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A Dose of Reality in the Virtual World of Health IT

The Alliance for Health Reform hosted a September 28 briefing to discuss electronic health records (EHRs), and the progress of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. Speakers explored such questions as: How does health information technology fit in the strategy for health care delivery transformation?…

Health Care Costs: The Role of Technology and Chronic Conditions

The Alliance for Health Reform and co-sponsors presented the second event in a three-part series of discussions on costs, the factors driving them up, and what (if anything) can be done about them. This briefing takes an in-depth look at two of the most often cited cost drivers – technology…

Behavioral Health: Can Primary Care Help Meet the Growing Need?

The health reform law has specific provisions covering mental health and substance use conditions, as well as general provisions to benefit those in need of behavioral health services. While addressing unmet needs, the reform law provisions raise new challenges. Given their budgetary constraints, will states be able to expand capacity…

Integrating Care for Dual Eligibles: What Do Consumers Want?

Many deficit reduction plans have recognized the need to improve care for the 9 million beneficiaries dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. How do Medicaid and Medicare coordinate payment and care for people covered by both programs? Are Health and Human Services initiatives encouraging innovations to integrate care for dual…

Explaining Health Reform: Uses of Express Lane Strategies to Promote Participation in Coverage

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), millions of uninsured adults and children will gain eligibility for Medicaid or health coverage through new health insurance Exchanges beginning in 2014. The law calls upon states to develop simple and streamlined processes for establishing, verifying, and updating eligibility for Medicaid,…

Public Reporting of Quality Outcomes: What’s the Best Path Forward?

The Affordable Care Act aims to promote higher quality care in part by rewarding – and eventually requiring – the reporting of certain quality measures. Previous efforts suggest that public reporting can add significant value. Yet there are concerns about the best way to measure outcomes and quality, the possible…

Shared Medical Decision Making: We’re in This Together

In recent years, awareness of the patient’s important role in managing his or her own care has been steadily growing—fed not only by such trends as the proliferation of health information on the internet and direct-to-consumer advertising, but also by the emerging science of patient-centered decision making. One way to…