Science.gov

Sample records for affordable quality health

  1. 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. PMID:25524866

  2. Do Quiet Areas Afford Greater Health-Related Quality of Life than Noisy Areas?

    PubMed Central

    Shepherd, Daniel; Welch, David; Dirks, Kim N.; McBride, David

    2013-01-01

    People typically choose to live in quiet areas in order to safeguard their health and wellbeing. However, the benefits of living in quiet areas are relatively understudied compared to the burdens associated with living in noisy areas. Additionally, research is increasingly focusing on the relationship between the human response to noise and measures of health and wellbeing, complementing traditional dose-response approaches, and further elucidating the impact of noise and health by incorporating human factors as mediators and moderators. To further explore the benefits of living in quiet areas, we compared the results of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) questionnaire datasets collected from households in localities differentiated by their soundscapes and population density: noisy city, quiet city, quiet rural, and noisy rural. The dose-response relationships between noise annoyance and HRQOL measures indicated an inverse relationship between the two. Additionally, quiet areas were found to have higher mean HRQOL domain scores than noisy areas. This research further supports the protection of quiet locales and ongoing noise abatement in noisy areas. PMID:23535280

  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

    ... Plans; Exchange Standards for Employers, 77 FR 18310 (Mar. 27, 2012) (to be codified at 45 CFR parts 155... Quality for Exchanges: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-11-27/pdf/2012-28473.pdf . Importance: the... Rule 78 FR 12834 (Feb. 25, 2013) (to be codified at 45 CFR parts 147, 155 and 156). The draft...

  4. To provide affordable, quality health care for all Americans and reduce the growth in health care spending, and for other purposes.

    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:

  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. Affordability of the Health Expenditures of Insured Americans Before the Affordable Care Act.

    PubMed

    Nyman, John A; Trenz, Helen M

    2016-02-01

    Central to the Affordable Care Act is the notion of affordability and the role of health insurance in making otherwise unaffordable health care affordable. We used data from the 1996 to 2008 versions of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey to estimate the portion of overall health care expenditures by insured respondents that would otherwise have been beyond their disposable incomes and assets. We found that about one third of insured expenditures would have been unaffordable, with a much higher percentage among publicly insured individuals. This result suggests that one of the main functions of insurance is to cover expenses that insured individuals would not otherwise be able to afford. PMID:26691116

  7. Affordability of the Health Expenditures of Insured Americans Before the Affordable Care Act.

    PubMed

    Nyman, John A; Trenz, Helen M

    2016-02-01

    Central to the Affordable Care Act is the notion of affordability and the role of health insurance in making otherwise unaffordable health care affordable. We used data from the 1996 to 2008 versions of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey to estimate the portion of overall health care expenditures by insured respondents that would otherwise have been beyond their disposable incomes and assets. We found that about one third of insured expenditures would have been unaffordable, with a much higher percentage among publicly insured individuals. This result suggests that one of the main functions of insurance is to cover expenses that insured individuals would not otherwise be able to afford.

  8. Conceptual and Physical Object Qualities Contribute Differently to Motor Affordances

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vingerhoets, G.; Vandamme, K.; Vercammen, A.

    2009-01-01

    Priming studies have demonstrated that an object's intrinsic and extrinsic qualities (size, orientation) influence subsequent motor behavior thus suggesting that these object qualities "afford" actions that are congruent with the prime. We present four experiments that aim to evaluate the relative effect of conceptual and physical object qualities…

  9. The ethics of the affordability of health insurance.

    PubMed

    Saloner, Brendan; Daniels, Norman

    2011-10-01

    In this essay we argue that the concept of affordable health insurance is rooted in a social obligation to protect fair equality of opportunity. Specifically, health insurance plays a limited but significant role in protecting opportunity in two ways: it helps keep people functioning normally and it protects their financial security. Together these benefits enable household members to exercise reasonable choices about their plans of life. To achieve truly affordable coverage, society must be able to contain the overall cost of health care, and health insurance must be progressively financed, meaning that those who are best able to pay for coverage should pay the largest share. While the recently passed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) falls short on both of these counts, we argue that it makes important contributions toward household affordability through the use of subsidies and regulations. The main shortcoming of the ACA is an insufficient protection against burdensome cost sharing, which we illustrate using several hypothetical scenarios. We conclude with recommendations about how to make opportunity-enhancing expansions to the current coverage subsidies.

  10. The ethics of the affordability of health insurance.

    PubMed

    Saloner, Brendan; Daniels, Norman

    2011-10-01

    In this essay we argue that the concept of affordable health insurance is rooted in a social obligation to protect fair equality of opportunity. Specifically, health insurance plays a limited but significant role in protecting opportunity in two ways: it helps keep people functioning normally and it protects their financial security. Together these benefits enable household members to exercise reasonable choices about their plans of life. To achieve truly affordable coverage, society must be able to contain the overall cost of health care, and health insurance must be progressively financed, meaning that those who are best able to pay for coverage should pay the largest share. While the recently passed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) falls short on both of these counts, we argue that it makes important contributions toward household affordability through the use of subsidies and regulations. The main shortcoming of the ACA is an insufficient protection against burdensome cost sharing, which we illustrate using several hypothetical scenarios. We conclude with recommendations about how to make opportunity-enhancing expansions to the current coverage subsidies. PMID:22065686

  11. 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.

  12. Health Care Affordability: How to Make It a Reality.

    PubMed

    Rotarius, Timothy; Liberman, Aaron

    2015-01-01

    Health care is a big business. US health care expenditures reached $2.9 trillion in 2013. Patient spending accounted for 28% of the total, which means patients spent approximately $810 billion in 2013 for insurance premiums, deductibles, copays, coinsurance, and noncovered health care services. How are patients expected to pay almost a trillion dollars in health care expenses? There is a need to find a health care financing methodology that will make health care affordable for all patients and families. An alternative method for funding health care is discussed that includes creating a government-funded annuity during the first decade of one's life. When this annuity matures later in life, many individuals will have amassed a large pot of money with which to pay for their (and their family's) health care treatment and products.

  13. 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

    2014-07-01

    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.

  14. 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. PMID:23903938

  15. Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities and the Affordable Care Act: a Status Update.

    PubMed

    Sealy-Jefferson, Shawnita; Vickers, Jasmine; Elam, Angela; Wilson, M Roy

    2015-12-01

    Persistent racial and ethnic health disparities exist in the USA, despite decades of research and public health initiatives. Several factors contribute to health disparities, including (but not limited to) implicit provider bias, access to health care, social determinants, and biological factors. Disparities in health by race/ethnicity are unacceptable and correctable. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a comprehensive legislation that is focused on improving health care access, quality, and cost control. This health care reform includes specific provisions which focus on preventive care, the standardized collection of data on race, ethnicity, primary language and disability status, and health information technology. Although some provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have not been implemented, such as funding for the U.S. Public Health Sciences track, which would have addressed the shortage of medical professionals in the USA who are trained to use patient-centered, interdisciplinary, and care coordination approaches, this legislation is still poised to make great strides toward eliminating health disparities. The purpose of this manuscript is to highlight the unprecedented opportunities that exist for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in health in the USA. PMID:26668787

  16. Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities and the Affordable Care Act: a Status Update.

    PubMed

    Sealy-Jefferson, Shawnita; Vickers, Jasmine; Elam, Angela; Wilson, M Roy

    2015-12-01

    Persistent racial and ethnic health disparities exist in the USA, despite decades of research and public health initiatives. Several factors contribute to health disparities, including (but not limited to) implicit provider bias, access to health care, social determinants, and biological factors. Disparities in health by race/ethnicity are unacceptable and correctable. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a comprehensive legislation that is focused on improving health care access, quality, and cost control. This health care reform includes specific provisions which focus on preventive care, the standardized collection of data on race, ethnicity, primary language and disability status, and health information technology. Although some provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have not been implemented, such as funding for the U.S. Public Health Sciences track, which would have addressed the shortage of medical professionals in the USA who are trained to use patient-centered, interdisciplinary, and care coordination approaches, this legislation is still poised to make great strides toward eliminating health disparities. The purpose of this manuscript is to highlight the unprecedented opportunities that exist for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in health in the USA.

  17. Affordable health benefits for workers without employer coverage.

    PubMed

    Etheredge, L; Jones, S B

    1998-02-01

    With 42 million individuals lacking health insurance in 1996, an increase of 1.1 million uninsured from the previous year, new initiatives to deal with health insurance problems merit a high priority among domestic policy initiatives. This paper examines the opportunities for assisting full-time workers (and their families) who do not receive employer-paid health insurance-a group that now includes 49 million individuals-by using three policy tools that Congress and President Clinton have already agreed to use in recent healthcare legislation: (a) equitable tax assistance; (b) market reforms; and (c) competition among health plans that offer economical benefits. Estimates for a model plan illustrate that such strategies could make decent private health insurance more affordable and more accessible for workers and their families who want to purchase it; family insurance protection, with guaranteed issue of insurance and large-group-rated premiums, could be offered at potential savings of 42% (or more). Premiums for worker's coverage, after tax assistance, would be below $1,200 per year, i.e., less than 60 cents per hour. These market-oriented reforms can be accomplished with a limited government role, and, after start-up costs, ongoing federal expenses would be modest, predictable, and controllable. When combined with the new $24 billion child health initiative to assist low-income families, the proposed plan would provide considerable progress toward universal access to affordable insurance coverage.

  18. 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. PMID:25217142

  19. 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.

  20. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; establishment of exchanges and qualified health plans; exchange standards for employers. Final rule, Interim final rule.

    PubMed

    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 compare available private health insurance options on the basis of price, quality, and other factors. The Exchanges, which will become operational by January 1, 2014, will help enhance competition in the health insurance market, improve choice of affordable health insurance, and give small businesses the same purchasing clout as large businesses.

  1. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; establishment of exchanges and qualified health plans; exchange standards for employers. Final rule, Interim final rule.

    PubMed

    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 compare available private health insurance options on the basis of price, quality, and other factors. The Exchanges, which will become operational by January 1, 2014, will help enhance competition in the health insurance market, improve choice of affordable health insurance, and give small businesses the same purchasing clout as large businesses. PMID:22479737

  2. The Affordable Care Act and the Medicare program: the engines of true health reform.

    PubMed

    Kinney, Eleanor D

    2013-01-01

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and its amendments by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 constitute landmark legislation known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA has made many changes in the Medicare program as part of comprehensive health reform for the U.S. health care sector. Title III of the ACA pertains to improving the efficiency and quality of health care. Title VI calls for greater program integrity for all federally funded health insurance programs. Collectively, the changes in Medicare in these two titles address the three major problems that the Medicare program has faced since its inception: cost and volume inflation, quality assurance, and fraud and abuse. These changes, if successfully implemented, will have a dramatic impact on the reform of the American health care sector. The policy-making process in the Medicare program is exemplary of the process of "muddling through," as described by the Yale economist Charles E. Lindblom. Nevertheless, these changes may also prepare the Medicare program to be transformed, through several incremental changes in upcoming years, into a single payer system.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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,…

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Policy dilemmas in Latino health care and implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-18

    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;

  9. 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.

  10. 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. PMID:26567380

  11. Why India should become a global leader in high-quality, affordable TB diagnostics.

    PubMed

    Small, Peter

    2012-05-01

    The scale up of DOTS in India is one of the greatest public health accomplishments, and yet undiagnosed and poorly managed TB continues to fuel the epidemic such that India continues to have the highest number of TB cases in the world. Recognizing these challenges, the Government of India has set an ambitious goal of providing universal access to quality diagnosis and treatment for all TB patients in the country. Innovative tools and delivery systems in both the public and private sectors are essential for reaching this goal. Fortunately, India has the potential to solve its TB problem with "home-grown" solutions. Just as Indian pharmaceutical companies revolutionized access to high-quality, affordable AIDS drugs through generic production, Indian diagnostic companies could also become the world's hub for high-quality generic diagnostics. In the long term, India has the potential to lead the world in developing innovative TB diagnostics. For this to happen, Indian industry must move from the import and imitation approach to genuine innovation in both product development as well as delivery. This must be supported by permissive policies and enhanced funding by the Indian government and the private sector. Strict regulation of diagnostics, increased attention to quality assurance in laboratories, and greater engagement of the private health care providers are also needed to effectively deliver innovative products and approaches. PMID:22771602

  12. 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.

  13. A resolution supporting efforts to increase competition and accountability in the health insurance marketplace, and to extend accessible, quality, affordable health care coverage to every American through the choice of a public insurance plan.

    THOMAS, 113th Congress

    Sen. Merkley, Jeff [D-OR

    2016-09-15

    09/15/2016 Referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. (text of measure as introduced: CR S5848) (All Actions) Tracker: This bill has the status IntroducedHere are the steps for Status of Legislation:

  14. Understanding context for quality improvement: artefacts, affordances and socio-material infrastructure.

    PubMed

    Allen, Davina

    2013-09-01

    Against a backdrop of growing concern for patient safety and service quality, modern health-care systems are witnessing a proliferation of improvement initiatives. The impact is often variable, however, and a key theme to emerge from evaluations of these efforts is a recognition of the effects of local context on the success or otherwise of an intervention. However, the 'context' tends to be understood in terms of higher order issues such as structure, culture and leadership. This article explores a dimension of context not typically taken into account in the health-care improvement literature: the infrastructural context. Many quality improvement interventions hinge on the introduction of artefacts to support behavioural change in the workplace. Despite calls from scholars of technology in practice for a greater acknowledgement of the role of such mundane artefacts in supporting the organisation of health-care work, they are rarely considered in these terms in evaluations of improvement efforts. In this article, I argue that understanding the potential generative effects of artefacts for quality improvement purposes requires an understanding of their 'affordances' and how these relate to the socio-material infrastructure into which they are to be introduced, and/or the technologies they are designed to replace. Integrated care pathway implementation is examined to illustrate this position. Drawing on qualitative case studies of integrated care pathway development processes undertaken in the UK National Health Service and ethnographic research on the international care pathway community, I consider the infrastructural reasons behind the challenges of making pathways work in organising health care, and why, contrary to the aspirations of their proponents, they often appear to increase rather than decrease paperwork.

  15. 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

  16. Coverage, access, and affordability under health reform: learning from the Massachusetts model.

    PubMed

    Long, Sharon K; Stockley, Karen; Nordahl, Kate Willrich

    While the impacts of the Affordable Care Act will vary across the states given their different circumstances, Massachusetts' 2006 reform initiative, the template for national reform, provides a preview of the potential gains in insurance coverage, access to and use of care, and health care affordability for the rest of the nation. Under reform, uninsurance in Massachusetts dropped by more than 50%, due, in part, to an increase in employer-sponsored coverage. Gains in health care access and affordability were widespread, including a 28% decline in unmet need for doctor care and a 38% decline in high out-of-pocket costs.

  17. 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

  18. Health Care Disparities in the Post-Affordable Care Act Era.

    PubMed

    Adepoju, Omolola E; Preston, Michael A; Gonzales, Gilbert

    2015-11-01

    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.

  19. 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

  20. Affordable Health Benefits for Part-Time School Employees

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dickhart, Russ

    2005-01-01

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 45 million Americans do not have health insurance. What's surprising is the majority of those individuals are actually employed. Part-time workers make up a full 15 percent of the uninsured population and school systems have a share of that group. Every day in the United States, approximately 10 percent…

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Abstract 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. PMID:25811340

  3. 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.

  4. Are Americans finding affordable coverage in the health insurance marketplaces? Results from the Commonwealth Fund Affordable Care Act Tracking Survey.

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

    By the end of the first open enrollment period for coverage offered through the Affordable Care Act's marketplaces, increasing numbers of people said they found it easy to find a plan they could afford, according to The Commonwealth Fund's Affordable Care Act Tracking Survey, April-June 2014. Adults with low or moderate incomes were more likely to say it was easy to find an affordable plan than were adults with higher incomes. Adults with low or moderate incomes who purchased a plan through the marketplaces this year have similar premium costs and deductibles as adults in the same income ranges with employer-provided coverage. A majority of adults with marketplace coverage gave high ratings to their insurance and were confident in their ability to afford the care they need when sick. PMID:25265646

  5. 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. PMID:23812465

  6. Chemical safety, health care costs and the Affordable Care Act.

    PubMed

    Landrigan, Philip J; Goldman, Lynn R

    2014-01-01

    On May 22, 2013, the late Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Senator David Vitter (R-LA) and 19 of their colleagues introduced bipartisan chemical safety legislation in the US Senate, "The Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013." The bill's purpose is to protect human health and the environment against the hazards of toxic chemicals, by requiring the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to examine the safety of all chemicals in consumer products. The bill is currently before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, chaired by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA). This legislation is critically important for physicians and healthcare organizations because it creates significant new opportunities to prevent disease and cut healthcare costs. PMID:24136096

  7. Affordable Health Insurance for All Is Possible by Means of a Pragmatic Approach

    PubMed Central

    Tooker, John

    2003-01-01

    America can attain affordable health insurance coverage for all by using a pragmatic approach. Such an effort must accommodate the realities of the American health care system and resist the temptation to propose radical restructuring. The congressional strategy for universal health care described here was developed by the American College of Physicians–American Society of Internal Medicine. It builds on the strengths of the current pluralistic system by combining the benefits of public health plans such as Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program with a more competitive and affordable private insurance market. The health care system has reached a crisis point. Allowing the status quo to continue courts certain disaster. PMID:12511396

  8. Whether Health Departments Should Provide Clinical Services After the Implementation of the Affordable Care Act

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    I have described a decision support tool that may facilitate local decisions regarding the provision and billing of clinical services. I created a 2 by 2 matrix of health professional shortage and Medicaid expansion availability as of July 2015. I found that health departments in 93% of US counties may still need to provide clinical services despite the institution of the Affordable Care Act. Local context and market conditions should guide health departments’ decision to act as safety net providers. PMID:26691131

  9. The U.S. health insurance marketplace: are premiums truly affordable?

    PubMed

    Graetz, Ilana; Kaplan, Cameron M; Kaplan, Erin K; Bailey, James E; Waters, Teresa M

    2014-10-21

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires that individuals have health insurance or pay a penalty. Individuals are exempt from paying this penalty if the after-subsidy cost of the least-expensive plan available to them is greater than 8% of their income. For this study, premium data for all health plans offered on the state and federal health insurance marketplaces were collected; the after-subsidy cost of premiums for the least-expensive bronze plan for every county in the United States was calculated; and variations in premium affordability by age, income, and geographic area were assessed. Results indicated that-although marketplace subsidies ensure affordable health insurance for most persons in the United States-many individuals with incomes just above the subsidy threshold will lack affordable coverage and will be exempt from the mandate. Furthermore, young individuals with low incomes often pay as much as or more than older individuals for bronze plans. If substantial numbers of younger, healthier adults choose to remain uninsured because of cost, health insurance premiums across all ages may increase over time. PMID:25199512

  10. Veterans Affairs Health System Enrollment and Health Care Utilization After the Affordable Care Act: Initial Insights.

    PubMed

    Silva, Abigail; Tarlov, Elizabeth; French, Dustin D; Huo, Zhiping; Martinez, Rachael N; Stroupe, Kevin T

    2016-05-01

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law in 2010 and its individual mandate and expanded health care coverage options were implemented in 2014. These provisions may affect Veterans Affairs (VA) enrollment and health care utilization. Using data from two VA regional networks, we examined recent patterns in the number of new VA enrollees and their primary care use. Trends were assessed by enrollment priority group (based on the veteran's severity of service-connected disabilities, exposures, and income level) and a state's Medicaid expansion status. Compared to the same time period in the previous year, the number of new enrollees from low-income priority groups was higher during the open enrollment period and the increase was sharper in Medicaid non-expansion states (25-42%) than in expansion states (20-32%). In addition, low-income patients with a copay requirement who enrolled in the VA during the ACA open enrollment had a lower average number of primary care visits than counterparts who had enrolled in prior time periods (1.73 versus 1.87, p < 0.0001). Although this study is an initial step, more research is required to better understand veterans' decision making and behavior in regard to health care coverage through the ACA and related impacts on VA and non-VA health care utilization and care coordination. PMID:27136655

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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. PMID:23599987

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Catching up: Latino health coverage gains and challenges under the Affordable Care Act: results from the Commonwealth Fund Affordable Care Act Tracking Survey.

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

    For decades, Latinos have had the highest uninsured rates of any racial or ethnic group in the United States. Less than one year after the Affordable Care Act's health insurance marketplaces opened for enrollment, the overall Latino uninsured rate dropped from 36 percent to 23 percent, according to the Commonwealth Fund Affordable Care Act Tracking Survey, conducted April 9 to June 2, 2014. However, the high uninsured rate among Latinos in states that had not expanded their Medicaid program at the time of the survey--33 percent--remained statistically unchanged. These states are home to about 20 million Latinos, the majority of whom live in Texas and Florida.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Women's health and the Affordable Care Act: high hopes versus harsh realities?

    PubMed

    Hall, Kelli Stidham; Fendrick, A Mark; Zochowski, Melissa; Dalton, Vanessa K

    2014-08-01

    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

  20. Affordable Care Act Impact on Community Health Center Staffing and Enrollment: A Cross-Sectional Study.

    PubMed

    Miller, Sophie C; Frogner, Bianca K; Saganic, Laura M; Cole, Allison M; Rosenblatt, Roger

    2016-01-01

    Over 500 000 Washingtonians gained health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As more patients gain insurance, community health centers (CHCs) expect to see an increase in demand for their services. This article studies the CHCs in Washington State to examine how the increase in patients has been impacting their workload and staffing. We found a reported mean increase of 11.7% and 5.4% in new Medicaid and Exchange patients, respectively. Half of the CHCs experienced large or dramatic workload impact from the ACA. Our findings suggest that CHCs need further workforce support to meet the expanding patient demand.

  1. Reframing the debate over health care reform: the role of system performance and affordability.

    PubMed

    Thorpe, Kenneth E

    2007-01-01

    The failure to pass comprehensive national health care reform requires a new approach for framing and structuring the debate. Since 85 percent of Americans have health insurance, framing the debate around the affordability of coverage is important. More important is understanding the factors responsible for driving growth in spending, and crafting effective interventions. Our work shows that much of the rise in spending is linked to the rise in the prevalence of treated disease--much of which is preventable. Reform strategies that address this issue are not inherently partisan and may prove to be a fruitful starting point for launching the debate. PMID:17978375

  2. 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.

  3. Implementing the Affordable Care Act: choosing an essential health benefits benchmark plan.

    PubMed

    Corlette, Sabrina; Lucia, Kevin W; Levin, Max

    2013-03-01

    To improve the adequacy of private health insurance, the Affordable Care Act requires insurers to cover a minimum set of medical benefits, known as "essential health benefits." In implementing this requirement, states were asked to select a "benchmark plan" to serve as a reference point. This issue brief examines state action to select an essential health benefits benchmark plan and finds that 24 states and the District of Columbia selected a plan. All but five states will have a small-group plan as their benchmark. Each state, whether or not it made a benchmark selection, will have a set of essential health benefits that reflects local, employer-based health insurance coverage currently sold in the state. States adopted a variety of approaches to selecting a benchmark, including intergov­ernmental collaboration, stakeholder engagement, and research on benchmark options. PMID:23547335

  4. Implementing the Affordable Care Act: choosing an essential health benefits benchmark plan.

    PubMed

    Corlette, Sabrina; Lucia, Kevin W; Levin, Max

    2013-03-01

    To improve the adequacy of private health insurance, the Affordable Care Act requires insurers to cover a minimum set of medical benefits, known as "essential health benefits." In implementing this requirement, states were asked to select a "benchmark plan" to serve as a reference point. This issue brief examines state action to select an essential health benefits benchmark plan and finds that 24 states and the District of Columbia selected a plan. All but five states will have a small-group plan as their benchmark. Each state, whether or not it made a benchmark selection, will have a set of essential health benefits that reflects local, employer-based health insurance coverage currently sold in the state. States adopted a variety of approaches to selecting a benchmark, including intergov­ernmental collaboration, stakeholder engagement, and research on benchmark options.

  5. 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.

  6. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Reproductive Health: Harnessing Data to Improve Care

    PubMed Central

    Stulberg, Debra

    2013-01-01

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) has great potential to improve reproductive health through several components: expanded coverage of people of reproductive age; required coverage of many reproductive health services; and insurance exchange structures that encourage individuals and states to hold plans and providers accountable. These components can work together to improve reproductive health. But in order for this to work, consumers and states need information with which to assess plans. This review article summarizes state contracting theory and argues that states should use this structure to require health plans to collect and report meaningful data that patients, providers, plans, payers, and third-party researchers can access. Now that the Supreme Court has upheld the PPACA and states must set up health insurance exchanges, populations can benefit from improved care and outcomes through data transparency. PMID:23262767

  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. PMID:24476201

  8. 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.

  9. 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. PMID:26259257

  10. Combined Regional Investments Could Substantially Enhance Health System Performance And Be Financially Affordable.

    PubMed

    Homer, Jack; Milstein, Bobby; Hirsch, Gary B; Fisher, Elliott S

    2016-08-01

    Leaders across the United States face a difficult challenge choosing among possible approaches to transform health system performance in their regions. The ReThink Health Dynamics Model simulates how alternative scenarios could unfold through 2040. This article compares the likely consequences if four interventions were enacted in layered combinations in a prototypical midsize US city. We estimated the effects of efforts to deliver higher-value care; reinvest savings and expand global payment; enable healthier behaviors; and expand socioeconomic opportunities. Results suggest that there may be an effective and affordable way to unlock much greater health and economic potential, ultimately reducing severe illness by 20 percent, lowering health care costs by 14 percent, and improving economic productivity by 9 percent. This would require combined investments in clinical and population-level initiatives, coupled with financial agreements that reduce incentives for costly care and reinvest a share of the savings to ensure adequate long-term financing.

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:26621419

  13. Opportunities and Challenges for Adolescent Health Under the Affordable Care Act.

    PubMed

    Tebb, Kathleen P; Sedlander, Erica; Bausch, Sara; Brindis, Claire D

    2015-10-01

    The purpose of this commentary is to highlight some of the key policy changes under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) that have the potential to improve health care services for adolescents as well as to draw attention to challenges that have yet to be addressed. This commentary stems from our prior policy research, which examined the extent to which the health care needs of adolescents were being considered in the early implementation phases of the ACA. This study was informed by a literature review and interviews with health care administrators, health policy researchers, and adolescent medicine specialists. The ACA has significantly expanded health insurance access; however, inequities in coverage and access remain. Primarily, the structure and financing of adolescent health care needs to be improved to better support the delivery of patient-centered, comprehensive care for this special population. Additionally, improvements in youths' awareness of their benefits under the ACA as well as a greater appreciation of preventive visits are critical. Furthermore, an unanticipated consequence of the ACA is that it exacerbates the risk of confidentiality breaches through explanation of benefits and electronic health records, which can compromise adolescents' access and utilization of health care services. Greater attention to improving and sustaining health promoting behaviors within the context of the ACA is critical for it to truly have a positive impact on adolescent health.

  14. A five-year assessment of the affordable care act: market forces still trump the common good in U.S. Health care.

    PubMed

    Geyman, John P

    2015-01-01

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was enacted in 2010 as the signature domestic achievement of the Obama presidency. It was intended to contain costs and achieve near-universal access to affordable health care of improved quality. Now, five years later, it is time to assess its track record. This article compares the goals and claims of the ACA with its actual experience in the areas of access, costs, affordability, and quality of care. Based on the evidence, one has to conclude that containment of health care costs is nowhere in sight, that more than 37 million Americans will still be uninsured when the ACA is fully implemented in 2019, that many more millions will be underinsured, and that profiteering will still dominate the culture of U.S. health care. More fundamental reform will be needed. The country still needs to confront the challenge that our for-profit health insurance industry, together with enormous bureaucratic waste and widespread investor ownership throughout our market-based system, are themselves barriers to health care reform. Here we consider the lessons we can take away from the ACA's first five years and lay out the economic, social/political, and moral arguments for replacing it with single-payer national health insurance.

  15. Identifying health care quality attributes.

    PubMed

    Ramsaran-Fowdar, Roshnee R

    2005-01-01

    Evaluating health care quality is important for consumers, health care providers, and society. Developing a measure of health care service quality is an important precursor to systems and organizations that value health care quality. SERVQUAL has been proposed as a broad-based measure of service quality that may be applicable to health care settings. Results from a study described in this paper verify SERVQUAL dimensions, but demonstrate additional dimensions that are specific to health care settings. PMID:16318013

  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. PMID:27459740

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Determinants of accessibility and affordability of health care in post-socialist Tajikistan: evidence and policy options.

    PubMed

    Fan, L; Habibov, N N

    2009-01-01

    There is increasing evidence of rising levels of inequality in health care utilisation in the post-socialist countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus. Against this backdrop, we investigate the determinants of accessibility and affordability of health care utilisation in Tajikistan. A modified version of the Andersen Behavioural Model is used to conceptualise the determinants of health care utilisation in Tajikistan. Poisson and Ordered Logit regression models are performed to estimate the determinants of health care utilisation. Empirical results demonstrate that poverty, chronic illness and disability are the most important determinants of health care utilisation and affordability in Tajikistan. Other significant determinants include gender, the level of education of the household head, and the availability of medical personnel at a given population point. These findings suggest an urgent need for health care reform in order to ensure equality in accessibility and affordability for the entire population. PMID:19326278

  3. 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. PMID:25483753

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:26845492

  7. 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. PMID:26372970

  8. Analyzing the Affordable Care Act: Essential Health Benefits and Implications for Oncology

    PubMed Central

    Hutchins, Valerie A.; Samuels, Marc B.; Lively, Angela M.

    2013-01-01

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) will have lasting effects on oncology coverage and, perhaps, on oncology practice as well. The ACA ushers in a new class of insured individuals; approximately 25 million will purchase insurance through the exchanges, and Medicaid will expand by 12 million beneficiaries over the next 10 years. Essential health benefits (EHBs), which are required in all qualified health plans (QHPs) sold in the exchanges, will define the coverage available to the newly insured population and could lead to the development of new definitions and standards for medical necessity. This article will discuss effects of the ACA EHB requirements on oncology coverage, as well as the state and federal options and responsibilities as they relate to coverage of and access to oncology services within the QHPs in the exchanges. PMID:23814512

  9. 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. PMID:27127261

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:27547877

  12. Integrating affordability, energy and environmental efficiency, air quality and disaster resistance into residential design and construction

    SciTech Connect

    Cook, G.D.

    1995-12-31

    Much has been researched and written about the individual qualities of good home design and construction in terms of: energy efficiency; affordability; indoor air quality; sustainability; and wind, fire, and flood resistance. The real challenge is to integrate all these characteristics into the ideal house. The purpose of this paper is to review the characteristics of each of the above features and explore the integration of them into the ideal residential structure. The house would take the shape of a compact two story structure. A geometrically compact structure uses less construction materials per floor area, presents less area for improved thermal efficiency, and less profile for wind and flood resistance. The first floor would be constructed using insulated strong high thermal mass masonry system resistant to flood, wind, fire, and termite damage. The second story would be constructed using a lighter reinforced wood frame system with between stud insulation coupled with exterior insulated sheathing to minimize thermal bridging across studs. Optimizing floor plan such as separating living and sleeping areas present opportunities for efficient split HVAC zoning, natural ventilation, and solar passive adaptation. The design would emphasize the 4, 8, and 12 foot dimensioning for waste reduction; selection of environmentally friendly building materials, such as cellulose insulation; and efficient lighting and appliances. Features providing improved indoor air quality such as prudent duct selection, design and location, use of radon barriers, omission of carpeting, and control of moisture would be addressed. The design philosophy, concepts and rationale for the integration of these and many other features of the ideal residence will be addressed and illustrated.

  13. 77 FR 31513 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Establishment of Exchanges and Qualified Health Plans...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-05-29

    ... HUMAN SERVICES 45 CFR Parts 155, 156, and 157 RIN 0938-AQ67 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act... Federal Register on March 27, 2012, entitled ``Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Establishment... rule regarding the codification of section 1413(c) of the Affordable Care Act. To align the...

  14. The Affordable Care Act's new tools and resources to improve health and care for low-income families across the country.

    PubMed

    Schoen, Cathy; Hayes, Susan L; Riley, Pamela

    2013-10-01

    The Commonwealth Fund Scorecard on State Health System Performance for Low-Income Populations, 2013, finds wide gaps by income in access to care, quality of care received, and health outcomes in all states, and major differences between states in health system performance for people with below-average incomes. The Affordable Care Act provides state and local leaders with unprecedented opportunity along with new tools and resources to raise the standard for everyone and to begin to close the geographic and income divide. This issue brief reviews provisions of the law that have the potential to benefit low- and modest-income individuals, including those that expand health insurance coverage; strengthen primary care and improve care coordination; bolster the capacity of providers serving low-income communities; move toward greater accountability for the quality and cost of care; and invest in public health. It concludes by highlighting some of the challenges that lie ahead.

  15. Health Education Specialists' Knowledge, Attitudes, and Perceptions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

    PubMed

    Strong, Jessica; Hanson, Carl L; Magnusson, Brianna; Neiger, Brad

    2016-03-01

    The changing landscape of health care as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) may provide new opportunities for health education specialists (HES). The purpose of this study was to survey HES in the United States on their knowledge and attitudes of the ACA and assess their perceptions of job growth under the law. A random sample of 220 (36% response rate) certified HES completed a 53-item cross sectional survey administered online through Qualtrics. Findings were compared to public opinion on health care reform. HES are highly favorable of the law (70%) compared to the general public (23%). A total of 85% of respondents were able to list a provision of the ACA, and most (81%) thought the ACA would be successful at increasing insured Americans. Over half (64.6%) believe job opportunities will increase. Those who viewed the law favorably were significantly more likely to score better on a knowledge scale related to the ACA. HES understand publicized provisions but are uncertain about common myths and specific provisions related to Title IV, "Prevention of Chronic Disease and Improving Public Health." Directed and continuing education to HES regarding the ACA is warranted. PMID:26272884

  16. Health Education Specialists' Knowledge, Attitudes, and Perceptions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

    PubMed

    Strong, Jessica; Hanson, Carl L; Magnusson, Brianna; Neiger, Brad

    2016-03-01

    The changing landscape of health care as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) may provide new opportunities for health education specialists (HES). The purpose of this study was to survey HES in the United States on their knowledge and attitudes of the ACA and assess their perceptions of job growth under the law. A random sample of 220 (36% response rate) certified HES completed a 53-item cross sectional survey administered online through Qualtrics. Findings were compared to public opinion on health care reform. HES are highly favorable of the law (70%) compared to the general public (23%). A total of 85% of respondents were able to list a provision of the ACA, and most (81%) thought the ACA would be successful at increasing insured Americans. Over half (64.6%) believe job opportunities will increase. Those who viewed the law favorably were significantly more likely to score better on a knowledge scale related to the ACA. HES understand publicized provisions but are uncertain about common myths and specific provisions related to Title IV, "Prevention of Chronic Disease and Improving Public Health." Directed and continuing education to HES regarding the ACA is warranted.

  17. Combined Regional Investments Could Substantially Enhance Health System Performance And Be Financially Affordable.

    PubMed

    Homer, Jack; Milstein, Bobby; Hirsch, Gary B; Fisher, Elliott S

    2016-08-01

    Leaders across the United States face a difficult challenge choosing among possible approaches to transform health system performance in their regions. The ReThink Health Dynamics Model simulates how alternative scenarios could unfold through 2040. This article compares the likely consequences if four interventions were enacted in layered combinations in a prototypical midsize US city. We estimated the effects of efforts to deliver higher-value care; reinvest savings and expand global payment; enable healthier behaviors; and expand socioeconomic opportunities. Results suggest that there may be an effective and affordable way to unlock much greater health and economic potential, ultimately reducing severe illness by 20 percent, lowering health care costs by 14 percent, and improving economic productivity by 9 percent. This would require combined investments in clinical and population-level initiatives, coupled with financial agreements that reduce incentives for costly care and reinvest a share of the savings to ensure adequate long-term financing. PMID:27503969

  18. 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.

  19. Republican States Bolstered Their Health Insurance Rate Review Programs Using Incentives From the Affordable Care Act.

    PubMed

    Fulton, Brent D; Hollingshead, Ann; Karaca-Mandic, Pinar; Scheffler, Richard M

    2015-01-01

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) included financial and regulatory incentives and goals for states to bolster their health insurance rate review programs, increase their anticipated loss ratio requirements, expand Medicaid, and establish state-based exchanges. We grouped states by political party control and compared their reactions across these policy goals. To identify changes in states' rate review programs and anticipated loss ratio requirements in the individual and small group markets since the ACA's enactment, we conducted legal research and contacted each state's insurance regulator. We linked rate review program changes to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) criteria for an effective rate review program. We found, of states that did not meet CMS's criteria when the ACA was enacted, most made changes to meet those criteria, including Republican-controlled states, which generally oppose the ACA. This finding is likely the result of the relatively low administrative burden associated with reviewing health insurance rates and the fact that doing so prevents federal intervention in rate review. However, Republican-controlled states were less likely than non-Republican-controlled states to increase their anticipated loss ratio requirements to align with the federal retrospective medical loss ratio requirement, expand Medicaid, and establish state-based exchanges, because of their general opposition to the ACA. We conclude that federal incentives for states to strengthen their health insurance rate review programs were more effective than the incentives for states to adopt other insurance-related policy goals of the ACA.

  20. The Chinese pharmaceutical market at the crossroads: pro-competition solutions to improve access, quality and affordability.

    PubMed

    Wang, Y Richard

    2005-01-01

    The Chinese pharmaceutical market is large in absolute size (the second largest in Asia), but it faces similar problems to those that plague other developing countries, such as a lack of adequate patent protection, low pharmaceutical spending per capita, but high pharmaceutical expenditure as a proportion of total medical spending, and a lack of health insurance coverage. In this article, the pros and cons of two pro-competition policy proposals for China are explored. The first proposal is to follow the E5 guideline of the International Conference on Harmonisation and waive unnecessary local clinical trials for global new drugs that have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration or the European Medicines Agency (except for drugs for which there is a real possibility of there being ethnic differences in patient responses). The second proposal is to tighten the standards for generic drugs and approve only bioequivalent ones. While the first proposal encourages price competition between similar compounds in the same therapeutic class, the second proposal enhances generic competition for off-patent drugs. Working together, these two proposals would improve access to and the quality and affordability of pharmaceuticals in China.

  1. eHealth and quality in health care: implementation time.

    PubMed

    Ossebaard, Hans C; Van Gemert-Pijnen, Lisette

    2016-06-01

    The use of information and communication technologies in health and health care could improve healthcare quality in many ways. Today's evidence base demonstrates the (cost-)effectiveness of online education, self-management support and tele-monitoring in several domains of health and care. While new results gradually provide more evidence for eHealth's impact on quality issues, now is the time to come to grips with implementation issues. Documented drawbacks such as low acceptance, low adoption or low adherence need our attention today to make the most of eHealth' potential. Improvement science is beginning to deliver the tools to address these persistent behavioural and cultural issues. The ceHRes Roadmap, for instance, is a plural and pragmatic approach that includes users' needs. It is now imperative to improve our implementation strategies in order to scale up eHealth technologies. This will accelerate the much needed transformation of our healthcare systems and sustain access, affordability and quality for all in the near future. PMID:27029590

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Barriers to Health Insurance Pre- and Post-Affordable Care Act Implementation in Providence, RI.

    PubMed

    Pigoga, Jennifer; Kibria, Farzana; Pinilla, Mauricio; Bicki, Alexandra; Joseph, Valerie; De Groot, Anne S

    2015-12-01

    The impact of healthcare reform under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on individuals living in cities has not yet been quantified by local Departments of Health. This makes it difficult for safety net sources of healthcare, such as free clinics, to plan for the future. Therefore, members of Clinica Esperanza/Hope Clinic conducted a survey in predominantly Latino communities of South and West Providence, RI, using a convenience sample method (N = 206). Survey results were compared to a prior survey conducted in the same communities prior to ACA implementation. Despite gains due to Obamacare, a much higher level of uninsurance was reported in this survey than has been reported statewide. In 2014, as compared to 2010, 48% vs. 95% of respondents reported being uninsured, and more held private (20% vs. 5%) or government-subsidized health insurance (32% vs. 1%). Undocumented immigration status and cost were the two most commonly reported reasons for remaining uninsured under the ACA. First-generation immigrants living in urban centers are still reporting significantly higher rates of uninsurance (48%) than the general population in RI (7.4%). PMID:26623454

  5. Essential health benefits and the Affordable Care Act: law and process.

    PubMed

    Bagley, Nicholas; Levy, Helen

    2014-04-01

    Starting in 2014, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will require private insurance plans sold in the individual and small-group markets to cover a roster of "essential health benefits." Precisely which benefits should count as essential, however, was left to the discretion of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The matter was both important and controversial. Nonetheless, HHS announced its policy by posting on the Internet a thirteen-page bulletin stating that it would allow each state to define essential benefits for itself. On both substance and procedure, the move was surprising. The state-by-state approach departed from the uniform, federal standard that the ACA appears to anticipate and that informed observers expected HHS to adopt. And announcing the policy through an Internet bulletin appeared to allow HHS to sidestep traditional administrative procedures, including notice and comment, immediate review in the courts, and White House oversight. This article explores two questions. First, is the state-by-state approach a lawful exercise of HHS's authority? Second, did HHS in fact evade the procedural obligations that are meant to shape the exercise of its discretion? PMID:24305849

  6. The Affordable Care Act and integrated behavioral health programs in community health centers to promote utilization of mental health services among Asian Americans.

    PubMed

    Huang, Susan; Fong, Susana; Duong, Thomas; Quach, Thu

    2016-06-01

    The Affordable Care Act has greatly expanded health care coverage and recognizes mental health as a major priority. However, individuals suffering from mental health disorders still face layered barriers to receiving health care, especially Asian Americans. Integration of behavioral health services within primary care is a viable way of addressing underutilization of mental health services. This paper provides insight into a comprehensive care approach integrating behavioral health services into primary care to address underutilization of mental health services in the Asian American population. True integration of behavioral health services into primary care will require financial support and payment reform to address multi-disciplinary care needs and optimize care coordination, as well as training and workforce development early in medical and mental health training programs to develop the skills that aid prevention, early identification, and intervention. Funding research on evidence-based practice oriented to the Asian American population needs to continue. PMID:27188196

  7. Creating a framework for getting quality into the public health system.

    PubMed

    Honoré, Peggy A; Wright, Donald; Berwick, Donald M; Clancy, Carolyn M; Lee, Peter; Nowinski, Juleigh; Koh, Howard K

    2011-04-01

    The US health care system has undertaken concerted efforts to improve the quality of care that Americans receive, using well-documented strategies and new incentives found in the Affordable Care Act of 2010. Applying quality concepts to public health has lagged these efforts, however. This article describes two reports from the Department of Health and Human Services: Consensus Statement on Quality in the Public Health System and Priority Areas for Improvement of Quality in Public Health. These reports define what is meant by public health quality, establish quality aims, and highlight priority areas needing improvement. We describe how these developments relate to the Affordable Care Act and serve as a call to action for ensuring a better future for population health. We present real-world examples of how a framework of quality concepts can be applied in the National Vaccine Safety Program and in a state office of minority health. PMID:21471496

  8. 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.

  9. A Policy Analysis of Child Care Subsidies: Increasing Quality, Access, and Affordability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moodie-Dyer, Amber

    2011-01-01

    Changing family dynamics over the past four decades, including rises in the numbers of working mothers and single-parent families, have created an increased need for affordable child care. Government response to this need has involved a number of stop-and-start policy approaches, which have led to a fractured child care system that makes it…

  10. 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. PMID:25294668

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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 ...

  18. [Public health economic aspects of antiretroviral therapy. Can we afford to do less?].

    PubMed

    Stoll, M; Claes, C; Schulte, E; Körner, T; von der Schulenburg, J M; Schmidt, R

    2000-03-13

    In Germany, politically motivated economic considerations are becoming even more important. In this connection, scientific research into the health system is not limited merely to a consideration of costs, but utilizes the same methods and conceptual models as economic research in general to investigate defined problems. The reduction of illness-related loss of production and quality of life to monetary units in the models used, often stimulates critical discussions of the ethical permissibility of such an approach. Public discussion of such models then makes it possible to justify rationally founded allocation decisions and to expose and thus prevent hidden forms of rationing. The medically successful concept of long-term administration of highly active antiretroviral combination treatment (HAART) was first considered by numerous studies to be cost-effective solely on the basis of the saving of inpatient treatment costs--a stance that in the light of the life-shortening HIV infection should not be thought to be only basis for the decision. Owing to a lack of experience with the long-term prognosis under HAART, it is difficult to assess indirect costs for HIV infection. An assessment of the quality of life in the symptom-free stages of HIV infection depends largely on coping strategies, so that the results of studies on quality of life measurement under antiretroviral treatment must not lightly be interpreted as a function of a given therapeutic strategy. Given the high costs of HIV infection to the economy, the marked reluctance to provide the necessary funding for research in the area of epidemiological monitoring, specific preventive measures and vaccination strategies is to be regretted.

  19. Quality-of-care challenges for rural health.

    PubMed

    Moscovice, I; Rosenblatt, R

    2000-01-01

    need to develop rural health care quality standards that are practical, useful and affordable. PMID:10981369

  20. The Affordable Care Act: overview and implications for county and city behavioral health and intellectual/developmental disability programs.

    PubMed

    Manderscheid, Ron

    2014-01-01

    The author begins by reviewing the 5 key intended actions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)-insurance reform, coverage reform, quality reform, performance reform, and information technology reform. This framework provides a basis for examining how populations served and service programs will change at the county and city levels as a result of the ACA, and how provider staff also will change over time as a result of these developments. The author concludes by outlining immediate next steps for county and city programs.

  1. 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. PMID:25312869

  2. 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.

  3. Parental Optimism and Progeny Choice: When is Screening for Offspring Quality Affordable.

    PubMed

    Forbes; Mock

    1998-05-01

    Three general classes of fitness incentives have been proposed for parental overproduction of offspring: (1) tracking environmental variation; (2) developmental facilitation; and (3) replacements for failed or defective members of the core brood. In one version of this last category, called the progeny choice hypothesis, parents are seen as creating an enlarged array of offspring from which a genetically superior subset is chosen for full investment. In the selection process, parents may eliminate the victims either through personal effort (filial infanticide) or by proxy (by allowing or even encouraging fatal sibling rivalry). Because the culling process is non-random, it can elevate average offspring quality. Progeny choice, however, is only cost-effective if the expenses of early overproduction (including elevated levels of sibling competition) do not outweigh the eventual upgrade in offspring quality. A fair competition within the offspring "arena" offers the greatest potential for discriminating on the basis of intrinsic quality, but may be overwhelmed by high costs of sibling rivalry. Conversely, while parentally managed competition (conferring handicaps to some and advantages to others) can discount those rivalry costs, it simultaneously diminishes the system's capacity for distinguishing good offspring from bad. Ceteris paribus, one would expect to find progeny choice mechanisms in species with cheap sibling rivalry, large cohorts of evenly matched offspring, and exaggerated variation in offspring genetic quality. Conversely, this class of incentives of parental overproduction seems least suited to taxa in which parents dole out marked advantages or handicaps to various concurrent offspring (e.g. asynchronously hatching birds).Copyright 1998 Academic Press Limited PMID:9628835

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

    ... Health Plans; Exchange Standards for Employers, 77 FR 18310 (March 27, 2012) (to be codified at 45 CFR... Payment Parameters for 2014, 78 FR 15410 (March 11, 2013) (to be codified at 45 CFR parts 153, 155, 156... Health Plans; Small Business Health Options Program, 77 FR 15553 (March 11, 2013) (to be codified at...

  7. 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

    ... Care Act; Health Insurance Market Rules; Rate Review'' (77 FR 70584). These standards apply to health... health insurance coverage in the group or individual market in a state to accept every employer and... small group markets, and in the large group market if a state, beginning in 2017, allows...

  8. 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.

  9. 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. PMID:27439262

  10. 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

  11. Quality and quality improvement in occupational health nursing.

    PubMed

    Widtfeldt, A K

    1992-07-01

    Donabedian first defined quality as the result of assessing the structures, processes, and outcomes of health care. The emphasis on quality assurance is changing to quality improvement. The definition of quality in health care has expanded to include the expectations and opinion of patients, their representative, and society. As the cost of health care continues to rise at twice the rate of inflation, business wants to know how health care dollars are spent. Occupational health nurses, to add value to the businesses in which they work, must be a part of the trend in measuring the quality of the products and services of their health services. PMID:1616507

  12. Composite Health Plan Quality Scales

    PubMed Central

    Caldis, Todd

    2007-01-01

    This study employs exploratory factor analysis and scale construction methods with commercial Health Plan Employers Data Information Set (HEDIS®) process of care and outcome measures from 1999 to uncover evidence for a unidimensional composite health maintenance organization (HMO) quality scale. Summated scales by categories of care are created and are then used in a factor analysis that has a single factor solution. The category of care scales were used to construct a summated composite scale which exhibits strong evidence of internal consistency (alpha= 0.90). External validity of the composite quality scale was checked by regressing the composite scale on Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) survey results for 1999. PMID:17645158

  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

    ... the United States, 2007: Results of a National Study, The American Journal of Medicine, Vol. 122, No... standards for health insurance issuers and states regarding reporting, utilization, and collection of data under section 2794 of the Public Health Service Act (PHS Act). It also revises the timeline for...

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Job mobility among parents of children with chronic health conditions: Early effects of the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

    PubMed

    Chatterji, Pinka; Brandon, Peter; Markowitz, Sara

    2016-07-01

    We examine the effects of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's (ACA) prohibition of preexisting conditions exclusions for children on job mobility among parents. We use a difference-in-difference approach, comparing pre-post policy changes in job mobility among privately-insured parents of children with chronic health conditions vs. privately-insured parents of healthy children. Data come from the 2004 and 2008 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). Among married fathers, the policy change is associated with about a 0.7 percentage point, or 35 percent increase, in the likelihood of leaving an employer voluntarily. We find no evidence that the policy change affected job mobility among married and unmarried mothers. PMID:27060524

  20. 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

  1. 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. PMID:27346694

  2. 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.

  3. 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

    ... Systems CHIP Children's Health Insurance Program CMS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services DOL U.S... relating to Exchanges, published in the Federal Register on August 3, 2010 (75 FR 45584). Second, ] Initial... March 14, 2011 (76 FR 13553). Fourth, two proposed regulations, including this one, are published...

  4. 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

    ... located in the main lobby of the building. A stamp- in clock is available for persons wishing to retain a... for Employers, 77 FR 18310 (Mar. 27, 2012) (to be codified at 45 CFR parts 155, 156, & 157). In the... Care Act; Establishment of Exchanges and Qualified Health Plans; Proposed Rule, 76 FR 41866 (July...

  5. The health status of latino immigrant women in the United States and future health policy implications of the affordable care act.

    PubMed

    de Leon Siantz, Mary Lou; Castaneda, Xochitl; Benavente, Viola; Peart, Tasha; Felt, Emily

    2013-09-01

    Immigrant women of Mexican birth face unique health challenges in the United States. They are at increased risk for developing many preventable health conditions due in part to limited access to healthcare and benefits, legal status, and inadequate income. Increased vulnerability of women has established a growing need to focus on their healthcare needs because of their role, position, and influence in the family. The purpose of this article is to review factors that impact the health status of Mexican-born women living in the United States and review policy implications of the Affordable Care Act for this population. Mexican-born women are the largest female immigrant group in the United States. Therefore, they comprise the group that will need health coverage in the greatest proportion. As a result, there will be a need for culturally and linguistically appropriate healthcare services and culturally sensitive providers.

  6. Achieving public health goals through Medicaid expansion: opportunities in criminal justice, homelessness, and behavioral health with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

    PubMed

    DiPietro, Barbara; Klingenmaier, Lisa

    2013-12-01

    States are currently discussing how (or whether) to implement the Medicaid expansion to nondisabled adults earning less than 133% of the federal poverty level, a key aspect of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Those experiencing homelessness and those involved with the criminal justice system--particularly when they struggle with behavioral health diagnoses--are subpopulations that are currently uninsured at high rates and have significant health care needs but will become Medicaid eligible starting in 2014. We outline the connection between these groups, assert outcomes possible from greater collaboration between multiple systems, provide a summary of Medicaid eligibility and its ramifications for individuals in the criminal justice system, and explore opportunities to improve overall public health through Medicaid outreach, enrollment, and engagement in needed health care.

  7. Achieving Public Health Goals Through Medicaid Expansion: Opportunities in Criminal Justice, Homelessness, and Behavioral Health With the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

    PubMed Central

    Klingenmaier, Lisa

    2013-01-01

    States are currently discussing how (or whether) to implement the Medicaid expansion to nondisabled adults earning less than 133% of the federal poverty level, a key aspect of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Those experiencing homelessness and those involved with the criminal justice system—particularly when they struggle with behavioral health diagnoses—are subpopulations that are currently uninsured at high rates and have significant health care needs but will become Medicaid eligible starting in 2014. We outline the connection between these groups, assert outcomes possible from greater collaboration between multiple systems, provide a summary of Medicaid eligibility and its ramifications for individuals in the criminal justice system, and explore opportunities to improve overall public health through Medicaid outreach, enrollment, and engagement in needed health care. PMID:24148039

  8. “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

  9. Achieving public health goals through Medicaid expansion: opportunities in criminal justice, homelessness, and behavioral health with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

    PubMed

    DiPietro, Barbara; Klingenmaier, Lisa

    2013-12-01

    States are currently discussing how (or whether) to implement the Medicaid expansion to nondisabled adults earning less than 133% of the federal poverty level, a key aspect of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Those experiencing homelessness and those involved with the criminal justice system--particularly when they struggle with behavioral health diagnoses--are subpopulations that are currently uninsured at high rates and have significant health care needs but will become Medicaid eligible starting in 2014. We outline the connection between these groups, assert outcomes possible from greater collaboration between multiple systems, provide a summary of Medicaid eligibility and its ramifications for individuals in the criminal justice system, and explore opportunities to improve overall public health through Medicaid outreach, enrollment, and engagement in needed health care. PMID:24148039

  10. The U.S. Health Care Crisis Five Years After Passage of the Affordable Care Act: A Data Snapshot.

    PubMed

    Hellander, Ida

    2015-01-01

    Despite passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, the U.S. health care crisis continues. While coverage has been expanded, the reform will leave 27 million people uninsured in 2024, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Much of the new coverage is of low actuarial value with high cost-sharing requirements, creating barriers to access. Choice of physician is restricted to narrow networks of providers. Recent measures of uninsurance, underinsurance, access to care, and health care costs are given. Changes in Medicare, particularly privatization and the rise of specialty drug tiers that limit access to medically necessary medications, are reviewed. Data on a new wave of consolidation among hospitals, medical groups, insurers, and drug companies are presented. The rise of ultra-high-price drugs, such as Solvadi, is raising pharmaceutical costs, particularly in Medicaid, the program for low-income Americans. International health comparisons continue to show the United States performing poorly in relation to other countries. Recent polling data are presented, showing support for more fundamental reform. PMID:26251349

  11. The U.S. Health Care Crisis Five Years After Passage of the Affordable Care Act: A Data Snapshot.

    PubMed

    Hellander, Ida

    2015-01-01

    Despite passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, the U.S. health care crisis continues. While coverage has been expanded, the reform will leave 27 million people uninsured in 2024, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Much of the new coverage is of low actuarial value with high cost-sharing requirements, creating barriers to access. Choice of physician is restricted to narrow networks of providers. Recent measures of uninsurance, underinsurance, access to care, and health care costs are given. Changes in Medicare, particularly privatization and the rise of specialty drug tiers that limit access to medically necessary medications, are reviewed. Data on a new wave of consolidation among hospitals, medical groups, insurers, and drug companies are presented. The rise of ultra-high-price drugs, such as Solvadi, is raising pharmaceutical costs, particularly in Medicaid, the program for low-income Americans. International health comparisons continue to show the United States performing poorly in relation to other countries. Recent polling data are presented, showing support for more fundamental reform.

  12. Community Health Center Utilization Following the 2008 Medicaid Expansion in Oregon: Implications for the Affordable Care Act

    PubMed Central

    Hatch, Brigit; Bailey, Steffani R.; Cowburn, Stuart; Marino, Miguel; Angier, Heather; DeVoe, Jennifer E.

    2016-01-01

    Objectives To assess longitudinal patterns of community health center (CHC) utilization and the effect of insurance discontinuity after Oregon’s 2008 Medicaid expansion (the Oregon Experiment). Methods We conducted a retrospective cohort study with electronic health records and Medicaid data. We divided individuals who gained Medicaid in the Oregon Experiment into those who maintained (n = 788) or lost (n = 944) insurance coverage. We compared these groups with continuously insured (n = 921) and continuously uninsured (n = 5416) reference groups for community health center utilization rates over a 36-month period. Results Both newly insured groups increased utilization in the first 6 months. After 6 months, use among those who maintained coverage stabilized at a level consistent with the continuously insured, whereas it returned to baseline for those who lost coverage. Conclusions Individuals who maintained coverage through Oregon’s Medicaid expansion increased long-term utilization of CHCs, whereas those with unstable coverage did not. Policy implications This study predicts long-term increase in CHC utilization following Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion and emphasizes the need for policies that support insurance retention. PMID:26890164

  13. Can mothers afford maternal health care costs? User costs of maternity services in rural Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Kowalewski, Marga; Mujinja, Phare; Jahn, Albrecht

    2002-04-01

    Following the difficult economic situation various countries introduced health sector reforms, including user charges to finance the system. The assessment of user costs for maternity services in Tanzania was part of a larger study, which covered inputs, outputs and efficiency of services. The study was carried out from October 1997 to January 1998 in Mtwara urban and rural district in South Tanzania. One hundred and seven women attending a quarter of government health facilities were randomly selected and interviewed. Twenty one key informants were also interviewed and service procedures observed. Users of maternity services pay mainly for admission, drugs, other supplies and travel costs. Travel costs represent about half of these financial costs. The average total costs vary between US$11.60 for antenatal consultation and US$135.40 for caesarean section at the hospital. Unofficial payments are not included in the calculation. The amounts vary and payment is irregular. We therefore conclude that time costs are constantly higher than financial costs. High direct payments and the fear of unofficial costs are acute barriers to the use of maternity services. User costs can substantially be reduced by the re-organisation of service delivery especially at antenatal consultation. PMID:12476730

  14. 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.

  15. Community-oriented primary care (COPC) and the affordable care act: an opportunity to meet the demands of an evolving health care system.

    PubMed

    Gofin, Jaime; Gofin, Rosa; Stimpson, Jim P

    2015-04-01

    Community-oriented primary care (COPC) is a model of health care delivery that tightly integrates primary care and public health. This model of care, applied around the globe, could be more widely adopted in the United States as clinical delivery systems respond to the growing demand for population health management, which has been driven largely by various provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). For that purpose, there is need for changes in capacitating health professionals and changes in organizational structures that will address the needs and health priorities of the population, considering individual care management in the context of population health for a defined population. This article presents how the Affordable Care Act is an appropriate framework for COPC to succeed and the way forward to develop COPC through practical alternatives for the delivery of primary care within a population context.

  16. 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.

  17. Cardiovascular health outcomes of Latinos in the Affordable Housing as an Obesity Mediating Environment (AHOME) study: a study of rental assistance use.

    PubMed

    Chambers, Earle C; Rosenbaum, Emily

    2014-06-01

    Studies have shown that households subsidized with vouchers live in higher quality units and exhibit fewer physical, mental, and social problems than do their peers living in public housing. However, none of these studies have included cardiovascular outcomes. The objective of this study was to assess if use/type of rental assistance is independently associated with poor cardiovascular health among Latino adults (ages ≥ 18) who are eligible for federal low-income rental assistance and living in the Bronx, NY. Data from the cross-sectional, Affordable Housing as an Obesity Mediating Environment study, collected over 18 months (January 2011 to August 2012) were used. The prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) outcomes was determined by measured high blood pressure and self-reported heart attack and/or stroke. Type of housing status was defined as: public housing units, units subsidized by section 8 vouchers, and units unassisted by either federal program. Statistical techniques used were analysis of variance and multivariate logistic regression. The prevalence of CVD was significantly higher among public housing residents than unassisted participants even in the presence of all individual level covariates. Public housing residents also have higher levels of CVD than do section 8 participants. The prevalence of CVD was similar for unassisted and section 8 participants. These findings point to the potential for health benefits arising from housing voucher use even within a fairly delimited geographic area. PMID:24190105

  18. Cardiovascular health outcomes of Latinos in the Affordable Housing as an Obesity Mediating Environment (AHOME) study: a study of rental assistance use.

    PubMed

    Chambers, Earle C; Rosenbaum, Emily

    2014-06-01

    Studies have shown that households subsidized with vouchers live in higher quality units and exhibit fewer physical, mental, and social problems than do their peers living in public housing. However, none of these studies have included cardiovascular outcomes. The objective of this study was to assess if use/type of rental assistance is independently associated with poor cardiovascular health among Latino adults (ages ≥ 18) who are eligible for federal low-income rental assistance and living in the Bronx, NY. Data from the cross-sectional, Affordable Housing as an Obesity Mediating Environment study, collected over 18 months (January 2011 to August 2012) were used. The prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) outcomes was determined by measured high blood pressure and self-reported heart attack and/or stroke. Type of housing status was defined as: public housing units, units subsidized by section 8 vouchers, and units unassisted by either federal program. Statistical techniques used were analysis of variance and multivariate logistic regression. The prevalence of CVD was significantly higher among public housing residents than unassisted participants even in the presence of all individual level covariates. Public housing residents also have higher levels of CVD than do section 8 participants. The prevalence of CVD was similar for unassisted and section 8 participants. These findings point to the potential for health benefits arising from housing voucher use even within a fairly delimited geographic area.

  19. Strategic service quality management for health care.

    PubMed

    Anderson, E A; Zwelling, L A

    1996-01-01

    Quality management has become one of the most important and most debated topics within the service sector. This is especially true for health care, as the controversy rages on how the existing American system should be restructured. Health care reform aimed at reducing costs and ensuring access to all Americans cannot be allowed to jeopardize the quality of care. As such, total quality management (TQM) has become a vital ingredient to strategic planning within the health care domain. At the heart of any such quality improvement effort is the issue of measurement. TQM cannot be effectively utilized as a competitive weapon unless quality can be accurately defined, measured, evaluated, and monitored over time. Through such analysis a hospital can elect how to expend its limited resources toward those quality improvement projects which will impact customer perceptions of service quality the most. Thus, the purpose of this report is to establish a framework by which to approach the issue of quality measurement, delineate the various components of quality that exist in health care, and explore how these elements affect one another. We propose that the issue of quality measurement in health care be approached as an integration of service quality attributes common to other service organizations and technical quality attributes unique to health care. We hope that this research will serve as a first step toward the synthesis of the various quality attributes inherent in the health care domain and encourage other researchers to address the interactions of the various quality attributes. PMID:8763215

  20. Health Professions Education: A Bridge to Quality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greiner, Ann C., Ed.; Knebel, Elisa, Ed.

    2003-01-01

    The Institute of Medicine study Crossing the Quality Chasm (2001) recommended that an interdisciplinary summit be held to further reform of health professions education in order to enhance quality and patient safety. Health Professions Education: A Bridge to Quality is the follow up to that summit, held in June 2002, where 150 participants across…

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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:

  5. The Affordable Care Act: The Value of Systemic Disruption

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    It is important to recognize the political and policy accomplishments of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), anticipate its limitations, and use the levers it provides strategically to address the problems it does not resolve. Passage of the ACA broke the political logjam that long stymied national progress toward equitable, quality, universal, affordable health care. It extends coverage for the uninsured who are disproportionately low income and people of color, curbs health insurance abuses, and initiates improvements in the quality of care. However, challenges to affordability and cost control persist. Public health advocates should mobilize for coverage for abortion care and for immigrants, encourage public-sector involvement in negotiating health care prices, and counter disinformation by opponents on the right. PMID:23409911

  6. 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. PMID:21638798

  7. Rapid, Affordable, and Point-of-Care Water Monitoring Via a Microfluidic DNA Sensor and a Mobile Interface for Global Health

    PubMed Central

    Ghanbari, Sarah; Ravikumar, Anusha; Seubert, John; Figueira, Silvia

    2013-01-01

    Contaminated water is a serious concern in many developing countries with severe health consequences particularly for children. Current methods for monitoring waterborne pathogens are often time consuming, expensive, and labor intensive, making them not suitable for these regions. Electrochemical detection in a microfluidic platform offers many advantages such as portability, minimal use of instrumentation, and easy integration with electronics. In many parts of the world, however, the required equipment for pathogen detection through electrochemical sensors is either not available or insufficiently portable, and operators may not be trained to use these sensors and interpret results, ultimately preventing its wide adoption. Counterintuitively, these same regions often have an extensive mobile phone infrastructure, suggesting the possibility of integrating electrochemical detection of bacterial pathogens with a mobile platform. Toward a solution to water quality interventions, we demonstrate a microfluidic electrochemical sensor combined with a mobile interface that detects the sequences from bacterial pathogens, suitable for rapid, affordable, and point-of-care water monitoring. We employ the transduction of DNA hybridization into a readily detectable electric signal by means of a conformational change of DNA stem-loop structure. Using this platform, we successfully demonstrate the detection of as low as 100 nM E. coli sequences and the automatic interpretation and mapping of the detection results via a mobile application. PMID:27170858

  8. Rapid, Affordable, and Point-of-Care Water Monitoring Via a Microfluidic DNA Sensor and a Mobile Interface for Global Health.

    PubMed

    Kim, Unyoung; Ghanbari, Sarah; Ravikumar, Anusha; Seubert, John; Figueira, Silvia

    2013-01-01

    Contaminated water is a serious concern in many developing countries with severe health consequences particularly for children. Current methods for monitoring waterborne pathogens are often time consuming, expensive, and labor intensive, making them not suitable for these regions. Electrochemical detection in a microfluidic platform offers many advantages such as portability, minimal use of instrumentation, and easy integration with electronics. In many parts of the world, however, the required equipment for pathogen detection through electrochemical sensors is either not available or insufficiently portable, and operators may not be trained to use these sensors and interpret results, ultimately preventing its wide adoption. Counterintuitively, these same regions often have an extensive mobile phone infrastructure, suggesting the possibility of integrating electrochemical detection of bacterial pathogens with a mobile platform. Toward a solution to water quality interventions, we demonstrate a microfluidic electrochemical sensor combined with a mobile interface that detects the sequences from bacterial pathogens, suitable for rapid, affordable, and point-of-care water monitoring. We employ the transduction of DNA hybridization into a readily detectable electric signal by means of a conformational change of DNA stem-loop structure. Using this platform, we successfully demonstrate the detection of as low as 100 nM E. coli sequences and the automatic interpretation and mapping of the detection results via a mobile application.

  9. 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…

  10. Affordable Care Organizations and Bundled Pricing: A New Philosophy of Care.

    PubMed

    Barinaga, Gonzalo; Chambers, Monique C; El-Othmani, Mouhanad M; Siegrist, Richard B; Saleh, Khaled J

    2016-10-01

    Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' Innovation was chartered to develop new models of health care delivery. The changes meant a drastic need to restructure the health care system. To minimize costs and optimize quality, new laws encourage continuity in health care delivery within an integrated system. Affordable care organizations provided a model of high-quality care while reducing costs. Bundled payments can have a substantial effect on the national expenditures. This article examines new developments in bundle payments, affordable care organizations, and gainsharing agreements as they pertain to arthroplasty. PMID:27637657

  11. Affordable Care Organizations and Bundled Pricing: A New Philosophy of Care.

    PubMed

    Barinaga, Gonzalo; Chambers, Monique C; El-Othmani, Mouhanad M; Siegrist, Richard B; Saleh, Khaled J

    2016-10-01

    Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' Innovation was chartered to develop new models of health care delivery. The changes meant a drastic need to restructure the health care system. To minimize costs and optimize quality, new laws encourage continuity in health care delivery within an integrated system. Affordable care organizations provided a model of high-quality care while reducing costs. Bundled payments can have a substantial effect on the national expenditures. This article examines new developments in bundle payments, affordable care organizations, and gainsharing agreements as they pertain to arthroplasty.

  12. 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......

  13. 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…

  14. Health Professions Education: A Bridge to Quality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greiner, Ann C., Ed.; Knebel, Elisa, Ed.

    The 2001 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report "Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century" recommended that an interdisciplinary summit be held to develop next steps for reform of health professions education in order to enhance patient care quality and safety. In June 2002, the IOM convened this summit, which included 150…

  15. Developing quality indicators for family support services in community team-based mental health care.

    PubMed

    Serene Olin, S; Kutash, Krista; Pollock, Michele; Burns, Barbara J; Kuppinger, Anne; Craig, Nancy; Purdy, Frances; Armusewicz, Kelsey; Wisdom, Jennifer; Hoagwood, Kimberly E

    2014-01-01

    Quality indicators for programs integrating parent-delivered family support services for children's mental health have not been systematically developed. Increasing emphasis on accountability under the Affordable Care Act highlights the importance of quality-benchmarking efforts. Using a modified Delphi approach, quality indicators were developed for both program level and family support specialist level practices. These indicators were pilot tested with 21 community-based mental health programs. Psychometric properties of these indicators are reported; variations in program and family support specialist performance suggest the utility of these indicators as tools to guide policies and practices in organizations that integrate parent-delivered family support service components. PMID:23709287

  16. Developing quality indicators for family support services in community team-based mental health care.

    PubMed

    Serene Olin, S; Kutash, Krista; Pollock, Michele; Burns, Barbara J; Kuppinger, Anne; Craig, Nancy; Purdy, Frances; Armusewicz, Kelsey; Wisdom, Jennifer; Hoagwood, Kimberly E

    2014-01-01

    Quality indicators for programs integrating parent-delivered family support services for children's mental health have not been systematically developed. Increasing emphasis on accountability under the Affordable Care Act highlights the importance of quality-benchmarking efforts. Using a modified Delphi approach, quality indicators were developed for both program level and family support specialist level practices. These indicators were pilot tested with 21 community-based mental health programs. Psychometric properties of these indicators are reported; variations in program and family support specialist performance suggest the utility of these indicators as tools to guide policies and practices in organizations that integrate parent-delivered family support service components.

  17. Measuring health care process quality with software quality measures.

    PubMed

    Yildiz, Ozkan; Demirörs, Onur

    2012-01-01

    Existing quality models focus on some specific diseases, clinics or clinical areas. Although they contain structure, process, or output type measures, there is no model which measures quality of health care processes comprehensively. In addition, due to the not measured overall process quality, hospitals cannot compare quality of processes internally and externally. To bring a solution to above problems, a new model is developed from software quality measures. We have adopted the ISO/IEC 9126 software quality standard for health care processes. Then, JCIAS (Joint Commission International Accreditation Standards for Hospitals) measurable elements were added to model scope for unifying functional requirements. Assessment (diagnosing) process measurement results are provided in this paper. After the application, it was concluded that the model determines weak and strong aspects of the processes, gives a more detailed picture for the process quality, and provides quantifiable information to hospitals to compare their processes with multiple organizations.

  18. [Quality of health care and costs].

    PubMed

    Kinnunen, J; Laitinen, A

    1993-01-01

    The quality of health care is largely discussed issue among health care professionals in Finland. The purpose of this article is to point out some relations between the quality of nursing and the economical costs. The theme is mostly ignored in the published articles and books about quality of nursing and health care. In the previous studies of quality of nursing four main approaches have been introduced 1) practical approach, 2) professionalism, 3) client orientation and 4) research orientation. An important weakness in the approaches is that they are carried out from a point of view of a single profession at the time. Really multiprofessional projects are the exception. Additionally, economic costs have not been included in nursing quality concept or evaluation criterion. The need for quality in any health services is urgent, including nursing. That is because of decreasing resources and changing market oriented steering mechanisms in the Finnish health care system. In this situation the quality of nursing may arise as one important competition factor in the organizations and the units. The costs of poor quality of nursing are not well recognized among professionals. Collaboration between different professionals is a key issue to solve these kind of problems. We need more research about the relations between economic factors and quality of nursing and other health services.

  19. 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.

  20. Quality and quality improvement in forensic mental health evaluations.

    PubMed

    Wettstein, Robert M

    2005-01-01

    Despite the growing attention to quality and quality improvement in health care in the United States, forensic psychiatry has yet to incorporate relevant developments and information and make quality an important item on the agenda. This article reviews the empirical research regarding the perceived quality of forensic evaluations, which has primarily examined criminal rather than civil forensic evaluations. Beyond the available research, many important policy and empirical questions must be addressed, including the definition of a quality forensic evaluation, the process used to access quality, the indicators and measures used, the methods that provide incentives for performing quality evaluations, the role of forensic psychiatry training programs, and the role of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (AAPL) or other professional organizations in the quality improvement enterprise.

  1. Achieving Quality Health Services for Adolescents.

    PubMed

    2016-08-01

    This update of the 2008 statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics redirects the discussion of quality health care from the theoretical to the practical within the medical home. This statement reviews the evolution of the medical home concept and challenges the provision of quality adolescent health care within the patient-centered medical home. Areas of attention for quality adolescent health care are reviewed, including developmentally appropriate care, confidentiality, location of adolescent care, providers who offer such care, the role of research in advancing care, and the transition to adult care. PMID:27432849

  2. "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.

  3. "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. PMID:20799670

  4. Quality management in Irish health care.

    PubMed

    Ennis, K; Harrington, D

    1999-01-01

    This paper reports on the findings from a quantitative research study of quality management in the Irish health-care sector. The study findings suggest that quality management is what hospitals require to become more cost-effective and efficient. The research also shows that the culture of health-care institutions must change to one where employees experience pride in their work and where all are involved and committed to continuous quality improvement. It is recommended that a shift is required from the traditional management structures to a more participative approach. Furthermore, all managers whether from a clinical or an administration background must understand one another's role in the organisation. Finally, for quality to succeed in the health-care sector, strong committed leadership is required to overcome tensions in quality implementation.

  5. 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

  6. Health reform and the quality assurance imperative.

    PubMed

    Webber, A

    The administration's blueprint for healthcare reform contains a number of positive features, including a national healthcare information database, quality "report cards," and state-based patient complaint offices. Missing from the plan, however, is "an active quality monitoring system that holds health plans and providers publicly accountable for improved performance," says Andrew Webber, Executive Vice President of the American Medical Peer Review Association, the national association of Peer Review Organizations (PROs). His antidote includes the creation of an independent, state-based network to coordinate quality assurance activities; a program to monitor compliance with practice guidelines; and a quality foundation to measure, manage, improve, and oversee quality. PMID:10131335

  7. Software quality assessment for health care systems.

    PubMed

    Braccini, G; Fabbrini, F; Fusani, M

    1997-01-01

    The problem of defining a quality model to be used in the evaluation of the software components of a Health Care System (HCS) is addressed. The model, based on the ISO/IEC 9126 standard, has been interpreted to fit the requirements of some classes of applications representative of Health Care Systems, on the basis of the experience gained both in the field of medical Informatics and assessment of software products. The values resulting from weighing the quality characteristics according to their criticality outline a set of quality profiles that can be used both for evaluation and certification.

  8. Quality Improvement Efforts in Pediatric Oral Health.

    PubMed

    Ng, Man Wai

    2016-04-01

    Quality improvement (QI) and measurement are increasingly used in health care to improve patient care and outcomes. Despite current barriers in oral health measurement, there are nascent QI and measurement efforts emerging. This paper describes the role that QI and measurement can play in improving oral health care delivery in clinical practice by presenting a QI initiative that aimed to test and implement a chronic disease management approach to address early childhood caries. PMID:27265978

  9. Health manpower: numbers, distribution, quality.

    PubMed

    Petersdorf, R G

    1975-05-01

    Although the "health care crisis" was thought solvable by simply increasing the number of physicians, this has turned out not to be the case. The major problems in physician manpower are geographic maldistribution with a sparsity of physicians in the rural areas and the inner city and an overproduction of specialists. Certain changes in undergraduate and postgraduate medical education have contributed to this maldistribution. There is good evidence that there is an overproduction of surgeons and of medical subspecialists such as cardiologists. Much of the excess subspecialization can be laid at the foot of graduate training programs. The role of the specialty boards in affecting career choices and with them health manpower is analyzed. Some solutions to solve the geographic and specialty maldistribution problems are suggested. It is clear that more primary care physicians including general internists, family physicians, and pediatricians are needed.

  10. Quality of health care, survival and health outcomes in Ghana.

    PubMed

    Lavy, V; Strauss, J; Thomas, D; de Vreyer, P

    1996-06-01

    This paper analyzes the effect of quality and accessibility of health services and other public infrastructure on the health of children in Ghana. We focus on child survival, child height and weight using data from the Ghana Living Standards Survey. The results suggest an important role for public health policy in eliminating the rural-urban disparities in health status and particularly in improving the health status of rural children and reducing their mortality rates. Increased availability of birth services and other related child programs, as well as Improved water and sanitation infrastructure would have an immediate payoff.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Review Of Internet Health Information Quality Initiatives

    PubMed Central

    Dzenowagis, Joan

    2001-01-01

    Background The massive growth of health information on the Internet; the global nature of the Internet; the seismic shift taking place in the relationships of various actors in this arena, and the absence of real protection from harm for citizens who use the Internet for health purposes are seen to be real problems. One response to many of these problems has been the burgeoning output of codes of conduct by numerous organizations trying to address quality of health information. Objectives Review the major self-regulatory initiatives in the English-speaking world to develop quality and ethical standards for health information on the Internet. Compare and analyze the approaches taken by the different initiatives. Clarify the issues around the development and enforcement of standards. Methods Quality initiatives selected meet one or more of the following criteria: Self-regulatory. A reasonable constituency. Diversity (eg, of philosophy, approach and process)-to achieve balance and wide representation, and to illustrate and compare different approaches. Historic value. A wider reach than a national audience, except when its reach is a significant sector of the Internet health information industry. The initiatives were compared in 3 ways: (1) Analysis and comparison of: key concepts, mechanism, or approach. Analysis of: the obligations that a provider has to meet to comply with the given initiative, the intended beneficiaries of that initiative, and the burdens imposed on different actors. These burdens are described in terms of their effect on the long-term sustainability and maintenance of the initiative by its developers. Analysis of the enforcement mechanisms. (2) Analysis and comparison by type of sponsoring organization, the reach of the initiative, and the sources of funding of the initiative or the sponsoring organization. (3) How the various initiatives fall under 1 of 3 key mechanisms and comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of these key mechanisms

  15. 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

  16. Mammography Screening in a Large Health System Following the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendations and the Affordable Care Act

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, Heidi D.; Weerasinghe, Roshanthi; Wang, Lian; Grunkemeier, Gary

    2015-01-01

    Background Practice recommendations for mammography screening were issued by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force in 2009 and expansion of insurance coverage was provided under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act soon thereafter, yet the influence of these changes on screening practices in the United States is not known. Methods To determine changes in mammography screening and their associations with new practice recommendations and the Affordable Care Act, we examined patient-level data from 249,803 screening mammograms from January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2012 in a large community-based health system in the northwestern United States. Associations were determined by an intervention analysis of time-series data method. Results Among women screened, 64% were age 50-74 years; 84% self-identified as white race; 62% had commercial insurance; and 70% were seen in facilities located in metropolitan areas. Practice recommendations were associated with decreased screening volumes among women age <40 (-37.4 mammograms/month; -39.4% change; P<0.001), 40-49 (-106.0 mammograms/month; -11.2% change; P<0.001), and ≥75 (-54.7 mammograms/month; -10.0% change; P<0.001), but not women age 50-74. Implementation of the Affordable Care Act was associated with increased screening among women age 50-74 (+184.3 mammograms/month; +7.2% change; P=0.001), but not women <40 or ≥75; increases for age 40-49 were of borderline statistical significance (+56.9 mammograms/month; +6% change; P=0.06). Practice recommendations were also associated with decreased screening for women with commercial insurance, while the Affordable Care Act was associated with increased screening for women with Medicare, Medicaid, or other noncommercial sources of payment. Conclusions Mammography screening volumes in a large community health system decreased among women age <50 and ≥75 in association with new U.S. Preventive Services Task Force practice recommendations, while insurance coverage

  17. Mental health and quality of mental health care.

    PubMed

    Taipale, V

    2001-01-01

    Mental health is an intrinsic part of health. Its prevailing position as secondary to physical health and its consequent neglect are based on inaccurate assumptions about mental health. Nowhere in the world, in either the developed or the developing countries, has mental health work been given priority as part of social policy, health policy or public policy. Yet all countries readily admit the major impact of mental health disturbances on the national economy and public health. The mentally sick are at the bottom of the list in service systems the world over, and the common attitude towards them tends to be highly negative. Meanwhile there is convincing evidence of the global and growing need for mental health services. The international debate on mental health policy has its origins in two arenas: in human rights issues and in service reform issues. The debate on human rights concerns legislation on mental health, compulsory treatment and coercive measures. As to the service reform process, the universal focus has been on the financing of health care, on cuts and downsizing, where no priority has been given to the quality of care. The social consequences of mental illnesses may be far more seriously marginalising for the patient than is the illness itself. They are caused by the inexperience and the exclusion mechanisms of the social community. They are evident also in non-institutional services, causing isolation and rejection. The state of mental health patients will not improve without the strong involvement of health policy planners, quality assurance developers and the medical and scientific community. We need far more studies and research in the field. We need also the empowerment of the patients themselves and their relatives.

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:25347659

  20. 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. PMID:24669877

  1. 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

  2. Women's Preventive Services Guidelines Affordable Care Act Expands Prevention Coverage for Women's Health and Well-Being

    MedlinePlus

    ... 2012. Type of Preventive Service HHS Guideline for Health Insurance Coverage Frequency Well-woman visits. Well-woman preventive ... established or maintained by religious employers (and group health insurance coverage provided in connection with such plans) are ...

  3. [Environmental quality: wellfare, confort and health].

    PubMed

    Vargas Marcos, Francisco; Gallego Pulgarín, Isabel

    2005-01-01

    Different ways of interpreting environmental conditions have led to the development of concepts such as the sick building, indoor air quality or indoor environment quality, for understanding the complexity of the pollutants in enclosed environments and the implications thereof on the health. The "Indoor Environment Quality" proposal is an advancement, operative and conceptual, surpassing amply prior ones, given that it orients the actions toward healthy environments without limiting the idea of pollution to the air alone. The aim is identifying the competence to preventing hazards related to exposure to pollutants within the confines of indoor environments and know the legislative framework useful for taking the actions. Optimum conditions within indoor environments must redound in health, well-being and comfort with regard to both working life as well as the environments in which everyday activities outside of work, extracurricular, leisure-time and entertainment activities are carried out. Today's society is demanding safe, clean, well-climatized places, for this is necessary to integrate the inhabitant's perceptions and demands and achieve an optimum balance among social standards, energy use and sustainable development. Legislation is being further expanded upon in the direction of occupational health and safety and the regulation of chemical substances. Environmental Health carries out prevention and control tasks, takes part in the enforcement of international pollution and waste reduction agreements and promotes measures for carrying out the European Environment and Health Strategy. It is considered useful the elaboration of protocols for the evaluation and administration gives the risks associated to the interior pollutants.

  4. Gaps in health insurance: why so many Americans experience breaks in coverage and how the Affordable Care Act will help: findings from the Commonwealth Fund Health Insurance Tracking Survey of U.S. Adults, 2011.

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

    The Commonwealth Fund Health Insurance Tracking Survey of U.S. Adults finds that one-quarter of adults ages 19 to 64 experienced a gap in their health insurance in 2011, with a majority remaining uninsured for one year or more. Losing or changing jobs was the primary reason people experienced a gap. Compared with adults who had continuous coverage, those who experienced gaps were less likely to have a regular doctor and less likely to be up to date with recommended preventive care tests, with rates declining as the length of the coverage gap increases. Early provisions of the Affordable Care Act are already helping bridge gaps in coverage among young adults and people with preexisting conditions. Beginning in 2014, new affordable health insurance options through Medicaid and state insurance exchanges will enable adults and their families to remain insured even in the face of job changes and other life disruptions.

  5. 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.

  6. Genetic counselors and health literacy: the role of genetic counselors in developing a web-based resource about the Affordable Care Act.

    PubMed

    Mann, Sylvia; Mui, Pauline; Boomsma, Jennifer; Hasegawa, Lianne

    2015-06-01

    The Western States Genetic Services Collaborative (WSGSC) recognized the need for clear and understandable information about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for families throughout the life course. The genetic counselors working in the WSGSC developed, tested, and implemented a web resource ( http://www.westernstatesgenetics.org/ACA_home.htm ) to help families navigate information about the ACA tailored to their life situation. The training and experience of genetic counselors provide the skills needed to translate complicated information, like that of the ACA, into formats that the general public can comprehend. The website went public in October 2013, and it has been positively received. The development of this website is a good case study in how genetic counseling skills can be applied to public health education and improving health literacy. PMID:25502406

  7. 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.

  8. [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. PMID:22425456

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. [Environmental quality: wellfare, confort and health].

    PubMed

    Vargas Marcos, Francisco; Gallego Pulgarín, Isabel

    2005-01-01

    Different ways of interpreting environmental conditions have led to the development of concepts such as the sick building, indoor air quality or indoor environment quality, for understanding the complexity of the pollutants in enclosed environments and the implications thereof on the health. The "Indoor Environment Quality" proposal is an advancement, operative and conceptual, surpassing amply prior ones, given that it orients the actions toward healthy environments without limiting the idea of pollution to the air alone. The aim is identifying the competence to preventing hazards related to exposure to pollutants within the confines of indoor environments and know the legislative framework useful for taking the actions. Optimum conditions within indoor environments must redound in health, well-being and comfort with regard to both working life as well as the environments in which everyday activities outside of work, extracurricular, leisure-time and entertainment activities are carried out. Today's society is demanding safe, clean, well-climatized places, for this is necessary to integrate the inhabitant's perceptions and demands and achieve an optimum balance among social standards, energy use and sustainable development. Legislation is being further expanded upon in the direction of occupational health and safety and the regulation of chemical substances. Environmental Health carries out prevention and control tasks, takes part in the enforcement of international pollution and waste reduction agreements and promotes measures for carrying out the European Environment and Health Strategy. It is considered useful the elaboration of protocols for the evaluation and administration gives the risks associated to the interior pollutants. PMID:15913058

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Quality of health care: the responsibility of health care professionals in delivering high quality services.

    PubMed

    Giangrande, A

    1998-11-01

    According to a recent definition, quality of care consists of the degree to which health services increase the likelihood of desired health outcomes and are consistent with current professional knowledge; a definition that introduces both requirements of outcomes and the appropriateness of the process used. Clearly many different figures are interested in quality assessment initiatives in the health care field and these include patients, administrators and doctors each having different perspective. Doctors obviously pay greater attention to technical quality and results, giving greater emphasis to the health of the individual patient, tending to give priority to technical excellence and interaction between patient and doctor. Although the perspective of health care professionals is widely acknowledged to be important and useful, other perspectives on quality have been emphasised in recent years. The most important of these is the recognition that care must be responsive to the preferences and values of the consumers of health care services. In complete harmony with one's own professional commitment, the attention to the perspectives of patients must give physician the chance to identify methods of measuring and verifying quality which take account of the expectations of the many groups with an interest in improving the functioning of the health system. A global approach in the health field is needed the more specialization advances. The quality of medicine lies in its capacity to integrate what science says is appropriate and to be recommended, what can be reconciled with human rights and the self determination of the patient and what can be achieved by optimising available resources. In this complex context, the doctor could take on both the role of the person who decides on the use of resources and the one of social mediator. PMID:9894749

  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. 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…

  17. Health care quality in NHS hospitals.

    PubMed

    Youssef, F N; Nel, D; Bovaird, T

    1996-01-01

    Hospitals provide the same type of service, but they do not all provide the same quality of service. No one knows this better than patients. Reports the results of a market research exercise initiated to ascertain the different factors which patients of health care identify as being necessary to provide error-free service quality in the NHS hospitals. To measure patients' satisfaction with NHS hospitals, the internationally-used market research technique called SERVQUAL was used in order to measure patients' expectations before admission, record their perceptions after discharge from the hospital, and then to close the gap between them. This technique compares expectations with perceptions of service received across five broad dimensions of service quality, namely: tangibility; reliability; responsiveness; assurance; and empathy. This analysis covered 174 patients who had completed the SERVQUAL questionnaire, including patients who had had treatment in surgical, orthopaedic, spinal injury, medicinal, dental and other specialties in the West Midlands region. Recorded the average weighted NHS service quality score overall for the five dimensions as significantly negative.

  18. Health care quality in NHS hospitals.

    PubMed

    Youssef, F N; Nel, D; Bovaird, T

    1996-01-01

    Hospitals provide the same type of service, but they do not all provide the same quality of service. No one knows this better than patients. Reports the results of a market research exercise initiated to ascertain the different factors which patients of health care identify as being necessary to provide error-free service quality in the NHS hospitals. To measure patients' satisfaction with NHS hospitals, the internationally-used market research technique called SERVQUAL was used in order to measure patients' expectations before admission, record their perceptions after discharge from the hospital, and then to close the gap between them. This technique compares expectations with perceptions of service received across five broad dimensions of service quality, namely: tangibility; reliability; responsiveness; assurance; and empathy. This analysis covered 174 patients who had completed the SERVQUAL questionnaire, including patients who had had treatment in surgical, orthopaedic, spinal injury, medicinal, dental and other specialties in the West Midlands region. Recorded the average weighted NHS service quality score overall for the five dimensions as significantly negative. PMID:10156537

  19. Organoleptic water quality: Health and economic impacts

    SciTech Connect

    Daniels, J.I.; Layton, D.W.; Nelson, M.A.; Olivieri, A.W.; Cooper, R.C.; Danielson, R.E.; Bruvold, W.H.; Scofield, R.; Hsieh, D.P.H.; Schaub, S.A.

    1987-02-01

    Organoleptic properties of drinking water (i.e., characteristics perceptible to the senses) can affect the acceptance of water by the public. In this paper we present a risk-analysis methodology, along with supporting data, that can be used for assessing the relationship between the level of either (1) turbidity, color, and odor; or (2) total dissolved solids (TDS); or (3) metabolites of algae and associated bacteria in drinking water, and the fraction of an exposed population that could reject the water. We explain how this methodology can be used by public health authorities in developing nations as a rational approach for adopting pragmatic water-quality guidelines for these organoleptic constituents, and for accurately correlating concentrations of these organoleptic constituents with the need to commit manpower and resources to improve water quality in rural areas, small communities, and large cities.

  20. Assessing Protection Afforded to the Microbiological Quality of Bedrock Groundwater from the Impacts of Septic Tank Effluent by Irish Glacial Till: A Field Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orr, Alison; McCarthy, Valerie; Meehan, Robert; Flynn, Raymond

    2010-05-01

    The rural population of Ireland relies almost exclusively on on-site treatment systems for disposal of waste water. Septic tank systems, which discharge effluent to ground, constitute the dominant means of waste water disposal. Many of the areas that employ this technology rely on private or small group groundwater supplies, often located in close proximity of septic tanks. Since many of these water supplies provide raw groundwater to consumers, septic tank effluent (STE) can pose a significant hazard to the microbiological quality of drinking water. T-tests (infiltration testing) carried out prior to tank installation aim to assess the capacity of subsoils to receive STE. Tests completed across Ireland indicate that many existing septic tank systems are located in low permeability subsoils. These subsoils are assumed to afford significant protection to the microbiological quality of groundwater in the underlying bedrock units. A two year investigation in the Lough Muckno Catchment in Co. Monaghan, investigating the impact of STE on water quality, involved carrying out T-tests at three sites where effluent discharged to a dense, silty, ‘fractured' glacial till derived from the underlying bedrock and containing clasts of low grade metamorphic Ordovician and Silurian sandstone and shale. Analysis of groundwater samples collected from 28 piezometers straddling the water table within the till, down-gradient of septic tank systems at two sites, permitted faecal indicator microorganism (FIO) levels in near-surface groundwater to be established. Associated hydraulic conductivity tests (slug tests) at all three sites permitted an evaluation of the levels of horizontal hydraulic conductivity heterogeneity present in the till. Slug test results suggest that till median hydraulic conductivities range from 1.1x10-4 cm/s to 1.1x10-5 cm/s, with variability of up to 2 orders of magnitude across each site. On the other hand no significant differences in properties existed

  1. Quality of indoor residential air and health

    PubMed Central

    Dales, Robert; Liu, Ling; Wheeler, Amanda J.; Gilbert, Nicolas L.

    2008-01-01

    About 90% of our time is spent indoors where we are exposed to chemical and biological contaminants and possibly to carcinogens. These agents may influence the risk of developing nonspecific respiratory and neurologic symptoms, allergies, asthma and lung cancer. We review the sources, health effects and control strategies for several of these agents. There are conflicting data about indoor allergens. Early exposure may increase or may decrease the risk of future sensitization. Reports of indoor moulds or dampness or both are consistently associated with increased respiratory symptoms but causality has not been established. After cigarette smoking, exposure to environmental tobacco smoke and radon are the most common causes of lung cancer. Homeowners can improve the air quality in their homes, often with relatively simple measures, which should provide health benefits. PMID:18625986

  2. The New Knowledge Environment: Quality Initiatives in Health Sciences Libraries.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nagle, Ellen

    1996-01-01

    Reviews changes in health sciences libraries, including the evolving role of health sciences librarians, education and training of health sciences librarians, rethinking reference services, impact on quality health care, improving the value of information, virtual libraries, National Library of Medicine initiatives, and quality initiatives. (LRW)

  3. 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.

  4. Disparities in Health Care Quality among Minority Women

    MedlinePlus

    ... 3-EF Go to Online Store Disparities in Health Care Quality Among Minority Women Selected Findings From the ... race and ethnicity are combined. Return to Contents Health Care Delivery and Systems Information about health care delivery ...

  5. IMPACT OF FLUORIDE ON DENTAL HEALTH QUALITY

    PubMed Central

    Medjedovic, Eida; Medjedovic, Senad; Deljo, Dervis; Sukalo, Aziz

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: Fluoride is natural element that strengthens teeth and prevents their decay. Experts believe that the best way to prevent cavities is the use of fluoride from multiple sources. Studies even show that in some cases, fluoride can stop already started damage of the teeth. In children younger than 6 years fluoride is incorporated into the enamel of permanent teeth, making the teeth more resistant to the action of bacterial and acids in food. Goal: The aim of this study is to determine the effects of improving the health status of teeth after six months treatment with the use of topical fluoridation 0.5% NaF, and the level and quality of the impact of treatment with chemical 0.5% NaF on the dental health of children at age from 8 to 15 years, in relation to gender and chronological age. This study included school children aged 8 to 15 years who visited health and dental services dependent in Mostar. Results: It is obvious that after the implementation of treatment with 5% NaF by the method of topical fluoridation, health status of subjects from the experimental group significantly improved, so that at the final review 89.71% or 61 subjects of the experimental group had healthy (cured teeth), tooth with dental caries only 5.88% or 4 respondents tooth with dental caries and filling 4.41% or 3 respondents, extracted baby tooth 14.71% or 10 respondents, while for 13.24% of respondents was identified state with still unerupted teeth. Our findings are indirectly confirmed that the six-month treatment of fluoridation with 5% NaF, contributed to statistically significant improvement in overall oral health of the experimental group compared to the control group which was not treated by any dental treatment. Conclusion: It can be concluded that there is a statistically significant difference in the evaluated parameters of oral health of children in the control group compared to the studied parameters of oral health the experimental group of children at the final

  6. An affordable, quality-assured community-based system for high-resolution entomological surveillance of vector mosquitoes that reflects human malaria infection risk patterns

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    .43[3.027,7. 454] per An. gambiae or Anopheles funestus caught per night, P =0.0373). Discussion and conclusion CB trapping approaches could be improved with more sensitive traps, but already offer a practical, safe and affordable system for routine programmatic mosquito surveillance and clusters could be distributed across entire countries by adapting the sample submission and quality assurance procedures accordingly. PMID:22624853

  7. Sustainable development and quality health care.

    PubMed

    1994-01-01

    On the occasion of Development Week in Canada, Dr. Remi Sogunro spoke in February, 1994, about the many achievements of quality primary health care and PLAN's strategy to achieve sustainability. In one generation, under-5 mortality has been cut by a third. Deaths from measles has been reduced from 2.5 million to 1 million a year. Skeletal deformities from polio also have been reduced from 1/2 million to less than 140,000. Despite all this, there is much more to be attained. 35,000 children under 5 die from preventable diseases every day in developing countries. The health community is working hard to address these silent emergencies. PLAN International's primary health care program targets the poor and undeserved populations where diseases are prevalent. The main focus of PLAN's programs are mothers and children who are most vulnerable to disease. Key interventions that PLAN gives priority to are childhood and maternal immunization programs, including pre- and post-natal care for mothers. Other interventions under PLAN's comprehensive primary health care program include: control of diarrheal diseases and acute respiratory infections, growth monitoring, nutrition and control of STDs and HIV/AIDS infection, water and sanitation, family planning information and educational services, and rehabilitation of the handicapped. "Go in search of people, begin with what they know, build on what they have," goes a Chinese proverb. This also summarizes PLAN's guiding principle for achieving sustainable development: the importance of investing in people. PLAN's programs in the field build partnerships and empower communities. PLAN's emphasis on institution-building and capacity-building with local institutions is an important part of organizational strategy to ensure sustained development.

  8. 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.

  9. Quality of data in multiethnic health surveys.

    PubMed Central

    Pasick, R. J.; Stewart, S. L.; Bird, J. A.; D'Onofrio, C. N.

    2001-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: There has been insufficient research on the influence of ethno-cultural and language differences in public health surveys. Using data from three independent studies, the authors examine methods to assess data quality and to identify causes of problematic survey questions. METHODS: Qualitative and quantitative methods were used in this exploratory study, including secondary analyses of data from three baseline surveys (conducted in English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Vietnamese). Collection of additional data included interviews with investigators and interviewers; observations of item development; focus groups; think-aloud interviews; a test-retest assessment survey; and a pilot test of alternatively worded questions. RESULTS: The authors identify underlying causes for the 12 most problematic variables in three multiethnic surveys and describe them in terms of ethnic differences in reliability, validity, and cognitive processes (interpretation, memory retrieval, judgment formation, and response editing), and differences with regard to cultural appropriateness and translation problems. CONCLUSIONS: Multiple complex elements affect measurement in a multiethnic survey, many of which are neither readily observed nor understood through standard tests of data quality. Multiethnic survey questions are best evaluated using a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods that reveal different types and causes of problems. PMID:11889288

  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. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:25085326

  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. 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.

  15. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act - The Role of the School Nurse: Position Statement.

    PubMed

    2015-07-01

    It is the position of the National Association of School Nurses that the registered professional school nurse (hereinafter referred to as the school nurse) serves a vital role in the delivery of health care to our nation’s students within the health care system reshaped by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, commonly known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This law presents an opportunity to transform the health care system through three primary goals: expanding access, improving quality, and reducing cost (U.S. Government Printing Office, 2010). School nurses stand at the forefront of this system change and continue to provide evidence-based, quality interventions and preventive care that, according to recent studies, actually save health care dollars (Wang et al., 2014). NASN supports the concept that school nursing services receive the same financial parity as other health care providers to improve overall health outcomes, including insurance reimbursement for services provided to students. PMID:25926418

  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. 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

  18. 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

  19. Can China afford rapid aging?

    PubMed

    Jiang, Quanbao; Yang, Shucai; Sánchez-Barricarte, Jesús J

    2016-01-01

    China's rapid aging has caused widespread concern, but it seems that the situations and consequences of rapid aging are not adequately acknowledged. This study analyzed the problem of ageing in China from the aspects of elderly people's health status, income source, daily care, suicide, the weak social security system in terms of pension, health expenses, and long-term care costs as well as incoming accelerating ageing process in China. All these factors indicate that it is difficult for China to afford the issue of a rapidly aging population. PMID:27478724

  20. Association Between Housing Quality and Individual Health Characteristics on Sleep Quality Among Latino Farmworkers

    PubMed Central

    Talton, Jennifer W.; Quandt, Sara A.; Chen, Haiying; Weir, Maria; Doumani, Walkiria R.; Chatterjee, Arjun B.; Arcury, Thomas A.

    2013-01-01

    Although poor sleep quality and associated sleep disorders are associated with increased risk of job injury and multiple mental and physical health problems, scant research has examined sleep quality among Latino farmworkers. Interviews were conducted with 371 male Latino farmworkers working in North Carolina during the 2010 agricultural season. Data on housing quality and sleep quality were collected. Access to air conditioning was significantly and positively associated with good sleep quality. This association remained when other housing characteristics and individual health indicators were controlled. Good sleep quality was associated with low levels of pain, depression, and anxiety. Poor sleep quality among Latino farmworkers was associated with poorer indicators of health. One important indicator of housing quality, air conditioning, was associated with better sleep quality. Further research is required to delineate how to improve the adequacy of farmworker housing to improve sleep quality and other health indicators. PMID:23161266

  1. A model plan for the uninsured: delivering quality and affordability in a limited benefit managed care safety net program in Flint, Michigan.

    PubMed

    Creech, Constance J; Kornblau, Barbara; Strugar-Fritsch, Donna

    2012-02-01

    This paper presents the background and multiyear outcome data for a limited benefit safety-net care program in Michigan. It is a possible solution for policymakers and hospital/clinic administrators to consider when evaluating plans to provide primary care for the 30 million uninsured Americans who will be affected by the Affordable Care Act.

  2. 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)

  3. Electronic Health Records and Quality of Care

    PubMed Central

    Yanamadala, Swati; Morrison, Doug; Curtin, Catherine; McDonald, Kathryn; Hernandez-Boussard, Tina

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Electronic health records (EHRs) were implemented to improve quality of care and patient outcomes. This study assessed the relationship between EHR-adoption and patient outcomes. We performed an observational study using State Inpatient Databases linked to American Hospital Association survey, 2011. Surgical and medical patients from 6 large, diverse states were included. We performed univariate analyses and developed hierarchical regression models relating level of EHR utilization and mortality, readmission rates, and complications. We evaluated the effect of EHR adoption on outcomes in a difference-in-differences analysis, 2008 to 2011. Medical and surgical patients sought care at hospitals reporting no EHR (3.5%), partial EHR (55.2%), and full EHR systems (41.3%). In univariate analyses, patients at hospitals with full EHR had the lowest rates of inpatient mortality, readmissions, and Patient Safety Indicators followed by patients at hospitals with partial EHR and then patients at hospitals with no EHR (P < 0.05). However, these associations were not robust when accounting for other patient and hospital factors, and adoption of an EHR system was not associated with improved patient outcomes (P > 0.05). These results indicate that patients receiving medical and surgical care at hospitals with no EHR system have similar outcomes compared to patients seeking care at hospitals with a full EHR system, after controlling for important confounders. To date, we have not yet seen the promised benefits of EHR systems on patient outcomes in the inpatient setting. EHRs may play a smaller role than expected in patient outcomes and overall quality of care. PMID:27175631

  4. [Management problems of improving the quality and efficiency of primary health care system of Georgia].

    PubMed

    Dzhakeli, I V; Edzhibadze, O I; Gerzmava, O Kh

    2009-01-01

    Improving the quality and efficiency of primary health care system is a key challenge. In this regard, problems that have accumulated in the system over the past decade - a weak material base of outpatient-polyclinic institutions, especially in rural areas; a surplus of medical personnel; lack of control by local, regional and central authorities--still remain as serious obstacle. The issue of financing the provided health services, is also particularly important, given the fact that a significant portion of the cost of medical services is covered by the patient directly. And as a consequence, the low level of applications for outpatient-polyclinic assistance due to declining affordability of medical services. In connection with the foregoing, the authors of the paper raise the question of implementing strict, multi-component system of quality control of medical care for patients. In particular, they propose: to base modern organization works on improving the quality of primary health care system on the principles of general management theory; Modern management of service quality should be clearly oriented towards the needs of the population in health care, its structure and dynamics; accessibility, incentives, determined by economic and technological competition characteristic to the market; Modern quality management, regardless of ownership and scale of outpatient-polyclinic establishment should optimally combine the actions, methods and tools that provide, on the one hand--the organization of diagnostic and therapeutic-prophylactic processes meeting the needs of the people, and on the other--the introduction of new methods and means to ensure the modern level of medical care; Schematic diagram of quality control mechanism organically interacts with the market research and includes a block of policy development in terms of quality.

  5. [Quality planning of Family Health Units using Quality Function Deployment (QFD)].

    PubMed

    Volpato, Luciana Fernandes; Meneghim, Marcelo de Castro; Pereira, Antonio Carlos; Ambrosano, Gláucia Maria Bovi

    2010-08-01

    Quality is an indispensible requirement in the health field, and its pursuit is necessary in order to meet demands by a population that is aware of its rights, as part of the essence of good work relations, and to decrease technological costs. Quality thus involves all parties to the process (users and professionals), and is no longer merely an attribute of the health service. This study aimed to verify the possibility of quality planning in the Family Health Units, using Quality Function Deployment (QFD). QFD plans quality according to user satisfaction, involving staff professionals and identifying new approaches to improve work processes. Development of the array, called the House of Quality, is this method's most important characteristics. The results show a similarity between the quality demanded by users and the quality planned by professionals. The current study showed that QFD is an efficient tool for quality planning in public health services.

  6. [Quality planning of Family Health Units using Quality Function Deployment (QFD)].

    PubMed

    Volpato, Luciana Fernandes; Meneghim, Marcelo de Castro; Pereira, Antonio Carlos; Ambrosano, Gláucia Maria Bovi

    2010-08-01

    Quality is an indispensible requirement in the health field, and its pursuit is necessary in order to meet demands by a population that is aware of its rights, as part of the essence of good work relations, and to decrease technological costs. Quality thus involves all parties to the process (users and professionals), and is no longer merely an attribute of the health service. This study aimed to verify the possibility of quality planning in the Family Health Units, using Quality Function Deployment (QFD). QFD plans quality according to user satisfaction, involving staff professionals and identifying new approaches to improve work processes. Development of the array, called the House of Quality, is this method's most important characteristics. The results show a similarity between the quality demanded by users and the quality planned by professionals. The current study showed that QFD is an efficient tool for quality planning in public health services. PMID:21229215

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:23069364

  9. 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...

  10. "Virtual" health care organizations and the challenges of improving quality.

    PubMed

    Page, Stephen

    2003-01-01

    This article examines the challenges of improving health care quality continuously within and across "virtual" provider organizations such as independent practice associations and physician-hospital organizations. It draws on recent research and theory about interorganizational networks in other fields to develop recommendations for securing physicians' commitment to quality improvement strategies in today's health care environment.

  11. Legal issues concerning electronic health information: privacy, quality, and liability.

    PubMed

    Hodge, J G; Gostin, L O; Jacobson, P D

    1999-10-20

    Personally identifiable health information about individuals and general medical information is increasingly available in electronic form in health databases and through online networks. The proliferation of electronic data within the modern health information infrastructure presents significant benefits for medical providers and patients, including enhanced patient autonomy, improved clinical treatment, advances in health research and public health surveillance, and modern security techniques. However, it also presents new legal challenges in 3 interconnected areas: privacy of identifiable health information, reliability and quality of health data, and tortbased liability. Protecting health information privacy (by giving individuals control over health data without severely restricting warranted communal uses) directly improves the quality and reliability of health data (by encouraging individual uses of health services and communal uses of data), which diminishes tort-based liabilities (by reducing instances of medical malpractice or privacy invasions through improvements in the delivery of health care services resulting in part from better quality and reliability of clinical and research data). Following an analysis of the interconnectivity of these 3 areas and discussing existing and proposed health information privacy laws, recommendations for legal reform concerning health information privacy are presented. These include (1) recognizing identifiable health information as highly sensitive, (2) providing privacy safeguards based on fair information practices, (3) empowering patients with information and rights to consent to disclosure (4) limiting disclosures of health data absent consent, (5) incorporating industry-wide security protections, (6) establishing a national data protection authority, and (7) providing a national minimal level of privacy protections. PMID:10535438

  12. Legal issues concerning electronic health information: privacy, quality, and liability.

    PubMed

    Hodge, J G; Gostin, L O; Jacobson, P D

    1999-10-20

    Personally identifiable health information about individuals and general medical information is increasingly available in electronic form in health databases and through online networks. The proliferation of electronic data within the modern health information infrastructure presents significant benefits for medical providers and patients, including enhanced patient autonomy, improved clinical treatment, advances in health research and public health surveillance, and modern security techniques. However, it also presents new legal challenges in 3 interconnected areas: privacy of identifiable health information, reliability and quality of health data, and tortbased liability. Protecting health information privacy (by giving individuals control over health data without severely restricting warranted communal uses) directly improves the quality and reliability of health data (by encouraging individual uses of health services and communal uses of data), which diminishes tort-based liabilities (by reducing instances of medical malpractice or privacy invasions through improvements in the delivery of health care services resulting in part from better quality and reliability of clinical and research data). Following an analysis of the interconnectivity of these 3 areas and discussing existing and proposed health information privacy laws, recommendations for legal reform concerning health information privacy are presented. These include (1) recognizing identifiable health information as highly sensitive, (2) providing privacy safeguards based on fair information practices, (3) empowering patients with information and rights to consent to disclosure (4) limiting disclosures of health data absent consent, (5) incorporating industry-wide security protections, (6) establishing a national data protection authority, and (7) providing a national minimal level of privacy protections.

  13. Does the Accountable Care Act aim to promote quality, health, and control costs or has it missed the mark? Comment on "Health system reform in the United States".

    PubMed

    Molinari, Carol

    2014-02-01

    McDonough's perspective on healthcare reform in the US provides a clear, coherent analysis of the mix of access and delivery reforms in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) aka Obamacare. As noted by McDonough, this major reform bill is designed to expand access for health coverage that includes both prevention and treatment benefits among uninsured Americans. Additionally, this legislation includes several financial strategies (e.g. incentives and penalties) to improve care coordination and quality in the hospital and outpatient settings while also reducing healthcare spending and costs. This commentary is intended to discuss this mix of access and delivery reform in terms of its potential to achieve the Triple Aim: population health, quality, and costs. Final remarks will include the role of the US federal government to reform the American private health industry together with that of an informed consume.

  14. 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. PMID:8719059

  15. 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. PMID:23767130

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Measuring service quality at a university health clinic.

    PubMed

    Anderson, E A

    1995-01-01

    Describes research undertaken to assess the quality of service provided by a public university health clinic. The SERVQUAL instrument was administered to patients of the University of Houston Health Center in order to evaluate customer perceptions of service quality. The results of this study are currently being incorporated into the clinic's strategic planning process, specifically with respect to future resource allocation towards quality improvement projects. PMID:10142015

  19. Assuring Quality Health Care in the Emergency Department

    PubMed Central

    Letvak, Susan; Rhew, Denise

    2015-01-01

    The provision of quality healthcare is an international mandate. The provision of quality healthcare for mental health patients poses unique challenges. Nowhere is this challenge greater than in the emergency department. The purpose of this manuscript is to describe evidence-based initiatives for improving the quality of care of mental health patients in the emergency department. Specifically, the use of telepsychiatry and reducing provider biases will be presented. PMID:27417792

  20. Measuring service quality at a university health clinic.

    PubMed

    Anderson, E A

    1995-01-01

    Describes research undertaken to assess the quality of service provided by a public university health clinic. The SERVQUAL instrument was administered to patients of the University of Houston Health Center in order to evaluate customer perceptions of service quality. The results of this study are currently being incorporated into the clinic's strategic planning process, specifically with respect to future resource allocation towards quality improvement projects.

  1. Health information technology and hospital quality of care.

    PubMed

    Furukawa, Michael; Adam, Terrence

    2008-01-01

    This study evaluates the association between health information technology (HIT) implementation and hospital quality of care using nationally representative datasets from HIMSS Analytics and CMS. The results show that the availability of HIT is associated with higher hospital quality of care when adjusted for hospital characteristics and geographic location. The effects varied by specific HIT application and across hospital quality measures.

  2. Evaluating quality of health services in health centres of Zanjan district of Iran.

    PubMed

    Mohammadi, Ali; Mohammadi, Jamshid

    2012-01-01

    To assess quality of health services in Zanjan health centres based on clients' expectations and perceptions. The study was conducted by using service quality (SERVQUAL) scale on a sample of 300 females, clients of health care centres in the district of Zanjan, selected by cluster sampling. The results indicated that there were negative quality gaps at five SERVQUAL dimensions. The most and least negative quality gap mean scores were in reliability dimension (-2.1) and tangible (-1.13) respectively. There was statistically significant difference between clients' perceptions and expectations mean scores at all of the five service quality dimensions (P<0.001). The negative quality gap level in health service dimensions can be used as a guideline for redistribution of resources and managerial attempts to reduce quality gaps and improvement of health care quality.

  3. Evaluating quality of health services in health centres of Zanjan district of Iran.

    PubMed

    Mohammadi, Ali; Mohammadi, Jamshid

    2012-01-01

    To assess quality of health services in Zanjan health centres based on clients' expectations and perceptions. The study was conducted by using service quality (SERVQUAL) scale on a sample of 300 females, clients of health care centres in the district of Zanjan, selected by cluster sampling. The results indicated that there were negative quality gaps at five SERVQUAL dimensions. The most and least negative quality gap mean scores were in reliability dimension (-2.1) and tangible (-1.13) respectively. There was statistically significant difference between clients' perceptions and expectations mean scores at all of the five service quality dimensions (P<0.001). The negative quality gap level in health service dimensions can be used as a guideline for redistribution of resources and managerial attempts to reduce quality gaps and improvement of health care quality. PMID:23354145

  4. 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...

  5. 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…

  6. 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)

  7. 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. PMID:12638371

  8. Quality of life and health status in breast carcinoma.

    PubMed

    van der Steeg, A F W; De Vries, J; Roukema, J A

    2004-12-01

    Quality of life is of increasing importance in clinical oncology studies. When analysing publications concerning quality of life in breast cancer, however, the majority of the articles appear to study health status and not quality of life. Therefore five recommendations were formulated to apply reading a 'quality of life' article. With the use of these recommendations an article can be evaluated and the clinical significance can be assessed. PMID:15522550

  9. Quality assurance for health and environmental chemistry: 1990

    SciTech Connect

    Gautier, M.A.; Gladney, E.S.; Koski, N.L.; Jones, E.A.; O'Malley, B.T.

    1991-10-01

    This report documents the continuing quality assurance efforts of the Health and Environmental Chemistry Group (HSE-9) at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The philosophy, methodology, computing resources, and laboratory information management system used by the quality assurance program to encompass the diversity of analytical chemistry practiced in the group are described. Included in the report are all quality assurance reference materials used, along with their certified or consensus concentrations, and all analytical chemistry quality assurance measurements made by HSE-9 during 1990.

  10. 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…

  11. Is health care ready for Six Sigma quality?

    PubMed

    Chassin, M R

    1998-01-01

    Serious, widespread problems exist in the quality of U.S. health care: too many patients are exposed to the risks of unnecessary services; opportunities to use effective care are missed; and preventable errors lead to injuries. Advanced practitioners of industrial quality management, like Motorola and General Electric, have committed themselves to reducing the frequency of defects in their business processes to fewer than 3.4 per million, a strategy known as Six Sigma Quality. In health care, quality problems frequently occur at rates of 20 to 50 percent, or 200,000 to 500,000 per million. In order to approach Six Sigma levels of quality, the health care sector must address the underlying causes of error and make important changes: adopting new educational models; devising strategies to increase consumer awareness; and encouraging public and private investment in quality improvement.

  12. 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…

  13. Optimal quality, waits and charges in health insurance.

    PubMed

    Gravelle, Hugh; Siciliani, Luigi

    2008-05-01

    We examine the role of quality and waiting time in health insurance when there is ex post moral hazard. Quality and waiting time provide additional instruments to control demand and potentially can improve the trade-off between optimal risk bearing and optimal consumption of health care. We show that optimal quality is lower than it would be in the absence of ex post moral hazard. But it is never optimal to have a positive waiting time if the marginal cost of waiting is higher for patients with greater benefits from health care.

  14. Can I afford free treatment?: Perceived consequences of health care provider choices among people with tuberculosis in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Lönnroth, K; Tran, T U; Thuong, L M; Quy, H T; Diwan, V

    2001-03-01

    Vietnam has a well-organised National TB Control Programme (NTP) with outstanding treatment results. Excellent prospect of cure is provided free of charge. Still, some people prefer to pay for their TB treatment themselves in private clinics. This is a potential threat to TB control since no notification of cases treated in the private sector occurs, and there is no control of the effectiveness of treatment provided in private clinics. Using a qualitative approach within a grounded theory framework, this study explores health-seeking behaviour among people with TB, applying a specific focus on reasons for choices of private versus pubic health care providers. The study identifies a number of characteristics of private TB care, which both seem attractive to patients and at the same time contrast sharply with the structure of the NTP strategy. These include flexible diagnostic procedures, no administrative procedures to establish eligibility for treatment, flexible choices of drug regimens, non-supervised treatment (no DOT), no tracing of defaulters in the household, no official registration of TB cases and thus less threat to personal integrity. A possibility to demand individualised service through the use of fee-for-service payments directly to physicians also seems attractive to many patients. A number of the components of the NTP strategy that have been put in place in order to secure optimal public health outcomes are lacking in the private sector. A dilemma for TB control is that this seems to be an important reason for why many people with TB opt for private providers where quality of care is virtually uncontrolled. The global threat of TB has led to calls for forceful measures to control TB. However, based on the findings in this study it is argued that the use of rigid approaches to TB control that do not encompass a strong component of responsiveness towards the needs of individuals may be counterproductive for public health. PMID:11234866

  15. Implementing total quality management (TQM) in health-care laboratories.

    PubMed

    Westgard, J O; Barry, P L; Tomar, R H

    1991-01-01

    Health-care organizations are beginning to apply the principles of total quality management (TQM). Implementing TQM in a health-care laboratory requires incorporating quality improvement (QI) and quality planning (QP) with quality laboratory practices (QLP), quality control (QC), and quality assurance (QA) to provide a complete quality management system. QI and QP can be initiated by developing a strategic plan as a pilot QI project. QI project teams are then introduced to accomplish the highest priority goals. This implementation approach improves strategic planning by using group problem-solving tools and techniques, such as process flow charts, brainstorming, nominal group, fishbone diagrams, consensus decision making, and Pareto analysis. The approach also improves the success of project teams by providing a clear management agenda and a commitment to project-by-project QI.

  16. Defining and assessing health-related quality of life.

    PubMed

    Holcík, J; Koupilová, I

    1999-11-01

    In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in quality of life assessment in clinical research and practice, as well as in public health and policy analysis. Indicators of health-related quality of life are important not only for health professionals and their patients, but also for health administrators and health economists in health care planning and policy making. Most studies on the outcome of treatments and interventions now include some kind of a quality of life measure. This usually takes a form of an assessment of symptoms and physical functioning, measurement of psychological well-being, life satisfaction, or coping and adjustment. Numerous scales of psychological health, physical health status and physical functioning have been developed for use in the assessment of health outcomes and a wide range of instruments for measurement of health-related quality of life is available. These fall into two broad categories of generic and disease-specific instruments. The selection of an instrument depends upon its measurement properties but also upon the specific context in which the instrument is going to be used. Adequate attention needs to be paid to the translation and validation of instruments for use across countries and cultural contexts.

  17. 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…

  18. 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

  19. Air quality as respiratory health indicator: a critical review.

    PubMed

    Moshammer, Hanns; Wallner, Peter

    2011-09-01

    As part of the European Public Health project IMCA II validity and practicability of "air pollution" as a respiratory health indicator were analyzed. The definitions of air quality as an indicator proposed by the WHO project ECOEHIS and by IMCA I were compared. The public availability of the necessary data was checked through access to web-based data-bases. Practicability and interpretation of the indicator were discussed with project partners and external experts. Air quality serves as a kind of benchmark for the good health-related environmental policy. In this sense, it is a relevant health indicator. Although air quality is not directly in the responsibility of health policy, its vital importance for the population's health should not be neglected. In principle, data is available to calculate this IMCA indicator for any chosen area in Europe. The indicator is relevant and informative, but calculation and interpretation need input from local expert knowledge. The European health policy is well advised to take air quality into account. To that end, an interdisciplinary approach is warranted. The proposed definition of air quality as a (respiratory) health indicator is workable, but correct interpretation depends on expert and local knowledge.

  20. Quality of Life, Health Status, and Health Service Utilization Related to a New Measure of Health Literacy FLIGHT/VIDAS

    PubMed Central

    Ownby, Raymond L; Acevedo, Amarilis; Jacobs, Robin J.; Caballero, Joshua; Waldrop-Valverde, Drenna

    2014-01-01

    Objective Researchers have identified significant limitations in some currently-used measures of health literacy. The purpose of this paper is to present data on the relation of health-related quality of life, health status, and health service utilization to performance on a new measure of health literacy in a nonpatient population. Methods The new measure was administered to 475 English- and Spanish-speaking community-dwelling volunteers along with existing measures of health literacy and assessments of health-related quality of life, health status, and healthcare service utilization. Relations among measures were assessed via correlations and health status and utilization was tested across levels of health literacy using ANCOVA models. Results The new health literacy measure is significantly related to existing measures of health literacy as well as to participants’ health-related quality of life. Persons with lower levels of health literacy reported more health conditions, more frequent physical symptoms, and greater healthcare service utilization. Conclusion The new measure of health literacy is valid and shows relations to measures of conceptually-related constructs such as quality of life and health behaviors. Practice Implications: FLIGHT/VIDAS may be useful to researchers and clinicians interested in a computer administered and scored measure of health literacy. PMID:24856447

  1. Medicaid Statistical Information System (MSIS): a data source for quality reporting for Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

    PubMed

    MacTaggart, Patricia; Foster, Ashley; Markus, Anne

    2011-01-01

    Section 401 of the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA) requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to identify and publish healthcare quality measures for children enrolled in the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or Medicaid. CHIPRA also requires core measures to identify disparities by race and ethnicity, among other factors. State Medicaid and CHIP programs are currently facing significant budgetary pressures that are likely to increase with eligibility expansions and programmatic changes resulting from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). To limit the burden on states and increase the likelihood of states' voluntarily reporting on core pediatric quality measures, HHS may consider utilizing existing data sources. This article examines the feasibility of utilizing Medicaid Statistical Information System (MSIS) data to identify and analyze the core children's healthcare quality measures required by CHIPRA. Five key themes related to the feasibility of using MSIS as a data source for quality measures are identified: states have significant experience with data collection, performance measurement, and quality oversight for children in Medicaid and CHIP; CHIPRA provisions related to reporting of quality measures will be implemented at a time when states are facing major fiscal constraints; MSIS provides potential opportunities as it offers a rich source of data, but the difficulties in obtaining clean data should not be underestimated; MSIS has limitations; and states, the federal government, providers, and enrollees benefit from standardization in data and quality measurement. PMID:21464861

  2. ASSESSING BIOACCUMULATION FOR DERIVING NATIONAL HUMAN HEALTH WATER QUALITY CRITERIA

    EPA Science Inventory

    The United States Environmental Protection Agency is revising its methodology for deriving national ambient water quality criteria (AWQC) to protect human health. A component of this guidance involves assessing the potential for chemical bioaccumulation in commonly consumed fish ...

  3. 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

  4. 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

    Mays, Vickie M

    2012-11-01

    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.

  5. 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

  6. Health service quality scale: Brazilian Portuguese translation, reliability and validity

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The Health Service Quality Scale is a multidimensional hierarchical scale that is based on interdisciplinary approach. This instrument was specifically created for measuring health service quality based on marketing and health care concepts. The aim of this study was to translate and culturally adapt the Health Service Quality Scale into Brazilian Portuguese and to assess the validity and reliability of the Brazilian Portuguese version of the instrument. Methods We conducted a cross-sectional, observational study, with public health system patients in a Brazilian university hospital. Validity was assessed using Pearson’s correlation coefficient to measure the strength of the association between the Brazilian Portuguese version of the instrument and the SERVQUAL scale. Internal consistency was evaluated using Cronbach’s alpha coefficient; the intraclass (ICC) and Pearson’s correlation coefficients were used for test-retest reliability. Results One hundred and sixteen consecutive postoperative patients completed the questionnaire. Pearson’s correlation coefficient for validity was 0.20. Cronbach's alpha for the first and second administrations of the final version of the instrument were 0.982 and 0.986, respectively. For test-retest reliability, Pearson’s correlation coefficient was 0.89 and ICC was 0.90. Conclusions The culturally adapted, Brazilian Portuguese version of the Health Service Quality Scale is a valid and reliable instrument to measure health service quality. PMID:23327598

  7. 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...

  8. 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. PMID:1782383

  9. 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.

  10. Report Central: quality reporting tool in an electronic health record.

    PubMed

    Jung, Eunice; Li, Qi; Mangalampalli, Anil; Greim, Julie; Eskin, Michael S; Housman, Dan; Isikoff, Jeremy; Abend, Aaron H; Middleton, Blackford; Einbinder, Jonathan S

    2006-01-01

    Quality reporting tools, integrated with ambulatory electronic health records, can help clinicians and administrators understand performance, manage populations, and improve quality. Report Central is a secure web report delivery tool built on Crystal Reports XItrade mark and ASP.NET technologies. Pilot evaluation of Report Central indicates that clinicians prefer a quality reporting tool that is integrated with our home-grown EHR to support clinical workflow.

  11. 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…

  12. The Quality of Work and Youth Mental Health.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mortimer, Jeylan T.; Harley, Carolyn; Staff, Jeremy

    2002-01-01

    Data from the Youth Development Study on adolescents who worked in high school were used to examine mental health, work stress, and work/school interactions. The quality of high school work experiences had significant consequences for mental states during high school, but had little effect on long-term mental health. (Contains 70 references.) (SK)

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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. PMID:26789384

  16. 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...

  17. Quality Assurance of Peer Health Education Training.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lindsey, Billie J.; Saunders, Cynthia M.

    1999-01-01

    Investigated whether college level peer educators were adequately prepared to teach peers about sexual health, sexual assault, and substance abuse. They completed 20 hours of training on the issues and on public speaking, leadership, and presentation skills. Pretesting and posttesting indicated that the program increased students' factual…

  18. A systemic health care quality service program.

    PubMed

    Kalafat, J; Siman, M L; Walsh, L

    1991-01-01

    This article describes a systemic quality service program implemented in a community hospital as an initial component of a total quality approach. The program interventions are based on consumer research and principles that have been effective in producing organizational change and enhancing worker performance. The description of the program is organized around six change and performance-enhancement principles: (1) establishing the importance of the performance, (2) specifying the expected performance, (3) ensuring the ability to carry out the performance, (4) accurately measuring the performance, (5) providing consequences, and (6) addressing systemic blocks to effective performance. Evaluative data are presented, indicating enhanced performance in the critical areas of documented resolutions to problems and reduced response time to problems.

  19. [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).

  20. Accessing Quality Online Health Information: What Is the Solution?

    PubMed

    Boyer, Célia

    2016-01-01

    The majority of the adult population in both Europe and North America have access to the internet. Over 70% state that they have used the internet to look for health information and the majority started their search at a search engine. Given that search engines list sites according to popularity and not quality, it is imperative that users have a means of discerning trustworthy and honest information from non-reliable health information. The HONcode, a set of eight quality guidelines, ensures access to standardized trustworthy health information which can be used as a tool to guide consumers. PMID:27332317

  1. Total quality management in health: making it work.

    PubMed

    McLaughlin, C P; Kaluzny, A D

    1990-01-01

    Many health organizations are trying total quality management (TQM). This approach represents a total paradigm shift in health care management and presents a series of potential conflict areas in the way health organizations are managed. These areas include TQM's participatory approach versus professional and managerial authority, collective versus individual responsibility, quality assurance and standards versus continuous improvement, and flexible versus rigid objectives and plans. This article reviews the areas of conflict and suggests a number of action guidelines for the successful implementation of TQM.

  2. Medical loss ratio regulation under the Affordable Care Act.

    PubMed

    Harrington, Scott E

    2013-01-01

    The minimum medical loss ratio (MLR) regulations in the Affordable Care Act guarantee that a specific percentage of health insurance premiums is spent on medical care and specified activities to improve health care quality. This paper analyzes the regulations' potential unintended consequences and incentive effects, including: higher medical costs and premiums for some insurers; less innovation to align consumer, provider, and health plan incentives, less consumer choice and increased market concentration; and the risk that insurers will pay rebates if claim costs are lower than projected when premiums are established, despite the regulations' permitted "credibility adjustments." The paper discusses modifications and alternatives to the MLR regulations to help achieve their stated goals with less potential for adverse effects. PMID:23720876

  3. Quality and safety in health care, part V: introduction to crossing the quality chasm.

    PubMed

    Harolds, Jay A

    2015-12-01

    The Institute of Medicine report Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century focused on quality issues generally in health care, not only on mistakes. It made numerous recommendations for improving health care, including 6 aims and 10 rules to guide policy makers. This was intended to help redesign health care. However, the authors of the report did not attempt to provide all the answers because they realized that innovation was important and that they could not foresee all the sociopolitical forces and technological and research breakthroughs in the future.

  4. Quality and safety in health care, part V: introduction to crossing the quality chasm.

    PubMed

    Harolds, Jay A

    2015-12-01

    The Institute of Medicine report Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century focused on quality issues generally in health care, not only on mistakes. It made numerous recommendations for improving health care, including 6 aims and 10 rules to guide policy makers. This was intended to help redesign health care. However, the authors of the report did not attempt to provide all the answers because they realized that innovation was important and that they could not foresee all the sociopolitical forces and technological and research breakthroughs in the future. PMID:26402122

  5. Increasing access to quality health care for the poor: Community perceptions on quality care in Uganda.

    PubMed

    Kiguli, Julie; Ekirapa-Kiracho, Elizabeth; Okui, Olico; Mutebi, Aloysius; Macgregor, Hayley; Pariyo, George William

    2009-01-01

    This paper examines the community's perspectives and perceptions on quality of health care delivery in two Uganda districts. The paper addresses community concerns on service quality. It focuses on the poor because they are a vulnerable group and often bear a huge burden of disease. Community views were solicited and obtained using eight focus group discussions, six in-depth and 12 key informant interviews. User perceptions and definitions of the quality of health services depended on a number of variables related to technical competence, accessibility to services, interpersonal relations and presence of adequate drugs, supplies, staff, and facility amenities. Results indicate that service delivery to the poor in the general population is perceived to be of low quality. The factors that were mentioned as affecting the quality of services delivered were inadequate trained health workers, shortage of essential drugs, poor attitude of the health workers, and long distances to health facilities. This paper argues that there should be an improvement in the quality of health services with particular attention being paid to the poor. Despite wide focus on improvement of the existing infrastructure and donor funding, there is still low satisfaction with health services and poor perceived accessibility. PMID:19936148

  6. 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.

  7. The quality-value proposition in health care.

    PubMed

    Feazell, G Landon; Marren, John P

    2003-01-01

    Powerful forces are converging in US health care to finally cause recognition of the inherently logical relationship between quality and money. The forces, or marketplace "drivers," which are converging to compel recognition of the relationship between cost and quality are: (1) the increasing costs of care; (2) the recurrence of another medical malpractice crisis; and (3) the recognition inside and outside of health care that quality is inconsistent and unacceptable. It is apparent that hospital administrators, financial officers, board members, and medical staff leadership do not routinely do two things: (1) relate quality to finance; and (2) appreciate the intra-hospital structural problems that impede quality attainment. This article discusses these factors and offers a positive method for re-structuring quality efforts and focusing the hospital and its medical staff on quality. The simple but compelling thesis of the authors is that health care must immediately engage in the transformation to making quality of medical care the fundamental business strategy of the organization. PMID:14977035

  8. 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

  9. 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 ...

  10. Quality and Safety in Health Care, Part II: Three Early Reports on Quality.

    PubMed

    Harolds, Jay A

    2015-09-01

    The 1990 Institute of Medicine report Medicare: A Strategy for Quality Assurance offered a definition of quality in health care and recommendations on how to achieve it. The forces for change would include different activities by the federal government, informed consumers, professionalism, and private initiatives. Eight years later, the National Roundtable report Statement on Quality of Care indicated that there were major problems of underuse, overuse, and misuse of health care services. In the same year, the President's Advisory Commission report Quality First: Better Health Care for All Americans discussed major problems with health care and proposed many initiatives to correct them, and also recommended a Bill of Rights and Responsibilities for the patients. PMID:26244402

  11. 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…

  12. Health care quality, access, cost, workforce, and surgical education: the ultimate perfect storm.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, Marshall Z

    2012-01-01

    The discussions on health care reform over the past two years have focused on cost containment while trying to maintain quality of care. Focusing on just cost and quality unfortunately does not address other very important factors that impact on our health care delivery system. Availability of a well-trained workforce, maintaining the sophisticated medical/surgical education system, and ultimately access to quality care by the public are critical to maintaining and enhancing our health care delivery system. Unfortunately, all five of these components are under at risk. Thus, we have evolving the ultimate perfect storm affecting our health care delivery system. Although not ideal and given the uniqueness of our population and their expectations, our current delivery system is excellent compared to other countries. However, the cost of our current system is rising at an alarming rate. Currently, health care consumes 17% of our gross domestic product. If our system is not revised this will continue to rise and by 2025 it will consume 48%. The dilemma, given the current state of our overall economy and rising debt, is how to address this major problem. Unfortunately, the Affordable Care Act, which is now law, does not address most of the issues and the cost was initially grossly under estimated. Furthermore, the law does not address the issues of workforce, maintaining our medical education system or ultimately, access. A major revision of our system will be necessary to truly create a system that protects and enhances all five of the components of our health care delivery system. To effectively accomplish this will require addressing those issues that lead to wasteful spending and diversion of our health care dollars to profit instead of care. Improved and efficient delivery systems that reduce complications, reduction of duplication of tertiary and quaternary programs or services within the same markets (i.e. regionalization of care), health insurance reform, and

  13. Leadership and quality of working life in home health care.

    PubMed

    Smith, H L; Hood, J N; Piland, N F

    1994-01-01

    Home health care has undergone startling changes in the past decade and, in the process, become a strategically important ingredient of health care delivery. However, the question remains whether home health care organizations can deliver the benefits anticipated for integrated care delivery systems. The answer to this question depends to a great extent on whether home health care organizations build vibrant, visionary leadership capable of transforming organizations and motivating staff to deliver high quality and low cost services. This paper examines a case study of transformational leadership as it relates to the quality of working life for nurses, homemakers, and staff. The findings indicate that leader behaviour is strongly associated with homemakers', and to a lesser extent staff members', job satisfaction, job involvement, and propensity to remain with the organization. These job attitudes have been shown to be related to higher job performance. The implications for leadership in home health agencies are discussed. PMID:10134028

  14. 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. PMID:23992756

  15. Measuring health related quality of life in juvenile rheumatoid arthritis

    PubMed Central

    Carle, Adam C.; Dewitt, E. Morgan; Seid, M.

    2011-01-01

    Pediatric researchers and clinicians increasingly recognize the importance of measuring the impact of childhood disease across many aspects of a child’s life. In this review, we describe four measures of health related quality of life (HRQOL) designed specifically for children with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA). HRQOL generally refers to how an individual feels about aspects of their life in relation to their health. The World Health Organization originally described HRQOL as minimally including: physical, mental, and social health dimensions.1 Subsequent HRQOL definitions, while varied, have incorporated the notion that individuals have an important and distinct viewpoint regarding their disease and the quality of their life.2 They have also often emphasized HRQOL’s subjective nature.2 These features present unique challenges when measuring HRQOL in children. Cognizant of these issues, we review the development and psychometric properties of the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL) Rheumatology Module 3.0, the Juvenile Arthritis Quality of Life Questionnaire (JAQQ), the Paediatric Rheumatology Quality of Life Scale (PRQL), and the Childhood Arthritis Health Profile (CAHP). PMID:22588764

  16. 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.

  17. An agenda for quality improvement in forensic mental health consultation.

    PubMed

    Barnum, R

    1993-01-01

    Recent developments in quality assurance in health care have embraced the total quality management approach to industrial quality control. Setting a goal of "continuous quality improvement" for medical care, this approach features special attention to the process and systems of care provision. Applying this approach to the specialty of forensic mental health consultation yields a variety of potential ways of improving care, by articulating common problems in the consultation process that might respond to the total quality management approach. These problems include the setting of appropriate goals for forensic evaluation, and selecting cases for attention on the basis of those goals; determining appropriate standards for thoroughness and validity in the use of evaluation techniques; and establishing clear expectations regarding the provision of mental health services beyond the consultation process itself. Creating interdisciplinary teams at various levels of administration of trial courts and mental health agencies can provide contexts for reviewing cases, with the aim of discovering problems in these areas, educating professionals across boundaries about sources of problems, and developing clearer and more consistent standards of practice to reduce problems and improve quality of service.

  18. 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

    2015-11-01

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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. PMID:24915358

  1. 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:

  2. 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.

  3. Informal payments and the quality of health care: Mechanisms revealed by Tanzanian health workers.

    PubMed

    Mæstad, Ottar; Mwisongo, Aziza

    2011-02-01

    Informal payments for health services are common in many transitional and developing countries. The aim of this paper is to investigate the nature of informal payments in the health sector of Tanzania and to identify mechanisms through which informal payments may affect the quality of health care. Our focus is on the effect of informal payments on health worker behaviours, in particular the interpersonal dynamics among health workers at their workplaces. We organised eight focus groups with 58 health workers representing different cadres and levels of care in one rural and one urban district in Tanzania. We found that health workers at all levels receive informal payments in a number of different contexts. Health workers sometimes share the payments received, but only partially, and more rarely within the cadre than across cadres. Our findings indicate that health workers are involved in 'rent-seeking' activities, such as creating artificial shortages and deliberately lowering the quality of service, in order to extract extra payments from patients or to bargain for a higher share of the payments received by their colleagues. The discussions revealed that many health workers think that the distribution of informal payments is grossly unfair. The findings suggest that informal payments can impact negatively on the quality of health care through rent-seeking behaviours and through frustrations created by the unfair allocation of payments. Interestingly, the presence of corruption may also induce non-corrupt workers to reduce the quality of care. Positive impacts can occur because informal payments may induce health workers to increase their efforts, and maybe more so if there is competition among health workers about receiving the payments. Moreover, informal payments add to health workers' incomes and might thus contribute to retention of health workers within the health sector.

  4. Leading the Dental Quality Movement: A Dental Quality Alliance Perspective.

    PubMed

    Ojha, Diptee; Aravamudhan, Krishna

    2016-04-01

    Changing regulatory priorities set forth by the Affordable Care Act and recent activities of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services clearly prioritize the need to improve the quality of health care in both the public and private sectors. As the largest multistakeholder organization focused on oral health care quality measurement and improvement, the Dental Quality Alliance is leading the way in establishing standardized and valid quality measures applicable in both private and public sectors. PMID:27265980

  5. 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

  6. Reporting quality of health care to the board.

    PubMed

    Fleming, G A

    1993-01-01

    The reporting of quality of health care to the governing board has long been an enigma. Now we are in the midst of a revolution in health care, as we shift our focus from solely the clinical performance of individuals to a broader scope of assessing and improving all activities around patient services and patient care--i.e., management outcomes integrated with clinical outcomes to help identify opportunities to improve patient care. In addition, apprised of corporate liability for the quality of care provided in health care organizations, governing boards are raising questions and demanding more information. To maintain this high degree of interest in quality of health care, information should be restricted to what the board needs to know. This article will be confined to the hospital's organizationwide quality system of monitoring and evaluating. While medical staff credentialing and privileging are also board responsibilities and quality management activities should be used in the privileging and credentialing process, they will not be addressed in this article. PMID:10129400

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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. PMID:27453745

  10. HCFA's health care quality improvement program: the medical informatics challenge.

    PubMed Central

    Grant, J B; Hayes, R P; Pates, R D; Elward, K S; Ballard, D J

    1996-01-01

    The peer-review organizations (PROs) were created by Congress in 1984 to monitor the cost and quality of care received by Medicare beneficiaries. In order to do this, the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) contracted with the PROs through a series of contracts referred to as "Scopes of Work." Under the Fourth Scope of Work, the HCFA initiated the Health Care Quality Improvement Program (HCQIP) in 1990, as an application of the principles of continuous quality improvement. Since then, the PROs have participated with health care providers in cooperative projects to improve the quality of primarily inpatient care provided to Medicare beneficiaries. Through HCFA-supplied administrative data and clinical data abstracted from patient records, the PROs have been able to identify opportunities for improvements in patient care. In May 1995, the HCFA proposed a new Fifth Scope of Work, which will shift the focus of HCQIP from inpatient care projects to projects in outpatient and managed care settings. This article describes the HCQIP process, the types of data used by the PROs to conduct cooperative projects with health care providers, and the informatics challenges in improving the quality of care received by Medicare beneficiaries. PMID:8750387

  11. Oral health, general health, and quality of life in older people.

    PubMed

    Kandelman, Daniel; Petersen, Poul Erik; Ueda, Hiroshi

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of this report is to review the interrelationship between poor oral health conditions of older people and general health. The impact of poor oral health on quality of life (QOL) is analyzed, and the implications for public health intervention and oral health care are discussed. Findings from the current research may lead to the following conclusions: The available scientific evidence is particularly strong for a direct relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease; the direct relationship between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease is less convincing. General and associated oral health conditions have a direct influence on elder people's QOL and lifestyle. The growing number of elderly people challenges health authorities in most countries. The evidence on oral health-general health relationships is particularly important to WHO in its effort to strengthen integrated oral health promotion and disease prevention around the globe.

  12. 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

  13. Basic issues related to quantity and quality of health care, and quality assurance in Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Jacobalis, S

    1989-01-01

    Issues and problems related to the needs for quantity and quality in health care have been presented. The need for quantity has been quite successfully addressed in the last 20 years. Better quality of health care is very much in the minds of policy makers, providers and the informed public. Quality assessment and assurance as a programmed and on-going process in individual hospitals is systematically promoted and developed. An accreditation system for hospitals is planned for the future. This paper has not been able to contribute anything of value to the current practice of quality assurance. The industrialized world has passed the stages Indonesia is now going through. To some Australian colleagues, this presentation perhaps has revealed that one of their closest neighbours is struggling hard to improve the quality of life of its people, despite the tremendous problems and constraints with which it is confronted. Australia has always provided a helping hand in this struggle.

  14. Peer review to ensure quality in forensic mental health publication.

    PubMed

    Felthous, Alan R; Wettstein, Robert M

    2014-01-01

    Peer reviewers have been called the gatekeepers of science. For journal publications in forensic psychiatry, as well as other disciplines, the purposes of peer review are to assist in the selection of manuscripts to publish, improve the quality of manuscripts before their publication, and promote the fairness of the process. In this article, we examine, in particular, characteristics of high-quality peer reviewers, selection of peer reviewers, recruitment and retention of peer reviewers, desired quality of peer-reviewer ratings, and the value of peer review. We conclude with specific, albeit largely untested, recommendations for improvements in peer review of forensic mental health publications. PMID:25187283

  15. Quality and consumer decision making in the market for health insurance and health care services.

    PubMed

    Kolstad, Jonathan T; Chernew, Michael E

    2009-02-01

    This article reviews the literature relating quality to consumer choice of health plan or health care provider. Evidence suggests that consumers tend to choose better performing health plans and providers and are responsive to initiatives that provide quality information. The response to quality and quality information differs significantly among consumers and across population subgroups. As such the effect of quality information on choice is apparent in only a relatively small, though perhaps consequential, number of consumers. Despite the wealth of findings on the topic to date, the authors suggest directions for future work, including better assessment of the dynamic issues related to information release, as well as a better understanding of how the response to information varies across different groups of patients. PMID:19029288

  16. How Insurers Competed in the Affordable Care Act's First Year.

    PubMed

    Swartz, Katherine; Hall, Mark A; Jost, Timothy S

    2015-06-01

    Prior to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), most states' individual health insurance markets were dominated by one or two insurance carriers that had little incentive to compete by providing efficient services. Instead, they competed mainly by screening and selecting people based on their risk of incurring high medical costs. One of the ACA's goals is to encourage carriers to participate in the health insurance marketplaces and to shift the focus from competing based on risk selection to processes that increase consumer value, like improving efficiency of services and quality of care. Focusing on six states--Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Maryland, Montana, and Texas--this brief looks at how carriers are competing in the new marketplaces, namely through cost-sharing and composition of provider networks. PMID:26159009

  17. 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

  18. Hunting for health, well-being, and quality of life

    PubMed Central

    Svensson, Ove; Hallberg, Lillemor R.-M.

    2011-01-01

    Health, well-being, quality of life, and lifestyle are central concepts within health science, although generally accepted definitions are still lacking. Lifestyle can either be seen as an independent variable and the cause of unhealthy behaviour or as a dependent variable, which is affected by conditions in the society. In the first case, the attention is directed on each individual case: maintaining or improving health requires changes in lifestyle and living habits. In this perspective, diet and physical activity are important features for health promotion. In the second case the attention is rather directed on structural conditions in society, for example the food industry, the lunches for children at school, and the “fast food” industry should be influenced to protect human health. The structural perspective has, so far, received restricted impact when it concerns prevention and promotion of health. Processes of individualisation in the society have to an increasing extent viewed health as an affair for the individual. The benefits of physical activity, healthy food and beverage, social support, and joy are documented scientifically. In general, the trend towards increasing responsibility for one's lifestyle and health is positive, but might reinforce the inequality in health. With an even harder climate in society there might be a risk that individual health projects undermine the solidarity and the will to accept costs for medical treatment and care for people who risk their health through an unhealthy and risk-taking lifestyle. However, we argue that peoples’ well-being and quality of life presupposes a society that stands up for all people. PMID:21629582

  19. Hunting for health, well-being, and quality of life.

    PubMed

    Svensson, Ove; Hallberg, Lillemor R-M

    2011-01-01

    Health, well-being, quality of life, and lifestyle are central concepts within health science, although generally accepted definitions are still lacking. Lifestyle can either be seen as an independent variable and the cause of unhealthy behaviour or as a dependent variable, which is affected by conditions in the society. In the first case, the attention is directed on each individual case: maintaining or improving health requires changes in lifestyle and living habits. In this perspective, diet and physical activity are important features for health promotion. In the second case the attention is rather directed on structural conditions in society, for example the food industry, the lunches for children at school, and the "fast food" industry should be influenced to protect human health. The structural perspective has, so far, received restricted impact when it concerns prevention and promotion of health. Processes of individualisation in the society have to an increasing extent viewed health as an affair for the individual. The benefits of physical activity, healthy food and beverage, social support, and joy are documented scientifically. In general, the trend towards increasing responsibility for one's lifestyle and health is positive, but might reinforce the inequality in health. With an even harder climate in society there might be a risk that individual health projects undermine the solidarity and the will to accept costs for medical treatment and care for people who risk their health through an unhealthy and risk-taking lifestyle. However, we argue that peoples' well-being and quality of life presupposes a society that stands up for all people.

  20. eEurope 2002: Quality Criteria for Health related Websites

    PubMed Central

    2002-01-01

    Background A number of organisations have begun to provide specific tools for searching, rating, and grading this information, while others have set up codes of conduct by which site providers can attest to their high quality services. The aim of such tools is to assist individuals to sift through the mountains of information available so as to be better able to discern valid and reliable messages from those which are misleading or inaccurate. Objective Recognising that European citizens are avid consumers of health related information on the internet and recognising that they are already using the types of rating system described above, the European Council at Feira on June 19-20 2000 supported an initiative within eEurope 2002 to develop a core set of Quality Criteria for Health Related Websites. The specific aim was to draw up a commonly agreed set of simple quality criteria on which Member States, as well as public and private bodies, may draw in the development of quality initiatives for health related websites. These criteria should be applied in addition to relevant Community law. Methods A meeting was held during 2001 which drew together key players from Government departments, International Organisations, non-governmental organisations and industry, to explore current practices and experiments in this field. Some sixty invited participants from all the Member States, Norway, Switzerland, and the United States of America took part in the meeting of June 7-8, 2001: they included delegates from industrial, medical, and patient interest groups, delegates from Member States' governments, and key invited speakers from the field of health information ethics. These individuals, and many others, also took part in the web-based consultation which was open from august to November 2001. Results The broad headings for quality criteria identified include Transparency and Honesty, Authority, Privacy and data protection, Updating of information, Accountability

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Health Effects of Air Quality Regulations in Delhi, India

    PubMed Central

    Foster, Andrew; Kumar, Naresh

    2011-01-01

    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 3,989 subjects. A socio-economic and respiratory health survey was administered in 1,576 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. PMID:21461142

  6. 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.

  7. Quality and Safety in Health Care, Part VI: More on Crossing the Quality Chasm.

    PubMed

    Harolds, Jay A

    2016-01-01

    One of the most important aspects of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Crossing the Quality Chasm. A New Health System for the 21st Century report (Chasm report) was that 6 major aims for US health care were set forth. In addition, the report indicated that health care in the United States care should be redesigned in accordance with 10 enumerated rules. There were other recommendations as well, to try to bridge the huge gap between the health care many people in the United States receive and what they should receive. PMID:26447385

  8. 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.

  9. Assessing the quality of health care: a consumerist approach.

    PubMed

    Soliman, A A

    1992-01-01

    Recent investigations show that nontechnical interventions influence patients' ratings of the quality of health care, and that these aspects of the medical encounter are as important to the patient as the technical aspects; perhaps more important. This paper adopts a consumerist approach and measures patients' perceptions of health care quality using a scale adapted from the consumer behavior literature (SERVQUAL). The study measures health care quality as well as five of its individual dimensions. The findings indicate that, for the whole sample, patients' ratings of overall quality as well as the ratings of four of the five dimensions of care are negative. Further analysis indicates that many individual aspects (scale items) are rated negatively by each of two age groups (25-65 and over 65 years old), but the gap between perceptions of the younger group and their expectations is greater than that of the senior group. The two dimensions of "assurance" and "empathy" are found to be the most discriminating dimensions between the two groups. Other analyses indicate that age, annual household income, and work status significantly relate to overall quality rating. Marketing and strategic planning implications of the results are discussed. PMID:10124785

  10. 78 FR 71667 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Affordable...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-11-29

    ...; Affordable Care Act Grandfathered Health Plan Disclosure, Recordkeeping Requirement, and Change in Carrier..., ``Affordable Care Act Grandfathered Health Plan Disclosure, Recordkeeping Requirement, and Change in Carrier... Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), Public Law 111-148, section 1251 provides that certain plans...

  11. 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

  12. The World Health Organization's water safety plan is much more than just an integrated drinking water quality management plan.

    PubMed

    Viljoen, F C

    2010-01-01

    South Africa is a country of contrasts with far ranging variations in climate, precipitation rates, cultures, demographics, housing levels, education, wealth and skills levels. These differences have an impact on water services delivery as do expectations, affordability and available resources. Although South Africa has made much progress in supplying drinking water, the same cannot be said regarding water quality throughout the country. A concerted effort is currently underway to correct this situation and as part of this drive, water safety plans (WSP) are promoted. Rand Water, the largest water services provider in South Africa, used the World Health Organization (WHO) WSP framework as a guide for the development of its own WSP which was implemented in 2003. Through the process of implementation, Rand Water found the WHO WSP to be much more than just another integrated quality system.

  13. 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.

  14. Using empowerment to make quality work in health care.

    PubMed

    Byham, W C; Nelson, G D

    1994-01-01

    Is TQM dead in health care? If it is alive and well, what role does quality improvement play in managing the changes that come with health care reform? William Byham and Greg Nelson begin this article by presenting results from a recent international study on TQM, outlining factors common to successful and unsuccessful quality initiatives. The key to success? Organizations must improve how people work as much as what they do in their work, and that means empowering people to improve processes. Easier said than done, say Byham and Nelson. Empowerment requires culture change and training. People first need the right environment to work differently, then the skills, knowledge, and techniques to participate in and influence the quality process.

  15. TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT - THE NEW PARADIGM IN HEALTH CARE MANAGEMENT.

    PubMed

    Chakravarty, A; Parmar, N K; Ranyal, R K

    2001-07-01

    Hospitals are by nature complex organisations and the complexity is compounded in service hospitals with perceived notion of service deficiencies. Quality has emerged as a major issue in health care sector and TQM has been accepted as a major long-term strategic initiative towards continuously improving quality of health care. Key concepts of TQM start with top management leadership with emphasis on process and customer focus. Implementation of TQM in service hospitals will require Quality Management awareness, training and framework development as well as development of customer awareness. TQM has been widely applied in clinical field with successful outcome. TQM is not a short-term solution, it has to be understood and practised as a long-term strategic commitment.

  16. 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 ...

  17. Assessment of oral health related quality of life

    PubMed Central

    Allen, P Finbarr

    2003-01-01

    In Dentistry, as in other branches of Medicine, it has been recognised that objective measures of disease provide little insight into the impact of oral disorders on daily living and quality of life. A significant body of development work has been undertaken to provide health status measures for use as outcome measures in dentistry. In descriptive population studies, poor oral health related quality of life is associated with tooth loss. There is a less extensive literature of longitudinal clinical trials, and measurement of change and interpretation of change scores continues to pose a challenge. This paper reviews the literature regarding the development and use of these oral health related QoL measures and includes an appraisal of future research needs in this area. PMID:14514355

  18. Agents for change: nonphysician medical providers and health care quality.

    PubMed

    Boucher, Nathan A; Mcmillen, Marvin A; Gould, James S

    2015-01-01

    Quality medical care is a clinical and public health imperative, but defining quality and achieving improved, measureable outcomes are extremely complex challenges. Adherence to best practice invariably improves outcomes. Nonphysician medical providers (NPMPs), such as physician assistants and advanced practice nurses (eg, nurse practitioners, advanced practice registered nurses, certified registered nurse anesthetists, and certified nurse midwives), may be the first caregivers to encounter the patient and can act as agents for change for an organization's quality-improvement mandate. NPMPs are well positioned to both initiate and ensure optimal adherence to best practices and care processes from the moment of initial contact because they have robust clinical training and are integral to trainee/staff education and the timely delivery of care. The health care quality aspects that the practicing NPMP can affect are objective, appreciative, and perceptive. As bedside practitioners and participants in the administrative and team process, NPMPs can fine-tune care delivery, avoiding the problem areas defined by the Institute of Medicine: misuse, overuse, and underuse of care. This commentary explores how NPMPs can affect quality by 1) supporting best practices through the promotion of guidelines and protocols, and 2) playing active, if not leadership, roles in patient engagement and organizational quality-improvement efforts.

  19. The 1997 haze disaster in Indonesia: its air quality and health effects.

    PubMed

    Kunii, Osamu; Kanagawa, Shuzo; Yajima, Iwao; Hisamatsu, Yoshiharu; Yamamura, Sombo; Amagai, Takashi; Ismail, Ir T Sachrul

    2002-01-01

    In this study, the authors assessed air quality and health effects of the 1997 haze disaster in Indonesia. The authors measured carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, particulate matter with diameters less than or equal to 10 microm, inorganic ions, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The authors also interviewed 543 people and conducted lung-function tests and determined spirometric values for these individuals. Concentrations of carbon monoxide and particulate matter with diameters less than or equal to 10 microm reached "very unhealthy" and "hazardous" levels, as defined by the Pollution Standards Index. Concentrations of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons were 6-14 times higher than levels in the unaffected area. More than 90% of the respondents had respiratory symptoms, and elderly individuals suffered a serious deterioration of overall health. In multivariate analysis, the authors determined that gender, history of asthma, and frequency of wearing a mask were associated with severity of respiratory problems. The results of our study demonstrate the need for special care of the elderly and for care of those with a history of asthma. In addition, the use of a proper mask may afford protection.

  20. Delivering affordable cancer care in high-income countries.

    PubMed

    Sullivan, Richard; Peppercorn, Jeffrey; Sikora, Karol; Zalcberg, John; Meropol, Neal J; Amir, Eitan; Khayat, David; Boyle, Peter; Autier, Philippe; Tannock, Ian F; Fojo, Tito; Siderov, Jim; Williamson, Steve; Camporesi, Silvia; McVie, J Gordon; Purushotham, Arnie D; Naredi, Peter; Eggermont, Alexander; Brennan, Murray F; Steinberg, Michael L; De Ridder, Mark; McCloskey, Susan A; Verellen, Dirk; Roberts, Terence; Storme, Guy; Hicks, Rodney J; Ell, Peter J; Hirsch, Bradford R; Carbone, David P; Schulman, Kevin A; Catchpole, Paul; Taylor, David; Geissler, Jan; Brinker, Nancy G; Meltzer, David; Kerr, David; Aapro, Matti

    2011-09-01

    The burden of cancer is growing, and the disease is becoming a major economic expenditure for all developed countries. In 2008, the worldwide cost of cancer due to premature death and disability (not including direct medical costs) was estimated to be US$895 billion. This is not simply due to an increase in absolute numbers, but also the rate of increase of expenditure on cancer. What are the drivers and solutions to the so-called cancer-cost curve in developed countries? How are we going to afford to deliver high quality and equitable care? Here, expert opinion from health-care professionals, policy makers, and cancer survivors has been gathered to address the barriers and solutions to delivering affordable cancer care. Although many of the drivers and themes are specific to a particular field-eg, the huge development costs for cancer medicines-there is strong concordance running through each contribution. Several drivers of cost, such as over-use, rapid expansion, and shortening life cycles of cancer technologies (such as medicines and imaging modalities), and the lack of suitable clinical research and integrated health economic studies, have converged with more defensive medical practice, a less informed regulatory system, a lack of evidence-based sociopolitical debate, and a declining degree of fairness for all patients with cancer. Urgent solutions range from re-engineering of the macroeconomic basis of cancer costs (eg, value-based approaches to bend the cost curve and allow cost-saving technologies), greater education of policy makers, and an informed and transparent regulatory system. A radical shift in cancer policy is also required. Political toleration of unfairness in access to affordable cancer treatment is unacceptable. The cancer profession and industry should take responsibility and not accept a substandard evidence base and an ethos of very small benefit at whatever cost; rather, we need delivery of fair prices and real value from new technologies

  1. [Health care related e-health applications and quality of life: empirical results and conceptual perspectives].

    PubMed

    Muehlan, Holger; Schmidt, Silke

    2013-09-01

    As for other health care services, e-Health applications are implemented with the general objective to improve the quality of life of their users. This holds not equally true for all applications, but it is frequently stated for patient-side e-Health services.A descriptive review of the literature indicates that in general there is no substantial impact of selected e-Health applications on patient-reported quality of life. Moreover, empirical findings are insufficient or lacking for several e-Health applications. Patient satisfaction is more often included in e-Health studies investigating the impact of e-Health applications on patient-reported outcomes, whereas patient-reported experiences are increasingly important.Given the diversity of e-Health applications and respective intended outcomes, it is concluded that the assessment of quality of life should become more context-sensitive and application-specific, including domains and facets that are specifically appropriate to e-Health settings. Moreover, patient-reported experiences (e. g. patient safety) should be taken into account.

  2. 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…

  3. Quality and Safety in Health Care, Part VII: Lower Costs and Higher Quality.

    PubMed

    Harolds, Jay A

    2016-02-01

    The Institute of Medicine report entitled The Health Care Imperative: Lowering Costs and Improving Outcomes discussed numerous ways to decrease costs in the health care system without decreasing quality. The use of evidence-based medicine, eliminating wasteful spending such as needlessly high administrative costs, having more preventive services, having a better reimbursement system that emphasized quality, developing a less fragmented and more efficient medical delivery system, having more transparency for patients on the outcomes of different providers, having greater health care literacy for patients, and eliminating fraud were some of the recommendations. The total savings from eliminating unnecessary health care costs was estimated to be over 3 quarters of a trillion dollars each year. PMID:26545019

  4. Mental health consumers' perceptions of quality of life and mental health care.

    PubMed

    Williams, Emily; Sands, Natisha; Elsom, Stephen; Prematunga, Roshani Kanchana

    2015-09-01

    Research spanning the past decade consistently reports that people with severe mental illnesses experience lower quality of life than the general population, however, little is known about what "quality of life" means to consumers, or how quality of life can be promoted in mental health care. This study measured the Quality of Life of mental health consumers receiving care from a Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program, and examined consumer perceptions of quality of life. The study used an exploratory design incorporating the WHOQOL-brèf survey and four additional qualitative questions for data collection. Data were analysed using descriptive and correlational statistics. Participants (n = 49) reported lower quality of life scores on all four domains of the WHOQOL-brèf and lower overall ratings for "quality of life" than the general population. Having basic needs met, good relationships with family and friends, regular support, and improved social connectedness were identified by consumers as important to their quality of life.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Oral health related quality of life in diabetic patients.

    PubMed

    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

  8. 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. PMID:25560436

  9. [Continuous nursing education to improve the quality of health care].

    PubMed

    Fumić, Nera; Marinović, Marin; Brajan, Dolores

    2014-10-01

    Health care and today's medical and technical achievements and approved standards of treatment provide comprehensive quality, safety and traceability of medical procedures respecting the principles of health protection. Continuous education improves the quality of nursing health care and increases the effectiveness of patient care, consequently maintaining and enhancing patient safety. Patient health problems impose the need of appropriate, planned and timely nursing care and treatment. In providing quality nursing care, attention is focused on the patient and his/her needs in order to maintain and increase their safety, satisfaction, independence and recovery or peaceful death, so the health and nursing practices must be systematized, planned and based on knowledge and experience. Health and nursing care of patients at risk of developing acute and chronic wounds or already suffering from some form of this imply preventive measures that are provided through patient education, motivation, monitoring, early recognition of risk factors and causes, and reducing or removing them through the prescribed necessary medical treatment which is safe depending on the patient health status. Except for preventive measures, nursing care of patients who already suffer from some form of acute or chronic wounds is focused on the care and treatment of damaged tissue by providing appropriate and timely diagnosis, timely and proper evaluation of the wound and patient general status, knowledge and understanding of the wide range of local, oral and parenteral therapy and treatment, aiming to increase patient safety by preventing progression of the patient general condition and local wound status and reducing the possibility of developing infection or other complications of the underlying disease. In the overall patient management, through nursing process, medical interventions are implemented and aimed to maintain and optimize health status, prevent complications of existing diseases and

  10. Diabetes and the Affordable Care Act.

    PubMed

    Burge, Mark R; Schade, David S

    2014-07-01

    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.

  11. 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

  12. Family physicians improve patient health care quality and outcomes.

    PubMed

    Bowman, Marjorie A; Neale, Anne Victoria

    2013-01-01

    This issue exemplifies family physicians' ability to provide great care and to continuously improve. For example, beyond other specialty care, the care provided by family physicians is associated with improved melanoma diagnosis and outcomes and improved preventive services for those with a history of breast cancer. Electronic health records are providing new avenues to both assess outcomes and influence care. However, to truly reward quality care, simplistic and readily measurable items such as laboratory results or assessment of the provision of preventive services must be adjusted for risk. Health insurance influences classic preventive care services more than personal health behaviors. The care provided at federally qualified health centers throughout the nation is highly appreciated by the people they serve and is not plagued by the types of disparities in other settings.

  13. The Affordable Care Act and emergency care.

    PubMed

    McClelland, Mark; Asplin, Brent; Epstein, Stephen K; Kocher, Keith Eric; Pilgrim, Randy; Pines, Jesse; Rabin, Elaine Judith; Rathlev, Niels Kumar

    2014-10-01

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will have far-reaching effects on the way health care is designed and delivered. Several elements of the ACA will directly affect both demand for ED care and expectations for its role in providing coordinated care. Hospitals will need to employ strategies to reduce ED crowding as the ACA expands insurance coverage. Discussions between EDs and primary care physicians about their respective roles providing acute unscheduled care would promote the goals of the ACA.

  14. 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

  15. Quality-based financial incentives in health care: can we improve quality by paying for it?

    PubMed

    Conrad, Douglas A; Perry, Lisa

    2009-01-01

    This article asks whether financial incentives can improve the quality of health care. A conceptual framework drawn from microeconomics, agency theory, behavioral economics, and cognitive psychology motivates a set of propositions about incentive effects on clinical quality. These propositions are evaluated through a synthesis of extant peer-reviewed empirical evidence. Comprehensive financial incentives--balancing rewards and penalties; blending structure, process, and outcome measures; emphasizing continuous, absolute performance standards; tailoring the size of incremental rewards to increasing marginal costs of quality improvement; and assuring certainty, frequency, and sustainability of incentive payoffs--offer the prospect of significantly enhancing quality beyond the modest impacts of prevailing pay-for-performance (P4P) programs. Such organizational innovations as the primary care medical home and accountable health care organizations are expected to catalyze more powerful quality incentive models: risk- and quality-adjusted capitation, episode of care payments, and enhanced fee-for-service payments for quality dimensions (e.g., prevention) most amenable to piece-rate delivery. PMID:19296779

  16. 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. PMID:23429226

  17. 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.

  18. Health Information on Internet: Quality, Importance, and Popularity of Persian Health Websites

    PubMed Central

    Samadbeik, Mahnaz; Ahmadi, Maryam; Mohammadi, Ali; Mohseni Saravi, Beniamin

    2014-01-01

    Background: The Internet has provided great opportunities for disseminating both accurate and inaccurate health information. Therefore, the quality of information is considered as a widespread concern affecting the human life. Despite the increasingly substantial growth in the number of users, Persian health websites and the proportion of internet-using patients, little is known about the quality of Persian medical and health websites. Objectives: The current study aimed to first assess the quality, popularity and importance of websites providing Persian health-related information, and second to evaluate the correlation of the popularity and importance ranking with quality score on the Internet. Materials and Methods: The sample websites were identified by entering the health-related keywords into four most popular search engines of Iranian users based on the Alexa ranking at the time of study. Each selected website was assessed using three qualified tools including the Bomba and Land Index, Google PageRank and the Alexa ranking. Results: The evaluated sites characteristics (ownership structure, database, scope and objective) really did not have an effect on the Alexa traffic global rank, Alexa traffic rank in Iran, Google PageRank and Bomba total score. Most websites (78.9 percent, n = 56) were in the moderate category (8 ≤ x ≤ 11.99) based on their quality levels. There was no statistically significant association between Google PageRank with Bomba index variables and Alexa traffic global rank (P > 0.05). Conclusions: The Persian health websites had better Bomba quality scores in availability and usability guidelines as compared to other guidelines. The Google PageRank did not properly reflect the real quality of evaluated websites and Internet users seeking online health information should not merely rely on it for any kind of prejudgment regarding Persian health websites. However, they can use Iran Alexa rank as a primary filtering tool of these websites

  19. 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:

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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. PMID:27132632

  3. 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.

  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. PMID:23714199

  5. 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…

  6. State Public Health Laboratory System Quality Improvement Activities

    PubMed Central

    Vagnone, Paula Snippes

    2013-01-01

    The Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) and the APHL Laboratory Systems and Standards Committee manage the Laboratory System Improvement Program (L-SIP). One component of L-SIP is an assessment that allows the members and stakeholders of a laboratory system to have an open and honest discussion about the laboratory system's strengths and weaknesses. From these facilitated discussions, gaps and opportunities for improvement are identified. In some cases, ideas for how to best address these gaps emerge, and workgroups are formed. Depending on resources, both monetary and personnel, laboratory staff will then prioritize the next component of L-SIP: which quality improvement activities to undertake. This article describes a sample of quality improvement activities initiated by several public health laboratories after they conducted L-SIP assessments. These projects can result in more robust linkages between system entities, which can translate into improvements in the way the system addresses the needs of stakeholders. PMID:23997301

  7. Health-related quality of life assessment in clinical practice.

    PubMed

    Meers, C; Singer, M A

    1996-01-01

    Assessment of biochemical responses to therapy is routine in the management of patients with end stage renal disease (ESRD). Assessment of health-related quality of life (HRQOL), however, is less common. Previous research indicates that HRQOL is a meaningful indicator that should be integrated into clinical practice. HRQOL is longitudinally evaluated in in-centre hemodialysis patients using the RAND 36-item Health Survey 1.0. Caregivers incorporate scores from this instrument into their assessment of patient functioning and well-being. HRQOL scores can be utilized to evaluate responses to changes in therapy, and to direct clinical decision-making, adding an important dimension to holistic, quality care for ESRD patients. PMID:8900807

  8. Decreased health care quality associated with emergency department overcrowding.

    PubMed

    Miró, O; Antonio, M T; Jiménez, S; De Dios, A; Sánchez, M; Borrás, A; Millá, J

    1999-06-01

    The objective of this study was to assess the influence of overcrowding on health care quality provided by emergency departments (ED). The study was carried out in an urban, university tertiary care hospital. All patients seen at the internal medicine unit (IMU) of the ED who returned during the following 72 hours, and those who died in the ED rooms were included in the study. During a consecutive period of 2 years (104 weeks), we prospectively quantified the number of weekly visits, revisits and deaths. We calculated revisit and mortality rates (in respect of percentage of all visited patients) for each week. Correlation between the number of weekly visits, and revisit and mortality rates was assessed using a simple linear regression model. We consigned 81,301 visits, 1137 revisits and 648 deaths; mean (+/- SD) number of weekly visits, revisits and deaths were 782 (68), 10.93 (3.97) and 6.23 (3.04) respectively; weekly revisit rate was 1.40% (0.48%) and weekly mortality rate was 0.79% (0.36%). We observed a significant, positive correlation between mortality rates and weekly number of visits (p = 0.01). Although a similar trend was also found for revisit rates, such an increase did not reach statistical significance (p = 0.06). It is concluded that since revisit and mortality rates constitute good health care quality markers, present data demonstrate that ED overcrowding implies a decrease in the health care quality provided by it.

  9. 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.

  10. Quality of management in the health care system.

    PubMed

    Borgenhammar, E

    1990-01-01

    Quality of management is a necessary, yet not sufficient, prerequisite in quality of care. There are two main approaches to improved quality. One is the individualist approach, where the role of the manager is emphasized. The other is the contextual approach. Focus is on managerial prerequisites such as organizational structure, culture, participation in decision making, and use of management time. Individualist as well as contextualist approaches are presented. Each decade during the 20th century has had its own "pet theory" regarding what problems the manager should allocate time on. A study of 41 Nordic public health researchers illustrates that cost-benefit analysis is the best known of ten theories. Management ethics, with the manager as ideologist, is seen as particularly demanding on managerial creativity.

  11. Mitochondrial quality control pathways as determinants of metabolic health

    PubMed Central

    Held, Ntsiki M.

    2015-01-01

    Mitochondrial function is key for maintaining cellular health, while mitochondrial failure is associated with various pathologies, including inherited metabolic disorders and age‐related diseases. In order to maintain mitochondrial quality, several pathways of mitochondrial quality control have evolved. These systems monitor mitochondrial integrity through antioxidants, DNA repair systems, and chaperones and proteases involved in the mitochondrial unfolded protein response. Additional regulation of mitochondrial function involves dynamic exchange of components through mitochondrial fusion and fission. Sustained stress induces a selective autophagy – termed mitophagy – and ultimately leads to apoptosis. Together, these systems form a network that acts on the molecular, organellar, and cellular level. In this review, we highlight how these systems are regulated in an integrated context‐ and time‐dependent network of mitochondrial quality control that is implicated in healthy aging. PMID:26010263

  12. Universal health insurance in India: ensuring equity, efficiency, and quality.

    PubMed

    Prinja, Shankar; Kaur, Manmeet; Kumar, Rajesh

    2012-07-01

    Indian health system is characterized by a vast public health infrastructure which lies underutilized, and a largely unregulated private market which caters to greater need for curative treatment. High out-of-pocket (OOP) health expenditures poses barrier to access for healthcare. Among those who get hospitalized, nearly 25% are pushed below poverty line by catastrophic impact of OOP healthcare expenditure. Moreover, healthcare costs are spiraling due to epidemiologic, demographic, and social transition. Hence, the need for risk pooling is imperative. The present article applies economic theories to various possibilities for providing risk pooling mechanism with the objective of ensuring equity, efficiency, and quality care. Asymmetry of information leads to failure of actuarially administered private health insurance (PHI). Large proportion of informal sector labor in India's workforce prevents major upscaling of social health insurance (SHI). Community health insurance schemes are difficult to replicate on a large scale. We strongly recommend institutionalization of tax-funded Universal Health Insurance Scheme (UHIS), with complementary role of PHI. The contextual factors for development of UHIS are favorable. SHI schemes should be merged with UHIS. Benefit package of this scheme should include preventive and in-patient curative care to begin with, and gradually include out-patient care. State-specific priorities should be incorporated in benefit package. Application of such an insurance system besides being essential to the goals of an effective health system provides opportunity to regulate private market, negotiate costs, and plan health services efficiently. Purchaser-provider split provides an opportunity to strengthen public sector by allowing providers to compete. PMID:23112438

  13. Universal Health Insurance in India: Ensuring Equity, Efficiency, and Quality

    PubMed Central

    Prinja, Shankar; Kaur, Manmeet; Kumar, Rajesh

    2012-01-01

    Indian health system is characterized by a vast public health infrastructure which lies underutilized, and a largely unregulated private market which caters to greater need for curative treatment. High out-of-pocket (OOP) health expenditures poses barrier to access for healthcare. Among those who get hospitalized, nearly 25% are pushed below poverty line by catastrophic impact of OOP healthcare expenditure. Moreover, healthcare costs are spiraling due to epidemiologic, demographic, and social transition. Hence, the need for risk pooling is imperative. The present article applies economic theories to various possibilities for providing risk pooling mechanism with the objective of ensuring equity, efficiency, and quality care. Asymmetry of information leads to failure of actuarially administered private health insurance (PHI). Large proportion of informal sector labor in India's workforce prevents major upscaling of social health insurance (SHI). Community health insurance schemes are difficult to replicate on a large scale. We strongly recommend institutionalization of tax-funded Universal Health Insurance Scheme (UHIS), with complementary role of PHI. The contextual factors for development of UHIS are favorable. SHI schemes should be merged with UHIS. Benefit package of this scheme should include preventive and in-patient curative care to begin with, and gradually include out-patient care. State-specific priorities should be incorporated in benefit package. Application of such an insurance system besides being essential to the goals of an effective health system provides opportunity to regulate private market, negotiate costs, and plan health services efficiently. Purchaser-provider split provides an opportunity to strengthen public sector by allowing providers to compete. PMID:23112438

  14. 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. PMID:24631526

  15. Health benefits of improving air quality in Taiyuan, China.

    PubMed

    Tang, Deliang; Wang, Cuicui; Nie, Jiesheng; Chen, Renjie; Niu, Qiao; Kan, Haidong; Chen, Bingheng; Perera, Frederica

    2014-12-01

    Since 2000, the government in Shanxi province has mounted several initiatives and mandated factory shutdowns with the goal of reducing coal burning emissions and the environmental impacts of industrialization. We estimated the health benefits associated with air quality improvement from 2001 to 2010 in Taiyuan, Shanxi Province, using disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) and monetized the health benefits using value of statistical life (VOSL). Data were collected on annual average concentrations of particulate matter less than 10 μm in aerodynamic diameter (PM10) and relevant health outcomes in Taiyuan from 2001 to 2010. Selected exposure-response functions were used to calculate the cases of death or disease attributable to PM10 annually over a 10-year period. These were summed to calculate the DALYs lost and their monetary value associated with PM10 each year between 2001 and 2010. Air quality improvement from 2001 to 2010 was estimated to have prevented 2810 premature deaths, 951 new cases of chronic bronchitis, 141,457 cases of outpatient visits, 969 cases of emergency-room visits and 31,810 cases of hospital admissions. The DALYs (VOSL) decreased by 56.92% (52.68%) from 52,937 (7274 million Yuan) in 2001 to 22,807 (3442 million Yuan) in 2010. Premature deaths accounted for almost 95% of the total DALYs. Our analysis demonstrates that air pollution abatement during the last decade in Taiyuan has generated substantial health benefits. PMID:25168129

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Employer Reactions to the Affordable Care Act.

    PubMed

    Muller, Leslie A; Isely, Paul; Levin, Adelin

    2015-01-01

    Although the implementation of parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was delayed until 2015, many firms had already made changes to their health insurance plans and their business practices. This article reports results from a survey administered to western Michigan firms in October 2013 requesting information on any changes they made in response to ACA. The authors found that although 89% of employers planned to offer health insurance in 2014, that number dropped to 66% in 2015. The main ways organizations were controlling health costs were by changing prescription coverage, passing on the costs to employees through higher copays and premiums and offering more high-deductible health plans with health savings accounts. Employers also were altering business practices by decreasing future hiring and decreasing the hours of part-time workers. The authors find that many of these changes were due to the uncertainty firms were facing during the ACA implementation process. PMID:26540944

  19. Two-Year Impact of the Alternative Quality Contract on Pediatric Health Care Quality and Spending

    PubMed Central

    Song, Zirui; Chernew, Michael E.; Landon, Bruce E.; McNeil, Barbara J.; Safran, Dana G.; Schuster, Mark A.

    2014-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To examine the 2-year effect of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts’ global budget arrangement, the Alternative Quality Contract (AQC), on pediatric quality and spending for children with special health care needs (CSHCN) and non-CSHCN. METHODS: Using a difference-in-differences approach, we compared quality and spending trends for 126 975 unique 0- to 21-year-olds receiving care from AQC groups with 415 331 propensity-matched patients receiving care from non-AQC groups; 23% of enrollees were CSHCN. We compared quality and spending pre (2006–2008) and post (2009–2010) AQC implementation, adjusting analyses for age, gender, health risk score, and secular trends. Pediatric outcome measures included 4 preventive and 2 acute care measures tied to pay-for-performance (P4P), 3 asthma and 2 attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder quality measures not tied to P4P, and average total annual medical spending. RESULTS: During the first 2 years of the AQC, pediatric care quality tied to P4P increased by +1.8% for CSHCN (P < .001) and +1.2% for non-CSHCN (P < .001) for AQC versus non-AQC groups; quality measures not tied to P4P showed no significant changes. Average total annual medical spending was ∼5 times greater for CSHCN than non-CSHCN; there was no significant impact of the AQC on spending trends for children. CONCLUSIONS: During the first 2 years of the contract, the AQC had a small but significant positive effect on pediatric preventive care quality tied to P4P; this effect was greater for CSHCN than non-CSHCN. However, it did not significantly influence (positively or negatively) CSHCN measures not tied to P4P or affect per capita spending for either group. PMID:24366988

  20. 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. PMID:12313292

  1. 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.

  2. 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:

  3. Health-Related Quality of Life and Quality of Sexual Life in Obese Subjects

    PubMed Central

    Di Lazzaro, Luca; Pinto, Alessandro; Migliaccio, Silvia; Lenzi, Andrea; Donini, Lorenzo M.

    2014-01-01

    The increased prevalence of obesity represents, currently, one of the major public health issues, due to its consequences on physical and psychological health status as well as on the psychosocial functioning. As defined by the World Health Organization, sexual health is “a state of physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being in relation to sexuality.” The aim of the present study was to explore the relationship between sexual life in obese subjects and quality of life, psychological status, and disability. Methods. 95 obese subjects were recruited from June 2012 to February 2013 and underwent physical examination and measures for the assessment of quality of life, sexual life, psychological status, and disability. Results. In obese subjects sexual life was related to gender, age, psychological status, disability, and quality of life. Conclusion. As obesity is a multifactorial disease, and is accompanied by multiple comorbidities, it is difficult to identify a single causative factor responsible for the impairment of sexual life in obese subjects; thus, a thorough, multidimensional evaluation including sexual function assessment should be performed in obese people. PMID:24707290

  4. Predicted health impacts of urban air quality management

    PubMed Central

    Mindell, J; Joffe, M

    2004-01-01

    Study objective: The 1995 UK Environment Act required local authorities to review air quality and, where UK National Air Quality Strategy objectives (except ozone) are likely to be exceeded in 2005, to declare local air quality management areas and prepare action plans. This study modelled the impacts on health of reductions from current levels of PM10 to these objectives. Design: The framework for conducting quantified health impact assessment assessed causality, then, if appropriate, examined the shape and magnitude of the exposure-response relations. The study modelled declines in pollution to achieve the objectives, then modelled the numbers of deaths and admissions affected if air pollution declined from existing levels to meet the objectives, using routine data. Setting: Westminster, central London. Main results: Attaining the 2004 PM10 24 hour objective in Westminster results in 1–21 lives no longer shortened in one year (annual deaths 1363). Reducing exceedences from 35 to seven almost doubles the estimates. The 2009 objective for the annual mean requires a substantial reduction in PM10, which would delay 8–20 deaths. About 20 respiratory and 14–20 circulatory admissions would be affected and around 5% of emergency hospital attendances for asthma by attaining the lower annual mean target. The effects of long term exposure to particulates may be an order of magnitude higher: models predict about 24 deaths are delayed by reaching the 2004 annual target (40 µg/m3[gravimetric]) and a hundred deaths by reducing annual mean PM10 to 20 µg/m3[gravimetric]. Conclusions: Modelling can be used to estimate the potential health impacts of air quality management programmes. PMID:14729886

  5. Affordable TB treatments. South.

    PubMed

    1998-07-01

    This short article reports the proceedings of a session of the World Health Organization (WHO) on tuberculosis (TB) prevention and management. 15 million persons are infected with both TB and HIV; 11 million of these people are in sub-Saharan Africa. Current TB management relies on finding cases and treating them. According to Paul Nunn of WHO, the role of preventive therapy is unclear. Jensa Bell, of Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York, reported on the cost effectiveness of prevention with isoniazid (INH) in sub-Saharan Africa. Direct medical costs of the drug for 6 months are CHF171/year of life saved. When social costs of TB and prevention of secondary cases are included, INH prophylaxis saves money; initial investment is CHF34.50/person treated, while cost averted is CHF36.24/person treated. Mary Mulindwa, of the Joint Clinical Research Centre in Kampala, Uganda, studied reasons for nonadherence to TB preventive regimens in a clinical trial. Major reasons included the following: 1) transport difficulties; 2) caring for a sick family member; 3) change of address without informing the home visitor; and 4) stigma of being seen with a health worker. Richard Chaisson, of the CP-CRA004/ACTG177 study group, reported results from a trial comparing prevention with INH for 12 months to rifampin plus pyrazinamide (R/P) for 2 months in 1600 tuberculin-positive, HIV-positive people without active disease in the US, Mexico, Brazil, and Haiti. "Effective therapy" with INH was equal to at least 6 months of continuous adherence; 67% of patients met this standard. 80% of R/P patients were adherent. Over 3 years, there were 26 confirmed cases of TB in the INH group and 19 in the R/P group; these results are equivalent. However, Chaisson noted that the cost and feasibility of R/P treatment in resource-poor settings should be considered.

  6. Affordable TB treatments. South.

    PubMed

    1998-07-01

    This short article reports the proceedings of a session of the World Health Organization (WHO) on tuberculosis (TB) prevention and management. 15 million persons are infected with both TB and HIV; 11 million of these people are in sub-Saharan Africa. Current TB management relies on finding cases and treating them. According to Paul Nunn of WHO, the role of preventive therapy is unclear. Jensa Bell, of Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York, reported on the cost effectiveness of prevention with isoniazid (INH) in sub-Saharan Africa. Direct medical costs of the drug for 6 months are CHF171/year of life saved. When social costs of TB and prevention of secondary cases are included, INH prophylaxis saves money; initial investment is CHF34.50/person treated, while cost averted is CHF36.24/person treated. Mary Mulindwa, of the Joint Clinical Research Centre in Kampala, Uganda, studied reasons for nonadherence to TB preventive regimens in a clinical trial. Major reasons included the following: 1) transport difficulties; 2) caring for a sick family member; 3) change of address without informing the home visitor; and 4) stigma of being seen with a health worker. Richard Chaisson, of the CP-CRA004/ACTG177 study group, reported results from a trial comparing prevention with INH for 12 months to rifampin plus pyrazinamide (R/P) for 2 months in 1600 tuberculin-positive, HIV-positive people without active disease in the US, Mexico, Brazil, and Haiti. "Effective therapy" with INH was equal to at least 6 months of continuous adherence; 67% of patients met this standard. 80% of R/P patients were adherent. Over 3 years, there were 26 confirmed cases of TB in the INH group and 19 in the R/P group; these results are equivalent. However, Chaisson noted that the cost and feasibility of R/P treatment in resource-poor settings should be considered. PMID:12222196

  7. 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

  8. [Evaluation auditing of the quality of health care in accreditation of health facilities].

    PubMed

    Paim, Chennyfer da Rosa Paino; Zucchi, Paola

    2011-01-01

    This article shows how many health insurance companies operating in the Greater São Paulo have been performing auditing of the quality of their health care services, professionals, and which criteria are being employed to do so. Because of the legislation decreeing that health insurance companies have legal co-responsibility for the health care services and National Health Agency control the health services National Health Agency, auditing evaluations have been implemented since then. The survey was based on electronic forms e-mailed to all health insurance companies operating in the Greater São Paulo. The sample consisted of 125 health insurance companies; 29 confirmed that had monitoring and evaluation processes; 26 performed auditing of their services regularly; from those, 20 used some type of form or protocol for technical visits; all evaluation physical and administrative structure and 22 included functional structure. Regarding the professionals audited 21 were nurses, 13 administrative assistants; 04 managers and 02 doctors. Regarding criteria for accreditation the following were highlighted: region analysis (96%), localization (88.88%) and cost (36%). We conclude that this type of auditing evaluation is rather innovative and is being gradually implemented by the health insurance companies, but is not a systematic process. PMID:21503464

  9. 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

  10. 76 FR 11283 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Affordable...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-03-01

    ...; Affordable Care Act Internal Claims and Appeals and External Review Procedures for Non-Grandfathered Plans... Administration (EBSA) sponsored information collection request (ICR) titled, ``Affordable Care Act Internal... Affordable Care Act added Public Health Service Act section 2719, which provides rules relating to......

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. 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. PMID:25983332

  14. 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.

  15. 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. PMID:26147460

  16. 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.

  17. Mental Health and Health-Related Quality of Life in Multiple Sclerosis Caregivers in Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Stern, Marilyn; Arelis, Adriana Aguayo; Islas, Miguel Angel Macias; Barajas, Brenda Viridiana Rábago

    2016-01-01

    Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) rates are increasing in Latin America, and caregiving for an individual with MS is associated with poorer mental and physical health outcomes. No existing research has examined the relation between mental health and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in MS caregivers in Latin America. Methods: The present study examined the association between mental health (Patient Health Questionnaire-9, Satisfaction with Life Scale, Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory) and HRQOL (36-item Short Form Health Status Survey) in 81 Mexican MS caregivers. Results: A canonical correlation analysis uncovered a large, significant overall association between mental health and HRQOL, with 52.7% of the variance shared between the two sets of constructs. When individual canonical loadings were examined in this analysis, the most substantial pattern that emerged was between depression and general health. Four regressions controlling for demographic variables found that HRQOL uniquely accounted for 19.0% of the variance in caregiver anxiety, 32.5% in depression, 13.5% in satisfaction with life, and 14.3% in self-esteem. Conclusions: These findings demonstrated a strong association between HRQOL and mental health, which points to directions for future studies on interventions for MS caregivers, particularly in Mexican and other Latino populations. PMID:26917994

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  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. PMID:20150799

  1. 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. PMID:18049180

  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. 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.

  4. Quality in health care: what are the problems and what are the solutions?

    PubMed

    Shipon, D M; Nash, D B

    2000-10-01

    The health care industry must define quality as achieving "desired health outcomes" that are "consistent with current professional knowledge." Once a single definition is established, health care professionals can begin to measure quality and improve the process of health care in this country. Clinical variation and an increasing number of medical mistakes have contributed to rising health care costs and poor quality. Once the industry establishes what is wrong, it can begin to devise some solutions to improve the quality of health care. A six-step strategy to improve quality is suggested: increasing accountability at all levels of the industry, continuous quality improvement, standardization of medicine using guidelines, patient empowerment, improved access to health information through a centralized database, and the need for incentives for patients and medical professionals. Although many physicians are skeptical of such changes, the health care industry clearly must work together to address the issue of quality appropriately.

  5. Quality Implementation in Health Physics Unit, Cosenza Hospital. Accreditation Program as Quality Improvement instrument.

    PubMed

    Loizzo, M; Siciliano, R

    2016-01-01

    Achieving high levels of quality in healthcare, which could be measurable, is increasingly important at present and is dictated by the radical changes of the welfare system imposed today by the well known economic constraints. However, even in the ongoing legislation, the practices concerning the verification and review of the quality of health care has had a major impact in the galaxy of Health. On the one hand, the citizen is developing an awareness of the possibilities of choice (Empowerment) between a plurality of providers of healthcare services, on the other hand providers themselves are obliged, within the logic of a global market, to retrain their offers to respond satisfactorily to the needs of citizens. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate how the adoption of Operational Procedures, following the granting of a certificate of accreditation to the Unit of Medical Physics, has changed the approach to the work on the part of health workers, in the direction of a dynamic quality improvement. PMID:27479767

  6. Mental health and quality of life in deaf pupils.

    PubMed

    Fellinger, Johannes; Holzinger, Daniel; Sattel, Heribert; Laucht, Manfred

    2008-10-01

    In the past decade, the living conditions of hearing impaired children have been changing due to new technologies and mainstreaming in schools. The majority of population-based studies in deaf pupils were conducted before these changes started to take place. The present study aimed to evaluate the current situation regarding aspects of mental health and, for the first time, quality of life in a representative sample of deaf pupils. The sample stems from a population of 145,000 pupils attending the first to ninth grades during the school years 2003-2005 in Upper Austria. From 186 children with bilateral hearing impairment of at least 40 dB registered at the centre for special education for children with sensory impairments, 99 with a performance IQ above 70 were included in the present study. Parents and teachers completed the strengths and difficulties questionnaire (SDQ), while parents and children were administered the inventory for the assessment of the quality of life in children and adolescents (ILC). Results indicated that deaf children scored significantly higher on the SDQ than their counterparts from normative samples according to both parent and teacher ratings. Differences were most marked with regard to conduct problems, emotional problems, and peer problems, and less marked for hyperactivity/inattention. While parents of deaf children had a generally positive view of their children's quality of life, deaf children provided a more complex picture, stressing areas of dissatisfaction. Mental health and quality of life were found to be unrelated to the child's degree of deafness. PMID:18810312

  7. Health-related quality of life in pituitary diseases.

    PubMed

    Crespo, Iris; Valassi, Elena; Santos, Alicia; Webb, Susan M

    2015-03-01

    In the last 15 years, worse health-related quality of life (QoL) has been reported in patients with pituitary diseases compared with healthy individuals. Different QoL questionnaires have shown incomplete physical and psychological recovery after therapy. Residual impairments often affect QoL even long-term after successful treatment of pituitary adenomas. In this article, knowledge of factors that affect QoL in pituitary diseases is reviewed. The focus is on 5 pituitary diseases: Cushing syndrome, acromegaly, prolactinomas, nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas, and hypopituitarism.

  8. Quality and Value in an Evolving Health Care Landscape.

    PubMed

    Kamal, Robin N

    2016-07-01

    Demonstrating and improving value of care continues to be increasingly important in hand surgery. To prepare for emerging models that transition payment from volume to value, hand surgeons will benefit from a clear understanding of quality, cost, and value. National organizations and both public and private payers increasingly advocate for patient-reported outcome measures for pay for reporting and pay for performance initiatives. These are intended to incentivize providers and health systems to improve patient-centered care while minimizing costs. Appreciating the limitations to using patient-reported outcomes in hand surgery can ensure hand surgery is appropriately assessed in novel payment models. PMID:27374791

  9. Indoor air quality. [Health hazards due to energy conservation measures

    SciTech Connect

    Hollowell, C.D.

    1981-06-01

    Rising energy prices, among other factors, have generated an incentive to reduce ventilation rates and thereby reduce the cost of heating and cooling buildings. Reduced ventilation in buildings may significantly increase exposure to indoor air pollution and perhaps have adverse effects on occupant health and comfort. Preliminary findings suggest that reduced ventilation may adversely affect indoor air quality unless appropriate control strategies are undertaken. The strategies used to control indoor air pollution depend on the specific pollutant or class of pollutants encountered, and differ somewhat depending on whether the application is to an existing building or a new building under design and construction. Whenever possible, the first course of action is prevention or reduction of pollutant emissions at the source. In most buildings, control measures involve a combination of prevention, removal, and suppression. Common sources of indoor air pollution in buildings, the specific pollutants emitted by each source, the potential health effects, and possible control techniques are discussed.

  10. 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.

  11. 42 CFR 480.141 - Disclosure of QIO interpretations on the quality of health care.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... health care. 480.141 Section 480.141 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES, DEPARTMENT... interpretations on the quality of health care. Subject to the procedures for disclosure and notice of disclosure... generalizations on the quality of health care that identify a particular institution....

  12. 42 CFR 480.141 - Disclosure of QIO interpretations on the quality of health care.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... health care. 480.141 Section 480.141 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES, DEPARTMENT... interpretations on the quality of health care. Subject to the procedures for disclosure and notice of disclosure... generalizations on the quality of health care that identify a particular institution....

  13. 42 CFR 480.141 - Disclosure of QIO interpretations on the quality of health care.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... health care. 480.141 Section 480.141 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES, DEPARTMENT... interpretations on the quality of health care. Subject to the procedures for disclosure and notice of disclosure... generalizations on the quality of health care that identify a particular institution....

  14. 42 CFR 480.141 - Disclosure of QIO interpretations on the quality of health care.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... health care. 480.141 Section 480.141 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES, DEPARTMENT... QIO interpretations on the quality of health care. Subject to the procedures for disclosure and notice... interpretations and generalizations on the quality of health care that identify a particular institution....

  15. 42 CFR 480.141 - Disclosure of QIO interpretations on the quality of health care.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... health care. 480.141 Section 480.141 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES, DEPARTMENT... QIO interpretations on the quality of health care. Subject to the procedures for disclosure and notice... interpretations and generalizations on the quality of health care that identify a particular institution....

  16. 42 CFR 423.2430 - Activities that improve health care quality.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... Information Technology (HIT) expenses, are required to accomplish the activities that improve health care... 42 Public Health 3 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Activities that improve health care quality. 423... Requirements for a Minimum Medical Loss Ratio § 423.2430 Activities that improve health care quality....

  17. 42 CFR 422.2430 - Activities that improve health care quality.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... Information Technology (HIT) expenses, are required to accomplish the activities that improve health care... 42 Public Health 3 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Activities that improve health care quality. 422... Minimum Medical Loss Ratio § 422.2430 Activities that improve health care quality. (a)...

  18. [E-health and Cyberdoc - "health portals" from a professional and quality assurance viewpoint].

    PubMed

    Khorrami, E

    2002-01-01

    As a special expression of e-business in the health service the sphere of e-health has developed in recent years which increasingly manifests itself in the internet via health portals. Next to the transmitting of medical contents, the offer of community functions and the trading with goods from the medical sector, these health portals now increasingly provide advisory services for citizens by medical experts. Even if these services are predominantly effected by physicians, this activity is in agreement with the regulations of the currently valid professional responsibility law for German physicians, as its main emphasis (at the moment) is on health prevention and information. The safeguarding of quality of the online retrievable health information creates a further problem. The different approaches to the safeguarding of the quality of medical contents in the internet do not exempt the user from making a self-responsible decision as to which information he may consider reliable. This is due to the fact that there are no standardised control criteria.

  19. 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.

  20. 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. PMID:22350346

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. [Determinants of health and health policy. Part 3. From intervention of quality of life].

    PubMed

    Zácek, A

    2000-03-29

    Effectiveness of outputs of a qualified intervention can be valued by several positive criteria corresponding to the "quality of life" conception, which is based on the feeling of the health and contentment. The finding that great differences in the income among different social groups in conditions of the liberal market society correlate with several health and social problems brought about to the hypothesis that the decrease of the differences in the income, accompanied by strengthening of various forms of the social cohesion, civic solidarity, legitimate equality, and ethical justice may substantially improve the health status of the population. The hypothesis has been verified in many epidemiological studies and found to be valid enough for the health policy and far-seeing economy. Analytics of the World Bank recommend to governments primary invest into the health of socially week groups in order to decrease their poverty and to keep social conciliation. World Health Organization (WHO) sets in its new program for Europe called "21 Goals for the 21st Century" that differences in the health status among the European states should diminish till 2020 by one third and within the countries by one quarter at least. Both goals should be achieved by a substantial improvement of the health status of the ill-adapted social groups and by significant improvement of those socioeconomical conditions which may have adverse effects namely on the differences in incomes, education and opportunities for employment.

  4. Making the case to improve quality and reduce costs in pediatric health care.

    PubMed

    Sachdeva, Ramesh C; Jain, Shabnam

    2009-08-01

    This article makes a case for the urgent need to improve health care quality and reduce costs. It provides an overview of the importance of the quality movement and the definition of quality, including the concept of clinical and operational quality. Some national drivers for quality improvement as well as drivers of escalating health care costs are discussed, along with the urgency of reducing health care costs. The link between quality and cost is reviewed using the concept of value in health care, which combines quality and cost in the same equation. The article ends with a discussion of future directions of the quality movement, including emerging concepts, such as risk-adjustment, shared responsibility for quality, measuring quality at the individual provider level, and evolving legal implications of the quality movement, as well as the concept of a shared savings model. PMID:19660624

  5. 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.

  6. Improving the quality of perinatal mental health: a health visitor-led protocol.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Anne; Ilot, Irene; Lekka, Chrysanthi; Oluboyede, Yemi

    2011-02-01

    The mental health of mothers is of significant concern to community practitioners. This paper reports on a case study exploring the success factors of a well established, health visitor-led protocol to identify and treat women with mild to moderate depression. Data were collected through interviews with a purposive sample of 12 community practitioners, a focus group of four health visitors and observation of a multidisciplinary steering group meeting. The protocol was described as an evidence-based tool and safety net that could be used flexibly to support clinical judgments and tailored to individual needs. Success factors included frontline clinician engagement and ownership, continuity of leadership to drive development and maintain momentum, comprehensive and on-going staff training, and strategic support for the protocol as a quality indicator at a time of organisational change. Quality and clinical leadership are continuing policy priorities. The protocol enabled frontline staff to lead a service innovation, providing a standardised multiprofessional approach to women's mental health needs through effective support, advice and treatment that can be measured and quality assured. PMID:21388041

  7. 42 CFR 600.425 - Coordination with other insurance affordability programs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 5 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Coordination with other insurance affordability... RECONCILATION (Eff. 1-1-15) Standard Health Plan § 600.425 Coordination with other insurance affordability... continuity of care between Medicaid, CHIP, Exchange and any other state-administered health...

  8. 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.

  9. An affordable humanitarian mine detector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daniels, David J.; Curtis, Paul; Amin, Rajan; Dittmer, Jon

    2004-09-01

    This paper describes the further development of the MINETECT affordable humanitarian mine detector produced by ERA Technology with sponsorship from the UK Department for International Development. Using a radically different patented approach from conventional ground penetrating radar (GPR) designs in terms of the man machine interface, MINETECT offers simplicity of use and affordability, both key factors in humanitarian demining operations. Following trials in 2002 and reported at SPIE 2002, further development work including research on classifying mines, based on data from planned trials in the United Kingdom, is presented. MINETECT has the capability of detecting completely non-metallic mines and offers a considerable improvement in hand-held mine detection.

  10. 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

  11. Health-related quality of life for chronically ill children.

    PubMed

    Cantrell, Mary Ann; Kelly, Michelle M

    2015-01-01

    Approximately 43% of children in the United States (32 million) are currently living with at least 1 of 20 common chronic childhood illnesses. The most common chronic childhood illnesses are asthma, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, obesity, malnutrition, developmental disabilities, cerebral palsy, consequences of low birthweight, and mental illness. For all chronically ill pediatric populations, the outcome of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is particularly important because many of these children have not and will not be cured, and will continue to manage their chronic illness into adulthood. Advances in biomedical science and technology continue to improve efficacy of treatments and care for chronically ill children, adolescents, and their families, which highlight the importance measurement of HRQOL as a treatment and health status outcome. The construct of HRQOL is subjective, multidimensional, dynamic, and unique to each individual. It includes aspects of physical, psychological, social function, and goal attainment. Outcomes of HRQOL now include the financial implications for these children and their families, as well as financial and organizational consequences for healthcare planning and delivery of services.This article reviews the importance of HRQOL as a health outcome for chronically ill children. A historical overview and synthesis of the conceptualization and measurement of HRQOL for the chronically ill pediatric population is provided. Current research investigations that have measured health outcomes using individual scales tailored to children's specific symptoms health outcomes, such as PROMIS®-Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System-are reviewed. The clinical applications of HRQOL outcomes research include facilitation of patient-healthcare provider communication, improved patient satisfaction, identification of hidden morbidities, a positive impact on clinical decision making, and improvement of patient outcomes over time

  12. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010: impact on otolaryngology practice and research.

    PubMed

    Sun, Gordon H; Davis, Matthew M

    2012-05-01

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. Since its passage, the PPACA has led to increased health insurance coverage for millions more Americans, and it includes provisions leading to new avenues for clinical and health services research funding. The legislation also favors development of the primary care specialties and general surgery, increased training of midlevel health care providers, and medical training and service in underserved areas of the United States. However, the PPACA does not effectively engage otolaryngologists in quality improvement, despite modifications to the Physician Quality Reporting System. The legislation also levies a tax on cosmetic procedures, affecting both clinicians and patients. This article reviews the sections of the PPACA that are most pertinent to otolaryngologists and explains how these components of the bill will affect otolaryngologic practice and research over the coming decade. PMID:22282865

  13. [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. PMID:21163736

  14. 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

  15. Marital quality and health: Implications for marriage in the 21st century

    PubMed Central

    Robles, Theodore F.

    2014-01-01

    Being in a happy marriage is related to better psychological and physical health. This paper describes current approaches to conceptualizing and measuring marital quality and physical health, and results from a recent meta-analysis examining associations between marital quality and physical health outcomes. To illustrate the practical significance of these findings, this paper also illustrates how the magnitude of the marital quality – physical health association is similar in size to associations between health behaviors (diet, physical activity) and health outcomes, and briefly reviews the state of the science regarding plausible biobehavioral pathways that explain how marital functioning influences health. After describing the current state of research on factors that might modify the association between marital quality and health, particularly individual differences and gender, the paper concludes with implications of the past 50 years of research on marital quality and health for marriage in the 21st century. PMID:25544806

  16. A framework for assessing Health Economic Evaluation (HEE) quality appraisal instruments

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Health economic evaluations support the health care decision-making process by providing information on costs and consequences of health interventions. The quality of such studies is assessed by health economic evaluation (HEE) quality appraisal instruments. At present, there is no instrument for measuring and improving the quality of such HEE quality appraisal instruments. Therefore, the objectives of this study are to establish a framework for assessing the quality of HEE quality appraisal instruments to support and improve their quality, and to apply this framework to those HEE quality appraisal instruments which have been subject to more scrutiny than others, in order to test the framework and to demonstrate the shortcomings of existing HEE quality appraisal instruments. Methods To develop the quality assessment framework for HEE quality appraisal instruments, the experiences of using appraisal tools for clinical guidelines are used. Based on a deductive iterative process, clinical guideline appraisal instruments identified through literature search are reviewed, consolidated, and adapted to produce the final quality assessment framework for HEE quality appraisal instruments. Results The final quality assessment framework for HEE quality appraisal instruments consists of 36 items organized within 7 dimensions, each of which captures a specific domain of quality. Applying the quality assessment framework to four existing HEE quality appraisal instruments, it is found that these four quality appraisal instruments are of variable quality. Conclusions The framework described in this study should be regarded as a starting point for appraising the quality of HEE quality appraisal instruments. This framework can be used by HEE quality appraisal instrument producers to support and improve the quality and acceptance of existing and future HEE quality appraisal instruments. By applying this framework, users of HEE quality appraisal instruments can become aware

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. 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

  20. 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. PMID:27577372

  1. An innovative approach for determination of air quality health index.

    PubMed

    Gorai, Amit Kumar; Kanchan; Upadhyay, Abhishek; Tuluri, Francis; Goyal, Pramila; Tchounwou, Paul B

    2015-11-15

    Fuzzy-analytical hierarchical process (F-AHP) can be extended to determine fuzzy air quality health index (FAQHI) for deducing health risk associated with local air pollution levels, and subjective parameters. The present work aims at determining FAQHI by considering five air pollutant parameters (SO2, NO2, O3, CO, and PM10) and three subjective parameters (population sensitivity, population density and location sensitivity). Each of the individual pollutants has varying impacts. Hence the combined health effects associated with the pollutants were estimated by aggregating the pollutants with different weights. Global weights for each evaluation alternatives were determined using fuzzy-AHP method. The developed model was applied to determine FAQHI in Howrah City, India from daily-observed concentrations of air pollutants over the three-year period between 2009 and 2011. The FAQHI values obtained through this method in Howrah City range from 1 to 3. Since the permissible value of FAQHI (as calculated for NAAQS) for residential areas is 1.78, higher index values are of public health concern to the exposed individuals. During the period of study, the observed FAQHI values were found to be higher than 1.78 in most of the day in the months of January to March, and October to December. However, the index values were below the recommended limit during rest of the months. In conclusion, FAQHI in Howrah city was above permissible limit in winter months and within acceptable values in summer and rainy months. Diurnal variations of FAQHI showed a similar trend during the three-year period of assessment.

  2. A Quality Function Deployment Framework for the Service Quality of Health Information Websites

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Dohoon

    2010-01-01

    Objectives This research was conducted to identify both the users' service requirements on health information websites (HIWs) and the key functional elements for running HIWs. With the quality function deployment framework, the derived service attributes (SAs) are mapped into the suppliers' functional characteristics (FCs) to derive the most critical FCs for the users' satisfaction. Methods Using the survey data from 228 respondents, the SAs, FCs and their relationships were analyzed using various multivariate statistical methods such as principal component factor analysis, discriminant analysis, correlation analysis, etc. Simple and compound FC priorities were derived by matrix calculation. Results Nine factors of SAs and five key features of FCs were identified, and these served as the basis for the house of quality model. Based on the compound FC priorities, the functional elements pertaining to security and privacy, and usage support should receive top priority in the course of enhancing HIWs. Conclusions The quality function deployment framework can improve the FCs of the HIWs in an effective, structured manner, and it can also be utilized for critical success factors together with their strategic implications for enhancing the service quality of HIWs. Therefore, website managers could efficiently improve website operations by considering this study's results. PMID:21818418

  3. 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…

  4. 77 FR 42738 - Request for Information on Quality Measurement Enabled by Health IT

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-07-20

    ... HUMAN SERVICES Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Request for Information on Quality Measurement Enabled by Health IT AGENCY: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Health and Human Services (HHS). ACTION: Notice of Request for Information (RFI). SUMMARY: The Agency for Healthcare Research...

  5. Implications of the Affordable Care Act for occupational therapy practitioners providing services to Medicare recipients.

    PubMed

    Fisher, Gail; Friesema, Jennifer

    2013-01-01

    The passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA; Pub. L. 111-148) represents the largest expansion in government funding of health care since Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965 (Curfman, Abel, & Landers, 2012). Although the health insurance mandate and Medicaid expansion have received the most attention as a result of legal challenges and the July 2012 Supreme Court ruling on the legality of the ACA (Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2012), other ACA initiatives may have even greater implications for occupational therapy. The ACA includes sections on improving quality and health systems performance for Medicare recipients, with some sections also applying to Medicaid recipients. Insurance companies commonly follow Medicare rules; therefore, the Medicare reforms are likely to spread across all payers, health care settings, and care recipients. PMID:23968787

  6. 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. PMID:24857142

  7. 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....

  8. 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…

  9. What the Affordable Care Act means for people with jail stays.

    PubMed

    Regenstein, Marsha; Rosenbaum, Sara

    2014-03-01

    About one in six people expected to enroll in Medicaid under health reform expansions and nearly one in ten expected to enroll in qualified health plans through the health insurance Marketplaces will have spent some time in jail during the past year. People who have spent time in jail frequently cycle in and out of incarceration; have high rates of chronic physical, mental health, and substance use conditions; and historically have been uninsured and without access to continuous health care. The Affordable Care Act may not change the quality of health care in jails, but its provision of better access to care before and after people are incarcerated could have positive long-term effects on both the health of those individuals and overall health care costs. Achieving these results will require careful planning and coordination among jail health care programs, Medicaid, and Marketplace health plans. The use of electronic health records by jails and community providers could help ensure that treatments are consistent no matter where a patient resides. Policy makers and health plans could also ensure continuity of care by including in their networks some of the same safety-net providers that are under contract to furnish care to jail inmates. PMID:24590944

  10. Choosing a measure of Health Related Quality of Life.

    PubMed

    Robinson, P G

    2016-06-01

    This paper provides practical advice on the choice of health related quality of life measures. It starts by making explicit a series of underlying assumptions and then advises on selecting a measure as a trade-off between three sets of conditions: The purpose of collecting HQoL information, which considers the objectives of the study, the level of analysis, the population to be studied and the audience to whom the data will be presented. The qualities of the measure, including the need for a strong conceptual basis, pragmatic considerations, face and content validity, adequate psychometric properties and for the measure to be acceptable to the people participating in the study. The use of the measure, including the mode of administration and resource requirements. An earlier version of this paper was published as Robinson, P.G. (2016): Wahl der messinstrumente zur ermittlung der gesundheitsbezogenen lebensqualitat. In: Kovacs, L., Kipke, R., Lutz, R. (eds) Lebensqualitat in der medizin. Wiesbaden: Springer VS, pp201-222. PMID:27352464

  11. 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

  12. The quality of ambulatory care in Medicare health maintenance organizations.

    PubMed

    Retchin, S M; Brown, B

    1990-04-01

    The quality of ambulatory care received by Medicare recipients who enrolled in health maintenance organizations (HMOs) was compared to the care received by fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare recipients, in a quasi-experimental, non-randomized design. Both samples were drawn from the four major geographic areas in the country, and included two types of HMO practices: staff/group models, and independent practice associations (IPAs). A panel of expert physicians developed criteria for evaluating ambulatory care, and medical record abstractions using these criteria were performed on 1,590 outpatient records: 777 FFS and 813 HMO (441 staff/group, 372 IPA). While individual items of medical histories and physical examinations were performed most often for staff/group HMO patients and least often in FFS patients, odds ratios (OR) for performance in staff/group HMO patients were particularly large for health maintenance items: tonometry (OR = 8.4), mammography (OR = 2.7), pelvic examination (OR = 5.3), rectal examination (OR = 2.9), fecal occult blood test (OR = 3.3). The results suggest that recommended elements of routine and preventive care are more likely to be performed for Medicare enrollees in staff/group HMOs than in FFS settings.

  13. 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.

  14. 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. PMID:26942630

  15. 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

  16. Making personalized medicine more affordable.

    PubMed

    Aronson, Naomi

    2015-06-01

    Precision medicine holds promise to solve the conundrums of clinical care. Foremost is the well-known but vexing problem of heterogeneity and the tyranny of the mean. Who will respond to a treatment? How can patients avoid the harms of treatments that will not work for them? And if we know who to treat, will that make care more efficient and less costly? But the converse can also be true: treatments become more expensive as the costs of development must be distributed across smaller populations. Next-generation sequencing is making genetic testing radically cheaper. But the costs of medical tests also include false-positive results, incidental findings, and the cascade of follow-up. The affordability of precision medicine is intertwined with the broader issue of affordability of our healthcare system, and will require all stakeholders to assume stewardship for access and sustainability. PMID:25728478

  17. Optics learning through affordable kit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    P, Anusha N.; Shaji, Chitra; Sharan, Alok

    2014-10-01

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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…

  20. End-user perspectives on e-commerce and health care web site quality.

    PubMed

    Le Rouge, Cynthia; De Leo, Gianluca

    2008-01-01

    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. PMID:18998907

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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. PMID:24731888

  6. The patient as the pivot point for quality in health care delivery.

    PubMed

    Lengnick-Hall, C A

    1995-01-01

    Health care enterprises make comprehensive and durable changes in people. This human-centered purpose defines the fundamental nature of quality in health care settings. Traditional perspectives of quality and familiar views of customer satisfaction are inadequate to manage the complex relationships between the health care delivery firm and its patients. Patients play four roles in health care systems that must be reflected when defining and measuring quality in these settings: patient as supplier, patient as product, patient as participant, and patient as recipient. This article presents a conceptual model of quality that incorporates these diverse patient roles. The strategic and managerial implications of the model are also discussed. PMID:10140872

  7. The patient as the pivot point for quality in health care delivery.

    PubMed

    Lengnick-Hall, C A

    1995-01-01

    Health care enterprises make comprehensive and durable changes in people. This human-centered purpose defines the fundamental nature of quality in health care settings. Traditional perspectives of quality and familiar views of customer satisfaction are inadequate to manage the complex relationships between the health care delivery firm and its patients. Patients play four roles in health care systems that must be reflected when defining and measuring quality in these settings: patient as supplier, patient as product, patient as participant, and patient as recipient. This article presents a conceptual model of quality that incorporates these diverse patient roles. The strategic and managerial implications of the model are also discussed.

  8. Robots for better health and quality of life. | NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine

    MedlinePlus

    ... this page please turn JavaScript on. Feature: Robotic Innovations Robots for better health and quality of life. ... apply their ingenuity to improve health care. Such innovations have the potential to help facilitate healthy independent ...

  9. 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

  10. The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award concept: could it help stimulate or accelerate health care quality improvement?

    PubMed

    Hertz, H S; Reimann, C W; Bostwick, M C

    1994-01-01

    The United States has a major weapon in the battle to improve competitiveness: The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Program. An increasingly asked question in industrial and health care sectors is whether there should be a Baldrige Award in health care. In the business community, the Baldrige Award has been a catalyst for cooperative development of quality criteria, assessment mechanisms, and continuous learning, greatly accelerating the pace of information sharing. PMID:10137609

  11. Development of Basic Housing Systems for Maximum Affordability

    SciTech Connect

    Aglan, H.; Gibbons, A.; McQueen, T.M.; Morris, C.; Raines, J.; Wendt, R.L.

    1999-04-19

    The ability to provide safe, habitable, comfortable housing for very low income residents within the target budget of $10,000 presents unique design and construction challenges. However, a number of preliminary conclusions have been inferred as being important concepts relative to the study of affordable housing. The term affordable housing can have many meanings and research is needed to define this explicitly. As it is most often used, affordable housing refers to an economic relationship between the price of housing, household income and current interest rates available from a lending institution. There is no direct relationship between architectural style, construction technology or user needs and the concept of affordability. For any home to be affordable, the home owner must balance the combination of housing needs and desires within the limits of an actual budget. There are many misconceptions that affordable housing must be defined as housing for those who cannot afford the free-market price. The concept of affordable housing must also include a component that recognizes the quality of the housing as an important element of the design and construction. In addition, responses to local climate impacts are necessary and are always part of a regional expression of architectural design. By using careful planning and design it may be possible to construct a limited dwelling unit today for a sum of approximately $10,000. Since the organization of the construction process must involve the owner/occupants as well as other volunteers, the project must not only be well conceived, but well developed and coordinated.

  12. 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

  13. Affordability of alcohol and alcohol-related mortality in Belarus.

    PubMed

    Razvodovsky, Yury E

    2013-01-01

    Alcohol abuse has numerous adverse health and social consequences. The consumer response to changes in alcohol affordability is an important issue on alcohol policy debates. Studies from many countries have shown an inverse relationship between alcohol prices and alcohol consumption in the population. There are, however, suggestions that increasing the price of alcohol by rising taxes may have limited effect on alcohol-related problems, associated with long-term heavy drinking. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the relationship between alcohol affordability and alcohol-related mortality rates in post-Soviet Belarus. For this purpose trends in alcohol-related mortality rates (mortality from liver cirrhosis, pancreatitis, alcoholism and alcohol psychoses) and affordability of vodka between 1990 and 2010 were compared. The time series analysis revealed that 1% increase in vodka affordability is associated with an increase in liver cirrhosis mortality of 0,77%, an increase in pancreatitis mortality of 0.53%, an increase in mortality from alcoholism and alcohol psychoses of 0,70%. The major conclusion emerging from this study is that affordability of alcohol is one of the most important predictor of alcohol-related problems in a population. These findings provide additional evidence that decreasing in affordability of alcohol is an effective strategy for reducing alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harm.

  14. 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

  15. Indigenous health: effective and sustainable health services through continuous quality improvement.

    PubMed

    Bailie, Ross S; Si, Damin; O'Donoghue, Lyn; Dowden, Michelle

    2007-05-21

    The Australian government's Healthy for Life program is supporting capacity development in Indigenous primary care using continuous quality improvement (CQI) techniques. An important influence on the Healthy for Life program has been the ABCD research project. The key features contributing to the success of the project are described. The ABCD research project: uses a CQI approach, with an ongoing cycle of gathering data on how well organisational systems are functioning, and developing and then implementing improvements; is guided by widely accepted principles of community-based research, which emphasise participation; and adheres to the principles and values of Indigenous health research and service delivery. The potential for improving health outcomes in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities using a CQI approach should be strengthened by clear clinical and managerial leadership, supporting service organisations at the community level, and applying participatory-action principles.

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. Health behaviors, quality of life, and psychosocial health among survivors of adolescent and young adult cancers

    PubMed Central

    Nam, Gina E.; Zhang, Yingying; McFadden, Molly; Wright, Jennifer; Spraker-Perlman, Holly; Kinney, Anita Y.; Oeffinger, Kevin C.; Kirchhoff, Anne C.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Survivors of adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer may engage in unhealthy lifestyles (e.g., smoking), potentially heightening their risk for long-term health problems. We assessed health behaviors and constructs including quality of life (QOL) and psychosocial well-being among survivors of AYA cancer compared to the general population. Methods We used 2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data to evaluate health behaviors for survivors of AYA cancer compared to AYAs without cancer. Multivariable regressions assessed health behaviors (smoking, binge drinking, physical inactivity, and low fruit/vegetable intake) by sex and age between AYA survivors and controls, and among survivors to determine the effects of demographic, QOL, psychosocial, and cancer factors on behaviors. Results A greater proportion of female survivors of AYA cancer smoked than controls (currently aged 20–39: 27 vs. 14.3%, respectively; currently aged 40–64: 29.3 vs. 18.4%, respectively). Generally, survivors and controls were non-adherent to national health behavior guidelines. Uninsured survivors were at greater risk of smoking vs. insured (females, Relative Risk (RR)=1.64, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 1.43–1.90; males, RR=2.62, 95 % CI 1.71–4.02). Poor social/emotional support was associated with smoking (RR= 1.26, 95 % CI 1.07–1.48) among female survivors and was associated with low fruit/vegetable intake among male (RR= 1.12, 95 % CI 1.01–1.23) and female (RR=1.12, 95 % CI 1.05–1.19) survivors. Female survivors >10 years from diagnosis had higher risk of smoking (RR=1.26–1.91, all p<0.01) than survivors 5–10 years from diagnosis. Conclusions Unhealthy lifestyle behaviors are common in survivors of AYA cancer. Implications for Cancer Survivors AYA survivors require health behavior support. PMID:26248766

  19. 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.

  20. Health insurance coverage and health-related quality of life: analysis of 2000 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data.

    PubMed

    Bharmal, Murtuza; Thomas, Joseph

    2005-11-01

    This study investigated relationships between health insurance status and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) using the 2000 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data. Health-related quality of life was measured using the SF-12 Physical Component Summary (PCS) and SF-12 Mental Component Summary (MCS). The analysis controlled for sociodemographic and attitudinal variables and medical conditions. The analysis also investigated and controlled for possible reverse causality between HRQOL and health insurance in the models. After adjusting for covariates, individuals without health insurance had significantly lower mean PCS scores (beta=-5.8; SE=0.4) than those with health insurance. The adjusted association between no health insurance and MCS scores (beta=-1.1; SE=0.4) also was significant. The adjusted difference in HRQOL among people with health insurance and those without it exceeds or is comparable to adjusted differences in HRQOL between people with each of various medical conditions and people without them.