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CHRT Blog

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The Medicaid Expansion in Michigan Needs to Get Done Now

Editor’s Note: This column previously appeared in Bridge Magazine. On February 6, 2013, Governor Snyder announced his support for expanding Medicaid as envisioned in the Affordable Care Act. In his announcement, he talked about how the expansion would help hundreds of thousands of people in Michigan (our own estimates at the Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation put the numbers …

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The Disconnect Between Health and Mental Health

Editor’s Note: This column previously appeared in Bridge Magazine. Recent reports about a Medicaid experiment in Oregon reveal a major disconnect we have in the health care world: we make a historic —and unwarranted— distinction between “physical health” and “mental health.” Worse, that distinction actually interferes with both our investment in mental health treatment and patients’ willingness to seek treatment. …

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The ACA and the Hospital Readmissions Policy Debate

Of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) many provisions aimed at improving health care access, quality, and efficiency, one has been the subject of considerable recent debate: the hospital readmission reduction program. The program’s approach has some merit, but in the end, doesn’t do enough to address the systemic issues underlying the problems it aims to fix. This policy needs adjustments …

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New Approaches to Payment: Will They Work?

Great news! The latest and greatest approaches to reducing health care spending are here: paying primary care doctors more, bundling payments for doctors and hospitals; sharing savings and investing more in systems that integrate care. Hooray! New answers to the cost curve dilemma! The question is: will any of these approaches actually work? As it turns out, we’ve been down …

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What is “Value” in Health Care?

Lisa Rosenbaum wrote a terrific piece in the March 7 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Her article is a powerful reminder that views of medical appropriateness—what is “right” in health care—can be very different for physicians, patients, and analysts. She highlights the challenges inherent in a system of incentives that reward “value” without taking into account these …

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The Bitter Pill: Time Magazine’s Story on Health Care Costs

Steven Brill’s article on health care costs in the March 4 issue of Time magazine is the talk of the town in health care. While journalists have generally praised the piece, reactions from those in health care have been mixed. The American Hospital Association critiqued a number of Brill’s major points in a fact sheet, Setting the Record Straight on …

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The Slowdown in Health Care Costs: Is it Real?

On February 5, 2013, Congressional Budget Office (CBO) director Douglas Elmendorf testified before Congress on the CBO’s budget outlook for 2013-2023. As reported in the New York Times and elsewhere, the health care outlook was remarkable: projected Medicare and Medicaid spending for 2020 was down 15 percent over projections made three years ago. Specifically, the CBO noted “net outlays for …

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Positive Steps Towards Improving Quality and Reducing Costs

Why does health care cost so much more in America than in any other country in the world? One major reason is that our system is really a non-system. That is, in America we have many different payers, financing mechanisms, benefit designs, and structures. Every health plan has its own ways of doing things, and every health purchaser wants a …

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A Medicaid Expansion for Michigan: The Facts Speak for Themselves

The Supreme Court’s June 2012 decision on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act made the Medicaid expansion—a cornerstone of the coverage expansion included in the law—an option rather than a requirement for states. To help Michigan policy makers make an informed decision on that expansion, we published a brief on the economic impact of the Medicaid expansion in Michigan. …

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