. Improving the quality of care for children in health systems.

    PubMed Central

    Homer, C J; Kleinman, L C; Goldman, D A

    1998-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To summarize the state of the art in quality improvement, review its application to care for children, and define the information that will be needed so that care for children can be further improved. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Health services for children exhibit numerous deficiencies in quality of care. The deficiencies cross all major domains of pediatric care--preventive services, acute care, and chronic care--and provide the opportunity for creative application of improvement strategies with a potential to benefit the health and well-being of children. Approaches to quality improvement have changed over the past two decades from those emphasizing the inspection of structural aspects of care and the imposition of sanctions to more dynamic strategies that emphasize measurement and comparison to motivate change; the use of evidence to specify aims for improvement; and the adoption of a variety of management strategies adapted from business and the social sciences to achieve these aims. These modern approaches to quality improvement have rarely been subjected to rigorous testing of their effectiveness. Moreover, their application in pediatrics has been less widespread than in adult healthcare. For children, several aspects about health services, such as the relative rarity of chronic illness, the important effects of social factors on health, and the limited cost, make some of these approaches even more challenging and may require new approaches or meaningful modifications. RECOMMENDATIONS: Research to understand better the general process of improvement will benefit improvement efforts for children. Research that builds the base of knowledge about best practices for children--effectiveness research--will also result in an enhanced capacity for improvement of those systems that care for children's health. Quality of care for children would be enhanced by targeted research examining ways both to foster improvement across segments of society, and to make

  6. Quality at a price you can afford

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garrett, Steven; Smith, Robert; Poese, Matthew

    2005-09-01

    The transition of thermoacoustics from the laboratory to the commercial sector involves a process that is very different from science. In the laboratory, when an experiment fails to produce the expected result, it is possible to make modifications, followed by further measurements, to isolate the discrepancy. After discussions with nearly 40 different companies over the past 5 years, there is rarely any feedback about why a given company decides not to proceed. In such an open-loop environment, we are left with only speculation regarding this obscure process. This talk will postulate some reasons that have led to our failure, thus far, to team with an early adaptor of the technology. These include their general lack of familiarity with acoustics, difficulties surrounding licensing of existing and future intellectual property controlled by a university, and the drift away from the maintenance of an active in-house research capability in industry [see H. W. Chesbrough, Open Innovation (Harvard, 2003)]. The sequence of events that lead to formation of the ThermoAcoustics Corporation, an investor-funded start-up, will be related, along with the changes that licensure of intellectual property have made to our ability to deal with industry on a business-to-business basis without intervention of university tech-transfer professionals.

  7. Pricing products: juxtaposing affordability with quality appeal.

    PubMed

    1984-01-01

    Choosing appropriate product prices is 1 of the most crucial steps in creating an effective contraceptive social marketing (CSM) sales campaign. The Social Marketing Forum conducted an informal survey of social marketing project managers, international contractors, and marketing consultants to determine how CSM programs cope with pricing problems and ways to circumvent some obstacles. According to Diana Altman, a family planning consultant, low prices that make products available to needy individuals are more important than the program's self sufficiency, yet if prices are too low, consumers think the products were unusable in the US and thus were dumped on local markets. Other key factors include commercial competition, spiraling inflation rates, and problems with rising prices and retailer/distributor margins. A sampling of per capita gross national products indicates the poverty level of most CSM projects' target market. Consequently, CSM projects must set low pices, regardless of program operating costs. The goal often is to increase the demand and availability for contraceptives. The fact that social marketing products must pass through retail networks to reach consumers complicates the pricing equation. To deal with the problem, India's Nirodh program gives a 25% margin to distributors/wholesalers, compared to 6% offered on most other goods. Retailers also receive a 25% margin, more than double the commercial rate. Once prices are set, increases pose hazards. Local government approval often is a prerequisite and can require lengthy negotiations. Market studies remain a valuable approach to effective pricing, according to PNA's Mallamad and other research consultants. They cite such effective research strategies as test marketing products and asking consumers how prices affect buying habits. Further, CSM projects can jump over some pricing hurdles through creative marketing. An effective pricing strategy alone cannot produce a successful CSM program. Pricing must accompany such factors as strong advertising, committed management, and adept salespersons.

  8. Assistance, Quality, and Affordability Act of 2010

    THOMAS, 111th Congress

    Rep. Waxman, Henry A. [D-CA-30

    2010-05-18

    08/05/2010 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works. (All Actions) Notes: For further action, see S.3874, which became Public Law 111-380 on 1/4/2011. Tracker: This bill has the status Passed HouseHere are the steps for Status of Legislation:

  9. Health workers, quality of care, and child health: Simulating the relationships between increases in health staffing and child length

    PubMed Central

    Barber, Sarah L.; Gertler, Paul J.

    2010-01-01

    Objective One in three children globally is stunted in growth. Many of the conditions that promote child stunting are amenable to quality care provided by skilled health workers. Methods The study uses household and facility data from the Indonesian Family Life Surveys in 1993 and 1997. The first set of multivariate regression models evaluate whether the number of medical doctors (MDs), nurses, and midwives predict quality of care as measured by adherence to clinical guidelines. The second set explains the relationships between quality and length among children less than 36 months. Using the information generated from these two sets of regressions, we simulate the effect of increasing the number of MDs, nurses, and midwives on child length and stunting. Results Increases in the number of MDs and nurses predict increases in the quality of care. Higher quality care is associated with child length in centimeters and stunting. Simulations suggest that large health gains among children under 24 months of age result by placing MDs where none are available. Conclusions Improvements in child health could be made by increasing the number of qualified health staff. The returns to investing in improvements in human resources for health are high. PMID:19147250

  10. 77 FR 28790 - Medical Loss Ratio Requirements Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-05-16

    ... Protection and Affordable Care Act AGENCY: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS. ACTION: Final... Care Act (Pub. L. 111-148) was enacted on March 23, 2010; the Health Care and Education Reconciliation... collectively as the Affordable Care Act. The Affordable Care Act reorganizes, amends, and adds to...

  11. 77 FR 16501 - Certain Preventive Services Under the Affordable Care Act

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-03-21

    ...-AR42 Certain Preventive Services Under the Affordable Care Act AGENCIES: Internal Revenue Service... regarding certain preventive health services under provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Affordable Care Act). The proposed amendments would establish alternative ways to fulfill...

  12. [Dentistry and supplementary health: regulatory framework, health promotion policies and quality of care].

    PubMed

    Garbin, Daniela; Mattevi, Gianina Salton; Carcereri, Daniela Lemos; Caetano, João Carlos

    2013-02-01

    Based on the regulatory framework and an overview of dentistry in supplementary health, this paper discusses the specifics of the dental sector with respect to health promotion policies and quality of health care services proposed by the National Supplementary Health Agency (ANS). The State's activities in supplementary health are based on law 9.656/98, which defines the relations between operators, products and their beneficiaries, and law 9.961/2000, which created the ANS. Concomitantly there was a great increase in dentistry in the private health plan market, because of changes in the practices of the profession. This required the need to know the logic of the organization of the services regarding the assistance provided and the model of care. The ANS develops measures to encourage operators to implement health promotion programs, striving for an integral care model. At the same time, it promotes the qualification policy of supplementary health care, with emphasis on the scope of care, though in dentistry the focus of evaluation is still individual and fragmented care. Indeed, the great challenge of dentistry is making it a public health policy, accessible to all, and the qualification of dental care in supplementary health.

  13. The economics of health care quality and medical errors.

    PubMed

    Andel, Charles; Davidow, Stephen L; Hollander, Mark; Moreno, David A

    2012-01-01

    Hospitals have been looking for ways to improve quality and operational efficiency and cut costs for nearly three decades, using a variety of quality improvement strategies. However, based on recent reports, approximately 200,000 Americans die from preventable medical errors including facility-acquired conditions and millions may experience errors. In 2008, medical errors cost the United States $19.5 billion. About 87 percent or $17 billion were directly associated with additional medical cost, including: ancillary services, prescription drug services, and inpatient and outpatient care, according to a study sponsored by the Society for Actuaries and conducted by Milliman in 2010. Additional costs of $1.4 billion were attributed to increased mortality rates with $1.1 billion or 10 million days of lost productivity from missed work based on short-term disability claims. The authors estimate that the economic impact is much higher, perhaps nearly $1 trillion annually when quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) are applied to those that die. Using the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) estimate of 98,000 deaths due to preventable medical errors annually in its 1998 report, To Err Is Human, and an average of ten lost years of life at $75,000 to $100,000 per year, there is a loss of $73.5 billion to $98 billion in QALYs for those deaths--conservatively. These numbers are much greater than those we cite from studies that explore the direct costs of medical errors. And if the estimate of a recent Health Affairs article is correct-preventable death being ten times the IOM estimate-the cost is $735 billion to $980 billion. Quality care is less expensive care. It is better, more efficient, and by definition, less wasteful. It is the right care, at the right time, every time. It should mean that far fewer patients are harmed or injured. Obviously, quality care is not being delivered consistently throughout U.S. hospitals. Whatever the measure, poor quality is costing payers and

  14. Leveraging Health-Related Quality of Life in Population Health Management: The Case for Healthy Days

    PubMed Central

    Slabaugh, S. Lane; Shah, Mona; Zack, Matthew; Cordier, Tristan; Havens, Eric; Davidson, Evan; Miao, Michael; Prewitt, Todd; Jia, Haomiao

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Measuring population health with morbidity and mortality data, often collected at the site of care, fails to capture the individual's perspective on health and well-being. Because health happens outside the walls of medical facilities, a holistic and singular measure of health that can easily be captured for an entire population could aid in understanding the well-being of communities. This paper postulates that Healthy Days, a health-related quality of life measure developed and validated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is an ideal survey instrument to advance population health. A systematic literature review was conducted and revealed a strong evidence base using Healthy Days with significant correlations to chronic disease conditions. Building on the literature base and experience, methods for analyzing Healthy Days data are discussed, including stratified sampling techniques, statistical measures to account for variance, and modeling techniques for skewed distributions. Using such analytic techniques, Healthy Days has been used extensively in national health surveillance. As the health care system faces increasing costs and constrained resources, the Healthy Days survey instrument can be used to inform public policies and allocate health service resources. Because Healthy Days captures broad dimensions of health from the individual's perspective, it is a simple way to holistically measure the health and well-being of a population and its trend over time. Expanded use of Healthy Days can aid population health managers and contribute to the understanding of the broader determinants of the nation's and individual community's health and aid in evaluating progress toward health goals. PMID:27031869

  15. Mitochondrial Protein Quality Control: The Mechanisms Guarding Mitochondrial Health

    PubMed Central

    Bohovych, Iryna; Chan, Sherine S.L.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Significance: Mitochondria are complex dynamic organelles pivotal for cellular physiology and human health. Failure to maintain mitochondrial health leads to numerous maladies that include late-onset neurodegenerative diseases and cardiovascular disorders. Furthermore, a decline in mitochondrial health is prevalent with aging. A set of evolutionary conserved mechanisms known as mitochondrial quality control (MQC) is involved in recognition and correction of the mitochondrial proteome. Recent Advances: Here, we review current knowledge and latest developments in MQC. We particularly focus on the proteolytic aspect of MQC and its impact on health and aging. Critical Issues: While our knowledge about MQC is steadily growing, critical gaps remain in the mechanistic understanding of how MQC modules sense damage and preserve mitochondrial welfare, particularly in higher organisms. Future Directions: Delineating how coordinated action of the MQC modules orchestrates physiological responses on both organellar and cellular levels will further elucidate the current picture of MQC's role and function in health, cellular stress, and degenerative diseases. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 22, 977–994. PMID:25546710

  16. Applying total quality management concepts to public health organizations.

    PubMed Central

    Kaluzny, A D; McLaughlin, C P; Simpson, K

    1992-01-01

    Total quality management (TQM) is a participative, systematic approach to planning and implementing a continuous organizational improvement process. Its approach is focused on satisfying customers' expectations, identifying problems, building commitment, and promoting open decision-making among workers. TQM applies analytical tools, such as flow and statistical charts and check sheets, to gather data about activities within an organization. TQM uses process techniques, such as nominal groups, brainstorming, and consensus forming to facilitate communication and decision making. TQM applications in the public sector and particularly in public health agencies have been limited. The process of integrating TQM into public health agencies complements and enhances the Model Standards Program and assessment methodologies, such as the Assessment Protocol for Excellence in Public Health (APEX-PH), which are mechanisms for establishing strategic directions for public health. The authors examine the potential for using TQM as a method to achieve and exceed standards quickly and efficiently. They discuss the relationship of performance standards and assessment methodologies with TQM and provide guidelines for achieving the full potential of TQM in public health organizations. The guidelines include redefining the role of management, defining a common corporate culture, refining the role of citizen oversight functions, and setting realistic estimates of the time needed to complete a task or project. PMID:1594734

  17. The Water Quality in Rio Highlights the Global Public Health ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Water quality issues in Rio have been widely publicized because of the 2016 Olympics. Recent concerns about polluted waters that athletes may be exposed to highlights the conditions that more than a billion people globally are exposed to daily. Despite these unhealthy conditions, much is unknown about the risks and exposure pathways associated with bathing in or drinking untreated or partially treated sewage. Beyond acute illness, we are learning more about the chronic sequelae that arise from repeated exposure to pathogens found in sewage. Additionally, we do not know enough about how to measure water quality, especially in developing countries. A consequence of these knowledge gaps is that data from developed countries are used to guide public health approaches in low· and middle-income settings. More data that are locally specific are needed to inform guidelines for improving sanitation and water quality in Rio and other cities in developing countries. Recent media reports of high levels of sewage contamination have caused wide-ranging concerns about the safety of sailing, rowing, and other open water events at the upcoming Olympics. This commentary discusses the global public health problem of exposures to untreated sewage and describes the need for context specific solutions to monitoring and communication and risk assessment.

  18. Technical Limitations of Electronic Health Records in Community Health Centers: Implications on Ambulatory Care Quality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    West, Christopher E.

    2010-01-01

    Research objectives: This dissertation examines the state of development of each of the eight core electronic health record (EHR) functionalities as described by the IOM and describes how the current state of these functionalities limit quality improvement efforts in ambulatory care settings. There is a great deal of literature describing both the…

  19. The Affordable Care Act: A Prescription for Homeland Security Preparedness?

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-01

    purchase health insurance  Correct the inequity of Medicaid preventive coverage for new beneficiaries vs. existing beneficiaries  Design and...might incentivize choosing health insurance over penalties. D. ADDRESS MEDICAID PREVENTIVE COVERAGE INEQUITY As noted in Chapter V, § 1001 of the...Affordable Care Act (ACA), tens of millions of U.S. citizens were without health insurance coverage. Without health insurance, health care can be

  20. Practical and affordable ways to cultivate leadership in your organization.

    PubMed

    Gaufin, Joyce R; Kennedy, Kathy I; Struthers, Ellen D

    2010-01-01

    Leadership can be cultivated through the intentional actions of managers and others in public health organizations. This article provides a rationale for taking innovative and proactive steps to build leadership, discusses four general strategies for doing so, and presents seven practical, creative, and affordable actions that can have a positive influence on efforts to cultivate leadership qualities in the public health workforce. Each action is illustrated with an actual contemporary example from a local public health agency. The actions include providing formal or informal coaching/mentoring opportunities; assigning staff to lead new projects or collaborations, projects outside their disciplines, projects that cause growth in their information technology capacity, or orphan or struggling projects; facilitating a book club; and institutionalizing reflection. The best way to ensure that effective leadership is available when the organization needs it is to intentionally develop it through an ongoing process. Leadership growth can be supported during the ordinary course of business in a public health organization through thoughtful challenges, sharing ideas and experiences, and especially through the example set by managers and those in positions of authority.

  1. Integrating health promotion with quality improvement in a Swedish hospital.

    PubMed

    Astnell, Sandra; von Thiele Schwarz, Ulrica; Hasson, Henna; Augustsson, Hanna; Stenfors-Hayes, Terese

    2016-09-01

    Integration of workplace employee health promotion (HP) and occupational health and safety (OHS) work into organizational quality improvement systems is suggested as a way to strengthen HP and OHS activities in an organization. The aim of this article was to study what consequences integration of HP, OHS and a quality improvement system called kaizen has on the frequency and type of HP and OHS activities. A quasi-experimental study design was used where an integration of the three systems for HP, OHS respectively kaizen, was performed at six intervention units at a Swedish hospital. The remaining six units served as controls. Document analysis of all employees' written improvement suggestions (kaizen notes) during 2013 was conducted. The findings show that the intervention group had more suggestions concerning HP and OHS (n = 114) when compared with the control group (n = 78) and a greater variety of HP and OHS suggestions. In addition, only the intervention group had included HP aspects. In both groups, most kaizen notes with health consideration had a preventive focus rather than rehabilitative. The intervention, i.e. the integration of HP, OHS and kaizen work, had a favourable effect on HP and OHS work when compared with the controls. The results of the study support that this system can work in practice at hospitals.

  2. Why epidemiologists cannot afford to ignore poverty.

    PubMed

    Krieger, Nancy

    2007-11-01

    Epidemiologists cannot afford to ignore poverty. To do so would, first, wrongly obscure the devastating impact of poverty on population health, and, second, undercut our commitment to scientific rigor. At issue is doing correct science, not "politically correct" science. Blot poverty and inequity from view, and not only will we contribute to making suffering invisible but our understanding of disease etiology and distribution will be marred. To make this case, I address current debates about the causal relationships between poverty and health, and provide examples of how failing to consider the impact of socioeconomic position has biased epidemiologic knowledge and harmed the public's health. By definition, the people we study are simultaneously social beings and biologic organisms-and we cannot study the latter without taking into account the former. It is the responsibility of all epidemiologists, and not only social epidemiologists, to keep in mind the connections between poverty and health.

  3. The World Health Organization African region laboratory accreditation process: improving the quality of laboratory systems in the African region.

    PubMed

    Gershy-Damet, Guy-Michel; Rotz, Philip; Cross, David; Belabbes, El Hadj; Cham, Fatim; Ndihokubwayo, Jean-Bosco; Fine, Glen; Zeh, Clement; Njukeng, Patrick A; Mboup, Souleymane; Sesse, Daniel E; Messele, Tsehaynesh; Birx, Deborah L; Nkengasong, John N

    2010-09-01

    Few developing countries have established laboratory quality standards that are affordable and easy to implement and monitor. To address this challenge, the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa (WHO AFRO) established a stepwise approach, using a 0- to 5-star scale, to the recognition of evolving fulfillment of the ISO 15189 standard rather than pass-fail grading. Laboratories that fail to achieve an assessment score of at least 55% will not be awarded a star ranking. Laboratories that achieve 95% or more will receive a 5-star rating. This stepwise approach acknowledges to laboratories where they stand, supports them with a series of evaluations to use to demonstrate improvement, and recognizes and rewards their progress. WHO AFRO's accreditation process is not intended to replace established ISO 15189 accreditation schemes, but rather to provide an interim pathway to the realization of international laboratory standards. Laboratories that demonstrate outstanding performance in the WHO-AFRO process will be strongly encouraged to enroll in an established ISO 15189 accreditation scheme. We believe that the WHO-AFRO approach for laboratory accreditation is affordable, sustainable, effective, and scalable.

  4. Employer Self-Insurance Decisions and the Implications of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as Modified by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (ACA).

    PubMed

    Eibner, Christine; Girosi, Federico; Miller, Amalia; Cordova, Amado; McGlynn, Elizabeth A; Pace, Nicholas M; Price, Carter C; Vardavas, Raffaele; Gresenz, Carole Roan

    2011-01-01

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (ACA) changes the regulatory environment within which health insurance policies on the small-group market are bought and sold. New regulations include rate bands that limit premium price variation, risk-adjustment policies that will transfer funds from low-actuarial-risk to high-actuarial-risk plans, and requirements that plans include "essential health benefits." While the new regulations will be applied to all non-grandfathered fully insured policies purchased by businesses with 100 or fewer workers, self-insured plans are exempt from these regulations. As a result, some firms may have a stronger incentive to offer self-insured plans after the ACA takes full effect. In this article we identify factors that influence employers' decisions to self-insure and estimate how the ACA will influence self-insurance rates. We also consider the implications of higher self-insurance rates for adverse selection in the non-self-insured small-group market and whether enrollees in self-insured plans receive different benefits than enrollees in fully-insured plans. Results are based on data analysis, literature review, findings from discussions with stakeholders, and microsimulation analysis using the COMPARE model. Overall, we find little evidence that self-insured plans differ systematically from fully insured plans in terms of benefit generosity, price, or claims denial rates. Stakeholders expressed significant concern about adverse selection in the health insurance exchanges due to regulatory exemptions for self-insured plans. However, our microsimulation analysis predicts a sizable increase in self-insurance only if comprehensive stop-loss policies become widely available after the ACA takes full effect and the expected cost of self-insuring with stop-loss is comparable to the cost of being fully insured in a market without rating regulations.

  5. Quality and Safety in Health Care, Part I: Five Pioneers in Quality.

    PubMed

    Harolds, Jay

    2015-08-01

    Five pioneers had a huge impact on the quality movement in health care in the United States. Ernest Codman contributed in many ways, including his focus on outcome analysis. Avidis Donabedian is known for his focus on the 3 domains of structure, process, and outcome in health care. Walter Shewhart is known especially for the control chart and early work on what W. Edwards Deming made into the PDSA cycle. Deming is also known for other contributions, including his 14 points of management, correcting system problems rather than blaming the workers, and his System of Profound Knowledge. Juran is known for the Pareto principle and his emphasis on customer satisfaction and addressing the human, not just statistical side, of quality improvement.

  6. The health mediators-qualified interpreters contributing to health care quality among Romanian Roma patients.

    PubMed

    Roman, Gabriel; Gramma, Rodica; Enache, Angela; Pârvu, Andrada; Moisa, Ştefana Maria; Dumitraş, Silvia; Ioan, Beatrice

    2013-11-01

    In order to assure optimal care of patients with chronic illnesses, it is necessary to take into account the cultural factors that may influence health-related behaviors, health practices, and health-seeking behavior. Despite the increasing number of Romanian Roma, research regarding their beliefs and practices related to healthcare is rather poor. The aim of this paper is to present empirical evidence of specificities in the practice of healthcare among Romanian Roma patients and their caregivers. Using a qualitative exploratory descriptive design, this study is based on data gathered through three focus groups with 30 health mediators in the counties of Iasi and Cluj (Romania). We identified various barriers to access to healthcare for Roma patients: lack of financial resources and health insurance coverage, lack of cognitive resources or lack of personal hygiene, but also important cultural issues, such as the shame of being ill, family function, disclosure of disease-related information, patient's autonomy, attitudes towards illness and health practices, that should be considered in order to create a culturally sensitive environment in Romanian medical facilities:… The role of the health mediators within the context of cultural diversity is also discussed, as cultural brokers contributing to health care quality among Romanian Roma patients Bridging cultural differences may improve patient-healthcare provider relationships, but may have limited impact in reducing ethnic disparities, unless coupled with efforts of Roma communities to get involved in creating and implementing health policies.

  7. Functional health outcomes as a measure of health care quality for Medicare beneficiaries.

    PubMed Central

    Bierman, A S; Lawrence, W F; Haffer, S C; Clancy, C M

    2001-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: the Medicare Health Outcomes Survey (HOS), a new quality measure in the Health Plan Employer Data and Information Set, is designed to assess physical and mental functional health outcomes of Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare+Choice organizations. We discuss the rationale for the HOS measure together with methodologic challenges in its use and interpretation, using descriptive data from the baseline Medicare HOS to illustrate some of these challenges. DATA SOURCES/STUDY DESIGN: The 1999 Cohort 2 Medicare HOS baseline data were used for a cross-sectional descriptive analysis. A random sample of 1,000 beneficiaries from each health plan with a Medicare+Choice contract was surveyed (N = 156,842; 282 organizations included in these analyses) . PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The HOS measure is designed to assess a previously unmeasured dimension of quality. Plan-level variation was seen across all baseline measures of sociodemographic characteristics and illness burden. At the individual level socioeconomic position as measured by educational attainment was strongly associated with functional status. The least educated beneficiaries had the highest burden of illness on all measures examined, and there was a consistent and significant gradient in health and functional status across all levels of education. In analyses stratified by race and ethnicity, socioeconomic gradients in f un ct ion persist ed. CONCLUSIONS Despite limitations, by focusing at t en t ion on the need to improve functional health out comes among elderly Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare+Choice, the HOS can serve as an important new tool to support efforts to improve health care quality. The HOS provides valuable information at the federal, state, and health plan levels that can be used to identify, prioritize, and evaluate quality improvement interventions and monitor progress for the program overall as well as for vulnerable subgroups. To interpret the HOS as a quality measure

  8. [A quality evaluation tableau for health institutions: an educational tool].

    PubMed

    Moll, Marie Christine; Decavel, Frédérique; Merlet, Christine

    2009-09-01

    For a few years, health institutions have had to comply with the certification and the need to establish the new governance. Thanks to the accreditation version 2 (obtained in 2005), the elaboration of the hospital project (adopted in October, 2006) and the organization in poles since 2006, the quality oriented management became a priority axis at the University Hospital of Angers. The strategic adaptation to quality requirements leads to develop the hospital management, more especially at the level of the clinical, medico technical and administrative poles. The elements of the hospital project including the part about the quality, risk and evaluation aim at being adapted by every pole according to the level of its project. This adaptation which is imposed to each pole manager requires a practical and educational accompaniment allowing at the same time to realize a diagnosis of the progress of the quality approach, a measure of the impact of the global impregnation within the institution and a comparison between pole. A eight axis dashboard with criteria and a user guide were developed from certification ISO 9001, the EFQM manual and the certification manual version 2 of the Healthcare High Authorities. The criteria are transcribed in an EXCEL grid ready to use. Succeeding in estimating your own quality system means that you demonstrate the maturity of the quality approach. The results of this evaluation confirmed those of the certification. The dashboard is a management structuring tool at the service of the multidisciplinary team. Two considerations emerge from these results: First of all, for the hospital top management, the axes to be improved emerge as a priority to determine and target the next annual action plans. The results also allow to support the auto evaluation for the certification version 2010 planned in January of the same year. It is a pragmatic tool which allows auto evaluation and comparison to estimate the pole performances. It is a strategic

  9. Why the affordable care act needs a better name: 'Americare'.

    PubMed

    Sage, William M

    2010-08-01

    The culmination of a century's effort to enact universal coverage in the United States is a law with an uninspiring title, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and an even more awkward acronym, PPACA. The Obama administration has decided to call the legislation the Affordable Care Act, but the expansion of health coverage that the law sets in motion has no name, and therefore no identity. It badly needs one.

  10. How to evaluate the quality of health related websites.

    PubMed

    Gattoni, Filippo; Sicola, Chiara

    2005-03-01

    To establish reliable quality criteria for medical websites is of foremost importance in relation to the increasing number of Internet users, both health professionals and lay people, searching for medical information in the mass of these sites. Quality in general refers to a set of features that distinguish one person or thing from others of the same type. The quality of a website is usually related to its content and usability. The first criteria we considered are contents and readability, which must be targeted to the intended type of user. Other important criteria include: transparency, consistency, honesty, references to sources, accountability, respect of privacy, currency of content material, responsibility, and accessibility. Technical criteria are the use of consolidated and standard technologies, soft colours, short page download time. Good medical websites should also follow the suggestions of organizations such as the World Health Organization, the Food and Drug Administration, the European Communities. Another organization, Health On Net Foundation, has issued some guidelines for medical websites, summarized in eight points, fundamental to assign real scientific value to a site. We believe, in agreement with the literature, that it is unnecessary to apply strict rules to medical website developers. We want to stress the importance of guidelines and recommendations to be modified with the development of web technology and the cultural evolution of patient and physicians. In the near future the presence on the Internet of websites certified by national or international medical web authorities will lead users to trust and give their preference to such sites, leading to the self-regulation of website developers and users.

  11. Canadian soil quality guidelines for copper: Environmental and human health

    SciTech Connect

    1997-12-31

    This report begins with background information on the physical and chemical properties of copper, the production and use of copper in Canada, its levels in the Canadian environment, and existing guidelines and criteria regarding copper concentrations in various media. It then reviews the environmental fate and behaviour of copper, notably in the soil; the behavior and effects of copper in biota, including soil microbial processes, terrestrial plants and invertebrates, livestock and wildlife, and bioaccumulation; and the pharmacokinetics and toxicology of copper in mammals and humans, concluding with an overall toxicological evaluation and human exposure estimates. This information is used to derive environmental and human health soil quality guidelines for copper to protect environmental and human health receptors, for agricultural, residential/parkland, commercial, and industrial land uses.

  12. Perceptions of Local Health Care Quality in 7 Rural Communities with Telemedicine

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nesbitt, Thomas S.; Marcin, James P.; Daschbach, Martha M.; Cole, Stacey L.

    2005-01-01

    Rural health services are difficult to maintain because of low patient volumes, limited numbers of providers, and unfavorable economies of scale. Rural patients may perceive poor quality in local health care, directly impacting the sustainability of local health care services. This study examines perceptions of local health care quality in 7…

  13. 77 FR 50692 - Request for Information on Quality Measurement Enabled by Health IT-Extension Date for Responses

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-08-22

    ... Enabled by Health IT--Extension Date for Responses AGENCY: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality... diversified stakeholders (health information technology (IT) system developers, including vendors; payers... strategies and challenges regarding quality measurement enabled by health IT. Quality...

  14. Implementing the Affordable Care Act in North Carolina: the rubber hits the road.

    PubMed

    Silberman, Pam

    2013-01-01

    The health insurance mandate, perhaps the best-known provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA), is slated to go into effect on January 1, 2014. Yet most people do not know how the ACA will affect them. More than one-third of people in a recent national poll were unaware that new health insurance marketplaces will make it easier to purchase coverage or that some people will qualify for subsidies to help them purchase coverage. The ACA includes many other provisions that will have a profound impact on our health care delivery system. Some changes are already helping to break down silos in the delivery of care. Groups of health care professionals are working together to manage the health of populations. The ACA places a much greater emphasis on measuring quality and on paying health professionals and health care institutions based on the value of the services they provide. In addition, the ACA makes greater investments in prevention and in population health management. This issue brief highlights some of the health system changes that have taken place over the past 3 years, as well as some of the potential changes that are yet to come relating to insurance coverage, access to care, quality of care, rising health care costs, and overall population health.

  15. Contribution of food prices and diet cost to socioeconomic disparities in diet quality and health: a systematic review and analysis

    PubMed Central

    Drewnowski, Adam

    2015-01-01

    Context: It is well established in the literature that healthier diets cost more than unhealthy diets. Objective: The aim of this review was to examine the contribution of food prices and diet cost to socioeconomic inequalities in diet quality. Data Sources: A systematic literature search of the PubMed, Google Scholar, and Web of Science databases was performed. Study Selection: Publications linking food prices, dietary quality, and socioeconomic status were selected. Data Extraction: Where possible, review conclusions were illustrated using a French national database of commonly consumed foods and their mean retail prices. Data Synthesis: Foods of lower nutritional value and lower-quality diets generally cost less per calorie and tended to be selected by groups of lower socioeconomic status. A number of nutrient-dense foods were available at low cost but were not always palatable or culturally acceptable to the low-income consumer. Acceptable healthier diets were uniformly associated with higher costs. Food budgets in poverty were insufficient to ensure optimum diets. Conclusions: Socioeconomic disparities in diet quality may be explained by the higher cost of healthy diets. Identifying food patterns that are nutrient rich, affordable, and appealing should be a priority to fight social inequalities in nutrition and health. PMID:26307238

  16. Water quality associated public health risk in Bo, Sierra Leone.

    PubMed

    Jimmy, David H; Sundufu, Abu J; Malanoski, Anthony P; Jacobsen, Kathryn H; Ansumana, Rashid; Leski, Tomasz A; Bangura, Umaru; Bockarie, Alfred S; Tejan, Edries; Lin, Baochuan; Stenger, David A

    2013-01-01

    Human health depends on reliable access to safe drinking water, but in many developing countries only a limited number of wells and boreholes are available. Many of these water resources are contaminated with biological or chemical pollutants. The goal of this study was to examine water access and quality in urban Bo, Sierra Leone. A health census and community mapping project in one neighborhood in Bo identified the 36 water sources used by the community. A water sample was taken from each water source and tested for a variety of microbiological and physicochemical substances. Only 38.9% of the water sources met World Health Organization (WHO) microbial safety requirements based on fecal coliform levels. Physiochemical analysis indicated that the majority (91.7%) of the water sources met the requirements set by the WHO. In combination, 25% of these water resources met safe drinking water criteria. No variables associated with wells were statistically significant predictors of contamination. This study indicated that fecal contamination is the greatest health risk associated with drinking water. There is a need to raise hygiene awareness and implement inexpensive methods to reduce fecal contamination and improve drinking water safety in Bo, Sierra Leone.

  17. Affordability of medicines in the European Union

    PubMed Central

    Zaprutko, Tomasz; Kopciuch, Dorota; Kus, Krzysztof; Merks, Piotr; Nowicka, Monika; Augustyniak, Izabela; Nowakowska, Elżbieta

    2017-01-01

    Background Medications and their prices are key issues for healthcare. Although access to medicines at affordable prices had been specified as a key objective of the European Health Policy, it seems that these goals have not been achieved. Therefore, we attempted an evaluation of affordability of selected medicines at full prices. Methods The analysis concerned 2012 and was conducted between 2013 and 2015 in all the European Union (EU) countries divided into 3 groups depending on the date of their accession to the EU. Finally, we considered 9 originators used in the treatment of schizophrenia and multiple sclerosis. Information on drug prices were collected from pharmacies. Participation in the study was voluntary and anonymous in order to avoid accusations of advertising. To evaluate affordability, several factors were used (e.g. minimum earnings and Gini coefficient). Due to unavailability in some countries, the exact number of analyzed medicines varies. Results Drug prices vary significantly between EU Member States. Almost eleven fold difference was observed between Germany (EUR 1451.17) and Croatia (EUR 132.77) in relation to Interferone beta-1a 22 μg. Generally, prices were the highest in Germany. The cheapest drugs were found in various countries but never in the poorest ones like Bulgaria or Romania. Discrepancies in wages were observed too (the smallest minimum wage was EUR 138.00 in Bulgaria and the highest EUR 1801.00 in Luxembourg). Full price of olanzapine 5mg, however, was higher in Bulgaria (EUR 64.53) than, for instance, in Belgium (EUR 37.26). Conclusions Analyzed medications are still unaffordable for many citizens of the EU. Besides, access to medicines is also impaired e.g. due to parallel trade. Unaffordability of medications may lead to the patients’ non-compliance and therefore to increased direct and indirect costs of treatment. Common European solutions are needed to achieve a real affordability and accessibility of medications. PMID

  18. Policy Statement--Using personal health records to improve the quality of health care for children.

    PubMed

    2009-07-01

    A personal health record (PHR) is a repository of information from multiple contributors (eg, patient, family, guardians, physicians, and other health care professionals) regarding the health of an individual. The development of electronic PHRs presents new opportunities and challenges to the practice of pediatrics. This policy statement provides recommendations for actions that pediatricians can take to support the development and use of PHRs for children. Pediatric health care professionals must become actively involved in developing and adopting PHRs and PHR systems. The American Academy of Pediatrics supports development of: educational programs for families and clinicians on effective and efficient use of PHRs; incentives to facilitate PHR use and maintenance; and child- and adolescent-friendly standards for PHR content, portability, security, and privacy. Properly designed PHR systems for pediatric care can empower patients. PHRs can improve access to health information, improve coordination of preventive health and health maintenance activities, and support emergency and disaster management activities. PHRs provide support for the medical home for all children, including those with special health care needs and those in foster care. PHRs can also provide information to serve as the basis for pediatric quality improvement efforts. For PHRs to be adopted sufficiently to realize these benefits, we must determine how best to support their development and adoption. Privacy and security issues, especially with regard to children and adolescents, must be addressed.

  19. Visual object affordances: object orientation.

    PubMed

    Symes, Ed; Ellis, Rob; Tucker, Mike

    2007-02-01

    Five experiments systematically investigated whether orientation is a visual object property that affords action. The primary aim was to establish the existence of a pure physical affordance (PPA) of object orientation, independent of any semantic object-action associations or visually salient areas towards which visual attention might be biased. Taken together, the data from these experiments suggest that firstly PPAs of object orientation do exist, and secondly, the behavioural effects that reveal them are larger and more robust when the object appears to be graspable, and is oriented in depth (rather than just frontally) such that its leading edge appears to point outwards in space towards a particular hand of the viewer.

  20. Does maternal oral health predict child oral health-related quality of life in adulthood?

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background A parental/family history of poor oral health may influence the oral-health-related quality of life (OHRQOL) of adults. Objectives To determine whether the oral health of mothers of young children can predict the OHRQOL of those same children when they reach adulthood. Methods Oral examination and interview data from the Dunedin Study's age-32 assessment, as well as maternal self-rated oral health data from the age-5 assessment were used. The main outcome measure was study members' short-form Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP-14) at age 32. Analyses involved 827 individuals (81.5% of the surviving cohort) dentally examined at both ages, who also completed the OHIP-14 questionnaire at age 32, and whose mothers were interviewed at the age-5 assessment. Results There was a consistent gradient of relative risk across the categories of maternal self-rated oral health status at the age-5 assessment for having one or more impacts in the overall OHIP-14 scale, whereby risk was greatest among the study members whose mothers rated their oral health as "poor/edentulous", and lowest among those with an "excellent/fairly good" rating. In addition, there was a gradient in the age-32 mean OHIP-14 score, and in the mean number of OHIP-14 impacts at age 32 across the categories of maternal self-rated oral health status. The higher risk of having one or more impacts in the psychological discomfort subscale, when mother rated her oral health as "poor/edentulous", was statistically significant. Conclusions These data suggest that maternal self-rated oral health when a child is young has a bearing on that child's OHRQOL almost three decades later. The adult offspring of mothers with poor self-rated oral health had poorer OHRQOL outcomes, particularly in the psychological discomfort subscale. PMID:21736754

  1. Dietary phosphorus in bone health and quality of life.

    PubMed

    Takeda, Eiji; Yamamoto, Hironori; Yamanaka-Okumura, Hisami; Taketani, Yutaka

    2012-06-01

    Awareness of phosphorus intake is important because both phosphorus deficiency and overloading impair bone health and quality of life. Phosphorus consumption is increasing in many countries. Most dietary phosphorus is contained in protein-rich foods such as meat, milk, cheese, poultry, fish, and processed foods that contain phosphate-based additives to improve their consistency and appearance. Elevation of extracellular phosphorus levels causes endothelial dysfunction and medial calcification, which are closely associated with the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Long-term excessive phosphorus loading, even if it does not cause hyperphosphatemia, can be a risk factor for CVD. In epidemiological studies, higher levels of phosphorus intake have been associated with reduced blood pressure. Interestingly, when examined further, phosphorus from dairy products, but not from other sources, was usually associated with lower blood pressure. A dietary approach to phosphorus reduction is particularly important to prevent bone impairment and CVD in patients with chronic kidney disease. In order to improve bone health and quality of life in the general population, the impact of phosphorous, including in processed foods, should be considered, and measures to indicate the amount of phosphorous in food products should be implemented.

  2. Health-related quality of life in clinical practice.

    PubMed

    1999-12-01

    This month's question addressed something that many of us perhaps still have not formally incorporated into clinical practice, although we all are interested in our patients' health-related quality of life and want our inventions to result in improvements within this area. This view is exemplified by the response from Australia, which is one of several similar, unpublished, replies from the International Panel on this month's question (others came from Germany and Sweden). As mentioned in the introduction, health-related quality of life is becoming increasingly important as an outcome measure in clinical trials of new therapeutic interventions and several new measures have been and are developed. It is interesting and encouraging to hear about the new developments within this area that are being made by neuroscience nurses in different countries and within different subspecialties around the globe. As reported from the International Panel in here, new HRQL measures are currently developed in Canada and the UK focusing on patients with brains injuries and Huntington's disease (HD), respectively. In contrast to most established measures, the Canadian study has primarily been aimed at the positive aspects of life and not merely absence of the negative ones. Steve Smith in the UK has recently started developing a scale for use in clinical management of patients with HD. As far as I have been able to determine, this is the first measure of this kind to be developed for HD. Anyone who would like to know more about Steve's work or take part thereof is encouraged to contact him at this address above. Despite the fact that there already are several HRQL measures available, there is still a need for new instruments reflecting new aspects of health and disease. In addition, tools need to be designed for challenging conditions not readily addressed by existing measures. The replies from Canada and the UK represent these needs. It will be very interesting to eventually take

  3. Deciphering the imperative: translating public health quality improvement into organizational performance management gains.

    PubMed

    Beitsch, Leslie M; Yeager, Valerie A; Moran, John

    2015-03-18

    With the launching of the national public health accreditation program under the auspices of the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), health department momentum around quality improvement adoption has accelerated. Domain 9 of the PHAB standards (one of 12 domains) focuses on evaluation and improvement of performance and is acting as a strong driver for quality improvement and performance management implementation within health departments. Widespread adoption of quality improvement activities in public health trails that in other US sectors. Several performance management models have received broad acceptance, including models among government and nonprofits. A model specifically for public health has been developed and is presented herein. All models in current use reinforce customer focus; streamlined, value-added processes; and strategic alignment. All are structured to steer quality improvement efforts toward organizational priorities, ensuring that quality improvement complements performance management. High-performing health departments harness the synergy of quality improvement and performance management, providing powerful tools to achieve public health strategic imperatives.

  4. Health-Related Quality of Life and Appropriateness of Cholecystectomy

    PubMed Central

    Quintana, José Ma; Cabriada, Jose; Aróstegui, Inmaculada; Oribe, Victor; Perdigo, Luis; Varona, Mercedes; Bilbao, Amaia

    2005-01-01

    Ojbective: To evaluate the relationship among appropriateness of the use of cholecystectomy and outcomes. Summary Background Data: The use of cholecystectomy varies widely across regions and countries. Explicit appropriateness criteria may help identify suitable candidates for this commonly performed procedure. This study evaluates the relationship among appropriateness of the use of cholecystectomy and outcomes. Methods: Prospective observational study in 6 public hospitals in Spain of all consecutive patients on waiting lists to undergo cholecystectomy for nonmalignant disease. Explicit appropriateness criteria for the use of cholecystectomy were developed by a panel of experts using the RAND appropriateness methodology and applied to recruited patients. Patients were asked to complete 2 questionnaires that measure health-related quality of life—the Short Form 36 (SF-36) and the Gastrointestinal Quality of Life Index (GIQLI)—before the intervention and 3 months after it. Results: Patients judged as being appropriate candidates for cholecystectomy, using the panel's explicit appropriateness criteria, had greater improvements in the bodily pain, vitality, and social function domains of the SF-36 than those judged to be inappropriate candidates. They also demonstrated improvements in the GIQLI's physical impairment domain. Interventions judged as inappropriate were performed primarily among patients without symptoms of cholelithiasis. Those asymptomatic had a lower improvement in the bodily pain, social functioning, and physical summary scale of the SF-36 and in the symptomatology, physical impairment, and total score domains of the GIQLI. Conclusions: These results suggest a direct relationship between the application of explicit appropriateness criteria and better outcomes, as measured by health-related quality of life. They also indicate that patients without symptoms are not good candidates for cholecystectomy. PMID:15621998

  5. Emerging Affordances in Telecollaborative Multimodal Interactions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dey-Plissonneau, Aparajita; Blin, Françoise

    2016-01-01

    Drawing on Gibson's (1977) theory of affordances, Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) affordances are a combination of technological, social, educational, and linguistic affordances (Blin, 2016). This paper reports on a preliminary study that sought to identify the emergence of affordances during an online video conferencing session between…

  6. [Health-related quality of life in Parkinson's disease].

    PubMed

    Cano-de la Cuerda, Roberto; Vela-Desojo, Lydia; Miangolarra-Page, Juan C; Macías-Macías, Yolanda; Muñoz-Hellin, Elena

    2010-01-01

    Parkinson's disease is a disabling and progressive neurological condition characterized by multiple motor and non motor symptoms that contribute to deterioration in quality of life. The diversity of symptoms associated with the disease and its management affect the patients on their physical, social and mental quality of life. The aim of this study was to identify key dimensions of health related quality of life (HRQOL) in a population affected with Parkinson's disease with a degree of mild-moderate impairment. Thirty six patients with Parkinson were recruited. The Hoehn and Yarh scale, the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rate Scale, the scale of activities of daily life and Schwab & England Get Up & Go Test were applied. HRQOL was assessed with the EuroQol-5D and the specific questionnaire Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire-39 items. The dimensions of the PDQ-39, except the PDQ-39 Pain domain and the EuroQol-5D correlated significantly with the severity of the disease. HRQOL was correlated with the functional status of patients. Only the PDQ-39 pain domain correlated with the risk of falls. Our results suggest that the HRQOL of patients with PD, in a state of mild-moderate impairment, is strongly influenced by disease severity and functional status.

  7. Intensive Hemodialysis and Health-Related Quality of Life.

    PubMed

    Kraus, Michael A; Fluck, Richard J; Weinhandl, Eric D; Kansal, Sheru; Copland, Michael; Komenda, Paul; Finkelstein, Fredric O

    2016-11-01

    Diminished health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is common in dialysis patients and associated with increased risks for morbidity and mortality. Patients may present limitations in both physical and mental HRQoL. Poor physical HRQoL may be defined by limited physical function, role limitations due to physical health, dissatisfaction with physical ability, and impaired mobility. Sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea, restless legs, and fatigue are typical manifestations of poor physical HRQoL in dialysis patients. Poor mental HRQoL may be defined by depressive thinking, lack of positive affect, anxiety, and feelings of social isolation. The prevalence of depression is high in dialysis patients. Intensive hemodialysis (HD) can positively address HRQoL. In 3 randomized clinical trials, relative to conventional HD, intensive HD increased physical and mental component summary scores from the 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), although individual treatment effects of daily nocturnal HD were not statistically significant. In another large prospective study, initiation of short daily HD therapy was followed after 12 months by improvements in all SF-36 domains, sleep quality, and restless legs symptoms. In a small study of nocturnal HD, apnea and hypopnea episodes per hour decreased by almost 70% after conversion from conventional HD. Intensive HD is also associated with a large reduction in postdialysis recovery time. In contrast, 2 randomized clinical trials failed to demonstrate statistically significant effects of intensive HD on the Beck Depression Inventory score despite a significant decrease in Beck Depression Inventory score in the prospective study of short daily HD. Furthermore, intensive HD may not improve objective physical performance and can increase burden on caregivers in the home setting. In conclusion, intensive HD potentially can address both physical and mental aspects of poor HRQoL relative to conventional HD. However, more studies

  8. Amiata Donkey Milk Chain: Animal Health Evaluation and Milk Quality

    PubMed Central

    Ragona, Giuseppe; Corrias, Franco; Benedetti, Martina; Paladini, Maria; Salari, Federica; Altomonte, lolanda; Martini, Mina

    2016-01-01

    This study presents an investigation of Amiata donkey health and quality of milk for human consumption. Thirty-one lactating dairy jennies were examined. The following samples were collected: faecal samples from the rectum of animals for parasitological examination; cervical swabs for the detection of bacteria causing reproductive disorders; and blood samples for serological diagnosis of main zoonotic (Brucella spp., Leptospira spp.) and donkey abortion agents (Brucella spp., Leptospira spp., Salmonella abortus equi, Equine viral arterithis virus, Equine herpesvirus type 1). In addition, individual milk samples were collected and analysed for mastitis-causing pathogens and milk quality. Regarding animal health, we detected a high prevalence of strongyle parasites in donkeys. It is very important to tackle parasitic diseases correctly. Selective control programmes are preferable in order to reduce anthelmintic drug use. For dairy donkeys, withdrawal periods from anthelmintic drugs need to be carefully managed, in accordance with EU and national regulations. The isolation of Staphylococcus aureus in milk highlights the importance of preventing contamination during milking, by adopting appropriate hygiene and safety practices at a farm level. Lysozyme activity was high compared to cow’s milk, contributing to the inhibitory activity against certain bacteria. Donkey milk was characterised by high lactose content, low caseins, low fat, higher levels of unsaturated fatty acids compared to ruminant milks. Unsaturated fatty acids and omega 3 fatty acids in particular have become known for their beneficial health effect, which is favourable for human diet. These characteristics make it suitable for infants and children affected by food intolerance/allergies to bovine milk proteins and multiple food allergies as well as for adults with dyslipidemias. It is also recommended to prevent cardiovascular diseases. PMID:27853717

  9. Developing Strategies for Affordable Bandwidth.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Educause Quarterly, 2000

    2000-01-01

    Written by Educause's Net@EDU Broadband Pricing Working Group, this article discusses what institutions of higher education can do to develop good partnerships with broadband vendors in order to negotiate affordable pricing for increased bandwidth. Describes problems with the marketplace, examples from a few universities, and points to remember…

  10. The National Institutes of Health Affordable Cancer Technologies Program: Improving Access to Resource-Appropriate Technologies for Cancer Detection, Diagnosis, Monitoring, and Treatment in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

    PubMed Central

    Divi, Rao; Gwede, Michael; Tandon, Pushpa; Sorg, Brian S.; Ossandon, Miguel R.; Agrawal, Lokesh; Pai, Vinay; Baker, Houston; Lash, Tiffani Bailey

    2016-01-01

    Point-of-care (POC) technologies have proved valuable in cancer detection, diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment in the developed world, and have shown promise in low-and-middle-income countries (LMIC) as well. Despite this promise, the unique design constraints presented in low-resource settings, coupled with the variety of country-specific regulatory and institutional dynamics, have made it difficult for investigators to translate successful POC cancer interventions to the LMIC markets. In response to this need, the National Cancer Institute has partnered with the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering to create the National Institutes of Health Affordable Cancer Technologies (ACTs) program. This program seeks to simplify the pathway to market by funding multidisciplinary investigative teams to adapt and validate the existing technologies for cancer detection, diagnosis, and treatment in LMIC settings. The various projects under ACTs range from microfluidic cancer diagnostic tools to novel treatment devices, each geared for successful clinical adaptation to LMIC settings. Via progression through this program, each POC innovation will be uniquely leveraged for successful clinical translation to LMICs in a way not before seen in this arena. PMID:27730015

  11. Client satisfaction and quality of health care in rural Bangladesh.

    PubMed Central

    Mendoza Aldana, J.; Piechulek, H.; al-Sabir, A.

    2001-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To assess user expectations and degree of client satisfaction and quality of health care provided in rural Bangladesh. METHODS: A total of 1913 persons chosen by systematic random sampling were successfully interviewed immediately after having received care in government health facilities. FINDINGS: The most powerful predictor for client satisfaction with the government services was provider behaviour, especially respect and politeness. For patients this aspect was much more important than the technical competence of the provider. Furthermore, a reduction in waiting time (on average to 30 min) was more important to clients than a prolongation of the quite short (from a medical standpoint) consultation time (on average 2 min, 22 sec), with 75% of clients being satisfied. Waiting time, which was about double at outreach services than that at fixed services, was the only element with which users of outreach services were dissatisfied. CONCLUSIONS: This study underscores that client satisfaction is determined by the cultural background of the people. It shows the dilemma that, though optimally care should be capable of meeting both medical and psychosocial needs, in reality care that meets all medical needs may fail to meet the client's emotional or social needs. Conversely, care that meets psychosocial needs may leave the clients medically at risk. It seems important that developing countries promoting client-oriented health services should carry out more in-depth research on the determinants of client satisfaction in the respective culture. PMID:11436472

  12. Health-related quality of life in emphysema.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Robert M; Ries, Andrew L

    2008-05-01

    Patients with emphysema may experience reduced health-related quality of life (HRQOL). HRQOL measures have evolved from two different measurement traditions: psychometric theory and decision theory. Psychometric methods typically create a profile of outcomes, whereas decision theory methods offer a summary score on a continuum ranging from 0.0 (for death or worst possible health) to 1.0 (for best possible health). Decision theory methods are better suited for cost-effectiveness studies. Generic HRQOL measures can be applied to any disease population, whereas disease-targeted measures are tailored to a specific clinical condition. Disease-targeted measures are typically more sensitive to clinical change, but cannot offer a comparison basis for different clinical conditions. This article reviews the measurement of HRQOL in patients with emphysema. The National Emphysema Treatment Trial (NETT) offers an example of the application of both generic and disease-targeted, as well as profile and decision theory, methods. The NETT illustrates how HRQOL measures can be used to assess outcomes and estimate cost-effectiveness in a major clinical trial.

  13. Contagious Ideas from Health Care

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chaffee, Ellen

    2009-01-01

    Financial problems plague both higher education and health care, two sectors that struggle to meet public expectations for quality services at affordable rates. Both higher education and health care also have a complex bottom line, heavy reliance on relatively autonomous professionals, and clients who share personal responsibility for achieving…

  14. Optimism and diet quality in the Women's Health Initiative.

    PubMed

    Hingle, Melanie D; Wertheim, Betsy C; Tindle, Hilary A; Tinker, Lesley; Seguin, Rebecca A; Rosal, Milagros C; Thomson, Cynthia A

    2014-07-01

    Diet quality has not been well studied in relation to positive psychological traits. Our purpose was to investigate the relationship between optimism and diet quality in postmenopausal women enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative observational study (OS) and clinical trials (CTs), and to determine whether optimism was associated with diet change after a 1-year dietary intervention. Diet quality was scored with the Alternate Healthy Eating Index (AHEI) and optimism assessed with the Life Orientation Test-Revised. Baseline characteristics were compared across AHEI quintiles or optimism tertiles using regression models with each variable of interest as a function of quintiles or tertiles (OS, n=87,630; CT, n=65,360). Association between optimism and baseline AHEI and change in AHEI over 1 year were tested using multivariate linear regression (CT, n=13,645). Potential interaction between optimism and trial arm and demographic/lifestyle factors on AHEI change was tested using likelihood ratio test (CT intervention, n=13,645; CT control, n=20,242). Women reporting high AHEI were non-Hispanic white, educated, physically active, past or never smokers, hormone therapy users, had lower body mass index and waist circumference, and were less likely to have chronic conditions. In the CT intervention, higher optimism was associated with higher AHEI at baseline and with greater change over 1 year (P=0.001). Effect modification by intervention status was observed (P=0.014), whereas control participants with highest optimism achieved threefold greater AHEI increase compared with those with the lowest optimism. These data support a relationship between optimism and dietary quality score in postmenopausal women at baseline and over 1 year.

  15. mHealth Quality: A Process to Seal the Qualified Mobile Health Apps.

    PubMed

    Yasini, Mobin; Beranger, Jérôme; Desmarais, Pierre; Perez, Lucas; Marchand, Guillaume

    2016-01-01

    A large number of mobile health applications (apps) are currently available with a variety of functionalities. The user ratings in the app stores seem not to be reliable to determine the quality of the apps. The traditional methods of evaluation are not suitable for fast paced nature of mobile technology. In this study, we propose a collaborative multidimensional scale to assess the quality of mHealth apps. During our process, the app quality is assessed in various aspects including medical reliability, legal consistency, ethical consistency, usability aspects, personal data privacy and IT security. A hypothetico-deductive approach was used in various working groups to define the audit criteria based on the various use cases that an app could provide. These criteria were then implemented into a web based self-administered questionnaires and the generation of automatic reports were considered. This method is on the one hand specific to each app because it allows to assess each health app according to its offered functionalities. On the other hand, this method is automatic, transferable to all apps and adapted to the dynamic nature of mobile technology.

  16. Availability, accessibility, and affordability of neurodiagnostic tests in 37 countries

    PubMed Central

    McLane, Hannah C.; Berkowitz, Aaron L.; Patenaude, Bryan N.; McKenzie, Erica D.; Wolper, Emma; Wahlster, Sarah; Fink, Günther

    2015-01-01

    Objective: To determine the availability, accessibility, and affordability of EEG, EMG, CSF analysis, head CT, and brain MRI for neurologic disorders across countries. Methods: An online, 60-question survey was distributed to neurology practitioners in 2014 to assess the presence, wait time, and cost of each test in private and public health sectors. Data were stratified by World Bank country income group. Affordability was calculated with reference to the World Health Organization's definition of catastrophic health expenditure as health-related out-of-pocket expenditure of >40% of disposable household income, and assessment of providers' perceptions of affordability to the patient. Results: Availability of EEG and EMG is correlated with higher World Bank income group (correlation coefficient 0.38, test for trend p = 0.046; 0.376, p = 0.043); CSF, CT, and MRI did not show statistically significant associations with income groups. Patients in public systems wait longer for neurodiagnostic tests, especially MRI, EEG, and urgent CT (p < 0.0001). The mean cost per test, across all tests, was lower in the public vs private sector (US $55.25 vs $214.62, p < 0.001). Each drop in World Bank income group is associated with a 29% decrease in the estimated share of the population who can afford a given test (95% confidence interval −33.4, 25.2; p < 0.001). In most low-income countries surveyed, only the top 10% or 20% of the population was able to afford tests below catastrophic levels. In surveyed lower-middle-income countries, >40% of the population, on average, could not afford neurodiagnostic tests. Conclusions: Neurodiagnostic tests are least affordable in the lowest income settings. Closing this “diagnostic gap” for countries with the lowest incomes is essential. PMID:26446063

  17. Achieving a deeper understanding of the implemented provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shuang Qin; Polite, Blase N

    2014-01-01

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. Since that time, numerous regulations have been promulgated, legal battles continue to be fought and the major provisions of the law are being implemented. In the following article, we outline components of the ACA that are relevant to cancer health care, review current implementation of the new health care reform law, and identify challenges that may lie ahead in the post-ACA era. Specifically, among the things we explore are Medicaid expansion, health insurance exchanges, essential health benefits and preventive services, subsidies, access to clinical trials, the Medicare Part D donut hole, and physician quality payment reform.

  18. Towards Evidence-Based, Quality-Controlled Health Promotion: The Dutch Recognition System for Health Promotion Interventions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brug, Johannes; van Dale, Djoeke; Lanting, Loes; Kremers, Stef; Veenhof, Cindy; Leurs, Mariken; van Yperen, Tom; Kok, Gerjo

    2010-01-01

    Registration or recognition systems for best-practice health promotion interventions may contribute to better quality assurance and control in health promotion practice. In the Netherlands, such a system has been developed and is being implemented aiming to provide policy makers and professionals with more information on the quality and…

  19. A Critical Analysis of Obamacare: Affordable Care or Insurance for Many and Coverage for Few?

    PubMed

    Manchikanti, Laxmaiah; Helm Ii, Standiford; Benyamin, Ramsin M; Hirsch, Joshua A

    2017-03-01

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA), of 2010, or Obamacare, was the most monumental change in US health care policy since the passage of Medicaid and Medicare in 1965. Since its enactment, numerous claims have been made on both sides of the aisle regarding the ACA's success or failure; these views often colored by political persuasion. The ACA had 3 primary goals: increasing the number of the insured, improving the quality of care, and reducing the costs of health care. One point often lost in the discussion is the distinction between affordability and access. Health insurance is a financial mechanism for paying for health care, while access refers to the process of actually obtaining that health care. The ACA has widened the gap between providing patients the mechanism of paying for healthcare and actually receiving it. The ACA is applauded for increasing the number of insured, quite appropriately as that has occurred for over 20 million people. Less frequently mentioned are the 6 million who have lost their insurance. Further, in terms of how health insurance is been provided, the majority the expansion was based on Medicaid expansion, with an increase of 13 million. Consequently, the ACA hasn't worked well for the working and middle class who receive much less support, particularly those who earn more than 400% of the federal poverty level, who constitute 40% of the population and don't receive any help. As a result, exchange enrollment has been a disappointment and the percentage of workers obtaining their health benefits from their employer has decreased steadily. Access to health care has been uneven, with those on Medicaid hampered by narrow networks, while those on the exchanges or getting employer benefits have faced high out-of-pocket costs.The second category relates to cost containment. President Obama claimed that the ACA provided significant cost containment, in that costs would have been even much higher if the ACA was not enacted. Further, he attributed

  20. Determinants of Health and the Quality of Life in the Bella Coola Valley

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Michalos, Alex C.; Thommasen, Harvey V.; Read, Rua; Anderson, Nancy; Zumbo, Bruno D.

    2005-01-01

    The aim of this investigation is to obtain some baseline self-reported data of the health status and overall quality of life of all residents of the Bella Coola Valley of British Columbia aged 17 years or older, and to measure the impact of a set of designated health determinants on their health and quality of life. In the period from August to…

  1. 77 FR 70786 - Request for Information Regarding Health Care Quality for Exchanges

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-11-27

    ... HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Request for Information Regarding Health Care... Improvement in Health Care (National Quality Strategy) to create national aims and priorities that would guide local, state, and national efforts to improve the quality of health care in the United States....

  2. Does health-related quality of life predict injury event?

    PubMed Central

    Soori, Hamid; Abachizadeh, Kambiz

    2009-01-01

    Abstract: Background: Unintentional injury is a leading threat to children's health. Some human factors have been determined as predictor of unintentional injury. Association between Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQOL) as a human factor and unintentional injuries is unclear. The objective of study is to examine the association between HRQOL and unintentional injuries among primary school children. Methods: This study was a cross-sectional conducted in Ahwaz, a city in Iran. Overall, 3375 children aged 6-10 years were randomly selected from primary school. HRQOL was measured by 56 items taken from seven domains of Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research Academic Medical Center (TNO AZL) child quality of life (TACQOL) parent form. Parents were interviewed to collect information about incidence, cause and a brief description of injury within the past 12 months prior to the study. Results: The response rate was 3375 of 3792 (89%). There was a significant trend for increasing occurrence of injury with decreasing of HRQOL score (p was less than 0.001). Adjusted OR for injury was significantly higher in very low (2.38, 95% CI: 1.45-3.86), low (2.18, 95% CI: 1.34-3.56), and medium (1.73, 95%CI: 1.06-2.83) HRQOL groups compared to reference group (very high HRQOL). The median of total HRQOL (P less than 0.001) and all its domains (P=0.017) (except autonomous functioning) was lower in injured group compared to uninjured one. Conclusions: This study found an association between HRQOL and unintentional injury among primary school children. This is a preliminary finding and further investigations with a well-defined analytical design are needed. PMID:21483187

  3. Involving mental health service users in quality assurance

    PubMed Central

    Weinstein, Jenny

    2006-01-01

    Abstract Objective  This study compares the process and outcomes of two approaches to engaging mental health (MH) service users in the quality assurance (QA) process. Background  QA plays a significant role in health and care services, including those delivered in the voluntary sector. The importance of actively, rather than passively, involving service users in evaluation and service development has been increasingly recognized during the last decade. Design  This retrospective small‐scale study uses document analysis to compare two QA reviews of a MH Day Centre, one that took place in 1998 as a traditional inspection‐type event and one that took place in 2000 as a collaborative process with a user‐led QA agenda. Setting and participants  The project was undertaken with staff, volunteers and service users in a voluntary sector MH Day Centre. Intervention  The study compares the management, style, evaluation tools and service user responses for the two reviews; it considers staff perspectives and discusses the implications of a collaborative, user‐led QA process for service development. Results  The first traditional top–down inspection‐type QA event had less ownership from service users and staff and served the main purpose of demonstrating that services met organizational standards. The second review, undertaken collaboratively with a user‐led agenda focused on different priorities, evolving a new approach to seeking users’ views and achieving a higher response rate. Conclusions  Because both users and staff had participated in most aspects of the second review they were more willing to work together and action plan to improve the service. It is suggested that the process contributed to an evolving ethos of more effective quality improvement and user involvement within the organization. PMID:16677189

  4. Using law to fight a silent epidemic: the role of health literacy in health care access, quality, & cost.

    PubMed

    Clark, Brietta

    2011-01-01

    The dominant rhetoric in the health care policy debate about cost has assumed an inherent tension between access and quality on the one hand, and cost effectiveness on the other; but an emerging discourse has challenged this narrative by presenting a more nuanced relationship between access, quality, and cost. This is reflected in the discourse surrounding health literacy, which is viewed as an important tool for achieving all three goals. Health literacy refers to one's ability to obtain, understand and use health information to make appropriate health decisions. Research shows that improving patients' health literacy can help overcome access barriers and empower patients to be better health care partners, which should lead to better health outcomes. Promoting health literacy can also reduce expenditures for unnecessary or inappropriate treatment. This explains why, as a policy matter, improving health literacy is an objective that has been embraced by almost every sector of the health care system. As a legal matter, however, the role of health literacy in ensuring quality and access is not as prominent. Although the health literacy movement is relatively young, it has roots in longstanding bioethical principles of patient autonomy, beneficence, and justice as well as the corresponding legal principles of informed consent, the right to quality care, and antidiscrimination. Assumptions and concerns about health literacy seem to do important, yet subtle work in these legal doctrines--influencing conclusions about patient understanding in informed consent cases, animating decisions about patient responsibility in malpractice cases, and underlying regulatory guidance concerning the quality of language assistance services that are necessary for meaningful access to care. Nonetheless, health literacy is not explicitly treated as a legally relevant factor in these doctrines. Moreover, there is no coherent legal framework for incorporating health literacy research that

  5. Health significance of fat quality in the diet.

    PubMed

    Nettleton, Joyce A; Villalpando, Salvador; Cassani, Roberta Soares Lara; Elmadfa, Ibrahim

    2013-01-01

    This paper summarizes three presentations on the global and Latin American perspectives on the health significance of fat quality in the diet given at the 16th Congress of the Society of Latin American Nutrition in Havana, Cuba, November 11-16, 2012. Dietary fat quality contributes to the risk of the leading chronic diseases and is more important than fat quantity in reducing the risk of chronic disease mortality, especially from cardiovascular disease (CVD). In many countries, the consumption of saturated fats exceeds the recommended limit of 10% energy (%E) and intakes of polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) are often below the recommended range of 6-11%E. Consumption of long-chain ω-3 PUFAs is especially low. In many Latin American countries, high consumption of carbohydrates, especially sugars, contributes to obesity, diabetes, hypertension and CVD, while intakes of total fat and PUFAs may be low. Thus, dietary fat recommendations must consider the dietary fat patterns of each country. Nutrition counseling can be effective in teaching individuals and families to modify their food intake patterns and control the major risk factors for chronic disease.

  6. Association between overuse of mobile phones on quality of sleep and general health among occupational health and safety students.

    PubMed

    Eyvazlou, Meysam; Zarei, Esmaeil; Rahimi, Azin; Abazari, Malek

    2016-01-01

    Concerns about health problems due to the increasing use of mobile phones are growing. Excessive use of mobile phones can affect the quality of sleep as one of the important issues in the health literature and general health of people. Therefore, this study investigated the relationship between the excessive use of mobile phones and general health and quality of sleep on 450 Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) students in five universities of medical sciences in the North East of Iran in 2014. To achieve this objective, special questionnaires that included Cell Phone Overuse Scale, Pittsburgh's Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) were used, respectively. In addition to descriptive statistical methods, independent t-test, Pearson correlation, analysis of variance (ANOVA) and multiple regression tests were performed. The results revealed that half of the students had a poor level of sleep quality and most of them were considered unhealthy. The Pearson correlation co-efficient indicated a significant association between the excessive use of mobile phones and the total score of general health and the quality of sleep. In addition, the results of the multiple regression showed that the excessive use of mobile phones has a significant relationship between each of the four subscales of general health and the quality of sleep. Furthermore, the results of the multivariate regression indicated that the quality of sleep has a simultaneous effect on each of the four scales of the general health. Overall, a simultaneous study of the effects of the mobile phones on the quality of sleep and the general health could be considered as a trigger to employ some intervention programs to improve their general health status, quality of sleep and consequently educational performance.

  7. Systematic review of health-related quality of life models

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background A systematic literature review was conducted to (a) identify the most frequently used health-related quality of life (HRQOL) models and (b) critique those models. Methods Online search engines were queried using pre-determined inclusion and exclusion criteria. We reviewed titles, abstracts, and then full-text articles for their relevance to this review. Then the most commonly used models were identified, reviewed in tables, and critiqued using published criteria. Results Of 1,602 titles identified, 100 articles from 21 countries met the inclusion criteria. The most frequently used HRQOL models were: Wilson and Cleary (16%), Ferrans and colleagues (4%), or World Health Organization (WHO) (5%). Ferrans and colleagues’ model was a revision of Wilson and Cleary’s model and appeared to have the greatest potential to guide future HRQOL research and practice. Conclusions Recommendations are for researchers to use one of the three common HRQOL models unless there are compelling and clearly delineated reasons for creating new models. Disease-specific models can be derived from one of the three commonly used HRQOL models. We recommend Ferrans and colleagues’ model because they added individual and environmental characteristics to the popular Wilson and Cleary model to better explain HRQOL. Using a common HRQOL model across studies will promote a coherent body of evidence that will more quickly advance the science in the area of HRQOL. PMID:23158687

  8. Optics learning through affordable kit

    SciTech Connect

    P, Anusha N E-mail: chitrashaji@gmail.com Shaji, Chitra E-mail: chitrashaji@gmail.com Sharan, Alok E-mail: chitrashaji@gmail.com

    2014-10-15

    An affordable kit which helps to understand some of the optical phenomena qualitatively and quantitatively is presented in this paper. It supplements optics taught in classes. The kit consists of equipments which are available in the market at nominal cost such as laser pointer, lenses, glass plates, razor blades, coins, ball bearing etc. Experiments which come under wave optics (interference and diffraction) and ray optics (reflection and refraction) are explained using this kit.

  9. Construction of an environmental quality index for public health research

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background A more comprehensive estimate of environmental quality would improve our understanding of the relationship between environmental conditions and human health. An environmental quality index (EQI) for all counties in the U.S. was developed. Methods The EQI was developed in four parts: domain identification; data source acquisition; variable construction; and data reduction. Five environmental domains (air, water, land, built and sociodemographic) were recognized. Within each domain, data sources were identified; each was temporally (years 2000–2005) and geographically (county) restricted. Variables were constructed for each domain and assessed for missingness, collinearity, and normality. Domain-specific data reduction was accomplished using principal components analysis (PCA), resulting in domain-specific indices. Domain-specific indices were then combined into an overall EQI using PCA. In each PCA procedure, the first principal component was retained. Both domain-specific indices and overall EQI were stratified by four rural–urban continuum codes (RUCC). Higher values for each index were set to correspond to areas with poorer environmental quality. Results Concentrations of included variables differed across rural–urban strata, as did within-domain variable loadings, and domain index loadings for the EQI. In general, higher values of the air and sociodemographic indices were found in the more metropolitan areas and the most thinly populated areas have the lowest values of each of the domain indices. The less-urbanized counties (RUCC 3) demonstrated the greatest heterogeneity and range of EQI scores (−4.76, 3.57) while the thinly populated strata (RUCC 4) contained counties with the most positive scores (EQI score ranges from −5.86, 2.52). Conclusion The EQI holds promise for improving our characterization of the overall environment for public health. The EQI describes the non-residential ambient county-level conditions to which residents are

  10. Improving mental health outcomes: achieving equity through quality improvement

    PubMed Central

    Poots, Alan J.; Green, Stuart A.; Honeybourne, Emmi; Green, John; Woodcock, Thomas; Barnes, Ruth; Bell, Derek

    2014-01-01

    Objective To investigate equity of patient outcomes in a psychological therapy service, following increased access achieved by a quality improvement (QI) initiative. Design Retrospective service evaluation of health outcomes; data analysed by ANOVA, chi-squared and Statistical Process Control. Setting A psychological therapy service in Westminster, London, UK. Participants People living in the Borough of Westminster, London, attending the service (from either healthcare professional or self-referral) between February 2009 and May 2012. Intervention(s) Social marketing interventions were used to increase referrals, including the promotion of the service through local media and through existing social networks. Main Outcome Measure(s) (i) Severity of depression on entry using Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ9). (ii) Changes to severity of depression following treatment (ΔPHQ9). (iii) Changes in attainment of a meaningful improvement in condition assessed by a key performance indicator. Results Patients from areas of high deprivation entered the service with more severe depression (M = 15.47, SD = 6.75), compared with patients from areas of low (M = 13.20, SD = 6.75) and medium (M = 14.44, SD = 6.64) deprivation. Patients in low, medium and high deprivation areas attained similar changes in depression score (ΔPHQ9: M = −6.60, SD = 6.41). Similar proportions of patients achieved the key performance indicator across initiative phase and deprivation categories. Conclusions QI methods improved access to mental health services; this paper finds no evidence for differences in clinical outcomes in patients, regardless of level of deprivation, interpreted as no evidence of inequity in the service with respect to this outcome. PMID:24521701

  11. Innovating affordable neonatal care equipment for use at scale

    PubMed Central

    Sashi Kumar, V; Paul, V K; Sathasivam, K

    2016-01-01

    The care of small and sick neonates requires biomedical technologies, such as devices that can keep babies warm (radiant warmers and incubators), resuscitate (self-inflating bags), track growth (weighing scales), treat jaundice (phototherapy units) and provide oxygen or respiratory support (hoods, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices and ventilators). Until the 1990s, most of these products were procured through import at a high cost and with little maintenance support. Emerging demand and an informal collaboration of neonatologists, engineers and entrepreneurs has led to the production of good quality equipment of several high-volume categories at affordable cost in India. Radiant warmers, resuscitation bags, phototherapy units, weighing scales and other devices manufactured by Indian small-scale companies have enabled an expansion of neonatal care in the country, particularly in district hospitals, medical college hospitals and subdistrict facilities in the public sector as a part of the National Rural Health Mission. Indian products have acquired international quality standards and are even exported to developed nations. This paper captures this story of innovation and entrepreneurship in neonatal care. PMID:27924105

  12. Promoting Prevention Through the Affordable Care Act: Workplace Wellness

    PubMed Central

    Roffenbender, Jason S.; Goetzel, Ron Z.; Millard, Francois; Wildenhaus, Kevin; DeSantis, Charles; Novelli, William

    2012-01-01

    Public health in the United States can be improved by building workplace “cultures of health” that support healthy lifestyles. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), which includes the Prevention and Public Health Fund, will support a new focus on prevention and wellness, offering opportunities to strengthen the public’s health through workplace wellness initiatives. This article describes the opportunity the ACA provides to improve worker wellness. PMID:23237245

  13. Delivery of affordable and equitable cancer care in India.

    PubMed

    Pramesh, C S; Badwe, Rajendra A; Borthakur, Bibhuti B; Chandra, Madhu; Raj, Elluswami Hemanth; Kannan, T; Kalwar, Ashok; Kapoor, Sanjay; Malhotra, Hemant; Nayak, Sukdev; Rath, Goura K; Sagar, T G; Sebastian, Paul; Sarin, Rajiv; Shanta, V; Sharma, Suresh C; Shukla, Shilin; Vijayakumar, Manavalan; Vijaykumar, D K; Aggarwal, Ajay; Purushotham, Arnie; Sullivan, Richard

    2014-05-01

    The delivery of affordable and equitable cancer care is one of India's greatest public health challenges. Public expenditure on cancer in India remains below US$10 per person (compared with more than US$100 per person in high-income countries), and overall public expenditure on health care is still only slightly above 1% of gross domestic product. Out-of-pocket payments, which account for more than three-quarters of cancer expenditures in India, are one of the greatest threats to patients and families, and a cancer diagnosis is increasingly responsible for catastrophic expenditures that negatively affect not only the patient but also the welfare and education of several generations of their family. We explore the complex nature of cancer care systems across India, from state to government levels, and address the crucial issues of infrastructure, manpower shortages, and the pressing need to develop cross-state solutions to prevention and early detection of cancer, in addition to governance of the largely unregulated private sector and the cost of new technologies and drugs. We discuss the role of public insurance schemes, the need to develop new political mandates and authority to set priorities, the necessity to greatly improve the quality of care, and the drive to understand and deliver cost-effective cancer care programmes.

  14. Quality Improvement: Lessons Learned from an Infant Mental Health-based Early Head Start Program.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brophy-Herb, Holly; Schiffman, Rachel; McKelvey, Lorraine; Cunningham-DeLuca, Mary; Hawver, Marshelle

    2001-01-01

    Continuous quality improvement efforts are vital to high-quality early intervention services. This article describes an ongoing quality improvement project within an infant mental health-based Early Head Start program. Both strategies and challenges in implementing issues and lessons learned in the initial 2-year phase of the quality improvement…

  15. End-user perspectives on e-commerce and health care web site quality.

    PubMed

    Le Rouge, Cynthia; De Leo, Gianluca

    2008-11-06

    We explore and compare the importance of various quality dimensions for health care and e-commerce web sites. The results show that the importance of various quality attributes for all except four of ten quality dimensions studied differ between health care and e-commerce web sites. These results can help health care managers to improve and/or to guide the design of their web sites.

  16. Health-Related Quality of Life in Children with High-Functioning Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Potvin, Marie-Christine; Snider, Laurie; Prelock, Patricia A.; Wood-Dauphinee, Sharon; Kehayia, Eva

    2015-01-01

    The health-related quality of life of school-aged children with high-functioning autism is poorly understood. The objectives of this study were to compare the health-related quality of life of children with high-functioning autism to that of typically developing peers and to compare child-self and parent-proxy reports of health-related quality of…

  17. Health-related quality of life in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension

    PubMed Central

    Taichman, Darren B; Shin, Jennifer; Hud, Laryssa; Archer-Chicko, Christine; Kaplan, Sandra; Sager, Jeffery S; Gallop, Robert; Christie, Jason; Hansen-Flaschen, John; Palevsky, Harold

    2005-01-01

    Background Improved outcomes with expanding treatment options for patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension present the opportunity to consider additional end-points in approaching therapy, including factors that influence health-related quality of life. However, comparatively little is known about health-related quality of life and its determinants in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension. Methods Health-related quality of life was evaluated in a cross sectional study of 155 outpatients with pulmonary arterial hypertension using generic and respiratory-disease specific measurement tools. Most patients had either World Health Organization functional Class II or III symptoms. Demographic, hemodynamic and treatment variables were assessed for association with health-related quality of life scores. Results Patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension suffered severe impairments in both physical and emotional domains of health-related quality of life. Patients with idiopathic ("primary") pulmonary arterial hypertension had the best, and those with systemic sclerosis the worst health-related quality of life. Greater six-minute walk distance correlated with better health-related quality of life scores, as did functional Class II versus Class III symptoms. Hemodynamic measurements, however, did not correlate with health-related quality of life scores. No differences in health-related quality of life were found between patients who were being treated with calcium channel antagonists, bosentan or continuously infused epoprostenol at the time of quality of life assessment. Conclusion Health-related quality of life is severely impaired in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension and is associated with measures of functional status. Specific associations with impaired health-related quality of life suggest potential areas for targeted intervention. PMID:16092961

  18. Health Reporting in Print Media in Lebanon: Evidence, Quality and Role in Informing Policymaking

    PubMed Central

    El-Jardali, Fadi; Bou Karroum, Lama; Bawab, Lamya; Kdouh, Ola; El-Sayed, Farah; Rachidi, Hala; Makki, Malak

    2015-01-01

    Background Media plays a vital role in shaping public policies and opinions through disseminating health-related information. This study aims at exploring the role of media in informing health policies in Lebanon, identifying the factors influencing health reporting and investigating the role of evidence in health journalism and the quality of health reporting. It also identifies strategies to enhance the use of evidence in health journalism and improve the quality of health reporting. Methods Media analysis was conducted to assess the way media reports on health-related issues and the quality of reporting using a quality assessment tool. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted with 27 journalists, researchers and policymakers to explore their perception on the role of media in health policymaking and the factors influencing health reporting. In addition, a validation workshop was conducted. Results Out of 1,279 health-related news articles identified, 318 articles used certain type of evidence to report health issues 39.8% of which relied on experts’ opinions as their source of evidence while only 5.9% referenced peer-reviewed research studies. The quality of health reporting was judged to be low based on a quality assessment tool consisting of a set of ten criteria. Journalists raised concerns about issues impeding them from referring to evidence. Journalists also reported difficulties with the investigative health journalism. Policymakers and researchers viewed media as an important tool for evidence-informed health policies, however, serious concerns were voiced in terms of the current practice and capacities. Conclusion Our study provides a structured reflection on the role of media and the factors that influence health reporting including context-specific strategies that would enhance the quality and promote the use of evidence in health reporting. In the light of the political changes in many Middle Eastern countries, findings from this study can

  19. Health Care Spending and Quality in Year 1 of the Alternative Quality Contract

    PubMed Central

    Song, Zirui; Safran, Dana Gelb; Landon, Bruce E.; He, Yulei; Ellis, Randall P.; Mechanic, Robert E.; Day, Matthew P.; Chernew, Michael E.

    2012-01-01

    Background In 2009, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBS) implemented a global payment system called the Alternative Quality Contract (AQC). Provider groups in the AQC system assume accountability for spending, similar to accountable care organizations that bear financial risk. Moreover, groups are eligible to receive bonuses for quality. Methods Seven provider organizations began 5-year contracts as part of the AQC system in 2009. We analyzed 2006–2009 claims for 380,142 enrollees whose primary care physicians (PCPs) were in the AQC system (intervention group) and for 1,351,446 enrollees whose PCPs were not in the system (control group). We used a propensity-weighted difference-in-differences approach, adjusting for age, sex, health status, and secular trends to isolate the treatment effect of the AQC in comparisons of spending and quality between the intervention group and the control group. Results Average spending increased for enrollees in both the intervention and control groups in 2009, but the increase was smaller for enrollees in the intervention group — $15.51 (1.9%) less per quarter (P = 0.007). Savings derived largely from shifts in outpatient care toward facilities with lower fees; from lower expenditures for procedures, imaging, and testing; and from a reduction in spending for enrollees with the highest expected spending. The AQC system was associated with an improvement in performance on measures of the quality of the management of chronic conditions in adults (P<0.001) and of pediatric care (P = 0.001), but not of adult preventive care. All AQC groups met 2009 budget targets and earned surpluses. Total BCBS payments to AQC groups, including bonuses for quality, are likely to have exceeded the estimated savings in year 1. Conclusions The AQC system was associated with a modest slowing of spending growth and improved quality of care in 2009. Savings were achieved through changes in referral patterns rather than through changes in

  20. HON label and DISCERN as content quality indicators of health-related websites.

    PubMed

    Khazaal, Yasser; Chatton, Anne; Zullino, Daniele; Khan, Riaz

    2012-03-01

    Content quality indicators are warranted in order to help patients and consumers to judge the content quality of health-related on-line information. The aim of the present study is to evaluate web-based information on health topics and to assess particular content quality indicators like HON (Health on the Net) and DISCERN. The present study is based on the analysis of data issued from six previous studies which assessed with a standardized tool the general and content quality (evidence-based health information) of health-related websites. Keywords related to Social phobia, bipolar disorders, pathological gambling as well as cannabis, alcohol and cocaine addiction were entered into popular World Wide Web search engines. Websites were assessed with a standardized proforma designed to rate sites on the basis of accountability, presentation, interactivity, readability and content quality (evidence-based information). "Health on the Net" (HON) quality label, and DISCERN scale scores were used to verify their efficiency as quality indicators. Of 874 websites identified, 388 were included. Despite an observed association with higher content quality scores, the HON label fails to predict good content quality websites when used in a multiple regression. Sensibility and specificity of a DISCERN score >40 in the detection of good content quality websites were, respectively, 0.45 and 0.96. The DISCERN is a potential quality indicator with a relatively high specificity. Further developments in this domain are warranted in order to facilitate the identification of high-quality information on the web by patients.

  1. Assessment of the quality of measures of child oral health-related quality of life

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Several measures of oral health-related quality of life have been developed for children. The most frequently used are the Child Perceptions Questionnaire (CPQ), the Child Oral Impacts on Daily Performances (C-OIDP) and the Child Oral Health Impact Profile (COHIP). The aim of this study was to assess the methodological quality of the development and testing of these three measures. Methods A systematic search strategy was used to identify eligible studies published up to December 2012, using both MEDLINE and Web of Science. Titles and abstracts were read independently by two investigators and full papers retrieved where the inclusion criteria were met. Data were extracted by two teams of two investigators using a piloted protocol. The data were used to describe the development of the measures and their use against existing criteria. The methodological quality and measurement properties of the measures were assessed using standards proposed by the Consensus-based Standards for the Selection of Health Measurement Instruments (COSMIN) group. Results The search strategy yielded 653 papers, of which 417 were duplicates. Following analysis of the abstracts, 119 papers met the inclusion criteria. The majority of papers reported cross-sectional studies (n = 117) with three of longitudinal design. Fifteen studies which had used the original version of the measures in their original language were included in the COSMIN analysis. The most frequently used measure was the CPQ. Reliability and construct validity appear to be adequate for all three measures. Children were not fully involved in item generation which may compromise their content validity. Internal consistency was measured using classic test theory with no evidence of modern psychometric techniques being used to test unidimensionality of the measures included in the COSMIN analysis. Conclusion The three measures evaluated appear to be able to discriminate between groups. CPQ has been most widely

  2. Motivational Processes in Children's Physical Activity and Health-Related Quality of Life

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gu, Xiangli; Solmon, Melinda A.

    2016-01-01

    Background: School physical education (PE) not only offers and promotes health-related physical activity (PA), but also encompasses the promotion and development of health-related well-being such as health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Furthermore, assessing PA and HRQOL have become major issues in pediatric public health and also serve as a…

  3. 76 FR 70831 - Proposed Information Collection (Survey of Veteran Enrollees (Quality and Efficiency of VA Health...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-11-15

    ... Care)) Activity; Comment Request AGENCY: Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs... Efficiency of VA Health Care), VA Form 10-21088. OMB Control Number: 2900-0725. Type of Review: Extension of... necessary to promote quality and efficient delivery of health care through the use of health...

  4. 77 FR 3841 - Proposed Information Collection (Survey of Veteran Enrollees (Quality and Efficiency of VA Health...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-01-25

    ... Care)) Activities Under OMB Review AGENCY: Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans... VA Health Care), VA Form 10-21088. OMB Control Number: 2900-0725. Type of Review: Extension of a... promote quality and efficient delivery of health care through the use of health information...

  5. Affordable access to care for the undocumented.

    PubMed

    Rosen, Dennis

    2014-09-01

    How do you tell a sick kid that nobody cares if he gets better? That's an exaggeration, of course, but it is the fundamental message our society sends when we tell him that, because he and his family are undocumented immigrants, we are unwilling to extend them access to affordable and reliable health insurance. One major shortcoming of the Affordable Care Act is its specific exclusion of the almost twelve million undocumented immigrants-including millions of children-in this country from access to the state and federal insurance exchanges where coverage can be purchased. It is true that providing undocumented immigrants access to the exchanges and subsidies mandated by the ACA would require additional funding. However, a recent analysis in California has found that the costs of expanding state-supported care to include undocumented immigrants would largely be offset by the increased state sales tax revenue paid by managed care organizations and by reduced spending at the county level on emergency-room and hospital care of the uninsured.

  6. Data quality assessment in the routine health information system: an application of the Lot Quality Assurance Sampling in Benin.

    PubMed

    Glèlè Ahanhanzo, Yolaine; Ouendo, Edgard-Marius; Kpozèhouen, Alphonse; Levêque, Alain; Makoutodé, Michel; Dramaix-Wilmet, Michèle

    2015-09-01

    Health information systems in developing countries are often faulted for the poor quality of the data generated and for the insufficient means implemented to improve system performance. This study examined data quality in the Routine Health Information System in Benin in 2012 and carried out a cross-sectional evaluation of the quality of the data using the Lot Quality Assurance Sampling method. The results confirm the insufficient quality of the data based on three criteria: completeness, reliability and accuracy. However, differences can be seen as the shortcomings are less significant for financial data and for immunization data. The method is simple, fast and can be proposed for current use at operational level as a data quality control tool during the production stage.

  7. Sensory Impairment and Health-Related Quality of Life

    PubMed Central

    KWON, Hye-Jin; KIM, Ji-su; KIM, Yoon-jung; KWON, Su-jin; YU, Jin-Na

    2015-01-01

    Background: Sensory impairment is a common condition that exerts negative effects on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in the elderly. This study aimed to determine the relationship between sensory impairment and HRQoL and identify sensory-specific differences in the HRQoL of elderly. Methods: This study used data from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey V (2010–2012), analyzing 5,260 subjects over 60 years of age who completed ophthalmic and otologic examinations. Vision and hearing impairment were measured and classified. HRQoL was determined according to the European QoL five dimension test (EQ-5D). Multivariate logistic regression analysis and analysis of covariance were performed to identify relationships between sensory impairment and HRQoL dimensions as well as differences in HRQoL scores. Results: In the final adjusted multivariate model, there was a statistically higher proportion of those with dual sensory impairment who reported problems with mobility (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 2.30, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.45–5.03), usual activities (aOR 2.32, 95% CI 1.16–4.64), and pain/discomfort among EQ-5D subcategories (aOR 1.79, 95% CI 1.07–2.97). In the EQ-5D dimensions, the means and standard deviations of vision impairment (0.86 [0.01]) and dual sensory impairment (0.84 [0.02]) appeared meaningfully lower than those for no sensory impairment (0.88 [0.00]) or hearing impairment (0.88 [0.01]); P = .02). Conclusion: Sensory impairment reduces HRQoL in the elderly. Improvement of HRQoL in the elderly thus requires regular screening and appropriate management of sensory impairment. PMID:26258089

  8. Health-related quality of life in multiple sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Fisk, John D.; Patten, Scott B.; Tremlett, Helen; Wolfson, Christina; Warren, Sharon; Fiest, Kirsten M.; McKay, Kyla A.; Marrie, Ruth Ann

    2016-01-01

    Objective: To evaluate the direct and indirect influences of physical comorbidity, symptoms of depression and anxiety, fatigue, and disability on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in persons with multiple sclerosis (MS). Methods: A large (n = 949) sample of adults with MS was recruited from 4 Canadian MS clinics. HRQoL was assessed using the patient-reported Health Utilities Index Mark 3. Expanded Disability Status Scale scores, physical comorbidity, depression, anxiety, and fatigue were evaluated as predictors of HRQoL in a cross-sectional path analysis. Results: All predictors were significantly associated with HRQoL and together accounted for a large proportion of variance (63%). Overall, disability status most strongly affected HRQoL (β = −0.52) but it was closely followed by depressive symptoms (β = −0.50). The direct associations of physical comorbidity and anxiety with HRQoL were small (β = −0.08 and −0.10, respectively), but these associations were stronger when indirect effects through other variables (depression, fatigue) were also considered (physical comorbidity: β = −0.20; anxiety: β = −0.34). Conclusions: Increased disability, depression and anxiety symptoms, fatigue, and physical comorbidity are associated with decreased HRQoL in MS. Disability most strongly diminishes HRQoL and, thus, interventions that reduce disability are expected to yield the most substantial improvement in HRQoL. Yet, interventions targeting other factors amenable to change, particularly depression but also anxiety, fatigue, and physical comorbidities, may all result in meaningful improvements in HRQoL, as well. Our findings point to the importance of further research confirming the efficacy of such interventions. PMID:26962068

  9. Quality of Mental Health Care for Nursing Home Residents: A Literature Review

    PubMed Central

    Grabowski, David C.; Aschbrenner, Kelly A.; Rome, Vincent F.; Bartels, Stephen J.

    2010-01-01

    Because of the high proportion of nursing home residents with a mental illness other than dementia, the quality of mental health care in nursing homes is a major clinical and policy issue. The authors apply Donabedian's framework for assessing quality of care based on the triad of structure, process, and outcome-based measures in reviewing the literature on the quality of mental health care in nursing homes. Quality measures used within the literature include mental health consultations and hospitalizations, inappropriate use of medications, and mental health survey deficiencies. Factors related to the resident's welfare (nurse staffing), provider norms (locality), and financial factors (payer mix) were associated with the quality of mental health care. Although future research is necessary, the extant literature suggests that persons with mental illness are frequently admitted to nursing homes and their care is often of poor quality and related to a series of resident and facility factors. PMID:20223943

  10. The effects of congestions tax on air quality and health

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johansson, Christer; Burman, Lars; Forsberg, Bertil

    -berg since reductions are expected in both respiratory and cardiovascular morbidity. This study demonstrates the importance of not only assessing the effects on air quality limit values, but also to make quantitative estimates of health impacts, in order to justify actions to reduce air pollution.

  11. Consequences of BBPs Affordability Initiative

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-04-30

    extending programming from five years in the future to the full life of each acquisition program—typically in excess of 25 years—and discussing the full ...concepts that are fundamental to the affordability vision. The memo text begins with the example of a program that the Army decided to cancel (thus...reducing spending. This is a laudable goal, but it cannot be the DoD’s only one. BBP 3.0’s full title includes the words Achieving Dominant

  12. Perceiving Affordances for Fitting through Apertures

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ishak, Shaziela; Adolph, Karen E.; Lin, Grace C.

    2008-01-01

    Affordances--possibilities for action--are constrained by the match between actors and their environments. For motor decisions to be adaptive, affordances must be detected accurately. Three experiments examined the correspondence between motor decisions and affordances as participants reached through apertures of varying size. A psychophysical…

  13. Integrating health profile with survival for quality of life assessment.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Jing-Shiang; Wang, Jung-Der

    2004-02-01

    In cohort studies or clinical trials, measurements of quality of life (QoL) were averaged across available individuals for each group at given points in time to produce single measures for comparisons. However, estimates of these single measures may be severely biased if substantial mortality occurs over time. The objective of this study is to develop a method that integrates QoL measurement and survival for long-term evaluation of health services. We defined a mean QoL score function over time for an index population as the average QoL score of all individuals both alive and dead at each time point in the population. While a living subject's QoL can be assessed by asking one's subjective preference, the score of a decedent can be assigned a fixed value depending on the specific facet on health profile. The mean QoL score function over time is reduced to a single measure of expected cumulative QoL score, which is the area under the curve of mean QoL score function over a given time interval and can be estimated by taking a random sample from a cross-sectional survey. For the QoL score function to be extrapolated to life-long, it requires the assumption that the disease causes premature death or a long-term moderate impairment of QoL. We provided methods and computer programs for estimating mean QoL score functions and the reduced single measures for use in comparisons. A cohort of 779 breast cancer patients from Chiangmai, Thailand were followed for 12 years to demonstrate the proposed methods. The data included the 12-year complete survival records and QoL scores on 233 patients collected from a cross-sectional survey using WHOQOL questionnaire and standard gamble method. The expected cumulative QoL scores using utility and psychometric scales were compared among patients in four groups of clinical stages in this cohort for time from onset up to 12 years and life-long. We conclude that such an integration of QoL measurement with survival can be useful for the

  14. Health-related quality of life after liver transplantation for adult recipients.

    PubMed

    Bownik, Hillary; Saab, Sammy

    2009-11-01

    1. Pretransplantation health-related quality of life scores are affected by the etiology of liver cirrhosis, with hepatocellular and cholestatic etiologies having higher health-related quality of life scores than alcohol or viral hepatitis etiologies. 2. Posttransplantation health-related quality of life scores are not affected by the etiology of the original liver cirrhosis, but transplant recipient scores continue to remain significantly lower than those of healthy patient controls. 3. During the first 6 months after liver transplantation, the majority of physical and mental components of health-related quality of life scores improve, but these increases are not sustained in the long term. 4. At 1 year after liver transplantation, emotional and mental health-related quality of life scores begin to decrease. 5. During postoperative years 1 to 5, episodes of acute cellular rejection and patient age over 60 years decrease physical function and overall general health-related quality of life scores. 6. Beyond 5 years after orthotopic liver transplantation, age over 60, osteoporosis, and episodes of chronic rejection decrease health-related quality of life scores through decreases in the physical function and bodily pain domains. 7. Hepatitis C as an indication for liver transplantation is an independent factor in decreasing posttransplantation health-related quality of life scores. 8. Further studies are necessary that include a complete evaluation of the effects of gender, socioeconomic status, education, and ethnicity in order to better understand factors influencing post-liver transplantation health-related quality of life scores. 9. The development of a health-related quality of life assessment tool specific to transplantation could help us to more accurately assess factors (such as immunosuppression) that alter posttransplantation health-related quality of life.

  15. Insomnia risks and costs: health, safety, and quality of life.

    PubMed

    Rosekind, Mark R; Gregory, Kevin B

    2010-08-01

    The effect of insomnia on next-day functioning, health, safety, and quality of life results in a substantial societal burden and economic cost. The annual direct cost of insomnia has been estimated in the billions of US dollars and is attributed to the association of insomnia with the increased risk of certain psychiatric and medical comorbidities that result in increased healthcare service utilization. It is well known that psychiatric conditions, anxiety and depression in particular, are comorbid with insomnia. However, emerging data have shown links with several common and costly medical conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Furthermore, studies show that patients who have insomnia have more emergency department and physician visits, laboratory tests, and prescription drug use than those who do not have insomnia, increasing direct and indirect consumption of healthcare resources. Insomnia also has been shown to negatively affect daytime functioning, including workplace productivity, as well as workplace and public safety. These daytime effects of insomnia are translated into indirect costs that are reportedly higher than the direct costs of this disorder. These observations have significant implications for managed care organizations and healthcare providers. Improvements in diagnosing and treating insomnia can significantly reduce the healthcare cost of insomnia and its comorbid disorders, while providing additional economic benefits from improved daytime functioning and from increased productivity.

  16. A New Measure of Medication Affordability

    PubMed Central

    BRIESACHER, BECKY; ROSS-DEGNAN, DENNIS; ADAMS, ALYCE; WAGNER, ANITA; GURWITZ, JERRY; SOUMERAI, STEPHAN

    2010-01-01

    This study developed a new measure of medication affordability that examines out-of-pocket drug expenses relative to available household resources. The authors assessed the spending patterns of ~2.1 million poor households (≤100% federal poverty level) of adults aged 51 and older by Medicaid status. The data were drawn from the 2000–2001 Health and Retirement Study. Household spending was categorized into three broad types: basic living, health care, and discretionary. Older (aged 51 or older) poor households without Medicaid allocated about 72% of their total resources ($17,421, SE $783) to basic living needs. In comparison, those with Medicaid had scarcer total resources ($12,498, SE $423) and allocated 85% to basic living needs. Medication costs consumed the largest proportion of health care expenses for both types of poor households (Medicaid: $463, SE $67; non-Medicaid: $970, SE $102). After paying for basic living needs and health care costs, these families had, on average, only $16 left each week. Poor families have very few resources available for anything beyond basic living needs, even when they have Medicaid coverage. There is no great reservoir of discretionary funds to pay for increases in cost-sharing under Medicaid and Medicare Part D. PMID:19821195

  17. Quality of Health Management Information System for Maternal & Child Health Care in Haryana State, India

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Atul; Rana, Saroj Kumar; Prinja, Shankar; Kumar, Rajesh

    2016-01-01

    Background Despite increasing importance being laid on use of routine data for decision making in India, it has frequently been reported to be riddled with problems. Evidence suggests lack of quality in the health management information system (HMIS), however there is no robust analysis to assess the extent of its inaccuracy. We aim to bridge this gap in evidence by assessing the extent of completeness and quality of HMIS in Haryana state of India. Methods Data on utilization of key maternal and child health (MCH) services were collected using a cross-sectional household survey from 4807 women in 209 Sub-Centre (SC) areas across all 21 districts of Haryana state. Information for same services was also recorded from HMIS records maintained by auxiliary nurse midwives (ANMs) at SCs to check under- or over-recording (Level 1 discordance). Data on utilisation of MCH services from SC ANM records, for a subset of the total women covered in the household survey, were also collected and compared with monthly reports submitted by ANMs to assess over-reporting while report preparation (Level 2 discordance) to paint the complete picture for quality and completeness of routine HMIS. Results Completeness of ANM records for various MCH services ranged from 73% for DPT1 vaccination dates to 94.6% for dates of delivery. Average completeness level for information recorded in HMIS was 88.5%. Extent of Level 1 discordance for iron-folic acid (IFA) supplementation, 3 or more ante-natal care (ANC) visits and 2 Tetanus toxoid (TT) injections was 41%, 16% and 2% respectively. In 48.2% cases, respondents from community as well as HMIS records reported at least one post-natal care (PNC) home visit by ANM. Extent of Level 2 discordance ranged from 1.6% to 6%. These figures were highest for number of women who completed IFA supplementation, contraceptive intra-uterine device insertion and provision of 2nd TT injection during ANC. Conclusions HMIS records for MCH services at sub-centre level

  18. A vision for the systematic monitoring and improvement of the quality of electronic health data.

    PubMed

    Dixon, Brian E; Rosenman, Marc; Xia, Yuni; Grannis, Shaun J

    2013-01-01

    In parallel with the implementation of information and communications systems, health care organizations are beginning to amass large-scale repositories of clinical and administrative data. Many nations seek to leverage so-called Big Data repositories to support improvements in health outcomes, drug safety, health surveillance, and care delivery processes. An unsupported assumption is that electronic health care data are of sufficient quality to enable the varied use cases envisioned by health ministries. The reality is that many electronic health data sources are of suboptimal quality and unfit for particular uses. To more systematically define, characterize and improve electronic health data quality, we propose a novel framework for health data stewardship. The framework is adapted from prior data quality research outside of health, but it has been reshaped to apply a systems approach to data quality with an emphasis on health outcomes. The proposed framework is a beginning, not an end. We invite the biomedical informatics community to use and adapt the framework to improve health data quality and outcomes for populations in nations around the world.

  19. Perceiving affordances in rugby union.

    PubMed

    Passos, Pedro; Cordovil, Rita; Fernandes, Orlando; Barreiros, João

    2012-01-01

    To succeed in competitive environments, players need to continuously adjust their decisions and actions to the behaviour of relevant others. Players' interactions demand ongoing decisions that are constrained by what is previously defined (e.g., coaches' prescriptions that establish 'what' to do) and by information that is available in the context and specifies not only 'what' the player should do, but also 'how', 'when' and 'where'. We describe what affordances emerge to the ball carrier as a consequence of changes in kinematic variables, such as interpersonal distances or distances to the nearest sideline. Changes in these variables determine whether and when different actions are possible. The ball carrier tended to perform a pass when the tackler was farthest from the sideline and the velocity of approach to the tackler did not seem to effect the ball carrier's decision. In the few episodes where the ball carrier moved forward instead of passing the ball, he was mainly influenced by contextual information, such as the variability of the players' distance to the nearest sideline. In sum, actors must be aware of the affordances of others that are specified by particular variables that become available just before decision-making.

  20. How to strengthen primary health care

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Pratyush

    2016-01-01

    Realization of health care as primary objective is necessary to strengthen primary health care (PHC). There is a need to build financial viable and sustainable PHC based on rational principles to fulfill the goals of providing quality health services on an affordable and equitable basis and also ensuring fiscal prudence. Health-care leadership, innovations in primary care, family medicine specialists, and effective and accountable health governance are the key steps toward our goal. PMID:28217580

  1. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: what every provider of gynecologic oncology care should know.

    PubMed

    Duska, Linda R; Engelhard, Carolyn L

    2013-06-01

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010. While initial implementation of the law began shortly thereafter, the full implementation will take place over the next few years. With respect to cancer care, the act was intended to make care more accessible, affordable, and comprehensive across different parts of the country. For our cancer patients and our practices, the ACA has implications that are both positive and negative. The Medicaid expansion and access to insurance exchanges are intended to increase the number of insured patients and thus improve access to care, but many states have decided to opt out of the Medicaid program and in these states access problems will persist. Screening programs will be put in place for insured patients but may supplant federally funded programs that are currently in place for uninsured patients and may not follow current screening guidelines. Both hospice and home health providers will be asked to provide more services with less funding, and quality measures, including readmission rates, will factor into reimbursement. Insured patients will have access to all phases of clinical trial research. There is a need for us as providers of Gynecologic Oncology care to be active in the implementation of the ACA in order to ensure that our patients and our practices can survive and benefit from the changes in health care reimbursement, with the ultimate goals of improving access to care and quality while reducing unsustainable costs.

  2. A curriculum for training quality scholars to improve the health and health care of veterans and the community at large.

    PubMed

    Splaine, Mark E; Aron, David C; Dittus, Robert S; Kiefe, Catarina I; Landefeld, C Seth; Rosenthal, Gary E; Weeks, William B; Batalden, Paul B

    2002-01-01

    In 1998, the Veterans Health Administration invested in the creation of the Veterans Administration National Quality Scholars Fellowship Program (VAQS) to train physicians in new ways to improve the quality of health care. We describe the curriculum for this program and the lessons learned from our experience to date. The VAQS Fellowship program has developed a core improvement curriculum to train postresidency physicians in the scholarship, research, and teaching of the improvement of health care. The curriculum covers seven domains of knowledge related to improvement: health care as a process; variation and measurement; customer/beneficiary knowledge; leading, following, and making changes in health care; collaboration; social context and accountability; and developing new, locally useful knowledge. We combine specific knowledge about the improvement of health care with the use of adult learning strategies, interactive video, and development of learner competencies. Our program provides insights for medical education to better prepare physicians to participate in and lead the improvement of health care.

  3. Energy efficient affordable housing. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    1995-07-01

    In 1994, the Southface Energy Institute, working with support from US DOE, initiated a program to provide technical assistance to nonprofit organizations developing affordable housing in the Olympic target communities of Atlanta. The specific project goals were: Identify the barriers that nonprofit affordable housing providers face in increasing the energy and resource efficiency of affordable housing; Assist them in developing the resources to overcome these barriers; Develop specific technical materials and program models that will enable these affordable housing groups to continue to improve the energy efficiency of their programs; and, To transfer the program materials to other affordable housing providers. This report summarizes the progress made in each of these areas.

  4. Rural-Urban Analyses of Health-Related Quality of Life among People with Multiple Sclerosis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buchanan, Robert J.; Zhu, Li; Schiffer, Randolph; Radin, Dagmar; James, Wesley

    2008-01-01

    Context: Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is a multi-dimensional construct including aspects of life quality or function that are affected by physical health and symptoms, psychosocial factors, and psychiatric conditions. HRQOL gives a broader measure of the burden of disease than physical impairment or disability levels. Purpose: To…

  5. Health and Quality of Life of Aboriginal Residential School Survivors, Bella Coola Valley, 2001

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barton, Sylvia S.; Thommasen, Harvey V.; Tallio, Bill; Zhang, William; Michalos, Alex C.

    2005-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to make comparisons between Aboriginal residential school survivors' perceptions of health status and overall quality of life, and Aboriginal non-residential school attendees, as well as between non-Aboriginals. Data were obtained from thirty-three questions derived from the 2001 Determinants of Health and Quality of…

  6. Child Health-Related Quality of Life and Parental Social Capital in Greece: An Exploratory Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    El-Dardiry, Giulia; Dimitrakaki, Christine; Tzavara, Chara; Ravens-Sieberer, Ulrike; Tountas, Yannis

    2012-01-01

    In this paper, we examined dimensions of child health-related quality of life in Greece in relation to parental assessments of neighbourhood social capital and social support networks. For the analysis, two main measures were used: (1) child self-reported health-related quality of life in ten dimensions, as measured by the KIDSCREEN questionnaire;…

  7. Perceptions of Neighborhood Problems and Health-Related Quality of Life

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hill, Erin M.; Shepherd, Daniel; Welch, David; Dirks, Kim N.; McBride, David

    2012-01-01

    This article examines the association between perceptions of neighborhood problems and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in a sample of New Zealand residents (n = 692). A modified version of the Neighborhood Problems Scale (originally developed by Steptoe and Feldman, 2001) and the World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHOQOL-BREF) were…

  8. Health-Related Quality of Life among Abused Women One Year after Leaving a Violent Partner

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alsaker, Kjersti; Moen, Bente E.; Kristoffersen, Kjell

    2008-01-01

    This is the first follow up study measuring quality of life among abused women who have left their abusive partner. The women (n = 22) answered a questionnaire while staying at women's shelter and one year later. The aim was to examine long-term effects of intimate partner violence against women on health-related quality of life. Health-related…

  9. A Nursing Interaction Approach to Consumer Internet Training on Quality Health Care

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lesley, Marsha L.; Oermann, Marilyn H.; Vander Wal, Jillon S.

    2004-01-01

    This study examined the effectiveness of using the Internet to teach consumers about quality health care, compared consumer definitions of quality health care prior to and following completion of the Internet experience, and compared ratings of learning, satisfaction and value of the Internet instruction between consumers who completed the…

  10. Quality Health Care for People with Developmental Disabilities: A Guide for Parents and Other Caregivers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pfaffinger, Kathleen M.; Nelson, Richard P.

    Starting with the premise that all people have a right to quality health care, this guide emphasizes that assisting people with developmental disabilities to obtain health care and maintain healthy life styles will enhance the quality of their lives at home and in the community. The guide consists of four sections. A section on obtaining care…

  11. Quality Improvement Initiative in School-Based Health Centers across New Mexico

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Booker, John M.; Schluter, Janette A.; Carrillo, Kris; McGrath, Jane

    2011-01-01

    Background: Quality improvement principles have been applied extensively to health care organizations, but implementation of quality improvement methods in school-based health centers (SBHCs) remains in a developmental stage with demonstration projects under way in individual states and nationally. Rural areas, such as New Mexico, benefit from the…

  12. Health promoting schools and children’s oral health related quality of life

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The study objective was to compare children’s oral health related quality of life (OHRQoL) in schools with 6 years of implementation of a health promoting school model in Malaysia, i.e. the Doktor Muda Programme (DMP) and in schools without the DMP. Methods This report was part of a larger study to evaluate the DMP impact on schoolchildren’s oral health knowledge, attitudes, behaviour, caries progression and OHRQoL. It was conducted in Negri Sembilan state. The sample comprised 3455, Year 6 (11–12 year old) children; 1282 from DMP (intervention) and 2173 from non-DMP (control) schools. The Malay Child-OIDP index was used to evaluate children’s levels of oral impacts on 8 daily performances after 6 years of DMP implementation (2006–2011). Prevalence, score, impact intensity, causes and extent of impacts were compared. Chi-square and Mann–Whitney tests were used in the data analysis. Results Overall response rate was 95.1%. Prevalence of overall impacts was 57.8% and 60.8% (mean total impact score was 7.10 and 7.77) in the intervention and control group, respectively. The three most frequently affected performances in both groups were eating, cleaning teeth and emotional stability. Significantly less DMP children had oral impact on cleaning teeth (p = 0.034). The majority of children with impacts in both groups reported ‘very little’ to ‘moderate’ levels of impact intensity. Significantly more DMP children reported having ‘very little’ and ‘little’ levels of impact intensity on cleaning teeth (p = 0.037) and emotional stability (p = 0.020), respectively. Significantly less DMP children reported having ‘very severe’ level of impact intensity on speaking (p = 0.038). The most prevalent cause of impacts in both groups was toothache. Significantly less DMP children reported bleeding gums (p = 0.016) and presence of plaque/calculus as causes of impacts (p = 0.032). About 75% of children with impacts in both groups reported having

  13. 29 CFR 1977.12 - Exercise of any right afforded by the Act.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 9 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Exercise of any right afforded by the Act. 1977.12 Section... OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ACT OF 1970 Specific Protections § 1977.12 Exercise of any right afforded by the... because of the exercise “of any right afforded by this Act.” Certain rights are explicitly provided in...

  14. 29 CFR 1977.12 - Exercise of any right afforded by the Act.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 9 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Exercise of any right afforded by the Act. 1977.12 Section... OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ACT OF 1970 Specific Protections § 1977.12 Exercise of any right afforded by the... because of the exercise “of any right afforded by this Act.” Certain rights are explicitly provided in...

  15. 29 CFR 1977.12 - Exercise of any right afforded by the Act.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 9 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Exercise of any right afforded by the Act. 1977.12 Section... OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ACT OF 1970 Specific Protections § 1977.12 Exercise of any right afforded by the... because of the exercise “of any right afforded by this Act.” Certain rights are explicitly provided in...

  16. What does the Affordable Care Act mean for nursing?

    PubMed

    Luther, Brenda; Hart, Sara

    2014-01-01

    Nurses are ethically bound to engage in efforts of improving health and healthcare delivery and, even more important, nurses recently have been called out as key leaders in the reform of healthcare delivery, including many components of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, its history, and what healthcare will look like during and after implementation are addressed in this article. A discussion of the role and value of nurses in healthcare reform accompanies knowledge-building and action-oriented resources available to nurses and clients.

  17. Religious Practice and Health-Related Quality of Life in Iranian Adolescent Girls.

    PubMed

    Mirghafourvand, Mojgan; Charandabi, Sakineh Mohammad-Alizadeh; Sharajabad, Fariba Alizadeh; Sanaati, Favziye

    2017-03-24

    This study aimed to determine the relationship between religious practice and health-related quality of life in adolescent girls in Tabriz, Iran, 2014-2015. This cross-sectional study was conducted on 520 female students who were selected using the random sampling method. Religious practice and health-related quality of life questionnaires were used for data collection. Multivariate linear regression analysis showed a significant relationship between health-related quality of life and received religious support, religiosity, father's and mother's education, father's occupation, family economic status, and the number of children. It is necessary to find ways to further promote religious practices in adolescents and ultimately their quality of life.

  18. Quality of reproductive health services at commune health stations in Viet Nam: implications for national reproductive health care strategy.

    PubMed

    Ngo, Anh D; Hill, Peter S

    2011-05-01

    This paper presents a qualitative study conducted in 2009 of provider and patient perceptions of primary level reproductive health services provided by commune health stations (CHSs), and the implications for Viet Nam's 2011-2020 National Strategy for Reproductive Health Care. In the three provinces of Thai Nguyen, Thua Thien Hue, and Vinh Long, we interviewed the heads of CHSs, held focus group discussions with midwives and women patients, and observed facilities. Half the 30 CHSs visited were in poor physical condition; the rest were newly renovated. However, the model of service delivery was largely unchanged from ten years before. Many appeared to fall short in meeting patient expectations in terms of modern medical equipment and technology, range of drug supplies, and levels of staff expertise. As a result, many women were turning to private doctors and public hospitals, at least in urban areas, or seeking medication from pharmacies. To make CHS clinics sustainable, promotion of access to reproductive health services should be undertaken concurrently with quality improvement. A responsive payment scheme must also be developed to generate revenues. Efforts should be made to reduce the unnecessary use of more costly services from private clinics and higher level public facilities.

  19. Health-related quality of life in migrant preschool children

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Minority groups have a lower health-related quality of life (HRQOL), but there is little information if this finding also applies to children. In this study, we compared HRQOL between young children with and without migrant parents. Methods Two cross-sectional studies of culturally diverse preschool populations in Switzerland: Ballabeina (40 preschools, 258 girls and 232 boys aged 4 to 6 years) and Youp’là Bouge (58 child care centers, 453 girls and 522 boys aged 2 to 4 years). Most children were born in Switzerland (Ballabeina: 92.3%; Youp’là Bouge: 93.7%). Number of migrant parents was considered as the main exposure. HRQOL was measured using the 23-item Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory. Results Children of migrant parents had a significantly lower HRQOL total score (mean ± SD, Ballabeina: 84.2 ± 9.1; 82.7 ± 9.6 and 81.7 ± 11.7 for children with none, one or two migrant parents, respectively; Youp’là Bouge: 83.8 ± 8.6; 82.9 ± 9.5; 80.7 ± 11.7, all p < 0.05). Similar results were found in Ballabeina and Youp’là Bouge for social, school and physical functioning (all p < 0.05), but not for emotional functioning. The differences in HRQOL measures were partly mediated by children’s place of birth, parental education, paternal occupational level, children’s BMI, screen time and physical activity in one study (Ballabeina), but not in the other (Youp’là Bouge). Conclusion In preschoolers, children of migrant parents have lower HRQOL than children of non-migrant parents. These differences are only partly mediated by other sociocultural characteristics or lifestyle behavior. These families may need assistance to prevent further inequalities. PMID:23617686

  20. Health-Related Quality of Life of Former Lead Workers in Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Teixeira, Martha Carvalho Pereira; Carvalho, Fernando Martins; Lins, Liliane

    2015-01-01

    Little is known about the health-related quality of life of former lead workers. Using the Short-Form 36 Questionnaire (SF-36), a cross-section design study evaluated the health-related quality of life of 186 former workers of a lead smelter that operated in Santo Amaro da Purificação, Brazil, from 1960 to 1993, when it closed down. The smelter had very poor occupational and environmental hygiene standards. The health-related quality of life of former lead workers was low, compared to population-based and other nosological groups from Brazil. Former lead workers who indicated metal poisoning, difficulty getting another job and who could not get another job after dismissal by the smelter presented poorer health-related quality of life. Former lead workers with poor health-related quality of life form part of the huge occupational liability left by the Santo Amaro lead smelter. PMID:26540067

  1. Health-Related Quality of Life of Former Lead Workers in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Teixeira, Martha Carvalho Pereira; Carvalho, Fernando Martins; Lins, Liliane

    2015-11-03

    Little is known about the health-related quality of life of former lead workers. Using the Short-Form 36 Questionnaire (SF-36), a cross-section design study evaluated the health-related quality of life of 186 former workers of a lead smelter that operated in Santo Amaro da Purificação, Brazil, from 1960 to 1993, when it closed down. The smelter had very poor occupational and environmental hygiene standards. The health-related quality of life of former lead workers was low, compared to population-based and other nosological groups from Brazil. Former lead workers who indicated metal poisoning, difficulty getting another job and who could not get another job after dismissal by the smelter presented poorer health-related quality of life. Former lead workers with poor health-related quality of life form part of the huge occupational liability left by the Santo Amaro lead smelter.

  2. A survey of pedagogical approaches and quality mechanisms used in education programs for mental health professionals.

    PubMed

    McCann, Edward; Higgins, Agnes; Maguire, Gerry; Alexander, Jane; Watts, Mike; Creaner, Mary; Rani, Shobha

    2012-09-01

    The provision of high-quality education and training that is responsive, relevant, accessible and evidence based is critical if the vision for quality mental health services presented in recent policy initiatives in Ireland is to be fulfilled. This paper reports the findings related to pedagogical approaches and quality assurance mechanisms utilized within mental health education. The study involved canvassing all Higher Education Institutions in Ireland. A total of 227 courses in 31 educational institutes were identified and 149 questionnaires were returned from 129 Course Coordinators. Various quality processes were identified in existing programs; however, formal feedback from service providers, service users and carers was seldom reported. Ongoing evaluation and quality assurance strategies are a key element of governance and there is a need to develop strategies that explore the impact of education programs on mental health education and health outcomes. Recommendations are made in terms of future interprofessional mental health education and practice.

  3. Aspirations for quality health care in Uganda: How do we get there?

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Despite significant investments and reforms, health care remains poor for many in Africa. To design an intervention to improve access and quality of health care at health facilities in eastern Uganda, we aimed to understand local priorities for qualities in health care, and factors that enable or prevent these qualities from being enacted. Methods In 2009 to 2010, we carried out 69 in-depth interviews and 6 focus group discussions with 65 health workers at 17 health facilities, and 10 focus group discussions with 113 community members in Tororo District, Uganda. Results Health-care workers and seekers valued technical, interpersonal and resource qualities in their aspirations for health care. However, such qualities were frequently not enacted, and our analysis suggests that meeting aspirations required social and financial resources to negotiate various power structures. Conclusions We argue that achieving aspirations for qualities valued in health care will require a genuine reorientation of focus by health workers and their managers toward patients, through renewed respect and support for these providers as professionals. PMID:23521859

  4. Evaluating outcomes of care and targeting quality improvement using Medicare health outcomes survey data.

    PubMed

    Bowen, Sonya E

    2012-01-01

    The Medicare Health Outcomes Survey (HOS) provides a rich source of outcomes data on the Medicare Advantage (MA) program for the US Department of Health and Human Services, managed care organizations participating in Medicare, quality improvement organizations, and health services researchers working to improve quality of care for Medicare enrollees. Since 1998, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has collected longitudinal functional status information to assess the performance of Medicare managed care organizations. This introduction reviews the goals of the HOS program, how the HOS supports health care reform, and outlines recent HOS studies exploring data applications for monitoring outcomes and implementing quality improvement activities.

  5. Methodological quality of systematic reviews and clinical trials on women's health published in a Brazilian evidence-based health journal

    PubMed Central

    Macedo, Cristiane Rufino; Riera, Rachel; Torloni, Maria Regina

    2013-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: To assess the quality of systematic reviews and clinical trials on women's health recently published in a Brazilian evidence-based health journal. METHOD: All systematic reviews and clinical trials on women's health published in the last five years in the Brazilian Journal of Evidence-based Health were retrieved. Two independent reviewers critically assessed the methodological quality of reviews and trials using AMSTAR and the Cochrane Risk of Bias Table, respectively. RESULTS: Systematic reviews and clinical trials accounted for less than 10% of the 61 original studies on women's health published in the São Paulo Medical Journal over the last five years. All five reviews were considered to be of moderate quality; the worst domains were publication bias and the appropriate use of study quality in formulating conclusions. All three clinical trials were judged to have a high risk of bias. The participant blinding, personnel and outcome assessors and allocation concealment domains had the worst scores. CONCLUSIONS: Most of the systematic reviews and clinical trials on women's health recently published in a Brazilian evidence-based journal are of low to moderate quality. The quality of these types of studies needs improvement. PMID:23778332

  6. NASA Earth Observation Systems and Applications for Health and Air Quality

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Omar, Ali H.

    2015-01-01

    There is a growing body of evidence that the environment can affect human health in ways that are both complex and global in scope. To address some of these complexities, NASA maintains a diverse constellation of Earth observing research satellites, and sponsors research in developing satellite data applications across a wide spectrum of areas. These include environmental health; infectious disease; air quality standards, policies, and regulations; and the impact of climate change on health and air quality in a number of interrelated efforts. The Health and Air Quality Applications fosters the use of observations, modeling systems, forecast development, application integration, and the research to operations transition process to address environmental health effects. NASA has been a primary partner with Federal operational agencies over the past nine years in these areas. This talk presents the background of the Health and Air Quality Applications program, recent accomplishments, and a plan for the future.

  7. Health-related quality of life in multiple system atrophy.

    PubMed

    Schrag, Anette; Geser, Felix; Stampfer-Kountchev, Michaela; Seppi, Klaus; Sawires, Martin; Köllensperger, Martin; Scherfler, Christoph; Quinn, Niall; Pellecchia, Maria T; Barone, Paolo; Del Sorbo, Francesca; Albanese, Alberto; Ostergaard, Karen; Dupont, Erik; Cardozo, Adriana; Tolosa, Eduardo; Nilsson, Christer F; Widner, Håkan; Lindvall, Olle; Giladi, Nir; Gurevich, Tanya; Daniels, Christine; Deuschl, Günther; Coelho, Miguel; Sampaio, Cristina; Abele, Michael; Klockgether, Thomas; Schimke, Nicole; Eggert, Karla M; Oertel, Wolfgang; Djaldetti, Ruth; Colosimo, Carlo; Meco, Giuseppe; Poewe, Werner; Wenning, Gregor K

    2006-06-01

    Although multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a neurodegenerative disorder leading to progressive disability and decreased life expectancy, little is known about patients' own evaluation of their illness and factors associated with poor health-related quality of life (Hr-QoL). We, therefore, assessed Hr-QoL and its determinants in MSA. The following scales were applied to 115 patients in the European MSA-Study Group (EMSA-SG) Natural History Study: Medical Outcome Study Short Form (SF-36), EQ-5D, Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Mini-Mental state examination (MMSE), Unified MSA Rating Scale (UMSARS), Hoehn & Yahr (H&Y) Parkinson's disease staging scale, Composite Autonomic Symptom Scale (COMPASS), and Parkinson's Disease Sleep Scale (PDSS). Forty-six percent of patients had moderate to severe depression (BDI > or = 17); Hr-QoL scores on the SF-36 and EQ-5D were significantly impaired. Pain, the only domain with similar scores in MSA and published PD patients, was reported more frequently in patients with MSA-P (predominantly parkinsonian motor subtype) than MSA-C (predominantly cerebellar motor subtype; 76% vs. 50%; P = 0.005). Hr-QoL scores correlated most strongly with UMSARS motor, COMPASS, and BDI scores but not with MMSE scores, age at onset, or disease duration. The COMPASS and UMSARS activities of daily living scores were moderate-to-strong predictors for the SF-36 physical summary score and the BDI and UMSARS motor scores for the SF-36 mental summary score. This report is the first study to show that Hr-QoL is significantly impaired in MSA. Although not all possible factors related to impaired Hr-QoL in MSA could be assessed, autonomic dysfunction, motor impairment, and depression were most closely associated with poor Hr-QoL, and therapeutic management, therefore, should concentrate upon these aspects of the disease.

  8. Mental Health, Quality of Life, and Health Functioning in Women Veterans: Differential Outcomes Associated with Military and Civilian Sexual Assault

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Suris, Alina; Lind, Lisa; Kashner, T. Michael; Borman, Patricia D.

    2007-01-01

    The present study examined psychiatric, physical, and quality-of-life functioning in a sample of 270 women veterans receiving outpatient treatment at a Veterans Affairs medical center. Participants were interviewed regarding their civilian (CSA) and military sexual assault (MSA) histories, and data regarding quality of life and health outcomes…

  9. Affordable In-Space Transportation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Curtis, L. A.; VanDyke, M. K.; Lajoie, R. M.; Woodcock, G. R.

    1996-01-01

    Current and proposed launch systems will provide access to low-Earth orbit (LEO), and destinations beyond LEO, but the cost of delivering payloads will preclude the use of these services by many users. To develop and encourage revolutionary commercial utilization of geosynchronous orbit (GEO) and to provide an affordable means to continue NASA space science and exploration missions, the transportation costs to in-space destinations must be reduced. The principal objective of this study was to conceptually define three to four promising approaches to in-space transportation for delivery of satellites and other payloads, 3,000- to 10,000-lb class, to GEO destinations. This study established a methodology for evaluating in-space transportation systems based on life-cycle cost. The reusable concepts seemed to fare better in the evaluation than expendable, since a major driver in the life-cycle cost was the stage production cost.

  10. Assessing Health-Related Quality of Life in Northern Plains American Indians: Prominence of Physical Activity as a Health Behavior

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Poltavski, Dmitri; Holm, Jeffrey; Vogeltanz-Holm, Nancy; McDonald, Leander

    2010-01-01

    Associations of behavioral health risks and healthy behaviors with self-reported health-related quality of life measures were investigated in a Northern Plains American Indian sample. Participants were surveyed in person using the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey. The results showed that regular physical activity was significantly…

  11. The Relative Contribution of Health Status and Quality of Life Domains in Subjective Health in Old Age

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prieto-Flores, Maria-Eugenia; Moreno-Jimenez, Antonio; Fernandez-Mayoralas, Gloria; Rojo-Perez, Fermina; Forjaz, Maria Joao

    2012-01-01

    To analyze the influence of different health status dimensions and quality of life (QoL) domains on older adults' subjective health, and to assess the role that residential satisfaction plays in these relationships. A QoL survey was conducted on a representative sample of the community-dwelling older adult population in Madrid province (Spain).…

  12. Quality Measures For Mental Health And Substance Use: Gaps, Opportunities, And Challenges.

    PubMed

    Pincus, Harold Alan; Scholle, Sarah Hudson; Spaeth-Rublee, Brigitta; Hepner, Kimberly A; Brown, Jonathan

    2016-06-01

    Following up on its Crossing the Quality Chasm report, in 2006 the Institute of Medicine issued a report that included sweeping recommendations to improve the quality of behavioral health care in the United States. To date, few of those recommendations have been implemented, and there is little evidence that behavioral health care quality has improved significantly over the past ten years. However, the advent of health care reform, parity of insurance coverage, and growing recognition of the impact of behavioral health disorders on population health and health care costs have created new demands and opportunities for expanded and innovative strategies to assess the quality of care for this patient population. We provide an overview of the current state of quality measurement in behavioral health, identify key priorities for measure development, and describe the most important challenges. We recommend a coordinated plan that would boost investment in developing, evaluating, and implementing behavioral health quality measures; conduct research to develop the evidence necessary to support a more robust set of measures; overcome barriers to the improvement and linking of data sources; and expand efforts to build the capacity of the clinical workforce, in partnership with consumers, to improve quality.

  13. Health on the Net Foundation: assessing the quality of health web pages all over the world.

    PubMed

    Boyer, Célia; Gaudinat, Arnaud; Baujard, Vincent; Geissbühler, Antoine

    2007-01-01

    The Internet provides a great amount of information and has become one of the communication media which is most widely used [1]. However, the problem is no longer finding information but assessing the credibility of the publishers as well as the relevance and accuracy of the documents retrieved from the web. This problem is particularly relevant in the medical area which has a direct impact on the well-being of citizens. In this paper, we assume that the quality of web pages can be controlled, even when a huge amount of documents has to be reviewed. But this must be supported by both specific automatic tools and human expertise. In this context, we present various initiatives of the Health on the Net Foundation informing the citizens about the reliability of the medical content on the web.

  14. The effect of health information technology on quality in U.S. hospitals.

    PubMed

    McCullough, Jeffrey S; Casey, Michelle; Moscovice, Ira; Prasad, Shailendra

    2010-04-01

    Health information technology (IT), such as computerized physician order entry and electronic health records, has potential to improve the quality of health care. But the returns from widespread adoption of such technologies remain uncertain. We measured changes in the quality of care following adoption of electronic health records among a national sample of U.S. hospitals from 2004 to 2007. The use of computerized physician order entry and electronic health records resulted in significant improvements in two quality measures, with larger effects in academic than nonacademic hospitals. We conclude that achieving substantive benefits from national implementation of health IT may be a lengthy process. Policies to improve health IT's efficacy in nonacademic hospitals might be more beneficial than adoption subsidies.

  15. Peer pressure and public reporting within healthcare setting: improving accountability and health care quality in hospitals.

    PubMed

    Specchia, Maria Lucia; Veneziano, Maria Assunta; Cadeddu, Chiara; Ferriero, Anna Maria; Capizzi, Silvio; Ricciardi, Walter

    2012-01-01

    In the last few years, the need of public reporting of health outcomes has acquired a great importance. The public release of performance results could be a tool for improving health care quality and many attempts have been made in order to introduce public reporting programs within the health care context at different levels. It would be necessary to promote the introduction of a standardized set of outcome and performance measures in order to improve quality of health care services and to make health care providers aware of the importance of transparency and accountability.

  16. English Language Proficiency and Health-Related Quality of Life among Chinese and Korean Immigrant Elders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mui, Ada C.; Kang, Suk-Young; Kang, Dooyeon; Domanski, Margaret Dietz

    2007-01-01

    This study examined the association between English language proficiency and health outcomes in a regional probability sample (n = 205) of elderly Chinese and Korean immigrants. Data support that these two Asian ethnic subgroups differ in English proficiency and health-related quality of life. Chinese and Korean elders had poorer health than the…

  17. Techniques for Developing Health Quality of Life Scales for Point of Service Use

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Young-Sun; Douglas, Jeffrey; Chewning, Betty

    2007-01-01

    Clinical and health policy research frequently involves health status measurement using generic or disease specific instruments. These instruments are generally developed to arrive at several scales, each measuring a distinct domain of health quality of life (HQOL). Clinical settings are starting to explore how to integrate patient perspectives of…

  18. Comparative analysis of quality assurance in health care delivery and higher medical education.

    PubMed

    Busari, Jamiu O

    2012-01-01

    Quality assurance (QA) in higher medical education involves the development, sustenance, improvement, and evaluation of the standard of training of medical professionals. In health care delivery, QA focuses on guaranteeing and maintaining a high standard of the service provided in different health care systems. When the service delivered by the care provider is in accordance with what the recipients of health care expect, then quality in health care is considered to be present. There are several factors in higher medical education and health care that are responsible for the emergence of QA. These include externally imposed obligations requiring demonstration of public accountability and responsibility from educational institutions, as well as the need for activity-specific information by policy makers as an aid for important decision-making within educational institutions. In health care delivery on the other hand, the emergence of QA is linked to the need for containing rising health care costs in the face of limited resources and to guaranteeing high quality patient care in a changing health care environment where the power relationship between doctors and patients is shifting towards patients. Although medical education can be regarded as a distinct entity in the health care industry, it still remains an inherent part of the health care delivery system. As a result, different strategies aimed at guaranteeing and assuring high standards of health care and education in many countries tend to overlap. This paper reflects on whether quality assurance in health care delivery and medical education should be seen as separate entities.

  19. Family Impacts among Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: The Role of Health Care Quality

    PubMed Central

    Zuckerman, Katharine E.; Lindly, Olivia J.; Bethell, Christina D.; Kuhlthau, Karen

    2014-01-01

    Objectives To compare health care quality and family employment and financial impacts among children with special health care needs (CSHCN) with autism spectrum disorder (CSHCN+ASD), CSHCN with functional limitations (CSHCN+FL), and CSHCN lacking these conditions (other CSHCN). To test whether high health care quality was associated with reduced family impacts among CSHCN+ASD. Methods Data from the 2009-2010 National Survey of CSHCN were used to compare 3025 CSHCN+ASD, 6505 CSHCN+FL, and 28 296 other CSHCN. Weighted multivariate logistic regression analyses examined six age-relevant, federally-defined health care quality indicators and five family financial and employment impact indicators. Two composite measures were additionally used: (1) receipt of care that met all age-relevant quality indicators; and (2) had ≥ two of the five adverse family impacts. Results Across all health care quality indicators CSHCN+ASD fared poorly, with only 7.4% meeting all age-relevant indicators. CSHCN+ASD had worse health care quality than other CSHCN, including CSHCN+FL. CSHCN+ASD also had high rates of adverse family impact, with over half experiencing two or more adverse impacts. Rates of adverse family impact were higher in CSHCN+ASD than other CSHCN, including CSHCN+FL. Among CSHCN+ASD, those whose health care that met federal quality standards were less likely to have multiple adverse family impacts than CSHCN+ASD whose health care did not meet federal quality standards. Conclusions CSHCN+ASD are more prone to experience poor health care quality and family impacts than other CSHCN, even CSHCN+FL. Receipt of care meeting federal quality standards may potentially lessen adverse family impacts for CSHCN+ASD. PMID:24976352

  20. Patients' perceptions of service quality dimensions: an empirical examination of health care in New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Clemes, M D; Ozanne, L K; Laurensen, W L

    2001-01-01

    The 1984 liberalization of the New Zealand economy has resulted in a health care sector that has become very competitive (Zwier and Clarke, 1999). The private sector is now able to supply health care services and, as a result, a greater value is being placed on patient satisfaction (Zwier and Clarke, 1999). However, despite the increasing focus on customer satisfaction, research into health care patients' perceptions of the dimensions of service quality is scarce. This can be problematic, as quality of care is an essential issue in the strategic marketing of health care services (Turner and Pol, 1995). This study takes a step towards addressing this deficiency by identifying patients' perceptions of the dimensions of service quality in health care. The findings of this study are based on the empirical analysis of a sample of 389 respondents interviewed by telephone. The findings indicate that the service quality dimensions identified in this health care specific study differ in number and dimensional structure from the widely adopted service quality dimensions first identified by Parasuraman, Berry and Zeithaml (1988): reliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy and tangibles. The service quality dimensions identified in this study were: reliability, tangibles, assurance, empathy, food, access, outcome, admission, discharge and responsiveness. In addition, health care patients perceive the service quality dimensions relating to the core product in health care delivery (for example, outcome and reliability) as more important than the service quality dimensions relating to the peripheral product in health care delivery (for example, food, access and tangibles). Finally, the results of this study suggest that patients with different geographic, demographic, and behavioristic characteristics have different needs and wants during health care delivery and therefore perceive different service quality dimensions as important.

  1. [Study monitoring: a useful tool for quality health research].

    PubMed

    Arias Valencia, Samuel Andrés; Hernández Pinzón, Giovanna

    2009-05-01

    As well as protecting the rights of participants, a study's ethics must encompass the quality of its execution. As such, international standards have been established for studies involving human subjects. The objective of this review is to evaluate the usefulness of the Guide to Good Clinical Practice and "study monitoring" as tools useful to producing quality research. The Guide provides scientific ethics and quality standards for designing, conducting, registering, and notifying studies involving human subjects. By implementing specific processes and procedures, study monitoring seeks to ensure that research is followed and evaluated from inception, through execution and closure, thus producing studies with high quality standards.

  2. The Impact of eHealth on the Quality and Safety of Health Care: A Systematic Overview

    PubMed Central

    Black, Ashly D.; Car, Josip; Pagliari, Claudia; Anandan, Chantelle; Cresswell, Kathrin; Bokun, Tomislav; McKinstry, Brian; Procter, Rob; Majeed, Azeem; Sheikh, Aziz

    2011-01-01

    Background There is considerable international interest in exploiting the potential of digital solutions to enhance the quality and safety of health care. Implementations of transformative eHealth technologies are underway globally, often at very considerable cost. In order to assess the impact of eHealth solutions on the quality and safety of health care, and to inform policy decisions on eHealth deployments, we undertook a systematic review of systematic reviews assessing the effectiveness and consequences of various eHealth technologies on the quality and safety of care. Methods and Findings We developed novel search strategies, conceptual maps of health care quality, safety, and eHealth interventions, and then systematically identified, scrutinised, and synthesised the systematic review literature. Major biomedical databases were searched to identify systematic reviews published between 1997 and 2010. Related theoretical, methodological, and technical material was also reviewed. We identified 53 systematic reviews that focused on assessing the impact of eHealth interventions on the quality and/or safety of health care and 55 supplementary systematic reviews providing relevant supportive information. This systematic review literature was found to be generally of substandard quality with regards to methodology, reporting, and utility. We thematically categorised eHealth technologies into three main areas: (1) storing, managing, and transmission of data; (2) clinical decision support; and (3) facilitating care from a distance. We found that despite support from policymakers, there was relatively little empirical evidence to substantiate many of the claims made in relation to these technologies. Whether the success of those relatively few solutions identified to improve quality and safety would continue if these were deployed beyond the contexts in which they were originally developed, has yet to be established. Importantly, best practice guidelines in effective

  3. 75 FR 81662 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Affordable...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-12-28

    ...; Affordable Care Act Patient Protection Notice ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: The Department of Labor (DOL) hereby... collection request (ICR) titled, ``Affordable Care Act Patient Protection Notice,'' to the Office of..._PRA_PUBLIC@dol.gov . SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Patient Protection Notice is used by health...

  4. 78 FR 19917 - Medicaid Program; Increased Federal Medical Assistance Percentage Changes Under the Affordable...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-04-02

    ...This final rule implements the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (collectively referred to as the Affordable Care Act) relating to the availability of increased Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) rates for certain adult populations under states' Medicaid programs. This final rule......

  5. 76 FR 20352 - Notice of Intent To Award Affordable Care Act (ACA) Funding

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-04-12

    ... HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Notice of Intent To Award Affordable Care Act (ACA) Funding Notice of Intent to award Affordable Care Act (ACA) funding to two Emerging Infections... Care Act (ACA) appropriations to the Connecticut Department of Public Health and the Georgia...

  6. Can Consumers Make Affordable Care Affordable? The Value of Choice Architecture

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Eric J.; Hassin, Ran; Baker, Tom; Bajger, Allison T.; Treuer, Galen

    2013-01-01

    Tens of millions of people are currently choosing health coverage on a state or federal health insurance exchange as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. We examine how well people make these choices, how well they think they do, and what can be done to improve these choices. We conducted 6 experiments asking people to choose the most cost-effective policy using websites modeled on current exchanges. Our results suggest there is significant room for improvement. Without interventions, respondents perform at near chance levels and show a significant bias, overweighting out-of-pocket expenses and deductibles. Financial incentives do not improve performance, and decision-makers do not realize that they are performing poorly. However, performance can be improved quite markedly by providing calculation aids, and by choosing a “smart” default. Implementing these psychologically based principles could save purchasers of policies and taxpayers approximately 10 billion dollars every year. PMID:24367484

  7. Development and implementation of surface water quality standards for protection of human health in Korea.

    PubMed

    An, Youn-Joo; Kwak, Jin; Nam, Sun-Hwa; Jung, Myung Sook

    2014-01-01

    Current water quality standards for the protection of human health in Korea include 17 substances found in rivers and streams. Due to increasing concern over the release of hazardous chemicals into the aquatic environment, there has been a demand for additional water quality standards. Therefore, the Korean Ministry of the Environment plans to gradually increase the number of water quality standards to 30 substances, including 22 substances for protection of human health and 8 substances for protection of aquatic ecosystems by 2015. In this study, new water quality standards for protection of human health were established for 1,4-dioxane, formaldehyde, and hexachlorobenzene. We selected candidate hazardous chemicals, conducted a human health risk assessment to determine priority chemicals, established water quality standards based on technical analyses and comparison with domestic and developed countries' water quality standards, and conducted an expert review. Water quality standards for protection of aquatic ecosystems will be derived in the near future. This study describes how the water quality standards for protection of human health were developed and implemented. Current status, recent expansion, and future plans for water quality standards in Korea are also covered.

  8. Sensitivity of health risk estimates to air quality adjustment procedure

    SciTech Connect

    Whitfield, R.G.

    1997-06-30

    This letter is a summary of risk results associated with exposure estimates using two-parameter Weibull and quadratic air quality adjustment procedures (AQAPs). New exposure estimates were developed for children and child-occurrences, six urban areas, and five alternative air quality scenarios. In all cases, the Weibull and quadratic results are compared to previous results, which are based on a proportional AQAP.

  9. Blackberry fruit quality components, composition, and potential health benefits.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Blackberries have long been a popular small fruit. Their chemical composition data was assembled for this invited book chapter. Briefly, primary and secondary metabolites important to blackberry fruit quality were summarized. Metabolites are involved in many critical aspects of fruit quality includi...

  10. Social correlates of health status, quality of life, and mood states in patients treated with cannabidiol for epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Szaflarski, Magdalena; Hansen, Barbara; Bebin, E Martina; Szaflarski, Jerzy P

    2017-02-21

    Social characteristics, such as socioeconomic status and race/ethnicity, play a role in the treatment and outcomes of patients with epilepsy (PWE), but little is known about how these factors affect patients receiving cannabidiol (CBD) to treat seizures. This exploratory study examined the sociodemographic profile of patients treated with CBD (n=80) and associations between social factors and patient-centered outcomes - overall health status, Quality of Life in Epilepsy-89 (QOLIE-89), and Profile of Mood States (POMS) - in this population. Associations were examined using Pearson correlations and multiple ordinary-least-squares regression (alpha=0.1). The sample was predominantly white (96%) and non-Hispanic/Latino (96%); 76% of patients had family incomes of $40,000+/year. Some patients/families reported experiencing food scarcity (13%), not being able to make ends meet (6%), or not being able to afford antiepileptic medications (8%). The patients' health ratings declined with age and income (p≤0.014), and there was a statistically significant interaction (p<0.055) between these variables: for example, a higher-income 10-year-old had a predicted health rating of 3 ("very good"), followed by a higher-income 40-year-old with a rating of 2 ("good"), a low-income 10-year-old with a rating of 1 ("fair"), and a low-income 40-year-old with a rating of 0 ("poor"). This is the first study reporting the social profile of patients taking pharmaceutical grade CBD for the treatment of epilepsy. The results suggest that despite free access to this treatment some patients may not be accessing CBD because of their socioeconomic situation or race/ethnicity. Larger, diverse samples and longitudinal data are needed to more accurately model social factors and patient-centered outcomes in PWE receiving CBD. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Cannabinoids and Epilepsy".

  11. Progress on quality management in the German health system – a long and winding road

    PubMed Central

    Breckenkamp, Juergen; Wiskow, Christiane; Laaser, Ulrich

    2007-01-01

    The interest in quality management in health care has increased in the last decades as the financial crises in most health systems generated the need for solutions to contain costs while maintaining quality of care. In Germany the development of quality management procedures has been closely linked with health care reforms. Starting in the early nineties quality management issues gained momentum in reform legislation only 10 years later. This review summarizes recent developments in medical quality management as related to the federal reform legislation in Germany. It provides an overview on the infrastructure, actors and on the current discussion concerning quality management in medical care. Germany had to catch up on implementing quality management in the health system compared to other countries. Considerable progress has been made, however, it is recognized that the full integration of quality management will require long-term commitment in developing methods, instruments and communication procedures. The most ambitious project at present is the development of a comprehensive comparative quality management system for hospitals at national level, including public reporting. For the time being medical quality management in Germany is dealt with as a technical and professional issue while the aspects of patient orientation and transparency need further advancement. PMID:17550593

  12. Innovations to Enhance the Quality of Health Professions Education at the University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences -NECTAR Program

    PubMed Central

    Ndhlovu, Chiratidzo E; Nathoo, Kusum; Borok, Margaret; Chidzonga, Midion; Aagaard, Eva M.; Connors, Susan C.; Barry, Michele; Campbell, Thomas; Hakim, James

    2014-01-01

    The University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences (UZCHS) is Zimbabwe's premier health professions training institution. However, several concerns were raised during the past decade over the quality of health education at UZCHS. The number of faculty and students declined markedly until 2010, when there was a medical student intake of 147 while the faculty comprised only 122 (39%) of a possible 314 positions. The economic and political crises that the country experienced from 1999 to 2009 compounded the difficulties faced by the institution by limiting the availability of resources. The Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) funding opportunity has given UZCHS the stimulus to embark on reforms to improve the quality of health education it offers. UZCHS, in partnership with the University of Colorado School of Medicine (UCSOM), the University of Colorado Denver Evaluation Center (UCDEC), and Stanford University designed the Novel Education Clinical Trainees and Researchers (NECTAR) program to implement a series of health education innovations to meet this challenge. Between 2010 and 2013, innovations that have positively affected the quality of health professions education at UZCHS include the launch of comprehensive faculty development programs and mentored clinical and research programs for postgraduate students. A competency-based curriculum reform process has been initiated; a health professions department has been established; and the Research Support Center has been strengthened, providing critical resources to institutionalize health education and research implementation at the college. A core group of faculty trained in medical education has been assembled, helping to ensure the sustainability of these NECTAR activities. PMID:25072588

  13. An integrated model for continuous quality improvement and productivity improvement in health services organizations.

    PubMed

    Rakich, J S; Darr, K; Longest, B B

    1993-01-01

    The health services paradigm with respect to quality has shifted to that of conformance to requirements (the absence of defects) and fitness for use (meeting customer expectations and needs). This article presents an integrated model of continuous quality improvement (CQI) (often referred to as total quality management) and productivity improvement for health services organizations. It incorporates input-output theory and focuses on the CQI challenge--"How can we be certain that we do the right things right the first time, every time?" The twin pillars of CQI are presented. Achievement of both will result in productivity improvement and enhancement of the health services organization's competitive position.

  14. Quality of life measures in health care. I: Applications and issues in assessment.

    PubMed Central

    Fitzpatrick, R.; Fletcher, A.; Gore, S.; Jones, D.; Spiegelhalter, D.; Cox, D.

    1992-01-01

    Many clinicians remain unsure of the relevance of measuring quality of life to their clinical practice. In health economics quality of life measures have become the standard means of assessing the results of health care interventions and, more controversially, the means of prioritising funding; but they have many other applications. This article--the first of three on measuring quality of life--reviews the instruments available and their application in screening programmes, audit, health care research, and clinical trials. Using the appropriate instrument is essential if outcome measures are to be valid and clinically meaningful. Images p1076-a PMID:1467690

  15. The New Zealand World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHOQOL) Group.

    PubMed

    Billington, D Rex; Landon, Jason; Krägeloh, Christian U; Shepherd, Daniel

    2010-05-28

    With the approval of the World Health Organization (WHO), AUT University has established a new centre to develop and promote the use of the World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHOQOL) assessment instruments for health and health-related studies in New Zealand. The purpose of this paper is to introduce the NZ WHOQOL Group and to describe the structure and properties of the questionnaires in order to help the reader decide whether the instruments are suitable for their research and their use.

  16. Impact of Health and Fitness-Related Behavior on Quality of Life

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-01-01

    Weight status did not emerge as a predictor of overall QOL. Con- sidering that overweight is viewed negatively in American society, it was excepted that...Psychosomatic Research 9, p. 249. Slater, C. and B. Carlton: 1985, ’Behavior, lifestyle, and socioeconomic variables as determinants of health status ...RELATED BEHAVIOR ON QUALITY OF LIFE (Received 23 May, 199 1) ABSTRACT. While the relationships between (a) health behavior and health status and (b) health

  17. [Promoting competition and improving quality. Accepting the intergenerational contract by stabilizing health care reform].

    PubMed

    Wasem, J

    2002-08-01

    The challenge of demographic transition requires a health care reform which strengthens competition and quality in health care. With this, important contributions in stabilizing intergenerational relations, especially intergenerational solidarity in the public health care system, can be achieved. The reform proposal by an expert group, invited by the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation to develop a concept of health care reform, takes these considerations into account.

  18. Health-related quality of life in early breast cancer.

    PubMed

    Groenvold, Mogens

    2010-09-01

    The treatment of primary breast cancer usually consists of surgery often followed by adjuvant therapy (radiotherapy, chemotherapy, hormonal treatment, etc.) to reduce the risk of recurrence. The cancer diagnosis and the treatments may have significant impact on the patients' quality of life. This thesis deals with scientific aspects and clinical results of a study aimed at assessing the impact of breast cancer (and its treatment) on the patients' quality of life. Studies such as this assessing the problems and symptoms experienced by the patients are often referred to as health-related quality of life (HRQL) research. HRQL research deals with subjective experiences and raises challenging, scientific questions. Therefore, much attention was directed towards methodological issues in this clinically motivated project. The study was a prospective, longitudinal, questionnaire-based investigation of women with newly diagnosed breast cancer registered in the Danish Breast Cancer Co-operative Group's DBCG 89 Program. The patients were sub-divided into low-risk and high-risk patients. High-risk patients were offered randomisation in one of three randomised adjuvant therapy trials involving chemotherapy, ovarian ablation, and endocrine therapy. After a literature study and interviews with breast cancer patients, a questionnaire was composed that included two widely used standard questionnaires (EORTC QLQ-C30 and Hospital Anxiety and Depression (HAD) Scale) and a DBCG 89 Questionnaire developed for this study. A total of 1,898 eligible patients were invited by post to participate in the study involving six assessments over a 2-year period, and 1,713 patients (90%) completed the first questionnaire. Furthermore, a questionnaire was sent to 872 women selected at random from the general population; 608 (70%) responded. The multi-item scales of the two standard questionnaires were analysed for so-called differential item functioning (DIF) in order to investigate whether the

  19. Are Marketplace Plans Affordable? Consumer Perspectives from the Commonwealth Fund Affordable Care Act Tracking Survey, March-May 2015.

    PubMed

    Collins, Sara R; Gunja, Munira; Rasmussen, Petra W; Doty, Michelle M; Beutel, Sophie

    2015-09-01

    Most employers who provide health insurance to employees subsidize their premiums and provide a comprehensive benefit package. Before the Affordable Care Act, people who lacked health insurance through a job and purchased it on their own paid the full cost of their plans, which often came with skimpy benefit packages and high deductibles. Findings from the Commonwealth Fund Affordable Care Act Tracking Survey, March--May 2015, indicate that the law's tax credits have made premium costs in health plans sold through the marketplaces roughly comparable to employer plans, at least for people with low and moderate incomes. At higher incomes, the phase-out of the subsidies means that adults in marketplace plans have higher premium costs than those in employer plans. Overall, larger shares of adults in marketplace plans reported deductibles of $1,000 or more, compared with those in employer plans, though these differences were narrower among low-and moderate-income adults.

  20. Health risk assessment of heavy metals in wheat using different water qualities: implication for human health.

    PubMed

    Khan, Zafar Iqbal; Ahmad, Kafeel; Rehman, Sidrah; Siddique, Samra; Bashir, Humayun; Zafar, Asma; Sohail, Muhammad; Ali, Salem Alhajj; Cazzato, Eugenio; De Mastro, Giuseppe

    2017-01-01

    In the recent years, the use of sewage water for irrigation has attracted the attention of arid and semi-arid countries where the availability of fresh water is poor. Despite the potential use of sewage water in crop irrigation as effective and sustainable strategy, the environmental and human risks behind this use need to be deeply investigated. In this regard, an experiment was carried out under field conditions in Nursery, University College of Agriculture Sargodha, to evaluate the possible health risks of undesirable metals in wheat grains. Wheat variety Sarang was cultivated and irrigated with different combinations of ground (GW) and sewage water (SW). The concentrations of heavy metals (Cr, Cd, Ni, and Pb) and trace elements (Cu, Zn, and Fe) in wheat grains as well as in soil were determined. Moreover, the pollution load index (PLI), accumulation factor (AF), daily intake of metals (DIM), and health risk index (HRI) were calculated. Results showed that the concentration trend of heavy metals was Pbquality, whereas Pb concentration in grain was within the acceptable levels as suggested by World Health Organization, when 100 % of SW was used for irrigation. Similar observation was reported for Cd concentration in the soil when wheat was irrigated with 100 % SW. In comparison to soil, the edible part of wheat presented lower concentration of all studied metals, except for Zn which was much higher compared to the tested soil samples. The higher concentration of Zn was responsible for increasing the DIM of Zn where, in average, the highest value was reported, particularly in 75 % SW treatment. This was reflected also in HRI where the maximum value was reported for Zinc under the same treatment. Higher value of HRI for wheat cultivated on polluted soils suggested that appropriate management of