Tag: Public Health

Health Information Implications of the 2014 HHS Budget

Posted by Nikki Hurt on May 29, 2013

On April 10, 2013, President Obama released his proposed FY 2014 budget, which includes $967.3 billion in outlays for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and makes legislative proposals that would save an estimated $361.1 billion (net) over ten years. In conjunction with the release of the President’s budget, HHS published an overview of the budget provisions for HHS, which provides more detail on how the Department would allocate its budget in FY 2014 and describes its ongoing progress in meeting specific program goals and legislative requirements. Many of the proposals included in the President’s budget and HHS’ overview relate to the ongoing transformation of the health care delivery system to a value-based system that rewards quality and efficiency. Critical to the success of this transformation is the exchange of health information for activities such as quality measurement and reporting, value-based purchasing, consumer engagement, and comparative effectiveness research. Below are selected provisions of the HHS budget, the agency’s relevant legislative proposals for 2014, and progress reports for health care system reform efforts that require the use and exchange of health information. We also identify HHS’ stated priorities for 2014 that are related to health information…

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TFAH report examines public health spending

Posted by Nikki Hurt on April 16, 2013

Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently released their April 2013 Issue Report, focusing upon public health spending. The study ultimately found an inadequacy in public health financing at national, state and local levels, citing that 29 states decreased their public health budgets between fiscal years 2010-2011 and 2011-2012. The report provides several recommendations to ameliorate the implications of varying health outcomes resulting from the underfunded public health infrastructure. These include increasing core public health funds and creating new financing models for public health services.

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Commonwealth paper makes recommendations about wellness incentives under the ACA

Posted by Michal McDowell on May 30, 2012

In the United States, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) raised the maximum allowed wellness incentives, which are thought to improve health and reduce costs. Public insurers in Germany operate many such programs. Participation in these programs nearly doubled between 2004 and 2008, reaching one-quarter of the publicly insured population. An evaluation of one large wellness program there found that it reduced costs. However, population-level survey data also suggest that individuals with low incomes or poor health are less likely to enroll. Under the ACA in the United States, the increase in allowed wellness incentives could lead to wide differences in insurance premiums between users and nonusers of programs, and may risk reintroducing a form of medical underwriting. The German case study confirms the cost-saving potential of programs, but also suggests that they should be evaluated rigorously to ensure they do not disadvantage those with health problems or low incomes. A report published by The Commonwealth Fund reviews and provides insight on this issue.

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IOM and RWJF release paper on public health system investments

Posted by Michal McDowell on April 11, 2012

Although the United States spends more than any other country on health care, the country continues to lag behind the rest of the industrialized world in life expectancy and child morality. In a report commissioned by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and authored by Institute of Medicine (IOM), the authors argue that this discrepancy is attributable to the underfunded public health system.

The report calls for…

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Update: Prevention and Public Health Fund

Posted by Michal McDowell on February 27, 2012

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 created the Prevention and Public Health Fund (Prevention Fund) to improve American health through disease prevention efforts. The ACA allotted almost $20 billion over 10 years to the Prevention Fund with the goal of improving wellness and restraining cost growth incurred by the increasing prevalence of chronic disease. This fund is structured as a trust fund, and is not subject to the annual appropriations process.

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RWJF releases summary documenting that public health interventions lead to health care cost savings

Posted by Michal McDowell on November 16, 2011

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) created the Prevention and Public Health Fund, a 10-year, $15 billion commitment to support programs, medical screenings, and research related to public health and prevention. This national commitment to investment in preventing disease before it occurs is in line with evidence from a variety of recent reports and studies indicating that strategic investments in proven, community-based prevention programs could result in significant U.S. health care cost savings and overall economic cost savings. The Robert Wood Johnson Brief, “Return Investments in Public Health: A Summary of Groundbreaking Research Studies,” summarizes the findings and recommendations from four major studies released between 2008 and 2011.

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Public and Allied Health Workforce

Posted by Mark Dorley on September 8, 2011

Strengthening and modernizing the health care workforce was a major goal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The law contains dozens of provisions related to health care workforce issues, including national workforce policy development (what the law refers to as workforce “innovations”), increasing the supply of primary care physicians and nurses, strengthening the dental health workforce, education and training of the workforce, and expanding teaching health centers. This Implementation Brief focuses on the provisions of the ACA dealing with the education, training, and support of public health and allied health care workers; previous Briefs have focused on the other topics.

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HHS issues advanced notice of changes to common rule

Posted by Mark Dorley on July 27, 2011

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) soliciting comments on how regulations governing human subject research might be modernized, including making changes to the Common Rule. These regulations have not been have not kept pace with advances in science and human subject research, so updates would be welcome and will apply to all human subject research funded by Affordable Care Act (ACA).

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Sebelius announces new prevention and public health investments

Posted by Mark Dorley on February 10, 2011

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has announced $750 million in funding for prevention and public health in the United States. Funded through the Prevention and Public Health Fund, this allocation contains $250 million of new money to strengthen clinical and community prevention efforts and public health infrastructure around the country. “This investment is going to build on the prevention work already under way to help make sure that we are working effectively across the federal government as well as with private groups and state and local governments to help Americans live longer, healthier lives,” Sebelius said.

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Teaching Health Centers

Posted by Health Reform GPS on January 5, 2011

Strengthening and modernizing the health care workforce was a major goal of the Affordable Care Act. The ACA contains dozens of provisions related to health care workforce issues, including strengthening primary care, national workforce policy development, increasing the supply of health care workers, education and training of the workforce, and other supports and improvements to the existing workforce. This Implementation Brief focuses on teaching health centers (THCs), a new type of health care entity created by the ACA.

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