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Full-Text Articles in Health Law and Policy

Depression: A Decade Of Progress, More To Do, Veronica V. Goff Nov 2002

Depression: A Decade Of Progress, More To Do, Veronica V. Goff

National Health Policy Forum

This issue brief discusses the most recent findings on depression prevalence and cost; examines trends in outpatient treatment, including the dramatic growth in antidepressant use; discusses efforts to improve treatment in primary care; and explores possible public policy avenues for improving treatment access and quality.


Prescription Drugs In Nursing Homes: Managing Costs And Quality In A Complex Environment, Dan Mendelson, Rajeev Ramchand, Richard Abramson, Anne Tumlinson Nov 2002

Prescription Drugs In Nursing Homes: Managing Costs And Quality In A Complex Environment, Dan Mendelson, Rajeev Ramchand, Richard Abramson, Anne Tumlinson

National Health Policy Forum

This issue brief provides a description of prescription drug use in nursing homes and a summary of policy issues in this area. It first profiles the nursing home pharmaceutical market, outlining the major trends in demographics and drug utilization, the supply chain by which drugs go from manufacturers to pharmacies to nursing home residents, and the alternative arrangements by which prescription drugs in nursing homes are financed. The paper then provides a synopsis of current policy issues, focusing in turn on cost containment and quality improvement initiatives.


The Medicare And Medicaid Intersection: Caring For Arizona's Seniors, Nora Super, Lisa Sprague, Judith D. Moore Nov 2002

The Medicare And Medicaid Intersection: Caring For Arizona's Seniors, Nora Super, Lisa Sprague, Judith D. Moore

National Health Policy Forum

This site visit to Phoenix examined the interplay between Medicare and Medicaid and how payment streams and regulatory requirements affect the delivery of health and long-term care services. The visit explored trends related to Medicare+Choice plan participation, physician acceptance of Medicare patients, and care management for individuals with chronic illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s disease. It also considered Arizona’s capitated Medicaid long-term care program, which recently implemented competitive bidding among plans in Maricopa County.


U.S. Childhood Vaccine Availability: Legal, Regulatory, And Economic Complexities, Robin J. Strongin Nov 2002

U.S. Childhood Vaccine Availability: Legal, Regulatory, And Economic Complexities, Robin J. Strongin

National Health Policy Forum

Despite the vital role they play in public health, childhood vaccines travel a complicated road from laboratory to provider and patient. From the fall of 2000 until well into 2002, a combination of factors, including market dynamics, legal challenges, and regulatory hurdles, led to a shortage of some childhood vaccines. This paper examines each of these factors, focusing on the important roles of both the public and the private sectors.


Running On Empty: The State Budget Crisis Worsens, Randy Desonia Sep 2002

Running On Empty: The State Budget Crisis Worsens, Randy Desonia

National Health Policy Forum

This issue brief reviews the status of state budget shortfalls and their growing impact on the Medicaid program. It describes the magnitude of the shortfalls, the forces behind them, and how states have responded with spending cuts and tax increases. It also discusses how long the budget crisis is expected to continue and what budget balancing options remain for fiscal year 2003.


Medigap: Prevalence, Premiums, And Opportunities For Reform, Nora Super Sep 2002

Medigap: Prevalence, Premiums, And Opportunities For Reform, Nora Super

National Health Policy Forum

This issue brief provides an overview of Medicare's coverage gaps and the primary sources of supplemental coverage for Medicare beneficiaries. It focuses particularly on the Medigap market: the effects of standardization, recent premium trends and rating practices, and options for reform. It considers Medigap within the context of Medicare prescription drug proposals and efforts to reform the entire Medicare program.


State Eligibility Rules Under Separate State Schip Programs--Implications For Children's Access To Health Care, Sara Rosenbaum, Anne Rossier Markus Sep 2002

State Eligibility Rules Under Separate State Schip Programs--Implications For Children's Access To Health Care, Sara Rosenbaum, Anne Rossier Markus

Health Policy and Management Issue Briefs

This Policy Brief is the fourth in a series of reports1 issued by the George Washington University Center for Health Services Research and Policy that examine the design of separately-administered State Children’s Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP) that is, programs that operate directly under the authority of the federal SCHIP statute rather than expansions of state Medicaid programs.2 These Policy Briefs also consider the implications of states’ design choices for children’s access to health care.


Expanding Health Coverage For The Uninsured: Fundamentals Of The Tax Credit Option, Beth Fuchs, Julie James Aug 2002

Expanding Health Coverage For The Uninsured: Fundamentals Of The Tax Credit Option, Beth Fuchs, Julie James

National Health Policy Forum

This paper seeks to provide the basics for understanding the current debate over tax credits as a vehicle for reducing the number of uninsured Americans and focuses attention on some of the associated issues: How is health insurance treated under current tax law? Why tax credits and not deductions? What are the major issues in designing tax credits? Who should be eligible and for what size credit? What changes, if any, would be needed to the insurance market to ensure that policies are available and affordable for people eligible for tax credits? What are the major issues related to administering ...


Schip Turns Five: Taking Stock, Moving Ahead, Jennifer Ryan Aug 2002

Schip Turns Five: Taking Stock, Moving Ahead, Jennifer Ryan

National Health Policy Forum

This issue brief notes the five-year anniversary of the effective date of Title XXI of the Social Security Act, the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). It looks at the successes of the program, as well as some of the obstacles SCHIP will face as it moves from childhood into adolescence and attempts to maintain its effectiveness in providing health coverage to uninsured children and families. The paper explores the critical funding impasse created by the downturns in the economy and the financing structure of the SCHIP statute. It also highlights the emerging issue of program retention and the ...


Federal Child Care Funding For Low-Income Families: How Much Is Needed?, Jane Koppelman Jul 2002

Federal Child Care Funding For Low-Income Families: How Much Is Needed?, Jane Koppelman

National Health Policy Forum

With reauthorization of the 1996 welfare reform law being debated, this paper looks at the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant and the Child Care and Development Fund — key components of congressional proposals to set a dollar amount for government spending on child care. This issue brief provides background on current child care use, arrangements, and cost, as well as research findings on the measurement of quality in child care programs.


Hatch-Waxman, Generics, And Patents: Balancing Prescription Drug Innovation, Competition, And Affordability, Robin J. Strongin Jun 2002

Hatch-Waxman, Generics, And Patents: Balancing Prescription Drug Innovation, Competition, And Affordability, Robin J. Strongin

National Health Policy Forum

This paper explores the complex connections among intellectual property protection, competition, and access to affordable prescription drug products. It focuses on several provisions of the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984 (Hatch-Waxman) and discusses the debate swirling around its reform. An overview of landmark intellectual property laws and a description of the generic drug approval process are also included.


Managing Advanced Illness: A Quality And Cost Challenge To Medicare, Medicaid, And Private Insurers, Karen Matherlee Jun 2002

Managing Advanced Illness: A Quality And Cost Challenge To Medicare, Medicaid, And Private Insurers, Karen Matherlee

National Health Policy Forum

This issue brief examines approaches to delivering and financing health services for persons with advanced chronic illness. It focuses on the nature and structure of the Medicare hospice benefit and its use as a model for Medicaid and other federal programs. The paper also looks at palliative-care approaches along the continuum of inpatient and post-acute services and raises cost, quality, and access issues for end-of-life care. In addition, it provides an overview of coverage through private insurance, including indemnity, point-of-service, and preferred-provider-organization products.


Improving Oral Health: Promise And Prospects, Jennifer Ryan Jun 2002

Improving Oral Health: Promise And Prospects, Jennifer Ryan

National Health Policy Forum

This background paper examines the variety of issues affecting access to oral health care in the United States. It considers the possibilities and challenges presented by public financing sources for dental care for low-income children and families—including Medicaid, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, and other safety net programs—and reviews a sampling of privately funded efforts at improving oral health access. The paper illustrates some of the major barriers to dental care, particularly the shortage of dentists willing to serve low-income and uninsured patients and the overall lack of growth in the dental workforce. It also considers ...


1115 Ways To Waive Medicaid And Schip Rules, Jennifer Ryan Jun 2002

1115 Ways To Waive Medicaid And Schip Rules, Jennifer Ryan

National Health Policy Forum

This issue brief explores the history and context of the Section 1115 Medicaid waiver authority, discusses the Health Insurance Flexibility and Accountability (HIFA) initiative under way in the Bush administration, and considers some of the potential impacts that HIFA could have on state budgets and access to health care for low-income families. Finally, it considers the future of Section 1115 waivers as a vehicle for modifying Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program.


Will The Nation Be Ready For The Next Bioterrorism Attack? Mending Gaps In The Public Health Infrastructure, Eileen Salinsky Jun 2002

Will The Nation Be Ready For The Next Bioterrorism Attack? Mending Gaps In The Public Health Infrastructure, Eileen Salinsky

National Health Policy Forum

This paper provides an overview of critical weaknesses in public health preparedness capabilities and discusses policy initiatives to address these shortcomings. It examines developmental needs related to communication and coordination, information systems, laboratories, the development and distribution of vaccines and other countermeasures, emergency medical preparedness and response, and the public health workforce. The paper summarizes the status of federal and state plans to respond to these developmental needs and touches on the challenges likely to emerge as these plans are implemented.


Average Wholesale Price For Prescription Drugs: Is There A More Appropriate Pricing Mechanism?, Dawn Gencarelli Jun 2002

Average Wholesale Price For Prescription Drugs: Is There A More Appropriate Pricing Mechanism?, Dawn Gencarelli

National Health Policy Forum

This paper defines the average wholesale price (AWP), an important benchmark for prescription drug pricing and reimbursement. The paper briefly explains the AWP's various uses in the pricing of prescription drugs, highlights some of the problems that have emerged as a result of the way it is reported and used, and explores some of the possibilities for reform. The paper also contains a glossary of commonly used terms, as well as an appendix that lists the state Medicaid reimbursement formulas.


Contracting For Quality: Medicare's Quality Improvement Organizations, Lisa Sprague Jun 2002

Contracting For Quality: Medicare's Quality Improvement Organizations, Lisa Sprague

National Health Policy Forum

This paper examines the role of quality improvement organizations (QIOs, formerly known as PROs, or peer review organizations) in improving the quality of medical care delivered to Medicare beneficiaries in both fee-for-service and managed care environments. It looks at the expansion of the QIOs' portfolio in their seventh contract cycle to include quality improvement activities in nursing homes, home health services, and physicians' offices as well as responsibilities for public education. The paper explores the evolution of QIOs, changes in their priorities over time, and the projects in which they are engaged. It also considers their role in the formulation ...


The Federal-State Struggle Over Medicaid Matching Funds: An Update, Karen Matherlee May 2002

The Federal-State Struggle Over Medicaid Matching Funds: An Update, Karen Matherlee

National Health Policy Forum

This background paper updates NHPF Issue Brief No. 760, "The Federal-State Medicaid Match: An Ongoing Tug-of-War over Practice and Policy," December 15, 2000. The paper presents actions taken since then by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services, to address what the Bush administration calls abusive funding practices used by states to draw federal Medicaid matching funds. Tracing the Clinton and Bush administrations' policies, the document reviews final regulations, published in January 2001 and January 2002, on these practices. The paper also reports on a lawsuit filed in federal court to block the January ...


How Vulnerable Is The Nation's Food Supply? Linking Food Safety And Food Security, Robin J. Strongin May 2002

How Vulnerable Is The Nation's Food Supply? Linking Food Safety And Food Security, Robin J. Strongin

National Health Policy Forum

This paper reviews the food safety regulatory apparatus in place today, especially the activities of the two lead agencies in assuring food safety — the Food and Drug Administration within the Department of Health and Human Services and the Food Safety and Inspection Service within the Department of Agriculture. It examines the system's strengths and vulnerabilities, particularly in light of the post–September 11 environment that includes the heightened threat of terrorism. The paper also touches upon legislative and budgetary proposals aimed at improving food security, including the growing but debated interest in a single food safety agency.


The Medicaid Buy-In Program: Lessons Learned From Nine "Early Implementer" States, Donna Folkemer, Allen Jensen, Robert Silverstein, Tara Straw May 2002

The Medicaid Buy-In Program: Lessons Learned From Nine "Early Implementer" States, Donna Folkemer, Allen Jensen, Robert Silverstein, Tara Straw

Center for Health Policy Research

For many individual Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients, the risk of losing Medicaid coverage linked to their cash benefits is a powerful work disincentive. Eliminating barriers to health care and creating incentives to work can greatly improve financial independence and well being. To support this goal, Congress included a Medicaid Buy-In option in the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 and enacted the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act (TWWIIA) in 1999. These laws authorized states to create Medicaid Buy-In programs to extend Medicaid coverage to persons with disabilities who go to work ...


Policy Frameworks For Designing Medicaid Buy-In Programs And Related State Work Incentive Initiatives, Allen Jensen, Robert Silverstein, Donna Folkemer, Tara Straw May 2002

Policy Frameworks For Designing Medicaid Buy-In Programs And Related State Work Incentive Initiatives, Allen Jensen, Robert Silverstein, Donna Folkemer, Tara Straw

Center for Health Policy Research

This report provides policy frameworks to assist stakeholders (such as Medicaid directors, state legislators, and cross-disability coalitions) design and implement Medicaid Buy-In programs and related work incentive initiatives to enhance the level of economic self-sufficiency of persons with significant disabilities. Of particular focus of the paper are the design decisions affecting enrollment, costs, and a state's fiscal exposure.

The policy frameworks describe the interrelationships between federal and state cash assistance programs (particularly SSDI, SSI, and state SSI supplementation programs) and health entitlements (particularly the Medicaid program). The policy frameworks are derived from the experiences of the nine early implementation ...


Public Health Emergency Preparedness: Fundamentals Of The "System", Eileen Salinsky Apr 2002

Public Health Emergency Preparedness: Fundamentals Of The "System", Eileen Salinsky

National Health Policy Forum

This paper examines the existing public health infrastructure, with an emphasis on the resources and activities necessary for public health emergency preparedness and response. It provides a brief historical overview of the evolution of public health and contrasts public health interventions with medicine and health care services. The paper summarizes the broad range of activities that constitute public health practice today and provides a more detailed review of functions and services that are critical to emergency response capabilities. It explores the legal foundation for public health authorities, discussing constitutional, federal, and state public health law. The paper also summarizes how ...


Child And Family Health Initiatives In The Bay Area, Jennifer Ryan, Wakina Scott Apr 2002

Child And Family Health Initiatives In The Bay Area, Jennifer Ryan, Wakina Scott

National Health Policy Forum

This site visit to the San Francisco Bay Area provided an opportunity to study locally based health initiatives in Santa Clara, Alameda, and San Francisco Counties that were designed to reach beyond the existing structures of the Medi-Cal and Healthy Families programs. Site visitors had the opportunity to interact with health care providers, state officials, and consumer advocates, as well as leaders in health coverage innovation. They also met with many of the leaders of the three local initiatives; visited Asian Health Services (AHS), a local clinic that has been serving the Asian community for over 25 years; and toured ...


Pharmacy Benefits: New Concepts In Plan Design, Veronica V. Goff Mar 2002

Pharmacy Benefits: New Concepts In Plan Design, Veronica V. Goff

National Health Policy Forum

This issue brief examines changes to prescription drug benefit coverage in large-employer plans and implications for a Medicare prescription drug benefit. The brief discusses reasons behind employer benefit plan redesign and recent coverage trends, as well as potential paths to modernize benefits.


Transitions Along The Continuum Of Care: Elderly And Disabled Persons In New York, Lisa Sprague, Nora Super Mar 2002

Transitions Along The Continuum Of Care: Elderly And Disabled Persons In New York, Lisa Sprague, Nora Super

National Health Policy Forum

This site visit examined transitions along the continuum of care for elderly and disabled persons in New York. The state offers its residents an extensive array of services, including nursing homes, home health care, personal care, and community-based services. New York spends more than any other state on its Medicaid program, which is reflected in a comprehensive benefit package, full-cost reimbursement of hospitals, high nursing home rates, and extensive coverage of personal care services. Site visitors were briefed on the history and development of long-term care in the state as well as the various care settings available. Panels discussed transitions ...


Welfare Reform Reauthorization In 2002:What Are The Issues For Tribal Communities And Indian Families?, Kathleen A. Maloy Mar 2002

Welfare Reform Reauthorization In 2002:What Are The Issues For Tribal Communities And Indian Families?, Kathleen A. Maloy

Health Policy and Management Issue Briefs

American Indian tribes have new options under the 1996 Welfare Reform legislation that created Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), a block grant enacted to replace the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). TANF, which expires in September of this year, provides cash assistance to poor families with children, including poor American Indian Families, and gives tribes the option to design and administer their own family assistance programs following approval of the plan by the Department of Health and Human Services. As Congress considers TANF reauthorization, three new publications prepared for the Kaiser Family Foundation provide insight into the ...


Welfare Reform In Maryland: Flexibility In Action, Jennifer Ryan, Judith D. Moore Feb 2002

Welfare Reform In Maryland: Flexibility In Action, Jennifer Ryan, Judith D. Moore

National Health Policy Forum

This site visit took federal participants on a tour around Maryland, providing a three-way comparison of suburban, urban, and rural service delivery in a diverse state. The site visit focused on the Family Investment Program, a statewide effort to reduce the state's welfare caseload through temporary cash assistance (TCA) and other needed supports to help customers become self-sufficient. In particular, site visitors examined rural perspectives on reform, substance abuse assessment and treatment innovations, and fatherhood and family support initiatives. The group heard from state officials, researchers, advocates, and a variety of direct service providers about the successes and challenges ...


Promoting Marriage As Welfare Policy: Looking At A Public Role In Private Lives, Jane Koppelman Feb 2002

Promoting Marriage As Welfare Policy: Looking At A Public Role In Private Lives, Jane Koppelman

National Health Policy Forum

This issue brief discusses the interest in and politics surrounding government's using welfare reform legislation to carve out a stronger role in promoting marriage. It examines trends in family formation, their impact on society, and the effect of single parenting, divorce, and stepparenting on child well-being. The paper also looks at the treatment of marriage in current government programs, new state activities to promote marriage, proposals for a stronger government role, and marriage experts' expectations for the success of marriage education programs.


From Diagnosis To Payment: The Dynamics Of Coding Systems For Hospital, Physician, And Other Health Services, Karen Matherlee Jan 2002

From Diagnosis To Payment: The Dynamics Of Coding Systems For Hospital, Physician, And Other Health Services, Karen Matherlee

National Health Policy Forum

This background paper reviews the two principal coding systems used to describe health services in the United States: ICD-9-CM and HCPCS, a combination of CPT-4 and national and local codes. It probes the relationships of these coding systems to payment policy, administrative simplification under HIPAA, and other concerns. The paper also addresses four coding issues: governance of CPT; adoption of ICD-10-CM; the appropriateness, accuracy, and responsiveness to change of the codes themselves; and the degree of documentation needed to monitor health services and determine payment.


Who Will Be There To Care? The Growing Gap Between Caregiver Supply And Demand, Nora Super Jan 2002

Who Will Be There To Care? The Growing Gap Between Caregiver Supply And Demand, Nora Super

National Health Policy Forum

This paper examines the increasing demand for long-term care services and the concurrent decrease in the supply of paid and unpaid caregivers. It considers workforce trends for paraprofessionals, such as certified nursing assistants, home health aides, and personal care attendants, as well as several public and private efforts to address staff shortages and quality-of-care. The paper explores the sociodemographic factors that have affected the demand for and supply of informal care provided by family and friends. It also reviewes policy proposals designed to provide support for family caregivers and/or to give choices to consumers.