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Health Law and Policy Commons

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Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library, The George Washington University

2009

Articles 1 - 16 of 16

Full-Text Articles in Health Law and Policy

Got Junk? The Federal Role In Regulating “Competitive” Foods, Eileen Salinsky Dec 2009

Got Junk? The Federal Role In Regulating “Competitive” Foods, Eileen Salinsky

National Health Policy Forum

A wide variety of food and beverage items are available in schools in addition to the school meals provided through the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. A long-standing source of controversy, the need for stronger federal restrictions on foods that compete with school meals is again under debate. This issue brief examines the availability and consumption of competitive foods, explores the regulation of these foods at the federal level, considers trends in state and local restrictions, and summarizes perceived barriers to improving the nutritional quality of competitive food options.


No Free Lunch? Current Challenges Facing The National School Lunch And School Breakfast Programs, Eileen Salinsky Dec 2009

No Free Lunch? Current Challenges Facing The National School Lunch And School Breakfast Programs, Eileen Salinsky

National Health Policy Forum

This background paper describes important characteristics of the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program, reviews U.S. Department of Agriculture rules regarding the nutritional content of school meals, and examines compliance with current nutrition standards. It also considers the dietary status and obesity risk of meal program participants, discusses proposed improvements to nutritional standards and meal requirements, and highlights key legislative issues.


The Role Of Ombudsmen In Assuring Quality For Residents Of Long-Term Care Facilities: Straining To Make Ends Meet, Carol O'Shaughnessy Dec 2009

The Role Of Ombudsmen In Assuring Quality For Residents Of Long-Term Care Facilities: Straining To Make Ends Meet, Carol O'Shaughnessy

National Health Policy Forum

Assuring quality of care for residents in long-term care facilities has been a serious and continuing concern of policymakers for decades. The Older Americans Act’s long-term care ombudsman program is a consumer advocacy model intended to improve quality of care by helping the 2.5 million residents of almost 67,000 nursing and other residential care facilities resolve complaints about their care and protect their rights. Despite broad recognition of its value in assisting residents and its efforts to complement federal and state oversight of long-term care facilities, some observers are concerned about the program’s ability to meet ...


Coverage And Payment For Prescription Drugs Under Medicare Part B: A Complex Patchwork, Amanda Cassidy Aug 2009

Coverage And Payment For Prescription Drugs Under Medicare Part B: A Complex Patchwork, Amanda Cassidy

National Health Policy Forum

As part of the diverse discussions around health care reform, many have looked to refining Medicare payment systems as a way to give health care practitioners and providers greater incentives to deliver care more efficiently, and thus slow health care spending growth. Understanding how Medicare currently pays for Part B services, including drugs covered under Part B, is essential to understanding the potential impact of these types of reforms. Most items and services covered under Part B, including most Part B drugs, are paid individually, which means practitioners and providers generally receive more payments for providing more services. Some reform ...


Stimulus Bill Implementation: Expanding Meaningful Use Of Health It, Rob Cunningham Aug 2009

Stimulus Bill Implementation: Expanding Meaningful Use Of Health It, Rob Cunningham

National Health Policy Forum

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act authorizes an estimated $38 billion in incentives and supports for health information technology (IT) from 2009 to 2019. After years of sluggish health IT adoption, this crisis-driven investment of public funds creates a unique opportunity for rapid diffusion of a technology that is widely expected to improve care, save money, and facilitate transformation of the troubled U.S. health system. Achieving maximal effect from the stimulus funds is nevertheless a difficult challenge. The Recovery Act strengthens the federal government’s leadership role in promoting health IT. But successful adoption and utilization across the health ...


The Medicare Drug Benefit: Update On The Low-Income Subsidy, Mary Ellen Stahlman Jul 2009

The Medicare Drug Benefit: Update On The Low-Income Subsidy, Mary Ellen Stahlman

National Health Policy Forum

The Medicare drug benefit (Medicare "Part D"), provides federal subsidies to pay premiums and cost sharing for low-income beneficiaries—almost 10 million in 2009. Yet there are several policy issues concerning these low-income beneficiaries under Part D. First, over 2 million individuals who may qualify for the subsidies have not enrolled. Second, in some states, low-income beneficiaries have little choice of plans (while non-low-income beneficiaries have dozens of choices), unless they pay out-of-pocket for premium amounts above what the subsidy covers. And third, millions of those who have enrolled in the benefit face the prospect each year of switching drug ...


A Health Insurance Exchange: Prototypes And Design Issues, Mark Merlis Jun 2009

A Health Insurance Exchange: Prototypes And Design Issues, Mark Merlis

National Health Policy Forum

Many reform proposals call for the creation of one or more health insurance exchanges, intermediaries that can help individuals or small employers navigate the insurance market. An exchange might be public or private, national, or local. It might serve simply as a clearinghouse for plan information or could play an active role in setting benefit packages, choosing high-quality plans, and negotiating premium rates. This paper begins with a summary of recent experience with insurance exchanges and similar systems. It then reviews basic issues in the design of an exchange.


Underwriting In The Non-Group Health Insurance Market: The Fundamentals, Kathryn Linehan Jun 2009

Underwriting In The Non-Group Health Insurance Market: The Fundamentals, Kathryn Linehan

National Health Policy Forum

Non-group health insurance is coverage that individuals purchase on their own rather than as part of a group. Most states currently permit non-group insurers to underwrite, a process whereby an insurer assesses the health and other characteristics of individuals to determine their likely utilization of health services or risk; insurers then use this assessment to determine whether they will offer coverage and the premium they will charge. Policymakers have identified underwriting and related practices in non-group markets as a target for reform to enable broader access for the currently uninsured. This publication reviews the characteristics of non-group markets and insurers ...


Resilience And Renaissance: Efforts To Rebuild A Healthier New Orleans, Michele J. Orza, Jessamyn Taylor May 2009

Resilience And Renaissance: Efforts To Rebuild A Healthier New Orleans, Michele J. Orza, Jessamyn Taylor

National Health Policy Forum

The National Health Policy Forum sponsored a site visit to New Orleans, Louisiana, in May 2009 to explore the city's health challenges, which are similar to those faced by other cities but were all greatly exacerbated by Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. The agenda focused on three themes: primary care and behavioral health services availability and access, public health preparedness, and rebuilding healthier communities. It examined how these themes and others intersect in two distinct communities within New Orleans: the Holy Cross community surrounding the Lower Ninth Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development and the community surrounding the ...


The Children's Health Insurance Program (Chip): The Fundamentals, Jennifer Ryan Apr 2009

The Children's Health Insurance Program (Chip): The Fundamentals, Jennifer Ryan

National Health Policy Forum

This background paper provides a brief overview of the fundamental elements of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). CHIP, which served more than 7 million children in federal fiscal year 2008, is a jointly funded federal-state partnership that was originally enacted in 1997 as a complement to the Medicaid program. CHIP is designed to provide health insurance coverage for children in families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford to purchase private insurance coverage. The program was reauthorized in the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) of 2009, which included several changes and ...


Show Me The Money: The Implications Of Schedule H, Eileen Salinsky Apr 2009

Show Me The Money: The Implications Of Schedule H, Eileen Salinsky

National Health Policy Forum

Responding to policymakers' concerns, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) implemented significant new hospital community benefit reporting under Schedule H of its revised Form 990, the return used by tax-exempt organizations. This issue brief considers the policy implications of the quantitative and qualitative information that hospitals are now mandated to report through Schedule H, including the costs associated with charity care, bad debt, and the unreimbursed costs of Medicaid and Medicare. The paper examines unresolved issues related to the new reporting requirements, such as controversies regarding the scope of Schedule H, and considers the potential for these reports to influence IRS ...


Schedule H: New Community Benefit Reporting Requirements For Hospitals, Eileen Salinsky Apr 2009

Schedule H: New Community Benefit Reporting Requirements For Hospitals, Eileen Salinsky

National Health Policy Forum

In recent years, some policymakers have questioned whether not-for-profit hospitals benefit the communities they serve at a level commensurate with the tax exemptions they receive as charitable organizations. This background paper reviews the new community benefit reporting requirements hospitals will face in 2009 under Schedule H of the Internal Revenue Service's revised Form 990 (the return used by organizations exempt from federal income tax). The paper provides a descriptive summary of the quantitative and qualitative information to be reported on Schedule H, such as charity care, bad debt, and the unreimbursed costs of Medicaid and Medicare.


Coordinating Care For People With Multiple Chronic Conditions: The Guided Care Model And Other Innovative Approaches, Judith D. Moore, Carol O'Shaughnessy Apr 2009

Coordinating Care For People With Multiple Chronic Conditions: The Guided Care Model And Other Innovative Approaches, Judith D. Moore, Carol O'Shaughnessy

National Health Policy Forum

The Forum sponsored two site visits to explore the Johns Hopkins University's research and demonstration program on Guided Care, in April and August 2009. Guided Care is a patient-centered medical home model that uses an interdisciplinary approach to coordinating health care for older people with multiple chronic conditions. Guided Care nurses located in primary care practices work with Medicare patients on a long-term basis, coordinate their care among various providers, provide transitional care, and assist patients with self-management skills. Site visit participants learned about the complexities of caring for frail Medicare patients, some of whom see multiple physicians and ...


The Medicaid Drug Rebate Program, Christie Provost Peters Apr 2009

The Medicaid Drug Rebate Program, Christie Provost Peters

National Health Policy Forum

The Medicaid Drug Rebate Program helps lower Medicaid spending on outpatient prescription drugs by ensuring states receive discounts similar to those provided to private purchasers. Based on manufacturer reported pricing data, Medicaid drug rebates generate significant revenue for the states (and the federal government) that helps offset Medicaid prescription drug expenditures. This publication describes the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program and reviews how it works.


Health Care-Associated Infections: Is There An End In Sight?, Lisa Sprague Mar 2009

Health Care-Associated Infections: Is There An End In Sight?, Lisa Sprague

National Health Policy Forum

Health care–associated infections (HAIs) have emerged as a significant concern in policy as well as clinical circles. An HAI is an infection acquired during treatment for another condition. Some of the HAI-causing bacteria have become drug-resistant; methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, is a familiar example. Tied to perhaps 100,000 deaths and $20 billion in health care costs each year, HAIs have given rise to state laws, legislative proposals at the federal level, public-private initiatives, and work at the hospital system and individual hospital level. However, much remains to be done. This issue brief reviews the prevalence of HAIs ...


Reauthorizing Schip: A Summary Of Selected Issues, Jennifer Ryan, Cynthia Shirk Jan 2009

Reauthorizing Schip: A Summary Of Selected Issues, Jennifer Ryan, Cynthia Shirk

National Health Policy Forum

This document provides a brief overview of some of the policy and programmatic issues that were addressed in legislation to reau¬thorize the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (Title XXI of the Social Security Act) during the summer and fall of 2007. This overview provides a background for understanding the elements for a second round of reauthorization that will likely be debated in the early days of the 111th Congress. The paper reviews several of the key issues under discussion and summarizes some of the related provisions in the reauthorization bills that were considered in 2007.