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What's New

Using Science to Shape Medicare Physician Payment

Aug. 12, 2013

After years of inattention, ensuring a more rigorous approach to updating the Medicare physician fee schedule should help address the serious threat to the viability of primary care, according to an invited commentary by HSC President Paul B. Ginsburg published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Journal Article


Physicians’ Fear of Malpractice Suits Linked to More Diagnostic Testing

Aug. 5, 2013

Medicare patients receive more diagnostic tests and ED referrals when treated by physicians who worry more about malpractice liability, regardless of whether states have adopted common malpractice tort reforms, according to a study by researchers at the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) in the August Health Affairs.

Journal Article
News Release


Urgent Care Centers: Emergency Department Alternative or Costly Convenience?

July 11, 2013

Consumer demand for more convenient and timely access to care for illnesses and injuries is a major driver of the rapid growth of urgent care centers across the country, according to a new qualitative study by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) for the nonpartisan, nonprofit National Institute for Health Care Reform (NIHCR).

HSC Research Brief No. 26
News Release


Treatment Costs for Specific Conditions Vary Within and Across Communities

July 8, 2013

Across treatment of different medical conditions among Medicare beneficiaries, there is little consistency in geographic cost variations, with some communities high cost for certain conditions but not others, according to a study by a Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) researcher published online in the journal Health Services Research.

Journal Article
Media Advisory


Competitive Denver Insurance Market Awaits National Health Reform

June 13, 2013

Despite waiting until nearly the 11th hour to approve a Medicaid expansion, Colorado is at the forefront of preparing for national health reform relative to many other states, according to a new Community Report released today by Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC).

Denver Community Report
Media Advisory


Ready or Not: Are Health Care Safety-Net Systems Prepared for Reform?

June 12, 2013

Even with new federal resources to help, communities with weaker safety-net systems are lagging in preparations for health reform, according to a new study by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) for the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF).

CHCF Regional Market Issue Brief


Overcoming Obstacles to Specialty Care for Medicaid Patients

June 7, 2013

Across the country, several innovative approaches to expanding Medicaid patients’ access to specialty care are showing early promise, according to a new qualitative study by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) for the Commonwealth Fund.

Commonwealth Fund Report
Media Advisory


Health Differences Explain Most Geographic Variation in Medicare Costs

May 28, 2013

Wide geographic variation in Medicare costs is largely explained by health differences across communities rather than inefficient care delivery, according to a Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) study published online today in the SAGE journal Medical Care Research and Review.

Journal Article
Media Advisory


Baltimore Health Insurance Market Primed for National Health Reform

May 23, 2013

With a history of aggressive state oversight of health care and Medicaid coverage expansions, the Baltimore metropolitan area likely faces a smoother transition to national health reform than many other markets across the country, according to a new Community Report released today by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC).

Baltimore Community Report
Media Advisory


Lower Medicare Hospital Payment Rates Lead to Lower Rates for Private Payers

May 6, 2013

Contrary to the notion that hospitals charge private payers higher payment rates to offset lower Medicare rates, it turns out the opposite is true—lower Medicare payment rates lead to lower private rates for inpatient care, according to a study by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) published in the May Health Affairs.

Journal Article - (Free access.)
News Release


Scaling Up Payment Reform Pilots Key to Health Care Cost Containment

May 6, 2013

Scaling up health care payment reform to control costs and improve quality will require both sticks to prod providers from the sidelines and carrots to guide patients to more-efficient, higher-quality doctors and hospitals, according to an article by Paul B. Ginsburg, Ph.D., president of the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC), in the May Health Affairs.

Journal Article - (Free access.)
Media Advisory


Hospital Quality Reporting: Separating the Signal from the Noise

April 25, 2013

Amid the proliferation of quality measures, reporting requirements and transparency efforts, purchasers often find it difficult to separate the signal from the noise when determining what hospital quality measures are important, how to interpret and use quality information in a meaningful way, and how to present useful and actionable information to consumers, according to a new Policy Analysis from the nonprofit, nonpartisan National Institute for Health Care Reform (NIHCR).

NIHCR Policy Analysis No. 11
Media Advisory


Medicare Spending Limits: Issues and Implications

March 26, 2013

Several major deficit-reduction plans include provisions that would impose an explicit limit on the growth in Medicare spending. A new Kaiser Family Foundation report written by Chapin White, Ph.D., HSC senior health researcher, describes and analyzes various approaches to setting and enforcing limits on Medicare spending.

Kaiser Family Foundation Issue Brief


Primary Care Workforce Shortages: Nurse Practitioner Scope-of-Practice Laws and Payment Policies

Feb. 28, 2013

While state scope-of practice laws don’t typically restrict what primary care services nurse practitioners (NPs) can provide to patients, the laws do affect practice opportunities for NPs and appear to influence payer policies, according to a new qualitative study by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) for the nonpartisan, nonprofit National Institute for Health Care Reform (NIHCR).

NIHCR Research Brief No. 13
News Release


Few Americans Switch Employer Health Plans for Better Quality, Lower Costs

Jan. 31, 2013

Less than 2.5 percent of nonelderly Americans in 2010 with employer coverage—about the same proportion as in 2003—initiated a change in health plans to reduce their health insurance costs or get a better quality plan, according to a new national study by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) for the nonpartisan, nonprofit National Institute for Health Care Reform (NIHCR).

NIHCR Research Brief No. 12
News Release


Los Angeles and San Diego Regional Market Studies

Jan. 23, 2013

New market studies of the Los Angeles and San Diego areas conducted by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) offer a look at emerging trends, including preparations for health reform.

Los Angeles Report
San Diego Report
Media Advisory


17th Annual Wall Street Comes to Washington Conference

Dec. 23, 2012

HSC's 17th Annual Wall Street Comes to Washington conference was held on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, in Washington, D.C. A transcript and audio podcast of the conference are now available.

Conference Transcript
Audio Podcast


Employer-Sponsored Insurance and Health Reform: Doing the Math

Dec. 19, 2012

Amid concerns that health reform might hasten the ongoing decline of employer health coverage, the calculus of offering coverage will continue to make economic sense for businesses employing most workers (81%) now offered insurance, according to a new national study for the nonpartisan, nonprofit National Institute for Health Care Reform (NIHCR).

NIHCR Research Brief No. 11
News Release


Easier Access to After-Hours Care Linked to Less Emergency Department Use

Dec. 12, 2012

Patients with problems reaching their primary care practice after hours are more likely to report ending up in the emergency department and going without needed medical care, according to a study by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) published today as a Web First by Health Affairs.

Journal Article -- (Free Access.)
News Release


San Francisco and Fresno Regional Market Studies

Dec. 10, 2012

New market studies of the San Francisco and Fresno areas conducted by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) offer a stark contrast—particularly in preparations for health reform—between one of the most affluent and poorest regions of the state.

San Francisco Report
Fresno Report
Media Advisory


Local Public Hospitals: Changing with the Times

Nov. 29, 2012

In recent years, local public hospitals have stayed afloat financially without abandoning their mission to care for low-income people by expanding access to primary care, attracting privately insured patients and paying closer attention to collection of patient revenues, among other strategies, according to a qualitative study released today by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC).

HSC Research Brief No. 25
News Release


Care Coordination Agreements: Lessons Learned

Nov. 19, 2012

To improve the quality and coordination of care, some physicians have developed written care coordination agreements that spell out the respective responsibilities of two or more physicians for coordination of patient care. Changes in payment policies likely could encourage further development of these kinds of agreements, according to a study by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) published as a Web Exclusive by the American Journal of Managed Care.

Journal Article - (Free Access.)


Emergency Preparedness and Community Coalitions: Opportunities and Challenges

Nov. 15, 2012

While hospitals and first responders consistently work together to prepare for natural disasters, infectious disease outbreaks and other emergencies likely to result in many injured or ill people, other important groups—primary care clinicians and nursing homes, for example—typically do not participate in local emergency-preparedness coalitions, according to a new qualitative study of 10 U.S. communities by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC).

HSC Research Brief No. 24
News Release


Despite Employer Interest, Americans' Use of Workplace Clinics Remains Low

Oct. 25, 2012

Despite heightened employer interest in workplace clinics as a cost-containment tool, only 4 percent of American families in 2010 reported visiting a workplace clinic in the previous year—the same proportion as in 2007, according to a new national study by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) for the nonpartisan, nonprofit National Institute for Health Care Reform (NIHCR).

NIHCR Research Brief No. 10
News Release


Despite Recession, Share of Americans with High Medical Costs Mostly Unchanged

Oct. 24, 2012

Almost one in five Americans younger than 65—18.8 percent—lived in families with high medical costs in 2009, roughly the same as 2006 despite widespread job losses, more uninsured and declining incomes during the Great Recession, according to a study by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) published today as a Web First by Health Affairs.

Journal Article
News Release


High-Intensity Primary Care: Lessons for Physician and Patient Engagement

Oct. 4, 2012

If fledgling efforts to improve quality and lower costs by focusing extra primary care attention on patients with complex conditions are to succeed, ensuring physicians and patients are on board will be key, according to a new qualitative study by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) for the nonpartisan, nonprofit National Institute for Health Care Reform (NIHCR).

NIHCR Research Brief No. 9
News Release


Sacramento and Riverside/San Bernardino Regional Market Studies

Sept. 20, 2012

Increased pressure on hospitals to contain costs, growing concerns about physician shortages and strained safety nets are among the trends identified in new market studies of the Sacramento and Riverside/San Bernardino regions conducted by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC).

Sacramento Report
Riverside/San Bernardino Report
Media Advisory


Accuracy of Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Key to Broader Reform

Sept. 4, 2012

Despite growing interest in replacing fee-for-service payments to health care providers, fee for service is likely to remain the core way of paying physicians, so ensuring the accuracy of these payments will be important to the success of broader payment reforms, according to an article by Paul B. Ginsburg, Ph.D., HSC president, published in the September edition of Health Affairs.

Journal Article - (Free Access.)
Media Advisory


Adapting Tools from Other Nations to Slow U.S. Prescription Drug Spending

Aug. 30, 2012

Tools commonly used in other developed nations to help slow prescription drug spending growth offer potential lessons for the U.S. health system, according to a new Policy Analysis from the nonprofit, nonpartisan National Institute for Health Care Reform (NIHCR).

NIHCR Policy Analysis No. 10
Media Advisory


Health Care Safety Net Coordination Grows in Some Communities

Aug. 6, 2012

Safety net clinics, hospitals and other providers that care for uninsured and low-income people increasingly are seeking ways to coordinate services to increase access, improve quality and reduce costs, according to a study by HSC published in the August edition of Health Affairs.

Journal Article - (Free Access.)
Media Advisory


Small Employers and Self-Insured Health Benefits: Too Small to Succeed?

July 19, 2012

While large firms often assume financial risk for enrollees’ medical care through self-insurance, small firms’ growing interest in the practice may pose challenges for policy makers, according to a new qualitative study by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC).

Issue Brief No. 138
News Release


Majority of Medicaid ED Visits for Urgent or More Serious Symptoms

July 11, 2012

Contrary to conventional wisdom that Medicaid patients often use hospital emergency departments for routine care, the majority of ED visits by nonelderly Medicaid patients are for symptoms suggesting urgent or more serious medical problems, according to a national study released today by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC).

HSC Research Brief No. 23
News Release


Lessons in Linking After-Hours Care to Primary Care

June 4, 2012

From solo physicians sharing on-call coverage to large practices contracting with urgent care centers, financial backing from payers and electronic health records can help support coordination of after-hours care with patients’ primary care practices, according to a study by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) published online in The Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Journal Article
Media Advisory


Challenges Uninsured Near Elderly Face Accessing and Affording Health Care

June 4, 2012

Four in 10 uninsured Americans aged 55-64 reported having unmet health care needs or delaying treatment in 2010, while three in 10 uninsured near elderly people lived in families with problems paying their medical bills largely due to the cost, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) report by researchers at the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) and KFF.

Kaiser Family Foundation Issue Brief


Addressing Hospital Pricing Leverage through Regulation: State Rate Setting

May 8, 2012

Amid growing evidence that rising prices—especially for hospital care—play a key role in rising premiums for privately insured people, policy makers may want to revisit a tool—rate setting—used decades ago by a number of states to constrain hospital costs, according to a new Policy Analysis from the nonprofit, nonpartisan National Institute for Health Care Reform (NIHCR).

NIHCR Policy Analysis No. 9
Media Advisory


Health Plan-Provider Price Negotiations: Passing the Buck to Employers

May 7, 2012

Given the negotiating clout of so-called must-have hospitals and physician groups, even dominant health plans are wary of disrupting the status quo by trying to constrain prices, perhaps because insurers can simply pass along higher costs to employers and their workers, according to a study by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) published in the May edition of Health Affairs.

Journal Article -- (Free access.)
Media Advisory


Home Health and Durable Medical Equipment Major Drivers of Medicare Spending Variation

May 7, 2012

Most analyses of geographic variation in Medicare spending have focused on total spending, but a new Health Affairs study by researchers at HSC and Mathematica Policy Research looks at differences in spending across categories of medical services, such as diagnostic tests and durable equipment, finding considerable variation across 60 communities. Even among communities with high or low total health care use, the study found very different combinations of services were used to produce medical care.

Journal Article -- (Free access.)


Limited Options to Manage Specialty Drug Spending

April 26, 2012

Health insurers and employers have few tools to control rapidly rising spending on high-cost specialty drugs—typically high-cost biologic medications to treat complex medical conditions, according to a new qualitative study from the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC).

Research Brief No. 22
News Release


Hospital Geographic Expansion: The New Medical Arms Race?

April 9, 2012

Hospitals’ longstanding competitive focus on cutting-edge technology, niche specialty services and amenities to attract physicians and patients has set the stage for the next chapter in hospital competition—targeted geographic expansion into new markets with well-insured people, according to a study by HSC published in the April edition of Health Affairs.

Journal Article -- (Free access.)
News Release


Can Promoting Primary Care Help Bend the Cost Curve?

March 21, 2012

The national health care reform law includes a temporary five-year, 10-percent increase in what Medicare pays for primary care services provided by primary care clinicians. In a new Commonwealth Fund issue brief, researchers at the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) and Mathematica Policy Research model what would likely happen if the payment increase were permanent. The study concludes that increased spending on primary services would be more than offset by lower Medicare spending for other services—primarily hospitalizations, outpatient services and post-acute care—with the net result a drop in longer-term Medicare spending of nearly 2 percent.

Commonwealth Fund Issue Brief


Great Recession Accelerated Long-Term Decline of Employer Health Coverage

March 15, 2012

Between 2007 and 2010, the share of U.S. children and working-age adults with employer-sponsored health insurance dropped 10 percentage points from 63.6 percent to 53.5 percent, according to a new national study by HSC for the nonpartisan, nonprofit National Institute for Health Care Reform (NIHCR).

NIHCR Research Brief No. 8
News Release


Slower Growth in Medicare Spending—Is This the New Normal?

March 7, 2012

While the economic downturn and other temporary factors likely have a role in slowing Medicare spending growth, past cost-control efforts and the looming specter of broader provider payment reform may signal a longer-term slowdown in Medicare spending growth, according to a perspective by researchers at the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC), published online today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Journal Article -- (Free access.)
Media Advisory


State Benefit Mandates and National Health Reform

Feb. 29, 2012

While the national health reform law requires states to pay for health benefit mandates that exceed a minimum package of covered services, states’ financial liability for mandates is likely to be relatively small, according to a new Policy Analysis from the nonprofit, nonpartisan National Institute for Health Care Reform (NIHCR).

NIHCR Policy Analysis No. 8
Media Advisory


Health Status and Hospital Prices Key to Regional Variation in Private Spending

Feb. 15, 2012

Differences in health status explain much of the regional variation in spending for privately insured people, but differences in provider prices—especially for hospital care—also play a key role, accordingto a new study by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) for the nonpartisan, nonprofit National Institute for Health Care Reform (NIHCR).

NIHCR Research Brief No. 7
News Release


Increasing Physician Fees Expands Access to Care, While Coverage Expansion Effects Mixed

Feb. 14, 2012

Increasing physician fees clearly increased children's access to physician services, while coverage expansions under the Children's Health Insurance Program had more modest effects on children's access to care, according to a study by HSC published online in the journal Health Services Research.

Journal Article


Indianapolis Hospital Systems Compete for Well-Insured, Suburban Patients

Dec. 30, 2011

Indianapolis major hospital systems continue to encroach on each others traditional territories, engaging in a battle of bricks and mortar in suburban areas to compete for well-insured patients, according to a new Community Report released today by HSC.

Community Report No. 12
News Release


1 in 5 Americans in Families with Problems Paying Medical Bills in 2010

Dec. 23, 2011

More than one in five Americans were in families with problems paying medical bills in 2010—about the same proportion as in 2007, according to a national study released today by HSC and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

Tracking Report No. 28
News Release


Matching Supply to Demand: Addressing the U.S. Primary Care Workforce Shortage

Dec. 20, 2011

While there’s little debate about a growing primary care workforce shortage in the United States, it’s less clear whether existing workforce policies—such as educational loan forgiveness or scholarships and higher payment rates—can boost the supply of practitioners quickly enough, according to a new Policy Analysis from the nonprofit, nonpartisan National Institute for Health Care Reform (NIHCR).

NIHCR Policy Analysis No. 7
Media Advisory


Prescription Drug Access Problems Remain Level Between 2007 and 2010

Dec. 16, 2011

Despite the weak economy and more people lacking health insurance, the proportion of Americans reporting problems affording prescription drugs remained level between 2007 and 2010, with more than one in eight going without a prescribed drug in 2010, according to a national study released today by HSC and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Tracking Report No. 27
News Release


A Third of Adults Discharged from a Hospital Don't See a Doctor Within 30 Days

Dec. 8, 2011

One in three adult patients—aged 21 and older—discharged from a hospital to the community does not see a physician within 30 days of discharge, according to a new national study by HSC for the nonpartisan, nonprofit National Institute for Health Care Reform (NIHCR).

NIHCR Research Brief No. 6
News Release


Surprising Decline in Consumers Seeking Health Information

Nov. 23, 2011

After a striking rise in the last decade, the proportion of American adults seeking information about a personal health concern from a source other than their doctor dropped to 50 percent in 2010, down from 56 percent in 2007, according to a national study released today by HSC and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

Tracking Report No. 26
News Release


Transmitting and Processing Electronic Prescriptions: Physician Practices and Pharmacies

Nov. 21, 2011

This study focuses on a key aspect of e-prescribing: the electronic exchange of prescription data between physician practices and pharmacies. It explores facilitators of and barriers to the electronic transmission of new prescriptions and renewals and pharmacy e-prescription processing.

Journal Article -- (Free access.)


Federally Qualified Health Centers Poised for Significant Role in Reform

Nov. 10, 2011

Tracing their roots to the civil rights movement and the 1960s War on Poverty, federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) have grown from fringe providers to mainstays of many local health care system safety nets, according to a study released today by HSC.

HSC Research Brief No. 21
News Release


Promoting Healthy Competition in Health Insurance Exchanges: Options and Trade-offs

Nov. 9, 2011

While federal and state policy makers face many complex decisions about the design and operation of new state-based health insurance exchanges, the overarching goal of the exchanges is straightforward—promoting healthy competition among insurers to provide better health care at lower total cost, according to a new Policy Analysis from the nonprofit, nonpartisan National Institute for Health Care Reform (NIHCR).

NIHCR Policy Analysis No. 6
Media Advisory


Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance: Down but Not Out

Oct. 27, 2011

Rising costs and the lingering fallout from the great recession are altering the calculus of employer approaches to offering health benefits, according to a study released today by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 137
News Release


Health Care's Role in Deficit Reduction—Guiding Principles

Oct. 26, 2011

Cutting federal health care spending over the next 10 years will be particularly challenging for the congressional super committee charged with proposing $1.2 trillion in additional deficit reduction by Thanksgiving, according to a perspective by researchers at HSC published online today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Journal Article Abstract - Free Access
Media Advisory


HSC's 16th Annual Wall Street Comes to Washington Conference on Oct. 12

Oct. 17, 2011

HSC's 16th Annual Wall Street Comes to Washington conference was held on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2011, in Washington, D.C. A transcript of the conference is now available.

Conference Transcript


Low Patient Activation and Hispanic Immigrants' Access Barriers

Oct. 6, 2011

Increasing Hispanic immigrants’ ability to take a more active role in managing their health and health care may be as important as expanding health coverage in reducing access disparities, according to a study by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) published in the October edition of Health Affairs.

Journal Article Abstract
Media Advisory


Reforming Provider Payment—The Price Side of the Equation

Oct. 5, 2011

Unless public and private health care payers send consistent signals to providers through payment reform about controlling both the price and quantity of care, they risk working at cross purposes, according to a perspective by Paul B. Ginsburg, president of the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC), published online today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Journal Article Abstract
Media Advisory


Economic Downturn Strains Miami Health Care System

Sept. 29, 2011

Despite the economic downturn’s severe fallout on Miami’s tourism, real estate and construction sectors, some hospitals are expanding beyond their traditional geographic markets to compete for privately insured patients, according to a new Community Report released today by HSC.

Miami Community Report
News Release


Adding Patients to the Decision Equation

Sept. 20, 2011

While evidence suggests that patients’ medical decisions in the United States, even momentous ones, are seldom well informed, greater use of shared decision making between clinicians and patients might help bridge the gap between the care patients want and the care they actually receive, according to a new Policy Analysis from the nonprofit, nonpartisan National Institute for Health Care Reform (NIHCR).

NIHCR Policy Analysis No. 5
Media Advisory


Ginsburg Testifies at Ways & Means Health Panel on Provider Market Power

Sept. 9, 2011

While consolidation contributes to dominant hospitals’ upper hand in negotiating higher payment rates from private insurers, other factors, including consumer perceptions of quality and desire for broad provider choice, provision of highly specialized services, and geographic niches, contribute to providers’ market power, economist Paul B. Ginsburg, Ph.D., president of HSC, told Congress today.

Congressional Testimony
News Release


Mixed Signals: Americans’Problems Getting Medical Care Decline Modestly

Aug. 25, 2011

Likely reflecting the severe economic downturn and subsequent decline in demand for health care, the proportion of Americans who reported going without or delaying needed care declined modestly between 2007 and 2010, according to a national study released today by the HSC and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Tracking Report No. 25
News Release


Ginsburg Named Among Top 100 Most Influential in Health Care

Aug. 22, 2011

For the eighth time, HSC President Paul B. Ginsburg was named to Modern Healthcare's 100 Most Influential in Health Care list. To view the complete list click here.


Hospitals Rush to Employ Physicians to Shore Up Referrals, Admissions

Aug. 18, 2011

While not new, the pace of hospital employment of physicians has quickened in many communities, driven largely by hospitals’ quest to increase market share and revenue, according to a study released today by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 136
News Release


Why Jumpstarting Local Economies through Health Care Expansions Hampers Federal Deficit Reduction

Aug. 16, 2011

Understanding why health care spending growth is a problem from a national perspective, while simultaneously an attractive way to promote economic growth from a local perspective, is key to identifying ways to finance health care that better align local interests with those of the nation, according to a commentary published today by HSC.

HSC Commentary No. 5
News Release


Physicians Key to Health Maintenance Organization Popularity in Orange County

Aug. 11, 2011

The extent of health plan delegation of financial risk and utilization management to physicians caring for health maintenance organization (HMO) enrollees makes Orange County stand out from many health care markets, according to a new Community Report released today by HSC.

Orange County Community Report
News Release


Syracuse Health Care Market Works to Right-Size Hospital Capacity

Aug. 4, 2011

Largely stable over the last three years, the Syracuse health care market continues to grapple with the challenge of finding the right level and mix of hospital capacity, according to a new Community Report released today by HSC.

Syracuse Community Report
News Release


Economic Downturn Slows Phoenix’s Once-Booming Health Care Market

July 21, 2011

After more than a decade of rapid population growth and a thriving economy, Phoenix’s once-booming health care market has adopted a more cautious outlook amid the lingering effects of the great recession, according to a new Community Report released today by HSC.

Phoenix Community Report
News Release


Developments Affecting Health Care Spending and What Can Be Done

July 12, 2011

HSC President Paul B. Ginsburg, Ph.D., spoke at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce conference titled "Controlling Costs: The Price of Good Health" in Washington, D.C.

Presentation


Improving Health Care Access for Low-Income People

July 7, 2011

Communities that formally build collaborative health care safety nets can offer lessons for national health reform by offering roadmaps on how to improve access, reduce the use of unnecessary emergency and inpatient care, and improve people’s health, according to a qualitative study by HSC published in the July edition of Health Affairs.

Journal Article
News Release


Health Information Technology and Small Physician Practices

June 30, 2011

As policy makers try to jumpstart health information technology (HIT) in small physician practices, lessons from independent practice associations—networks of small medical practices—can offer guidance in overcoming barriers to HIT adoption and use, according to a new study by HSC for the nonpartisan, nonprofit National Institute for Health Care Reform (NIHCR).

NIHCR Research Brief No. 5
News Release


Health Care Markets Weather Economic Downturn, Brace for Health Reform

May 26, 2011

Lingering fallout—loss of jobs and employer coverage—from the great recession slowed demand for health care services but did little to slow aggressive competition by dominant hospital systems for well-insured patients, according to key findings from HSC's 2010 site visits to 12 nationally representative metropolitan communities.

Issue Brief No. 135
News Release


Spending to Save—Accountable Care Organizations and the Medicare Shared Savings Program

May 25, 2011

While criticism that the government set the bar too high for accountable care organizations (ACOs) has been fast and furious, the proposed rule for the Shared Savings Program is a wake-up call that Medicare is serious about achieving better care for individuals, better health for populations and lower growth in expenditures, according to a perspective by HSC President Paul B. Ginsburg, published online today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Journal Article Abstract
Media Advisory


Health Care Certificate-of-Need (CON) Laws: Policy or Politics?

May 19, 2011

Originally intended to ensure access to care, maintain or improve quality, and control capital expenditures on health care services and facilities, the certificate-of-need (CON) process has evolved into an arena where providers often battle for service-line dominance and market share, accordingto a new study conducted by HSC for the nonpartisan, nonprofit National Institute for Health Care Reform (NIHCR).

NIHCR Research Brief No. 4
News Release


Care Coordination Among Specialists, Primary Care, Care Management and Patients

May 13, 2011

Ann S. O'Malley, M.D., M.P.H., HSC senior health researcher, testified before the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, on research on medical practices' experiences and needs as they use electronic health records as a tool to support the coordination of care for patients.

Testimony


HSC Researcher Testifies at Senate Hearing on Emergency Department Use

May 11, 2011

While there is a common perception that emergency department crowding is driven primarily by uninsured people, most of the growth in emergency department volume between 1995 and 2008 was driven by insured people, Peter Cunningham, Ph.D., a senior fellow at HSC, told Congress today.

Congressional Testimony
Media Advisory


E-Prescribing and Information to Improve Physician Prescribing Decisions

May 5, 2011

While many e-prescribing systems have features to provide access to important external patient informationdrugs prescribed by physicians in other practices and patient formularies, for examplephysician practices face challenges using these tools effectively, according to a study released today by HSC.

Research Brief No. 20
News Release


Primary Care Physician Willingness and Capacity to Treat More Medicaid Patients

April 27, 2011

Supporting increased capacity among primary care physicians already treating many Medicaid patients may be the best way to help ensure adequate capacity for people gaining Medicaid coverage under health reform coverage expansions starting in 2014, according to a national study by researchers at HSC and the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF).

Kaiser Family Foundation Report
News Release


Geographic Variation in Health Care: Changing Policy Directions

April 12, 2011

While research on geographic variation in health care use and spending has pushed the twin issues of uneven care and costs to the fore, it’s ultimately the broader health care system—not geography—that matters most in improving efficiency and quality, according to a new Policy Analysis from the nonprofit, nonpartisan National Institute for Health Care Reform (NIHCR).

NIHCR Policy Analysis No. 4
Media Advisory


Achieving Health Information Technology's Potential to Improve Care is Daunting Task

March 24, 2011

While health information technology (HIT) holds great promise in helping clinicians improve patient care, realizing that potential will require progress on multiple fronts, according to a perspective by Ann S. O’Malley, M.D., M.P.H., a senior researcher at HSC, published today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Journal Article Abstract
Media Advisory


Lansing's Dominant Hospital, Health Plan Strengthen Market Positions

March 22, 2011

In an insular market wary of outsiders, Lansing’s dominant hospital system—Sparrow Health System—and health plan—Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan—have reinforced their already-strong market positions, according to a new Community Report released today by HSC.

Lansing Community Report
News Release


Primary Care Physician Supply and Health Reform Medicaid Expansions

March 17, 2011

In much of the country, growth in Medicaid enrollment under health reform will greatly outpace growth in the number of primary care physicians willing to treat new Medicaid patients, according to a national study released today by HSC.

Research Brief No. 19
News Release


Hospital Employment of Physicians Surges in Greenville-Spartanburg, S.C.

Feb. 28, 2011

In an area already notable for high rates of physician employment, the two largest hospital systems in Greenville and Spartanburg, S.C., have greatly increased employment of physicians with an eye toward capturing more referrals and admissions, according to a new Community Report released today by HSC.

Greenville Community Report
News Release


Coordination Between Emergency and Primary Care Physicians

Feb. 24, 2011

An examination of emergency and primary care physicians’ ability—and willingness—to communicate found that haphazard communication and poor coordination can undermine effective care, according to a new study conducted by HSC for the nonpartisan, nonprofit National Institute for Health Care Reform (NIHCR).

NIHCR Research Brief No. 3
News Release


Follow the Money: Why are High-Cost Medicare Beneficiaries So Costly?

Feb. 11, 2011

In the quest to unravel the role of supply and demand in health care costs, policy makers may need to reconsider a commonly held premise that the supply of physicians, hospital beds and other health care resources is a major factor driving high Medicare costs, according to a study by HSC published online in the journal Health Services Research.

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


Little Rock Health Care Safety Net Stretched by Economic Downturn

Jan. 27, 2011

The economic downturn has been milder in Little Rock than elsewhere, but increased unemployment and an almost 15 percent uninsurance rate have strained the area’s fragmented health care safety net, according to a new Community Report released today by HSC.

Community Report No. 5
News Release


Lessons from the Field: Making Accountable Care Organizations Real

Jan. 20, 2011

An examination of provider efforts to improve patient care illustrates that changing care delivery requires substantial investments—both time and money—even among groups of providers affiliated with one another for many years, according to a new study conducted by HSC for the nonpartisan, nonprofit National Institute for Health Care Reform (NIHCR).

NIHCR Research Brief No. 2
News Release


Communication Disconnect Between Primary Care and Specialist Physicians

Jan. 10, 2011

When it comes to sharing information about patient referrals and consultations, primary care and specialist physicians have decidedly different views about how often their colleagues communicate with them, according to a national study by researchers at HSC in the Jan. 10 Archives of Internal Medicine.

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


Northern New Jersey Health Care Market Reflects Urban-Suburban Contrasts

Dec. 23, 2010

Northern New Jersey is a community of contrasts with affluent suburbs and financially strong health care providers juxtaposed against the fragile health care safety net of impoverished inner-city Newark, according to a new Community Report released today by HSC.

Community Report No. 4
News Release


Physician Ownership of Medical Equipment Highlights Self-Referral Issue

Dec. 22, 2010

Amid cost and quality concerns about overuse of advanced imaging on patients, one in six physicians in 2008 reported their practice owned or leased advanced imaging equipment, according to a national study released today by the HSC.

Data Bulletin No. 36
Media Advisory


If You Build Health Insurance Exchanges, Will the Healthy Come?

Dec. 16, 2010

Almost one-third of uninsured people eligible to receive subsidies to buy insurance through state-based exchanges have had no recent problems with their health, access to medical care or paying medical bills, according to a national study released today by HSC.

Research Brief No. 18
News Release


Workplace Clinics: A Sign of Growing Employer Interest in Wellness

Dec. 9, 2010

Interest in workplace clinics has intensified in recent years, with employers moving well beyond traditional niches of occupational health and minor acute care to offering clinics that provide a full range of wellness and primary care services, according to a new study by HSC.

Research Brief No. 17
News Release


NEJM Health Policy Report Examines Medicare Physician Payment Policies

Dec. 8, 2010

Repeated down-to-the-wire congressional interventions to avert double-digit Medicare physician payment rate cuts have hit closest to home for practicing physicians, but other policies to improve the accuracy of physician payment and reform provider payment more broadly may prove as important in the long run, according to a health policy report by Paul B. Ginsburg, Ph.D., published online today by the New England Journal of Medicine.

Journal Article Abstract
Media Advisory


Seattle Hospital Competition Heats Up, Raising Cost Concerns

Dec. 2, 2010

Known as a market where hospital systems focus on particular niches rather than head-to-head competition, Seattle now faces growing competition as hospital systems vie for market share in the city and seek new affiliations and growth in affluent suburbs, according to a new Community Report by HSC.

Seattle Community Report
News Release


Wide Variation in Private Insurer Payment Rates Evidence of Hospital Market Power

Nov. 18, 2010

Wide variation in private insurer payment rates to hospitals across and within local markets suggests that some hospitals have significant market power to negotiate higher-than-competitive prices, according to a study released today by HSC commissioned by Catalyst for Payment Reform.

Research Brief No. 16
News Release


Physician E-mail with Patients Uncommon

Oct. 7, 2010

Despite indications that many patients want to communicate with their physicians via e-mail, physicians use of e-mail with patients is the exception rather than the rule, according to a new national study released today by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 134
News Release


Comparative Effectiveness Research and Medical Innovation

Oct. 5, 2010

Determining what treatments work best for which patients in real-world settingsknown as comparative effectiveness researchcan help foster beneficial medical innovation, according to a new Policy Analysis from the nonprofit, nonpartisan National Institute for Health Care Reform (NIHCR).

Policy Analysis No. 3
Media Advisory


Transcript of HSC's 15th Annual Wall Street Comes to Washington Conference Now Available

Oct. 1, 2010

HSC's 15th Annual Wall Street Comes to Washington conference was held on Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010, in Washington, D.C. A transcript of the conference is now available.

Conference Transcript


Cleveland Hospital Systems Expand Despite Weak Economy

Sept. 29, 2010

Attracting well-insured suburban patients, expanding profitable specialty-service lines and winning physician loyalty are the main fields of competition between the two dominant Cleveland health systems, leading to ever-more consolidation of the hospital and physician sectors, according to a new Community Report released today by HSC.

Cleveland Community Report
News Release


Physician Reimbursement and Participation in Medicaid

Sept. 23, 2010

Peter J. Cunningham, Ph.D., HSC senior fellow and director of quantitative research, testified before the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) on physician reimbursement and participation in Medicaid.

MACPAC Testimony


CBO Principal Analyst Joins HSC as Senior Researcher

Sept. 21, 2010

Chapin D. White, Ph.D., formerly a principal analyst at the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), has joined the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) as a senior health researcher.

News Release


Affordability of Medical Care a Moving Target for Families

Sept. 16, 2010

While more Americans under 65 with employer health coverage faced problems paying medical bills between 2003 and 2007, increased out-of-pocket spending on health services played only a small part in the rising financial stress for families, according to an HSC study published online in the journal Medical Care Research and Review.

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


Damage Caps No Cure for Physician Fear of Malpractice Suits

Sept. 7, 2010

Even in states with economic damage caps in malpractice suits, physicians remain highly concerned about being sued, suggesting that many popular tort reform proposals may do little to deter the practice of defensive medicine that contributes to unnecessary health spending, according to a study by researchers at HSC in the September Health Affairs.

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


State Health Reform Dominates Boston Health Care Market

Sept. 2, 2010

Massachusetts 2006 landmark health reform law has reverberated throughout the Boston health care market as providers, insurers, employers and consumers adjust and adapt to a post-reform world of nearly universal health insurance coverage, according to a new Community Report released today by HSC.

Boston Community Report
News Release


Detroit: Motor City to Medical Mecca?

Aug. 26, 2010

Despite a weak economic outlook, Detroit area hospital systems plan to spend more than $1.3 billion in the coming years on capital improvements, leading some to hope that medical care can help revitalize the areas economy, according to a new Community Report released today by HSC and the nonpartisan, nonprofit National Institute for Health Care Reform (NIHCR).

Detroit Community Report
News Release


Employer Wellness Initiatives Grow Rapidly, but Effectiveness Varies Widely

July 29, 2010

While employer wellness programs have spread rapidly in recent years, few firms implement comprehensive programs likely to make a meaningful difference in employees health, according to a new study conducted by HSC for the nonpartisan, nonprofit National Institute for Health Care Reform (NIHCR).

Research Brief No. 1
News Release


Even When Physicians Adopt E-Prescribing, Use of Advanced Features Lags

July 22, 2010

Even when physicians have access to e-prescribing, many do not routinely use the technology, particularly the more advanced features the federal government is promoting with financial incentives, according to a new national study released today by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 133
News Release


Politics and Policy of Comparative Effectiveness

June 24, 2010

Interest in evaluating which health care interventions work best under what circumstances has surged in recent years as policy makers seek tools to moderate the cost of public entitlement programs and to facilitate affordable coverage expansions. This Mathematica Issue Brief, coauthored by HSC Vice President Elizabeth Docteur, looks at the comparative effectiveness research initiative passed as part of health care reform and the policy challenges relevant to the successful implementation of comparative effectiveness research.

Mathematica Issue Brief


Innovations in Preventing and Managing Chronic Conditions: What's Working in the Real World?

June 22, 2010

Wellness and prevention strategies are fast becoming a standard feature of employer-based health benefits in hopes of countering rapidly rising health care costs that drive higher insurance premiums. Panelists at an HSC conference titled Innovations in Preventing and Managing Chronic Conditions: What's Working in the Real World? explored how effective employer-sponsored wellness and prevention initiatives focus on health improvement as a business strategy that foster work and community environments that help people lower risk factors. An HSC Issue Brief describing the conference proceedings is now available.

Issue Brief No. 132


Policy Options for Design of the Temporary High-Risk Health Coverage Pool

May 27, 2010

While 5.6-million to 7-million Americans may qualify for health coverage through the new temporary national high-risk pool program, the $5 billion allocated until 2014 will cover only a small fraction of those in need, according to a new Policy Analysis from the National Institute for Health Care Reform (NIHCR). Policy makers will face hard choices to stretch the funding to cover uninsured people with pre-existing medical conditions, and the analysis reviews key issues that must be resolved as the high-risk program is implemented.

Policy Analysis No. 2
News Release


Primary Care: Current Problems and Proposed Solutions

May 5, 2010

In 2005, approximately 400,000 people provided primary medical care in the United States. Yet primary care faces a growing crisis, in part because increasing numbers of U.S. medical graduates are avoiding careers in adult primary care, according to a new article published in Health Affairs.

Journal Article Abstract


Electronic Medical Records Help and Hinder Communication with Patients and Other Clinicians

April 7, 2010

Commercial electronic medical records (EMRs) both help and hinder physician interpersonal communication—real-time, face-to-face or phone conversations—with patients and other clinicians, according to a new HSC study released today.

Issue Brief No. 131
News Release


For More Americans, Health Care Costs At Least 10 Percent of Family Income

March 25, 2010

Almost one in five Americans—or 19.1 percent of the nonelderly population—lived in families spending more than 10 percent of before-tax income on health care in 2006, up from one in seven Americans (14.4%) in 2001, according to an HSC study published online today by Health Affairs.

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


Ginsburg Testifies Before Joint Senate and House Committees in Maryland on Hospital Rate Setting

March 22, 2010

Paul B. Ginsburg, Ph.D., HSC president and research director of the National Institute for Health Care Reform, testified before a joint hearing of the Maryland Senate Finance Committee and House Health and Government Operations Committee on hospital rate setting.

PowerPoint Presentation


Ginsburg Testifies Before the Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy

March 18, 2010

Paul B. Ginsburg, Ph.D., HSC president and research director of the National Institute for Health Care Reform, testified before the Massachusetts Office of Health and Human Services, Division of Health Care Finance and Policy, on health care spending trends.

PowerPoint Presentation


Quantitative/Qualitative Researchers Join HSC

March 9, 2010

Anna S. Sommers, Ph.D., and Tracy Yee, Ph.D., recently joined the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) as health researchers.

News Release


Growing California Hospital-Physician Market Power Foreshadows Challenges to National Health Reform

Feb. 25, 2010

While the high cost of private health insurance has drawn plenty of attention in the health reform debate, an underlying driver of higher insurance premiums—the growing market power of hospitals and physicians to negotiate higher payment rates—has gone largely unexamined, according to an HSC study published online today by Health Affairs.

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


Modest and Uneven—Physician Efforts to Reduce Racial/Ethnic Disparities

Feb. 10, 2010

While many U.S. physicians identify language or cultural barriers as obstacles to providing high-quality patient care, physicians' efforts to overcome communication barriers are modest and uneven, according to a new national study released today by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 130
News Release


Medicare Fees and Volume of Physicians' Services

Feb. 10, 2010

While Medicare physician fees have remained relatively flat in recent years—and actually have declined when considering inflation—the volume of services to Medicare beneficiaries has grown. To many, this implies a "volume offset,"—physicians respond to fee cuts by increasing services. Examining eight services provided to Medicare beneficiaries (different types of visits and two cardiac diagnostic tests), this study found no evidence of volume-offset behavior by physicians.

Journal Article Abstract


Early Impacts of the Recession on Health Care Safety Net Providers

Jan. 27, 2010

While the recession increased demands on the health care safety net as Americans lost jobs and health insurance, the impact on safety net providers has been mixed and less severe—at least initially—than expected in some cases, according to a new HSC study of five communities—Cleveland; Greenville, S.C.; northern New Jersey; Phoenix; and Seattle.

Research Brief No. 15
News Release


Episode-Based Payments: Charting a Course for Health Care Payment Reform

Jan. 14, 2010

As consensus grows that true reform of the U.S. health care system requires a move away from fee-for-service payments, designing alternative payment methods, including episode-based payments, has emerged as a high priority for policy makers, according to a new Policy Analysis from the National Institute for Health Care Reform.

Policy Analysis No. 1
Media Advisory


Elizabeth Docteur Joins HSC as Vice President and Director of Policy Analysis

Jan. 6, 2010

Elizabeth Docteur, M.S., former deputy director of the health division of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), will join the Center for Studying Health System Change on Jan. 11 as vice president and director of policy analysis.

News Release


Gap Exists Between Vision for Electronic Medical Records and Clinicians' Experiences

Dec. 29, 2009

A gap exists between policy makers' expectations that current commercial electronic medical records (EMRs) can improve coordination of patient care and clinicians' real-world experiences with EMRs, according to a study by HSC published online in The Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


Use of Care Management Tools for Patients with Chronic Conditions Varies Widely

Dec. 16, 2009

Use of care management tools—such as group visits or patient registries—varies widely among primary care physicians whose practices care for patients with four common chronic conditions—asthma, diabetes, congestive heart failure and depression—according to a new national study released today by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 129
News Release


California's Health Economies: Cost Pressures, Changing Markets and New Models of Care

Dec. 14, 2009

In July 2009, the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF), in partnership with HSC, published six regional health care market reports resulting from site visits to California communities. The six markets—Fresno, Los Angeles, Oakland/San Francisco, Riverside/San Bernardino, Sacramento, and San Diego—reflect a range of economic, demographic, health care delivery, quality, and financing conditions. Today, CHCF published four reports examining specific health system issues illuminated by this six-market study.


HSC's Paul B. Ginsburg Named Research Director of the National Institute for Health Care Reform

December 10, 2009

While continuing in his role as HSC President, Paul B. Ginsburg will serve as research director of the nonpartisan, nonprofit National Institute for Health Care Reforman initiative of the International Union, UAW; Chrysler Group LLC; Ford Motor Company; and General Motors to conduct high-quality, objective health policy research and analyses to improve the organization, financing and delivery of U.S. health care.

News Release


Getting to the Real Issues in Health Care Reform

Nov. 12, 2009

If current congressional health care reform proposals become law it would be only the start of the reform process, according to a policy perspective by HSC President Paul B. Ginsburg, Ph.D., published online on Nov. 12 by the New England Journal of Medicine.

Perspective Abstract


Despite Transparency, New Hampshire Health Care Price Variation Remains

Nov. 11, 2009

Price variation for certain outpatient medical procedures has not decreased in New Hampshire since the state launched the HealthCost price transparency program in early 2007, according to a study released today by HSC and funded by the California HealthCare Foundation.

Issue Brief No. 128
News Release


Health Insurers Pursue Growth Potential of Individual Market

Nov. 5, 2009

Insurers are pursuing strategies to tap the growth potential of the individual health insurance market, including entering less-regulated markets and developing lower-cost, less-comprehensive products targeting younger, healthy consumers, according to a study released today by HSC.

Research Brief No. 14
News Release


Hospital Strategies to Engage Physicians in Quality Improvement

Oct. 15, 2009

While physicians are essential to hospital quality improvement efforts, competing time and financial pressures pose hurdles to physician participation, according to a study released today by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 127
News Release


University of California Physician Joins HSC as Visiting Senior Fellow

Oct. 12, 2009

Patrick S. Romano, M.D., M.P.H., has joined the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) as a visiting senior fellow while on sabbatical as a professor of medicine and pediatrics at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine.

News Release


Policy Perspective: Affordable Health Coverage for Near-Elderly Americans

Sept. 30, 2009

Among the policy options to expand health coverage for Americans aged 55 to 64the near elderlycomprehensive reform of the individual insurance market, coupled with a Medicaid expansion for those with very low incomes, would be the most effective and far-reaching approach, according to a new Policy Perspective from HSC.

Policy Perspective No. 2
Media Advisory


Two HSC Articles Appear in September/October Health Affairs

Sept. 9, 2009

Two September/October Health Affairs articles from HSC researchers explore whether U.S. health care spending is excessive and the role of Medicare governance in provider payment policy.

Journal Article Abstract - Is Health Spending Excessive? If So, What Can We Do About It?
Journal Article Abstract - Medicare Governance and Provider Payment Policy
Media Advisory


A Snapshot of U.S. Physicians: Key Findings from the 2008 Health Tracking Physician Survey

Sept. 3, 2009

Almost 75 percent of physicians were accepting all or most new Medicare patients, the vast majority of physicians contracted with managed care plans, and slightly fewer than six in 10 physicians provided charity care in 2008, according to findings released today from the nationally representative HSC 2008 Health Tracking Physician Survey.

Data Bulletin No. 35
News Release


Does Telemonitoring of Patientsthe eICUImprove Intensive Care?

Aug. 20, 2009

While nearly 10 percent of U.S. hospital intensive care unit (ICU) beds use advanced telemonitoringknown as eICUsthere has never been a systematic evaluation of how the innovative approach to caring for critically ill patients affects quality and costs, according to a study by HSC published today as a Web exclusive in the journal Health Affairs.

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


Suburban Poverty and the Health Care Safety Net

July 30, 2009

As suburban poverty increases, the availability of health care services for low-income and uninsured people in the suburbs has not kept pace, according to a new study by HSC of five communitiesBoston, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Miami and Seattle.

Research Brief No. 13
News Release


Exploring Six California Health Economies

July 28, 2009

California is large and diverse, and health care is organized, delivered and financed differently across the state. To help inform local leaders, policymakers, the public and the media about regional differences in health care affordability, access and quality, the California HealthCare Foundation funded HSC to conduct in-depth site visits in six California regions. Regional reports were published today.

California Site Visit Reports
News Release


Chronic Burdens: The Persistently High Out-of-Pocket Health Care Expenses Faced by Many Americans

July 23, 2009

Over a two-year period, 20 percent of nonelderly adults who had a chronic health condition spent more than 5 percent of their income on out-of-pocket expenses and health insurance premiums, according to a study released today by The Commonwealth Fund and conducted by Peter J. Cunningham, Ph.D., a senior fellow at HSC. Among people with three or more chronic conditions, the proportion spending 5 percent of income39 percentwas nearly double.

Commonwealth Fund Issue Brief


Health Care Quality Transparency Initiatives

July 22, 2009

Until consumers are motivated to investigate differences in hospital and physician quality, the main value of public quality reporting will likely be to spur providers to improve their performance, according to a Commentary published today by HSC. In a separate Issue Brief released today, HSC researchers highlight two quality transparency initiatives: CalHospitalCompare, a report card for hospitals, and Massachusetts Health Quality Partners, a report card for primary care physician groups.

Commentary No. 4
Issue Brief No. 126
News Release


Emergency Physician Joins HSC as Senior Researcher

July 13, 2009

Emily Carrier, M.D., M.S.C.I., an emergency physician, has joined the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) as a senior health researcher.

News Release


Pham Receives AcademyHealth New Investigator Award

June 28, 2009

HSC Senior Researcher Hoangmai H. Pham, M.D., M.P.H., has received AcademyHealths 2009 Alice S. Hersh New Investigator Award, which recognizes the contribution of new scholars to the field of health services research. Pham was recognized for her body of work, which focuses on the organization of care delivery, how providers respond to incentives, quality of care, health care disparities and how each of these areas intersects with payment policy.


How Does Health Coverage and Access to Care for Immigrants Vary by Length of Time in the U.S.?

June 9, 2009

While, overall, immigrants have a high uninsured rate and face greater access barriers relative to U.S.-born residents, many immigrants eventually gain health insurance and improved access to health care as they acquire language and job skills, improve their economic standing and become more familiar with the U.S. health care system, according to a study released today by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF). The research, conducted by HSC Senior Fellow Peter J. Cunningham, Ph.D., and KFF Senior Policy Analyst Samantha Artiga, examines how health coverage and access to care for nonelderly adults vary based on immigrants' length of time in the U.S.

Article Abstract


Physician Performance Measurement

June 4, 2009

Physicians wield significant influencedirectly and indirectlyover the quality and cost of health care, but early efforts to measure physician performance may prove a lost opportunity to improve the nation's health care system if methodological and other shortcomings are not addressed, according to a commentary published today by HSC.

Commentary No. 3
News Release


Efficiency and Quality: The Role of Controlling Health Care Cost Growth in Health Care Reform

June 3, 2009

Expanding health insurance coverage to the more than 45 million uninsured Americans is a key U.S. policy goal, but expanding coverage without steps to contain rapidly rising health care costs is a recipe for failure. This Center for American Progress paper by HSC President Paul B. Ginsburg, Ph.D., focuses on steps that can be taken as part of health reform to slow the trend of health spending, including steps that Congress can take now, as well as direction for developing and implementing longer-term policies.

Click here for access to this report.


HSC Study Underscores Need for Quality Metrics to Measure Overuse of Care

May 25, 2009

Although rapid X-rays or other imaging for uncomplicated low-back pain are rarely indicated, almost 1 in 3 elderly Medicare patients received imaging services within a month of low-back pain diagnosis, according to a study by researchers at HSC in the May 25 Archives of Internal Medicine.

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


The Dollars and Sense of Prevention: A Primer for Health Policy Makers

May 14, 2009

Registration is now open for HSC's June 8, 2009, conference titled "The Dollars and Sense of Prevention: A Primer for Health Policy Makers."

Click here for conference information


Coordination of Care by Primary Care Practices

April 30, 2009

Despite wide recognition that the fragmented U.S. health care system does a poor job of coordinating patients' care, little information is available about how physicians can improve care coordination, both within and across practices and care settings, according to a study released today by HSC.

Research Brief No. 12
Media Advisory


General Hospitals, Specialty Hospitals and Financially Vulnerable Patients

April 23, 2009

Despite initial challenges recruiting staff and maintaining service volume and patient referrals, general hospitals were generally able to respond to the initial entry of specialty hospitals with few, if any, changes in the provision of care for financially vulnerable patients, according to a study by HSC of three markets with established specialty hospitalsIndianapolis, Phoenix and Little Rock, Ark.

Research Brief No. 11
News Release


Two-Thirds of Primary Care Physicians Can't Get Mental Health Services for Patients

April 14, 2009

About two-thirds of U.S. primary care physicians reported in 2004-05 that they couldnt get outpatient mental health services for their patientsa rate that was at least twice as high as for other services, according to a national study published today as a Web Exclusive in the journal Health Affairs.

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


Financial and Health Burdens of Chronic Disease Grow

April 2, 2009

Almost three in 10 working-age Americans with diabetes, asthma, depression or other chronic conditions lived in families with problems paying medical bills in 2007a significant increase from two in 10 in 2003, according to a national study released today by HSC and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Tracking Report No. 24
News Release


Ginsburg Testifies at House Energy and Commmerce Health Panel on Transparency

April 2, 2009

Despite well-intentioned efforts in recent years by government, employers, health plans and others to foster health care price and quality transparency, most Americans still choose doctors and hospitals the old-fashioned waythey rely on recommendations from friends and families and physicians, economist Paul Ginsburg, Ph.D., president of HSC, told Congress today.

Congressional Testimony
News Release


Preventing and Managing Chronic Conditions: Whats Working in the Real World?

March 16, 2009

Innovative approaches to promote wellness and manage chronic conditions will be the focus of a Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) conference on April 8the second of four HSC conferences on significant health policy topics sponsored by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance and the American College of Preventive Medicine.

Click here for conference information


Insurer Personal Health Records: Can They Bridge the Information Gap?

March 10, 2009

While many major health insurers have created personal health records (PHRs) to allow enrollees to electronically store and organize their health care information, whether patients and physicians will embrace the new electronic tool remains an open question, according to an HSC study published today in the journal Health Affairs.

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


Access to Prescription Drugs for Medicare Beneficiaries

March 5, 2009

The introduction of the outpatient Medicare drug benefit in 2006 did little to close longstanding prescription drug access gaps between white and African-American seniors, healthier and sicker beneficiaries, and lower-income and higher-income beneficiaries, according to a national study released today HSC.

Tracking Report No. 23
News Release


Care Coordination Daunting for Physicians

Feb. 17, 2009

Illustrating the formidable task of coordinating care, a typical primary care physician who treats elderly Medicare patients must coordinate care with 229 other physicians working in 117 different practices, according to a study by researchers at HSC, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in the Feb. 17 Annals of Internal Medicine. A related editorial is also available.

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


Consumer-Directed Health Care: Promise and Performance

Jan. 27, 2009

The performance of consumer-driven health care has fallen short of both the aspirations of its proponents and the fears of its critics, according to a study released today as a Web exclusive in the journal Health Affairs. Growth of the organizational forms favored by advocates of consumer-driven health care, such as high-deductible health plans and individually purchased insurance, has been anemic.

Journal Article Abstract


Access to Prescription Drugs Declines Among Nonelderly Americans

Jan. 22, 2009

The proportion of children and working-age Americans who went without a prescription drug because of cost jumped to one in seven in 2007, up from one in 10 in 2003, according to a national study released today be HSC and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Tracking Report No. 22
News Release


Studies Examine Patient Trust in Physicians and Patient Views of Care Coordination

Jan. 6, 2009

Patients with high medical costs are less likely to trust that their physician will put their interests first, while less than half of patients reported that their primary care physician always seemed informed about specialist care received, according to two studies by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) published online in The Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Journal Article Abstract - "High Medical Cost Burden, Patient Trust and Perceived Quality of Care"
Journal Article Abstract - "Patient Experiences with Coordination of Care: The Benefit of Continuity and Primary Care Physician as Referral Source"
Media Advisory


Living on the Edge: Health Care Expenses Strain Family Budgets

Dec. 18, 2008

Financial pressures on families from medical bills increase sharply when out-of-pocket spending for medical care exceeds 2.5 percent of family income, according to a new national study by HSC.

Research Brief No. 10
Executive Summary
News Release


American Families' Use of Retail-Based Health Clinics Remains Modest

Dec. 15, 2008

Despite rapid growth of retail clinics, only a tiny fraction of American families in 2007 had ever used the in-store clinics, typically located in pharmacies, supermarkets and big-box retailers, according to a national study released today by the Commonwealth Fund and conducted by HSC.

Study Abstract
News Release


Making Medical Homes Work: Moving from Concept to Practice

Dec. 11, 2008

Key operational issues facing medical home initiatives include how to qualify physician practices as medical homes; how to match patients to their medical homes; how to engage patients and other providers to work with medical homes in care coordination; and how to pay practices that serve as medical homes, according to a new Policy Perspective from researchers at the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) and Mathematica Policy Research (MPR).

Policy Perspective No. 1
Media Advisory


Word of Mouth and Physician Referrals Still Drive Health Care Provider Choice

Dec. 4, 2008

Despite myriad initiatives to encourage people to use health care price and quality information, most Americans still rely on word-of-mouth and physician recommendations to choose health providers, according to a new HSC study funded by the California HealthCare Foundation.

Research Brief No. 9
News Release


The Fraying Link Between Work and Health Insurance

Nov. 20, 2008

Most nonelderly Americans still obtain health insurance coverage through an employer, but the percentage of nonelderly persons with employer-sponsored insurance coverage has declined steadily since 2000, according to a study released today by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF). The research, conducted by HSC Senior Fellow Peter J. Cunningham, Ph.D., and KFF Senior Policy Analysts Samantha Artiga and Karyn Schwartz, examines the factors driving the decrease in employer-sponsored insurance since 2000.

Study Abstract


Medicaid Payment Delays Deter Physician Participation

Nov. 18, 2008

Although low fees discourage physicians from treating Medicaid patients, payment delays also play an important role in physician decisions to avoid Medicaid patients, according to an HSC study published as a Web exclusive in the journal Health Affairs.

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


Massachusetts Health Reform: High Costs and Expanding Expectations May Weaken Employer Support

Oct. 30, 2008

While employer support was key to enacting Massachusetts' landmark law to gain near-universal health coverage, high costs and expanding expectations may dampen employer support as the reform plays out, according to a new study by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 124
News Release


How Engaged Are American Consumers in Their Health and Health Care?

Oct. 16, 2008

The level of patient activationa person's ability to manage their health and health carevaries considerably in the U.S. population, with less than half of adults (41.4%) at the highest level, according to a new national study by HSC.

Research Brief No. 8
News Release


High and Rising Health Care Costs: Demystifying U.S. Health Care Spending

Oct. 15, 2008

Concern about high and rising health care costs in the U.S. has increased sharply in recent years. With the increase in costs and the lack of affordability of health insurance for many Americans, health policy experts are discussing whether steps can be taken to expand insurance coverage while keeping costs down. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation today released a report written by HSC President Paul B. Ginsburg, Ph.D., that synthesizes research on health care costs.

RWJF Synthesis Project Report


Problems Paying Medical Bills Increase for U.S. Families Between 2003 and 2007

Sept. 24, 2008

The proportion of Americans in families with problems paying medical bills increased to 19.4 percent in 2007, up from 15.1 percent in 2003, according to a new national study released today by HSC and funded by The Commonwealth Fund.

The growth translates to more than 57 million Americans in families with medical bill problems in 2007an increase of 14 million people since 2003.

Tracking Report No. 21
News Release


Hospitals Cautious in Helping Physicians Purchase Electronic Medical Records

Sept. 18, 2008

Despite regulatory changes allowing hospitals to help physicians purchase electronic medical records (EMRs), hospitals are proceeding cautiously, according to a study released today by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 123
News Release


Three HSC Studies Appear in September/October Health Affairs

Sept. 10, 2008

Studies from the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) in the September/October edition of Health Affairs explore the impact of hospitalists on care coordination, the current state of hospital-physician relations and the transition from managed care to consumerism at the community level.

Article Abstract - Hospitalists and Care Transitions: The Divorce of Inpatient and Outpatient Care
Article Abstract - Hospital-Physician Relations: Two Tracks and the Decline of the Voluntary Medical Staff Model
Article Abstract - The Transition from Managed Care to Consumerism: A Community-Level Status Report
Media Advisory


Health Plans Ramp Up Hospital-Physician Price and Quality Transparency Tools

Aug. 28, 2008

While health plans are developing tools to help consumers compare price and quality information across hospitals and physicians, the tools' pervasiveness and usefulness are limited, according to a study released today by HSC.

Research Brief No. 7
News Release


Ginsburg Named Among 100 Most Powerful in Health Care

Aug. 25, 2008

HSC President Paul B. Ginsburg was named to Modern Healthcare's 100 Most Powerful in Health Care list. To view the complete list click here.


More Americans Seeking Health Information, Especially on the Internet

Aug. 21, 2008

In 2007, 56 percent of American adultsmore than 122 million peoplesought information about a personal health concern from a source other than their doctor, up from 38 percent, or 72 million people, in 2001, according to a national study released today by HSC.

Tracking Report No. 20
News Release


Safety-Net Providers Caught in the Competitive Crossfire

Aug. 12, 2008

As private physicians and hospitals shed unprofitable patients and services, safety net providers are balancing their mission to serve the needy with steps to attract higher-paying patients to shore up their margins, according to a study by HSC published today as a Web Exclusive in the journal Health Affairs.

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


Rising Rates of Chronic Health Conditions: What Can Be Done?

Aug. 5, 2008

HSC held its Rising Rates of Chronic Conditions: What Can Be Done? conference on July 31, 2008. A transcript of the conference is now available.

Conference Transcript


Community Efforts to Expand Dental Services for Low-Income People

July 24, 2008

Recognizing the difficulties low-income people face in getting dental care, many communities are attempting to provide more dental services to vulnerable residents, according to a study released today by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC).

Issue Brief No. 122
News Release


HSC's Wall Street Comes to Washington Conference

July 14, 2008

HSC held its 13th annual Wall Street Comes to Washington Conference on July 9, 2008. A transcript of the conference is now available. A webcast of the conference is also available, courtesy of kaisernetwork.org.

Conference Transcript
Kaisernetwork.org webcast


Innovations Lacking in Provider Payment Reform for Chronic Disease Care

June 30, 2008

Despite wide recognition that existing physician and hospital payment methods do not foster high-quality and efficient care for people with chronic conditions, little innovation in provider payment strategies is occurring, according to a new study by HSC commissioned by the California HealthCare Foundation.

Research Brief No. 6
News Release


Americans' Access to Medical Care Deteriorates, 2003-2007

June 26, 2008

More than 20 percent of the U.S. population in 2007one in five peoplereported not getting or delaying needed medical care in the previous 12 months, up significantly from 14 percentone in seven peoplein 2003, according to a national study released today by HSC.

Tracking Report No. 19
News Release


Progress on Health System Disaster Surge Capacity at Risk

June 12, 2008

Communities fear waning attention to health system surge capacitythe space, supplies, people and command structure to care for many injured or ill peoplecould jeopardize progress to respond in a terrorist attack, natural disaster or infectious disease pandemic, according to a study released today by HSC.

Research Brief No. 5
News Release


Employers and Health Plans Bet on Health and Wellness Initiatives to Stem Costs

June 4, 2008

Health plan initiatives to promote health and wellness among workers are now commonplace, despite an acknowledged lack of evidence of an investment payoff, according to a study released today by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 121
News Release


Ginsburg Testifies Before U.S. Senate Finance Committee

June 3, 2008

How the United States finances health care and our pervasive unwillingness to confront the difficult trade-offs inherent in containing costs, improving quality and expanding coverage contribute to the seemingly intractable problem of stemming rising health care costs, HSC President Paul Ginsburg told the U.S. Senate Finance Committee today.

Senate Testimony
News Release


Caution Urged Before Abandoning Employer Health Coverage in Favor of Individual Coverage

May 13, 2008

In an article published in the May/June Health Affairs, HSC President Paul B. Ginsburg, Ph.D., discusses the advantages and shortcomings of employer-based health coverage, how individual health insurance could be a viable alternative to employer-based coverage, and why care should be taken not to undermine employers role in providing coverage.

Journal Article Abstract
Media Advisory


Safety Net Emergency Departments: Creating Safety Valves for Non-Urgent Care

May 7, 2008

Faced with more patients seeking care for non-emergencies, safety net hospital emergency departments are working to redirect patients to outpatient clinics, community health centers and private physicians, with varied results, according to a study released today by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 120
News Release


Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities Linked to Physician Practice Resources

April 22, 2008

Primary care physicians treating a disproportionate share of black and Latino patients typically earn less, see more patients, provide more charity care, treat more Medicaid patients and receive lower private insurance payments, according to a national study funded by the Commonwealth Fund and published today as a Web exclusive in the journal Health Affairs.

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


Public Health Workforce Shortages Imperil the Nation's Health

April 16, 2008

As the post-9/11 spotlight on shoring up the nation's public health system fades, local health departments face a mounting workforce crisis as they struggle to recruit, train and retain qualified workers ranging from nurses to epidemiologists, according to a study released today by HSC.

Research Brief No. 4
News Release


Ginsburg Presentation: Health Care Costs 101

March 28, 2008

HSC President Paul B. Ginsburg, Ph.D., delivered a presentation titled "Health Care Costs 101" at the Association of Health Care Journalists annual meeting in Washington, D.C. Click here to access the slides used in the presentation.


Lots of Window Shopping, But Modest Consumer-Driven Health Plan Adoption

March 26, 2008

While adoption of high-deductible health plans coupled with spending accounts remains modest, supporters believe consumer-directed health plans will take hold as part of a larger employer strategy to confer more responsibility on workers for health care costs, lifestyle choices and treatment decisions, according to a new study released by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 119
News Release


Demands on Nurses Grow as Hospital Quality Improvement Activities Increase

March 20, 2008

Hospitals face growing tensions and trade-offs when allocating nurses between the competing priorities of direct patient care and quality improvement efforts, according to a new study by HSC.

Research Report No. 3
News Release


Milbank Quarterly Article Examines Decline in Physician Charity Care

March 19, 2008

Changes in physicians' income, practice ownership and practice size play a large role in their decisions to start or stop treating charity care and Medicaid patients, according to an HSC study published in the March edition of the Milbank Quarterly.

Journal Article Abstract
Media Advisory


Connecting the Electronic Dots Among Disparate Health Providers

Feb. 25, 2008

Barriers to sharing patient clinical data electronically among rival hospitals, doctors and health plans remain high as concerns about loss of competitive advantage and data misuse hamper participation in local health information exchanges, according to a new study released by HSC and the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation.

Research Brief No. 2
News Release


Rapid Growth Prompts Health Plans to Target Advanced Imaging Services

Feb. 21, 2008

Faced with double-digit annual increases in the use of advanced imaging services, such as CT and PET scans, health plans are stepping up efforts to slow the proliferation of advanced imaging services, according to a new study by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 118
News Release


Missing Price Information Hampers Usefulness of State Prescription Drug Web Sites

Feb. 13, 2008

Extensive gaps in price information seriously hamper the effectiveness of state drug price comparison Web sites, according to a study released today by HSC.

Research Brief No. 1
News Release


State Budget Cycles Hinder Health Care Safety Net Stability

Jan. 31, 2008

The sensitivity of state budgets to economic cycles contributes to instability in public health insurance eligibility, benefits and provider payments, as well as support for safety net hospitals and community health centers, according to a study released today by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 117
News Release


HSC Researchers Win ACHE Award

Jan 24, 2008

HSC Consulting Researchers Robert Berenson, M.D., and Thomas Bodenheimer, M.D., and HSC Senior Researcher Mai Pham, M.D., have been named the winners of the American College of Healthcare Executives 2008 Dean Conley Award for their article "Specialty-Services Lines: Salvos in the New Medical Arms Race," published in the July/August 2006 edition of Health Affairs.

ACHE News Release
Jouranl Article Abstract


Higher Costs and Stagnant Incomes Increase Financial Burden of Health Care

Jan. 8, 2008

Rising out-of-pocket expenses and stagnant incomes increased the financial burden of health care for more Americans between 2001 and 2004, especially for the privately insured, according to a national study supported in part by the Commonwealth Fund and published in the January/February edition of Health Affairs.

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


Don't Break Out the Champagne: Slowdown in Health Spending Growth Unlikely to Last

Jan. 8, 2008

The continued slowdown in personal health care spending growth in 2006 reported by government economists is unlikely to last, according to a perspective by HSC President Paul B. Ginsburg, Ph.D., published in the January/February Health Affairs.

Journal Article Abstract
Media Advisory


Community Health Centers Adapt to Increased Demand for Care

Dec. 19, 2007

Despite significant federal funding increases, community health centersthe backbone of the nation's safety netare struggling to meet rising demand for care, particularly for specialty medical, dental and mental health services, according to a new study released by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 116
News Release


Communities Struggle with High Medical Cost Burdens

Nov. 28, 2007

The number of people with high medical cost burdens varies widely across the nation, reflecting differences in the number of both uninsured and underinsured people. Those states with the largest numbers of individuals with high medical expense face numerous difficulties in achieving affordable coverage, and lack of action at the federal level has driven many to undertake their own heath care reform efforts. Reliance on state efforts alone, however, is unlikely to lead to major national expansions in coverage and will not alleviate persistently high degrees of medical cost variation across the country, according to a report by an HSC researcher released today by The Commonwealth Fund.

Article Abstract


Hospital Emergency On-Call Coverage: Is There a Doctor in the House?

Nov. 20, 2007

As emergency departments face ever-rising demands, hospitals are confronting greater problems obtaining emergency on-call coverage from specialist physicians, according to study released today by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 115
News Release


Why Do Hispanics Have So Little Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance

Nov. 8, 2007

Poor education, lack of citizenship and the inability to speak Englishall more common among Spanish-speaking Hispanicsresult in lower wages and fewer jobs that offer health insurance, according to an article by HSC researchers in the fall edition of the journal Inquiry.

Journal Article Abstract
Media Advisory


Unhealthy Trends: The Future of Physician Services

Nov. 1, 2007

Left unchecked, most trends in how physicians organize and practice medicine are likely to lead to higher spending and declining access to care for lower-income people, according to an article by HSC researchers in the November/December edition of Health Affairs

Journal Article Abstract
Media Advisory


Health Care Cost and Access Challenges Persist Across the Country

Oct. 4, 2007

Little has changed in local health care markets since 2005 to break the cycle of rising costs, declining insurance coverage and widening access inequities, according to initial findings from HSC's 2007 site visits to 12 nationally representative metropolitan communities.

A conference was held today for the release of this Issue Brief. A webcast and transcript of the conference are now available. Links to both are available below.

Issue Brief No. 114
News Release
Kaisernetwork.org Webcast
Conference Transcript


Variation in Clinical IT Across Physician Specialties

Sept. 20, 2007

While practice setting and size are the strongest predictors of physicians' access to clinical information technology (IT) in their practices, significant variation in IT adoption exists across specialties, according to a national study released today by HSC.

Data Bulletin No. 34
News Release


Insurance-Related and Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Access to Care

Aug. 27, 2007

Health surveys have shown that the uninsured and racial/ethnic minorities are more likely than privately insured and whites to report unmet medical needs. Among 15 symptoms that medical doctors believe should prompt people to seek caresuch as shortness of breath, chest pain, persistent headache or loss of consciousness80 percent of uninsured did not obtain care, compared to 52 percent of privately insured and 39 percent of Medicare beneficiaries, according to a study by HSC researchers in the September edition of the journal Medical Care. In addition, Hispanics were less likely than whites to get the care they need. Findings also show that differences in perceived need for care among insured and racial/ethnic groups did not explain access disparities.

Journal Article Abstract


Proportion of Physicians in Solo/Two-Physician Practices Drops

Aug. 16, 2007

The proportion of physicians in solo and two-physician practices decreased significantly from 40.7 percent in 1996-97 to 32.5 percent in 2004-05, according to a new national study released today by HSC.

Despite the shift away from the smallest practices, physicians are not moving to multispecialty practices, the study found. The proportion of physicians in multispecialty practices decreased from 30.9 percent to 27.5 percent between 1998-99 and 2004-05. Some experts believe that large, multispecialty practices, which combine primary care physicians and a range of specialists in the same practice, are the organizational structure with the greatest potential to provide consistently high-quality care.

Tracking Report No. 18
News Release


Affordability Remains a Key Concern in Massachusetts Health Reform

July 26, 2007

As Massachusetts' landmark effort to reach nearly universal health coverage continues, affordability of coverage remains a key concern for individuals and small employers, according to a study released today by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 113
News Release


Health Affairs Article Details Care Redesign at Seattle Medical Center

July 10, 2007

The tale of one Seattle medical center's quest to improve care and reduce costs illustrates the obstacles physicians face in practicing more efficiently under a fee-for-service payment system that overpays for some medical services and underpays for others, according to a study by researchers at HSC published today as a Web Exclusive in the journal Health Affairs. An accompanying HSC Issue Brief on this topic was also releasaed today.

Journal Article Abstract
Issue Brief No. 112
News Release


Exodus of Men from Primary Care Drives Shift To Medical-Specialty Practice

June 29, 2007

An exodus of men from primary care practice is driving a marked shift in the physician workforce toward such specialties as cardiology and dermatology, reinforcing concerns about a looming shortage of primary care physicians, according to a new national study released today by HSC.

Tracking Report No. 17
News Release


HSC's Wall Street Comes to Washington Conference

June 18, 2007

HSC's 12th annual Wall Street Comes to Washington conference was held on Thursday, June 14. A transcript of the conference is now available, as well as a webcast, courtesy of Kaisernetwork.org.

Conference Transcript
Click here to view the webcast.


Potentially Avoidable Hospitalizations of Medicare Patients

May 24, 2007

Elderly Medicare patients at high risk for hospitalization for two common conditionsbacterial pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)were more likely to stay out of the hospital if treated by experienced physicians, according to a study by researchers at HSC and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in the June edition of the journal Medical Care.

But patients of physicians reporting more difficulty accessing ancillary services for patientsfor example, home oxygen or respiratory therapyand physicians treating more poor patients were at higher risk of hospitalization for both conditions, the study found.

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


High-Performance Health Plan Networks: Early Experiences

May 2, 2007

Despite broad interest among employers and health plans, a nascent move to steer patients to physician specialists who score well on efficiency and quality measures is off to a slow start, according to a study by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 111
News Release


HSC Researcher Testifies on Health Plan Care Management Activities

April 11, 2007

HSC Associate Director Debra Draper, Ph.D., testified on commercial health plans' care management activities and the impact on costs, quality and outcomes at a Senate Finance Committee hearing on the Medicare Advantage program.

Congressional Testimony


Many Physicians Don't Routinely Consider Insured Patients' Out-of-Pocket Costs

April 9, 2007

Increased patient cost sharing is likely to miss the mark in safely reducing health care spending because many physicians do not routinely consider insured patients out-of-pocket costs when recommending expensive medical care, according to a study by researchers at HSC and the University of Chicago Hospitals in the April 9 Archives of Internal Medicine.

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


Wide Gap Between Vision for E-Prescribing and Reality in Physician Offices

April 3, 2007

While physicians who have embraced e-prescribing wouldn't go back to paper prescriptions, they report major barriers to using advanced e-prescribing features that many advocates believe offer the greatest potential to improve the safety and quality of health care, according to a study by HSC researchers published today as a Web exclusive in the journal Health Affairs.

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


Consumer Tolerance for Inaccuracy in Physician Performance Ratings

March 29, 2007

While consumer tolerance for inaccurate physician performance ratings varies widely, more than one-third of Americans believe such ratings should be no more than 5 percent inaccurate, according to a national study released today by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 110
News Release


Use of Clinical Practice Guidelines by Physicians Grows

March 27, 2007

The proportion of primary care physicians reporting that clinical practice guidelines had a very large or large effect on their practice increased significantly from 1997 to 2005, from 16.4 percent to 38.7 percent, according to a study by HSC ressearchers published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Journal Article Abstract


Revising Medicare's Physician Fee ScheduleMuch Activity, Little Change

March 22, 2007

Without an effective way to track changes in medical practice and physician productivity, the underlying structure of Medicares physician fee schedule has defied gravity, generally rewarding specialty procedures at the expense of primary care services, according to a perspective by economist Paul B. Ginsburg, Ph.D., and Robert Berenson, M.D. in the March 22 New England Journal of Medicine.

Click here for free access to this article.
Media Advisory


Care Patterns in Medicare and Their Implications for Pay for Performance

March 15, 2007

Medicare beneficiaries' care is spread over so many physicians that determining which physician should qualify for additional payment is a moving target under current pay-for-performance (P4P) designs, according to a study by researchers at the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in the March 15 New England Journal of Medicine.

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


Restoring Fiscal Sanity 2007: The Health Spending Challenge

March 15, 2007

HSC President Paul B. Ginsburg explores the role of private payers in moving toward more efficient health spending in a chapter in the just-released Brookings Institution book, Restoring Fiscal Sanity 2007: The Health Spending Challenge, edited by Alice Rivlin and Joseph Antos.

Book Information


Ginsburg to Serve on CBO Panel of Health Advisers

March 8, 2007

HSC President Paul B. Ginsburg will serve as a member of the Congressional Budget Office's newly formed Panel of Health Advisers. Panel members will meet periodically to examine research in health policy and advise the agency on its analyses of health care issues.

Click here for more information.


Benefit Design Innovations: Implications for Consumer-Directed Health Care

Feb. 21, 2007

Current health insurance benefit designs that simply rely on higher, one-size-fits-all patient cost sharing have limited potential to curb rising costs, but innovations in benefit design can potentially make cost sharing a more effective tool, according to a study released today by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 109
News Release


Self-Pay Markets in Health Care: Consumer Nirvana or Caveat Emptor?

Feb. 6, 2007

Even when patients must pay the full cost of medical care out of pocket, there's limited comparison shopping for the lowest-price, highest-quality care, according to a study by HSC researchers published as a Web exclusive in the journal Health Affairs. In an accompanying article, HSC President Paul Ginsburg, Ph.D., points out that current efforts to increase price transparency for health care services often downplay complex decisions about medical care, patients' dependence on physicians for guidance and the need for information on quality.

Journal Article AbstractHa Tu and Jessica May
Journal Article AbstractPaul Ginsburg
News Release


Quality-Based Physician Incentives Up Slightly, but Productivity Incentives Still Dominate

Jan. 4, 2007

While the proportion of physicians in group practice whose compensation is based in part on quality measures increased from 17.6 percent in 2000-01 to 20.2 percent in 2004-05, far more physicians face financial incentives tied to individual productivity, according to a national study released today by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 108
News Release


GAO Analyst Joins HSC as Health Researcher

Dec. 28, 2006

Ann C. Tynan, M.P.H., previously a senior health policy analyst at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), has joined the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) as a health researcher.

News Release


Hospital-Physician Rift Leads to Medical Arms Race

Dec. 5, 2006

Deteriorating relations between hospitals and physicians are imperiling a wide range of health care objectivesincluding adoption of information technology, the implementation of pay-for-performance programs and care for the uninsuredHSC researchers reported in a Health Affairs Web exclusive published today.

Journal Article Abstract
Media Advisory


4 in 10 Workers in Consumer-Directed Health Plans Lack Choice

Dec. 1, 2006

While consumer-directed health plan proponents often assert that the high-deductible plans linked to savings accounts offer enrollees greater choice and autonomy in the health care marketplace, 39 percent of the estimated 2.7 million workers enrolled in employer-sponsored CDHPs had no choice of another type of health plan in 2006, according to a national study released HSC.

Issue Brief No. 107
News Release


Recalibrating Medicare Payments for Inpatient Care

Nov. 16, 2006

Small but important steps to improve the accuracy of Medicare inpatient hospital payment rates could help stem a growing medical arms race, but policy makers will need to follow through in the coming years with more comprehensive reforms, according to a perspective by economist Paul B. Ginsburg, Ph.D., in the Nov. 16 New England Journal of Medicine.

Click here for free access to this article.
Media Advisory


Employers View Health Benefits as an Important Recruitment and Retention Tool

Nov. 14, 2006

Despite intense health care cost pressures, firms covering more than 90 percent of the nation's workforce view health benefits as an important tool to attract and retain qualified workers, according to a national study by researchers at HSC and the Commonwealth Fund published in the November/December edition of Health Affairs.

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


The Role of Competition in Driving Clinical Data Exchange

Nov. 14, 2006

Recent policy efforts to encourage the use of health information technology are emphasizing development of communitywide health information exchanges to share clinical data across patient care settings. The studypublished in the November/December edition of Health Affairsfound that most large hospitals have or are developing physician portals to provide admitting physicians with remote access to patient records, but there is little data sharing among unaffiliated organizations. Competition among hospitals for physicians is a key factor driving adoption of these proprietary systems. In contrast, provider and health plan competition and adversarial relationships between providers and plans are viewed as major barriers to communitywide clinical data sharing.

Journal Article Abstract
Media Advisory


Safety Net Expansions and Racial/Ethnic Disparities

Nov.14, 2006

This studypublished in the November/December edition of Health Affairsexplores whether increased community health center (CHC) funding under the Bush administration narrowed racial/ethnic gaps in access to care among low-income people.

Journal Article Abstract
Media Advisory


Clinical IT Gaps Persist Between Small and Large Physician Practices

Nov. 9, 2006

Physicians in smaller practices continue to lag well behind physicians in larger practices in reporting the availability of clinical information technology (IT) in their offices. The proportion of physicians reporting access to IT for each of five clinical activities increased across all practice settings between 2000-01 and 2004-05. However, adoption gaps between small and large practices persisted for two of the clinical activitiesobtaining treatment guidelines and exchanging clinical data with other physiciansand widened for the other threeaccessing patient notes, generating preventive care reminders and writing prescriptions

Issue Brief No. 106
News Release


University of Michigan Physician Joins HSC as Senior Researcher

Nov. 1, 2006

Matthew M. Davis, M.D., M.A.P.P., associate professor of pediatrics, internal medicine and public policy at the University of Michigan, has joined HSC as a part-time senior health researcher.

News Release


Health Care Spending Growth Stays High in 2005

Oct. 3, 2006

Health care spending growth stayed in a high-altitude holding pattern in 2005 as costs per privately insured American grew 7.4 percent -virtually the same rate of increase as the previous two years, according to anHSC published today as a Web Exclusive in Health Affairs.

Journal Article Abstract
Data Bulletin No. 33
News Release


Physician-Patient E-mail Disconnect

Sept. 21, 2006

Only about one in four physicians (24%) reported that e-mail was used in their practice to communicate clinical issues with patients in 2004-05, up from one in five physicians in 2000-01, according to a national study released today by HSC.

Data Bulletin No. 32
News Release


Health Plan Pay-for-Performance Strategies

Sept. 13, 2006

In a quest to reduce costs, improve quality and increase hospital and physician efficiency, most health plans in 12 communities across the country are adopting pay-for-performance (P4P) programs that tie financial incentives to improved provider performance, according to a study by HSC researchers in the September edition of The American Journal of Managed Care.

Journal Article Abstract
Media Advisory


The Impact of Quality-Reporting Programs on Hospital Operations

Sept. 12, 2006

While reporting programs have raised the profile of hospital quality measurement and improvement in 12 communities across the country, lack of coordination among reporting programs and inadequate resources hinder efforts to improve patient care, according to a study by HSC researchers published in Health Affairs.

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


CTSonline Updated with 2004-05 Physician Survey Results

Sept. 7, 2006

Want to find out how many hours of charity care physicians typically provide? Or whether doctors believe they can spend enough time with their patients? How about the percentage of physicians earning more than $300,000 a year? Answers to these questions and many others are available through HSC's CTSonline, which was recently updated with results from the 2004-05 Community Tracking Study (CTS) Physician Survey.

CTSonline


Debra Draper Joins HSC as Director of Site Visits and Senior Researcher

Aug. 21, 2006

Debra A. Draper, Ph.D., M.S.H.A., assistant director of the health care team at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), has joined HSC as director of site visits and senior researcher.

News Release


Medicaid Patients Increasingly Concentrated Among Physicians

Aug. 17, 2006

Despite increases in Medicaid payment rates and enrollment, the proportion of U.S. physicians accepting Medicaid patients has decreased slightly over the past decade, according to a national study released today by HSC.

Tracking Report No. 16
News Release


Immunization Disparities in Older Americans

Aug. 7, 2006

Marked racial disparities persist in influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations among Medicare beneficiaries. Despite similar insurance coverage and presence of a usual physician, black beneficiaries were significantly less likely than their white counterparts to receive vaccinations, according to an HSC study published in the August edition of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Journal Article Abstract


Specialty-Service Lines: Salvos in the New Medical Arms Race

July 25, 2006

The proliferation of heart institutes, cancer centers, orthopedic hospitals and other niche specialty centers signals an escalation in a new medical arms race as hospitals and physicians develop and market profitable specialty-service lines, according to a study by Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) researchers published today as a Web Exclusive in the journal Health Affairs.

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


Hospital Emergency Department Use Varies Greatly Across the U.S.

July 18, 2006

Contrary to popular belief, communities with high levels of uninsured, Hispanic or immigrant residents generally have much lower rates of per person hospital emergency department use than other communities, according to a study by HSC published today as a Web exclusive in the journal Health Affairs.

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


Bioterrorism Preparedness Efforts Strengthen Public Health Capabilities

July 11, 2006

National initiatives to improve bioterrorism preparedness have strengthened communities' overall public health readiness, but concerns remain about hospitals' ability to handle a sudden surge of patients during an emergency, according to a study by HSC researchers in the July/August edition of the journal Health Affairs.

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


Hospital Steps Ease Nurse Shortage in Near Term but Long-Term Worries Persist

June 26, 2006

While many hospitals in 12 communities across the country report that short-term measures, such as higher pay and temporary staff, have helped ease nurse staffing shortages, serious doubts remain about hospitals ability to meet future nursing needs, according to a study by Center for Studying Health System Change researchers (HSC) published today as a Web Exclusive in the journal Health Affairs.

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


Wall Street Comes to Washington Conference

June 23, 2006

HSC held its eleventh annual Wall Street Comes to Washington conference in Washington, D.C., on June 21. A transcript of the meeting is now available, as well as a webcast at kaisernetwork.org.

Conference Transcript
Kaisernetwork.org Webcast


Physicians Lose Ground in Real Income Between 1995 and 2003

June 22, 2006

In sharp contrast to other professionals, physicians' net income from the practice of medicine declined about 7 percent between 1995 and 2003 after adjusting for inflation, according to a new national study by HSC.

Tracking Report No. 15
News Release


Physician Access to Clinical Information Technology Grows

June 7, 2006

Physician access to practice-based clinical information technology (IT) grew significantly between 2000-01 and 2004-05, according to a national study released today by HSC.

Data Bulletin No. 31
News Release


HSC's Cunningham Wins NIHCM Research Award

May 18, 2006

HSC Senior Researcher Peter Cunningham, Ph.D., has won the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation's (NIHCM) 2006 research award for excellence in original and creative health care research. Cunningham and coauthor Len Nichols, Ph.D., formerly HSC's vice president and now with the New America Foundation, were recognized for an article published in the December 2005 edition of Medical Care Research & Review"The Effects of Medicaid Reimbursement on Access to Care of Medicaid Enrollees: A Community Perspective."

Journal Article Abstract


Congressional Testimony: Consumer Information on Health Care Cost and Quality

May 10, 2006

Better consumer information about health care costs, quality and treatment alternatives could help stem rapidly rising health costs, but some are overselling the potential of consumer empowerment to reshape the health care system, economist Paul Ginsburg, Ph.D., HSC president, told a congressional committee today.

Congressional Testimony
News Release


Five HSC Studies Appear in May/June Health Affairs

May 9, 2006

Five studies from the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) appear in the May/June edition of Health Affairs, on topics ranging from the hospital building boom to care for the seriously mentally ill to local market perspectives on consumer-driven health plans.

Media Advisory

Article Abstract - "Construction Activity in U.S. Hospitals"
Article Abstract - "The Struggle to Provide Community-Based Care to Low-Income People with Serious Mental Illness"
Article Abstract - "Consumer-Driven Health Insurance Products: Local-Market Perspectives"
Article Abstract - "Why Employer-Sponsored Insurance Coverage Changed, 1997-2003"
Article Abstract - "Generosity and Adjusted Premiums in Job-Based Insurance: Hawaii is Up, Wyoming is Down"


Proportion of U.S. Physicians Without Managed Care Contracts Ticks Up

May 4, 2006

After remaining stable since the mid-1990s, the proportion of U.S. physicians without any managed care contracts rose from 9.2 percent in 2000-01 to 11.5 percent in 2004-05, according to a national study released today by HSC.

Tracking Report No. 14
News Release


Community Safety Nets and Prescription Drug Access for Uninsured People

April 26, 2006

As the number of uninsured Americans increases, community safety net providers are stretching limited resources to meet growing prescription drug needs for low-income, uninsured people under age 65, according to a new HSC study.

Issue Brief No. 105
News Release


Public Employee Health Benefits Weather Rising Costs and Tight Budgets

April 18, 2006

Generous public employee health benefits have survived major threats so far, but the growing gap between public- and private-sector benefits, coupled with new accounting rules for government agencies, could force public officials to make more far-reaching benefit changes, according to a HSC study published today as a Web exclusive in the journal Health Affairs.

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


Community Approaches to Caring for Uninsured People

April 11, 2006

Faced with rising uninsurance rates and little response from state and federal governments, local communities have developed a range of approaches to provide care to uninsured people, according to a study by HSC published today as a Web-exclusive in the journal Health Affairs.

Journal Article Abstract
Media Advisory


Population Aging Plays Small Role in Growing Demand for Hospital Services

March 28, 2006

While the aging of the baby boomers is an oft-cited justification for the sharp increase in U.S. hospital construction, population aging will play a relatively small role in rising demand for inpatient hospital care over the next decade, according to an HSC study published today as a Web exclusive in the journal Health Affairs.

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


U.S. Physician Charity Care Continues Decade-Long Decline

March 23, 2006

The proportion of U.S. physicians providing charity care dropped 8 percentage points in the last decade, falling to 68 percent of physicians in 2004-05 from 76 percent in 1996-97, according to a national study released today by HSC.

Tracking Report No. 13
News Release


Reflections on a Decade of Tracking Health System Change

March 15, 2006

Despite a decade of tumultuous change, the perennial problems of high costs, uneven quality and inequitable access continue to plague the U.S. health care system, according to a commentary published today by HSC.

Commentary No. 2
News Release


Testimony: Consumer Price Shopping

March 15, 2006

HSC President Paul Ginsburg testified today before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health on consumer price shopping in health care. Ginsburg testified that fostering consumer price shopping for health services can potentially help contain costs but cautioned that some are overselling the magnitude this potential.

Congressional Testimony


Specialty Hospitals, Price Competition and the Medical Arms Race

Jan. 25, 2006

Purchasers in three communities with significant specialty hospital developmentIndianapolis, Little Rock and Phoenixgenerally believe specialty hospitals are contributing to a medical arms race that is driving up costs without demonstrating clear quality advantages, according to a HSC study.

Issue Brief No. 103
News Release


HSC Receives First Annual Health Services Research Impact Award

Jan. 12, 2006

HSC is one of two teams to be awarded AcademyHealth's first annual Health Services Research (HSR) Impact Award for research examining the rapid growth of specialty hospitals. The award recognizes outstanding research that has been successfully translated into health policy, management or clinical practice.


Two HSC Studies Published in Health Affairs

Jan. 10, 2006

Two studies by HSC researchersone on the impact of Medicaid/SCHIP cuts on emergency department use, and the other on hospital payment issueswere published in the January/February edition of Health Affairs

"Medicaid/SCHIP Cuts and Hospital Emergency Department Use"
Journal Article Abstract (free access to this article is available, courtesy of the Kaiser Family Foundation)

"Hospital Payment Systems: Will Payers Like the Future Better Than the Past?"
Journal Article Abstract


Vast Majority of Physicians Still Welcome Medicare Patients

Jan. 9, 2006

Despite an earlier payment cut, the proportion of U.S. physicians willing to treat Medicare patients stabilized in 2004-05, with nearly three-quarters reporting their practices were open to all new Medicare patients, according to a national study released today by HSC.

Tracking Report No. 12
News Release


High Costs, More Uninsured and Malpractice Insurance Woes Stress Miami

Dec. 30, 2005

Exceptionally high health care costs, low levels of health insurance coverage and a difficult medical malpractice insurance environment for physicians and hospitals continue to stress the Miami health care market, according to a new Community Report released today by HSC.

Miami Community Report
News Release


Slow Start for Physician Pay for Performance (P4P) in Many Communities

Dec. 14, 2005

Despite the national buzz about the potential of offering financial rewards to physicians to improve patient care, pay-for-performance (P4P) initiatives are still on the drawing board in many local communities, according to a study released today by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 102
News Release


Economic Disparities Drive Widening Rift in Health Care Access and Quality

Dec. 6, 2005

As health care gobbles up an ever-larger share of the U.S. economy, the inability or unwillingness to ensure equal access to high-quality health care is fueling a widening rift between rich and poor Americans, according to a study by HSC published today as a Web-exclusive article in the journal Health Affairs.

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


Dec. 2 Conference Webcast Now Available

Dec. 6, 2005

The Transformation of Competition in Health Care conferencecosponsored by HSC, Health Affairs and the Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Policywas held on Dec. 2. A Webcast of the conference is now available, courtesy of kaisernetwork.org.


Effects of Medicaid Reimbursement on the Access to Care of Medicaid Enrollees

Dec. 6, 2005

Higher Medicaid reimbursement rates increase the number of physicians in a community that accept Medicaid patients. And higher Medicaid acceptance rates by physicians increase the likelihood of Medicaid patients having a usual source of care and reduce unmet medical needs and emergency department use, according to an article by Peter Cunningham, HSC senior researcher, in the December edition of Medical Care Research and Review.

Journal Article Abstract


Influence of Blue Cross Blue Shield Grows in Boston

Dec. 1, 2005

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts growing ascendance is felt across the Boston health care market, influencing nearly all aspects of the marketplace from provider contract negotiations to state-level policy deliberations, according to a new Community Report released today by HSC.

Boston Community Report
News Release


Growing Pressures Converge in Hospital Emergency Departments

Nov. 18, 2005

Converging pressures in hospital emergency departments (EDs)ranging from persuading specialists to provide on-call coverage to dealing with growing numbers of patients with serious mental illnesshave the potential to compromise access to emergency care and spur already rapidly rising health care costs.

Issue Brief No. 101
News Release


Population Growth in Greenville Spurs Hospital Competition

Nov. 11, 2005

The pattern of population growth in the Greenville, S.C., area has led to heightened competition for profitable services among the market's three largest hospital systems, according to a new Community Report released today by HSC.

Greenville Community Report
News Release


Ginsburg Article Outlines Health Care Competition in Last Decade

Nov. 10, 2005

Understanding the roller-coaster experience of market forces in the U.S. health care system in the past decade provides an important context for the role competition is likely to play in shaping health care in the coming years, according to an article by HSC President Paul B. Ginsburg, Ph.D., in the November/December edition of the journal Health Affairs.

Journal Article Abstract
Media Advisory


Syracuse Confronts Rising Health Care Costs; Hospital Competition Grows

Oct. 27, 2005

Competition among Syracuse's four hospitals has intensified as Crouse Hospitalthe area's largeststrives to regain market share lost during a bankruptcy reorganization, according to a Community Report released today by HSC.

Syracuse Community Report
News Release


Uninsured as Likely as Insured to Perceive Need for Care but Half as Likely to Get Care

Oct. 19, 2005

When confronted with a serious new medical symptom, insured and uninsured people share similar perceptions about the need to see a medical provider, according to a new HSC study. However, among people who believed they needed care, the uninsured were less than half as likely to get care.

Issue Brief No. 100
News Release


Hospitals Alter Billing and Collection Practices for the Uninsured

Oct. 12, 2005

Many hospitals have adopted more generous charity-care guidelines for uninsured patients after a barrage of publicity about aggressive hospital billing and collection practices and a spate of lawsuits alleging hospitals overcharging uninsured patients, according to an Issue Brief released today by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 99
News Release


Lansing's Economic Doldrums Threaten Broad Health Care Benefits

Oct. 6, 2005

The languishing economy in Lansing and the rest of Michigan is threatening workers broad health benefits and the ability of local and state governments to sustain coverage for low-income people, according to a new HSC Community Report.

Lansing Community Report
News Release


Quality Efforts Expand as Seattle Health Plan Products Evolve

Sept. 27, 2005

In an effort to control health care costs and improve the quality of care, Seattle employers and health plans are pursuing new strategies to directly influence provider quality and efficiency, according to a new Community Report released today by HSC.

Seattle Community Report
News Release


Population Growth Continues to Strain Phoenix Health System Capacity

Sept. 15, 2005

A population boom in Phoenix continues to strain the health system, despite significant recent hospital expansions. Coupled with insufficient emergency department and inpatient capacity, the rapid population growth contributes to frequent ambulance diversions and treatment delays.

Phoenix Community Report
News Release


2005 Premium Increase Slows but Still Rises Three Times Faster Than Workers Wages

Sept. 14, 2005

HSC Vice President Jon Gabel coauthored two Health Affairs articles based on the Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research and Educational Trust 2005 Annual Employer Health Benefits Survey. The first article found average premiums for employer-sponsored insurance rose 9.2 percent in 2005, down from 11.2 percent in 2004 and the first single-digit increase since 2000. The second article focuses on the availability, enrollment, premiums and cost sharing for high-deductible health plans offered with health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) or health savings accounts (HSAs). Both Health Affairs articles are available free at the Kaiser Family Foundation Web site.


Hundreds of Thousands of Medically Vulnerable Children Uninsured

Sept. 8, 2005

While public health insurance provides a vital safety net to millions of children with special health care needs, ranging from learning disorders to severe disabilities, more than 650,000 of these medically vulnerable children are uninsured, according to a new national study by HSC researchers.

Issue Brief No. 98
News Release


Market Changes Set Stage for Growing Health Care Cost and Access Problems

Aug. 24, 2005

Fierce competition among hospitals and physicians for profitable specialty services is driving costly inpatient and outpatient expansions, especially in more affluent areas with well-insured populations, according to initial findings from HSC's 2005 site visits to 12 nationally representative communities. A webcast and transcript of the briefing is available at kaisernetwork.org.

Issue Brief No. 97
News Release
Kaisernetwork.org


Ginsburg Named to Modern Healthcare's Top 100 List

Aug. 23, 2005

For the third time, HSC President Paul B. Ginsburg made Modern Healthcare's 100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare list at number 21. To find out who else made the list and why, visit Modern Healthcare

Click here to access the article. (Registration required)


Hospital Capacity Constraints Continue to Stress Orange County, Calif.

Aug. 18, 2005

A number of factors have come together to make hospital capacity constraints more severe in Orange County, Calif., according to a new HSC Community Report.

Orange County Community Report
News Release


When the Price Isn't Right: How Inaccurate Payments Drive Expensive Medical Care

Aug. 9, 2005

Unintentionally inflated prices for certain medical services are spurring intense competition among physicians and hospitals to expand cardiac, orthopedic and high-end imaging services, potentially sparking a powerful new health care cost driver, according to an HSC study published as a Web-exclusive article in the journal Health Affairs.

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


Urban-Suburban Hospital Disparities Grow in Northern New Jersey

Aug. 4, 2005

Hospitals and physicians are aggressively expanding capacity to deliver profitable specialty services in suburban areas of northern New Jersey, fueling concerns about health care costs, according to a new HSC Community Report.

Northern New Jersey
News Release


Many Elderly Medicare Patients Don't Receive Recommended Preventive Care

July 26, 2005

Many elderly Medicare patients fail to get routine preventive care, but patients cared for by board-certified physicians in larger practices treating fewer poor patients are more likely to receive cancer screenings and other preventive care, according to a study by researchers at HSC and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in the July 27 Journal of the American Medical Association.

Journal Abstract
News Release


Little Rock Hospitals and Physicians Continue to Vie for Profitable Services

July 21, 2005

Financial pressures continue to spur competition between Little Rock hospitals and physicians for profitable health care services, especially cardiac and orthopedic care, according to a new HSC Community Report.

Little Rock Community Report
News Release


Wall Street Comes to Washington Conference

July 20, 2005

HSC held its tenth annual Wall Street Comes to Washington conference in Washington, D.C., on July 13. A transcript of the meeting is now available, as well as a webcast at kaisernetwork.org.

Conference Transcript
Kaisernetwork.org Webcast


Access and Quality: Does Rural America Lag Behind?

July 14, 2005

Access to and quality of medical care generally are equivalent or superior in rural areas compared with urban areas. However, rural residents have greater difficulty obtaining mental health services and generally face greater financial barriers to care, according to an HSC study in the July/August edition of the journal Health Affairs.

Journal Article Abstract
Media Advisory


Local Market Perspectives on Medicare Advantage Regional Plans

July 14, 2005

The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act (MMA) of 2003 established regional preferred provider organizations (PPOs) as a new private-plan option for beneficiaries in the Medicare Advantage program, starting in 2006. An article by HSC researchers in the July/August edition of the journal Health Affairs explores health plan perspectives on offering Medicare Advantage PPOs.

Journal Article Abstract
Media Advisory


Most Medicare Outpatient Visits to Physicians with Limited Clinical IT

July 7, 2005

A majority of Medicare fee-for-service outpatient visits in 2001 were to physicians without significant information technology (IT) support for patient care, according to a study released today by HSC.

Data Bulletin No. 30
Media Advisory


Hospital Competition Transforms Indianapolis Health Care Market

June 30, 2005

The building boom that spawned four new heart facilities in Indianapolis two years ago has continued unabated, raising concerns about higher health care costs in an already high-cost market, according to a new Community Report released today by HSC.

Indianapolis Community Report
News Release


Reprieve from Faster-Growing Health Care Spending Stalled in 2004

June 21, 2005

The reprieve from faster-growing health care costs stalled in 2004 as costs per privately insured American grew 8.2 percent--virtually the same rate of increase as in 2003, according to an HSC study published today as a Web-exclusive article in the journal Health Affairs.

Data Bulletin No. 29
Journal Article Abstract
News Release

A webcast interview with study authors Bradley Strunk and Paul Ginsburg is available at Kaisernetwork.org.


Older Americans Less Willing to Sacrifice Physician-Hospital Choice to Save Costs

June 15, 2005

Elderly Americans are much less willing than working-age Americans to limit their choice of physicians and hospitals to save on out-of-pocket medical costs. In 2003, only 45 percent of seniors 65 and older were willing to trade broad provider choice to save money, compared with 70 percent of people 18 through 34, according to a new HSC study.

Issue Brief No. 96
News Release


Leadership Changes Reinvigorate Cleveland Health Care Market

June 8, 2005

New leaders at Clevelands two major hospital systems--the Cleveland Clinic Health System (CCHS) and University Hospitals Health System (UHHS)have helped strengthen the organizations financial positions and soothe long-standing rivalries, according to a new Community Report from HSC.

Cleveland Community Report
News Release


Prescription Drug Affordability Woes Grow for Americans

May 18, 2005

More Americansespecially those with chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma and depressionare going without prescription drugs because of cost concerns, according to a new HSC study.

Issue Brief No. 95
News Release


Medicaid Cost Containment and Access to Prescription Drugs

May 12, 2005

More than one-fifth of all adult Medicaid enrollees in 2003 reported they couldnt afford to get at least one prescription filled, according to a HSC study published in the May/June edition of the journal Health Affairs.

Journal Article Abstract
Media Advisory


Americans Reassess Health Care Choice-Cost Trade-offs

March 24, 2005

More Americans are willing to limit their choice of physicians and hospitals to save on out-of-pocket medical costs. Between 2001 and 2003, the proportion of working-age Americans with employer health coverage willing to trade broad choice of providers for lower out-of-pocket costs increased from 55 percent to 59 percentafter the rate had been stable since 1997, according to a new HSC study.

Issue Brief No. 94
News Release


Medicare Seniors Access to Physician Care Stabilized between 2001 and 2003

Feb. 15, 2005

After a significant decline in 2001, Medicare seniors' access to physician services stabilized in 2003. Similar to Medicare seniors, privately insured near-elderly people between the ages of 55 and 64 experienced a spike in access problems in 2001, indicating system-wide capacity constraints were curtailing access to physician services for both groups of patients.

Issue Brief No. 93
News Release


Ten Years of Tracking Health System Change

Feb. 2, 2005

HSC President Paul Ginsburg moderated a panel discussion on "Ten Years of Tracking Health System Change: The Evolution of Competition" at the AcademyHealth 2005 National Health Policy Conference.

PowerPoint Presentation


Health Market Changes Spur Use of Hospitalists Across the U.S.

Feb. 1, 2005

Mounting financial pressures, increasing problems with patient flow in hospitals, a growing focus on patient safety, and rising malpractice costs have spurred the use of a new breed of physicians who specialize in caring for hospitalized patients, according to a study by HSC researchers in the February edition of the Journal of General Internal Medicine

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


Rural Physician Incomes On Par with Urban Physicians

Jan. 26, 2005

Lower incomes are an oft-cited obstacle to recruiting rural physicians, but average physician incomes in rural and urban areas do not differ significantly, according to a new HSC study, and after adjusting for cost-of-living differences, rural physicians have 13% more purchasing power.

Issue Brief No. 92
News Release


Physician Researcher Joins HSC

Jan. 3, 2005

Ann S. OMalley, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor at Georgetown University Medical Center, has joined the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) as a senior health researcher.

News Release


High Medical Care Costs Prompt Many to Seek Alternatives

Dec. 15, 2004

Nearly 6 million American adults turned to complementary and alternative medicine in the past year to treat such conditions as depression and chronic pain because conventional medical treatment was too expensive.

Data Bulletin No. 28
News Release


Health Care Spending Growth Slowdown Stalls in First Half of 2004

Dec. 2, 2004

The brief respite from faster-growing health care costs sputtered in the first half of 2004 as health costs per privately insured American grew 7.5 percentvirtually the same rate as in 2003, according to a study released jointly today by HSC and the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

Issue Brief No. 91
News Release


Safety Net Awareness Low Among Uninsured

Nov. 17, 2004

More than half of all uninsured Americans are unaware of a community safety net provider where they can receive lower-cost, affordable health care, according to a new HSC study.

Issue Brief No. 90
News Release


As the Health Insurance Underwriting Cycle Turns: What Next?

Nov. 11, 2004

The boom-and-bust pattern in health insurance marketsknown as the underwriting cycleis likely to be more muted in the coming years, reducing premium volatility but possibly leading to higher average premiums, according to a study by HSC researchers published in the November/December edition of the journal Health Affairs.

Journal Article Abstract
Media Advisory


Health Insurance Gap Persists Among Minorities and White Americans

Oct. 28, 2004

The health insurance gap among Latino, black and white Americans persisted in 2003, with one in three Latinos, one in five blacks and one in 10 whites under age 65 lacking health insurance, according to a national study released today by HSC.

Tracking Report No. 11
News Release


Controlling Health Care Costs; Both Presidential Candidates Sidestep Issue

Oct. 13, 2004

While both presidential candidates have served up proposals to ease voter angst about the affordability of health care, neither candidate tackles the core issue of controlling health care cost growth, according to an article by HSC President Paul Ginsburg in the Oct. 14, New England Journal of Medicine.

Article Summary
News Release


Safety Net Provider Location and Access to Care for the Uninsured

Oct. 7, 2004

A new article in the October edition of Health Services Research looks at the link between proximity to a safety net provider and access to care.

Journal Article Abstract


Information Technology for Patient Care Varies Across Physician Practices

Sept. 29, 2004

While theres wide enthusiasm for harnessing the power of information technology (IT) to improve U.S. medical care, fewer than a quarter of physicians in 2001 could generate electronic treatment reminders for use during patient visits and only about 10 percent could write electronic prescriptions, according to a national study released today by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 89
News Release


Rising Health Costs, Medical Debt and Chronic Conditions

Sept. 23, 2004

The proportion of low-income, privately insured, working-age Americans with chronic conditions, such as diabetes, asthma or depression, spending more than 5 percent of their incomes on out-of-pocket medical costs jumped from 28 percent to 42 percent between 2001 and 2003, according to a national study released today by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 88
News Release


Rising Health Insurance Costs Key to Decline of Private Coverage for Children

Sept. 14, 2004

In recent years, rising health insurance costs have likely played a key role in the decline of American children with private health coverage, according to a study by researchers at HSC and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) published in the September/October edition of the journal Health Affairs.

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


Access to Medical Care Improves for Low-Income Kids and Adults

Aug. 31, 2004

Despite sluggish economic growth and rapidly rising health care costs, Americans' access to needed medical care improved slightly between 2001 and 2003, especially among low-income children and adults, according to a national study released today by HSC.

Tracking Report No. 10
News Release


Wall Street Comes to Washington

Aug. 31, 2004

Health care cost trends likely will continue slowing through the end of 2004, but the longer-term outlook for a sustained slowdown largely depends on the strength of the economy, according to market and health policy experts at the Center for Studying Health System Changes (HSC) ninth annual Wall Street roundtable. An Issue Brief summarizing the analysts' discussion at the June 24 event attended by 200 people is now available.

Issue Brief No. 87
Conference Transcript
Conference Webcast


Managed Care Rebound? Health Plans' Cost Containment Strategies

Aug. 11, 2004

Responding to rising costs, some health plans are bringing back such unpopular practices as utilization review, increasing out-of-pocket expenses, and steering patients to more cost-effective providers, according to a Web-exclusive article published in Health Affairs

Journal Article Abstract
Media Advisory


SeparatePerhaps, Unequal? Physicians Treating Black and White Medicare Patients

Aug. 4, 2004

To a large extent, different groups of physicians treat elderly black and white Medicare patients, providing new insights into possible explanations for the pervasive health disparities between blacks and whites, according to a study by researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and HSC in the Aug. 5 New England Journal of Medicine.

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


Job Loss, Rising Premiums Take Toll on Employer Health Coverage in 2003

Aug. 3, 2004

The proportion of Americans under age 65 with employer health coverage fell dramatically from 67 percent in 2001 to 63 percent in 2003, translating into almost 9 million fewer people with employer coverage after accounting for population growth, according to a HSC study.

Tracking Report No. 9
News Release


No Groundswell Yet Among Employers for Consumer-Driven Health Plans

July 22, 2004

Many employers are skeptical that high-deductible health coverage tied to employer-funded spending accountsknown as consumer-driven health planscan reduce their health costs, according to a new HSC study.

Issue Brief No. 86
News Release


Medical Debt a Problem for Almost 20 Million American Families

June 30, 2004

Almost 20 million American families had problems paying medical bills in 2003, forcing many to make tough trade-offs between medical, food and housing expenses, according to a national study by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 85
News Release


Testimony: Health Plan Role in Negotiating Lower Hospital Prices Often Overlooked

June 22, 2004

Health plans play an important intermediary role between consumers and hospitals by negotiating lower prices for hospital carenot by providing patients with a great deal of price information, but by forming networks of hospitals that have agreed to accept negotiated prices, HSC President Paul Ginsburg, told a congressional committee today.

Congressional Testimony
News Release


Low-Income People Face Serious Gaps in Specialty Care

June 17, 2004

Despite signs that low-income and uninsured peoples access to primary health care services has improved, serious gaps in care exist, especially for specialty physician, mental health and dental care, according to a new HSC study

Issue Brief No. 84
News Release


Health Care Spending Growth Slows in 2003

June 9, 2004

Health care spending per privately insured American increased 7.4 percent in 2003the first major slowdown in spending growth in nearly a decade, according to an HSC study published today as a Web-exclusive article in the journal Health Affairs.

Journal Abstract
Data Bulletin No. 27
News Release
Webcast Interview with Authors


Employers Pass the Buck on Rising Health Care Costs

May 26, 2004

Rather than dramatic health benefit overhauls, most employers have made modest changes, primarily by shifting costs to workers through larger premium contributions or higher out-of-pocket costs to fill a prescription or see a doctor, according to a new HSC study.

Issue Brief No. 83
News Release


Financial Rewards for Higher Quality Care

May 13, 2004

Health plans increasingly are dangling a carrothigher paymentsto get physicians and hospitals to improve patient care, according to a study released today HSC.

Issue Brief No. 82
News Release


Aid Increased Community Preparedness for Public Health Emergencies

May 4, 2004

Many U.S. communities are better prepared for public health emergencies since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, but weaknesses remain, particularly in communications and information technology (IT) and workforce education and training, according to a study by HSC researchers published in the May/June edition of the journal Health Affairs.

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


PPOs and Medicare: No Panacea for Cost, Quality Issues

April 29, 2004

While policy makers hope that private plansespecially preferred provider organizations (PPOs)can increase benefits, improve quality and slow cost growth in Medicare, Medicare PPOs likely will face serious challenges to achieving these goals.

Issue Brief No. 81
News Release


Federal Aid Strengthens Health Care Safety Net

April 22, 2004

An infusion of federal funding has helped many communities expand services and strengthen linkages among health care safety net providers.

Issue Brief No. 80
News Release


Health Plans Redeploy Targeted Care Restrictions

March 17, 2004

Confronted with conflicting pressures to contain costs and provide unfettered access to care, health plans are stepping up scrutiny of some high-cost services while shifting more financial and care management responsibilities to consumers, according to a study released today by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 79
News Release


Confidence Waning in Competition as Health Care System Cure

March 12, 2004

Confidence in market competition to spur high-quality, affordable health care is waning in communities across the country, according to research by HSC published in the March/April edition of the peer-reviewed journal Health Affairs.

The research is the topic of the HSC/Health Affairs conference held on March 12. A webcast of the conference is now available, courtesy of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. A full transcript will be available soon.

Conference Webcast
Journal Articles
News Release


Nichols Testifies about 10 Myths of the Uninsured

March 9, 2004

HSC Vice President Len Nichols testified before the U.S. House Ways and Means health subcommittee about the 10 myths of the uninsured.

Testimony
News Release


Hospital Emergency Department Diversion Crisis Eases

March 2, 2004

The nationwide surge in emergency department ambulance diversions has eased as hospitals improved capacity management to free up beds and communities increased coordination to prevent diversions, according to a new HSC Issue Brief released today.

Issue Brief No. 78
News Release


Health Insurance Tax Credit Proposals Would Do Little to Increase Coverage

Feb. 25, 2004

A comparison of out-of-pocket health care spending by lower-income uninsured people with their expected spending if they bought nongroup, or individual, insurance shows that nearly all would spend moreoften much moreeven with a tax credit to help offset the cost of coverage, according to a study by HSC researchers published today as a Web-exclusive article in the journal Health Affairs.

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


Leapfrog Patient-Safety Standards a Stretch for Most Hospitals

Feb. 23, 2004

While the Leapfrog Groups ambitious campaign to improve patient safety in hospitals has sparked national awareness, few hospitals are close to meeting the groups standards for computerized prescriptions, specially trained intensive care unit (ICU) physicians and volume thresholds for certain high-risk procedures, according to a new HSC study.

Issue Brief No. 77
News Release


Ginsburg: Prospects for Health Savings Accounts Uncertain

Feb. 16, 2004

New health savings accountsas currently configuredare unlikely to be the tonic free-market advocates crave for the U.S. health care system or the poison pill feared by detractors, according to a commentary by Paul Ginsburg in Modern Healthcare magazine.

Modern Healthcare Commentary


Blue Plan Conversions and Mergers Likely to Continue

Jan. 29, 2004

Recent regulatory setbacks have slowed the pace of for-profit conversions and mergers among Blue Cross and Blue Shield health plans, but the trend is likely to resume among the Blues as plans adapt conversion strategies, according to a study released today by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 76
News Release


Patient Cost Sharing Conference Issue Brief

Jan. 28, 2004

HSC's Patient Cost Sharing: Promises and Pitfalls conference on Dec. 3, 2003, featured presentations and a panel discussion on cost-sharing trends and the implications for consumers. An Issue Brief describing the conference discussion is now available.

Issue Brief No. 75


Health Plan-Provider Contract Showdowns Simmer Down

Jan. 22, 2004

With the balance of power having tilted toward hospitals and doctors, hotly contested contract disputes between health plans and providers have cooled down in recent years, according to a study released today by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 74
News Release


Working-Age Minorities Face Greater Prescription Drug Affordability Problems

Dec. 30, 2003

Working-age African Americans and Latinosparticularly those with chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart diseaseare much more likely than white Americans to report they cannot afford all of their prescription drugs, according to a national study released today by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 73
News Release


Health Care Spending Growth Slows Sharply

Dec. 12, 2003

Health care spending growth per privately insured American slowed in the first half of 2003, increasing 8.5 percent, a sharp drop from the 10 percent increase in the second half of 2002, according to a study released today by HSC.

Data Bulletin No. 26
News Release


HSC Conference Examines Promises and Pitfalls of Patient Cost Sharing

Dec. 3, 2003

The Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) conducted a conference Dec. 3, titled "Patient Cost Sharing: Promises and Pitfalls." A transcript and webcast of the conference are now available.

Issue Brief No. 72
News Release
RWJF Webcast
Conference Transcript


Patients Face Cost-Choice Trade-offs With Tiered-Provider Networks

Nov. 20, 2003

In a bid to control costs and regain leverage over hospitals and doctors, more health plans are experimenting with tiered-provider networks, which typically give patients a broader choice of hospitals and physicians if they are willing to pay more out of pocket, according to a study released today by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 71
News Release


Health Affairs Studies Examine Specialty Facilities and Hospital Capacity

Nov. 12, 2003

Two Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) studiesone on the rapid growth of physician-owned specialty facilities, and the other examining hospital capacity issueswere released today in the journal Health Affairs.

Focused Factories? Physician-Owned Specialty
Facilities


Does U.S. Hospital Capacity Neet to Be Expanded?


HSC Commentary Examines Health Care Cost-Coverage Conundrum

Nov. 6, 2003

In their annual essay on the health care system, HSC President Paul Ginsburg and Vice President Len Nichols explore the difficult trade-offs inherent in containing health care costs and expanding health insurance coverage to the estimated 43.6 million uninsured Americans.

Annual Essay
News Release


Insured Americans Drive Surge in Hospital Emergency Department Visits

Oct. 23, 2003

Contrary to beliefs that uninsured Americans are a major cause of increased emergency department crowding, insured Americans accounted for most of the 16 percent rise in hospital emergency room visits between 1996-97 and 2000-01, according to a national study released today by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 70
News Release


Boston Health Care Market Stabilizes, but Potential Troubles Loom

Oct. 21, 2003

Compared with the hospital and health plan contract disputes and financial woes of two years ago, the Boston health care market has stabilized as hospitals and plans regained their financial footing, according to a new Community Report released today by HSC.

Boston Community Report
News Release


Employers Embrace Disease Management to Control Costs, Improve Quality

Oct. 8, 2003

With managed cares promise to reduce costs and improve quality fading, more employers and health plans are aiming extra attention at patients with chronic conditions and costly, complex illnesses, according to an Issue Brief released today by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 69
News Release


Market Conditions Can Allow Providers to Shift Costs to Private Payers to Offset Government Cuts

Oct. 8, 2003

Hospitals and physicians likely can raise prices to private insurers to offset payment reductions from Medicare and other government health programs if market conditions are right, according to a Health Affairs article that clashes with traditional health care economic theory.

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


Medical Malpractice Insurance Fallout Varies Across Communities

Sept. 29, 2003

The fallout from rapidly rising medical malpractice insurance premiums is prompting some physicians to refer more patients to already crowded emergency departments, refuse to provide on-call emergency department coverage and decline elective referrals, according to a study released today by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 68
News Release
Kaisernetwork.org Webcast


CTSonline Provides Easy Access to CTS Household Survey Results

Sept. 17, 2003

HSC's interactive Web-based system CTSonline now has results from the Community Tracking Study Household Survey. Topics include: health insurance status; use of health care services; employer health insurer offerings; access to health care; patient trust and satisfaction; and consumer information.

Click here to enter CTSonline
CTSonline Fact Sheet
News Release


Benefits of and Barriers to Large Medical Group Practice

Sept. 8, 2003

For decades, reformers argued that medical groups can efficiently provide high-quality care and a collegial professional environment. However, gaining negotiating leverage with health insurance plans was eight times more likely than quality improvement to be a motivation for creating large medical groups, according to an article by HSC researchers published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Journal Article Abstract


Health Insurance Hikes and Malpractice Insurance Woes Disrupt Miami Health Care

Sept. 4, 2003

Rapidly rising health insurance premiums and a medical malpractice insurance meltdown threaten to decrease health insurance coverage and access to health care in Miami, according to a new Community Report released today.

Miami Community Report
News Release


Wall Street Comes to Washington Conference

August 28, 2003

HSC held its Eighth Annual Wall Street Comes to Washington conference in Washington, D.C., on June 18. An Issue Brief summarizing the panelists' discussion has been released.

Issue Brief No. 67
Conference Transcript


Phoenix Health Care Market: Population Boom, Sluggish Economy

Aug. 26, 2003

Rapid population growth, rising unemployment and a continuing influx of undocumented immigrants are pushing health care capacity to the brink in Phoenix, according to a new Community Report released today.

Phoenix Community Report
News Release


Ginsburg Named to Modern Healthcare's Top 100 list

Aug. 25, 2003

For the second year in a row, HSC President Paul B. Ginsburg made Modern Healhcare's 100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare List. To find out who else made the list and why, visit Modern Healthcare.

Click here to access the article. (Registration required)


Fragile but Resilient: Most Community Health Care Safety Nets Stronger

Aug. 20, 2003

Fragile by nature, many community health care safety nets for low-income and uninsured people have grown stronger in recent years thanks to improved business practices and some new funding, according to a study released today by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 66
News Release


HMO Resurgence in Orange County Bucks National Trend

Aug. 14, 2003

Bucking the national retreat from tightly managed care, health maintenance organizations (HMOs) continue to dominate the Orange County, Calif., health care market, according to a new Community Report released today by HSC.

Orange County Community Report
News Release


Has Bioterrorism Preparedness Improved Public Health?

July 30, 2003

The national push to prepare for terrorist attacks has bolstered communities' public health readiness, but concerns are growing that the national smallpox vaccination campaign could detract from traditional core public health activities, according to a study released today by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 65
News Release


African-American Medicare Beneficiaries and the Prescription Drug Gap

July 24, 2003

Elderly African-American Medicare beneficiaries are more than twice as likely as whites to report they can't afford prescription medications, according to a national study released today by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 64
News Release


SCHIP Making Progress: Increased Take-up Contributes to Coverage Gains

July 8, 2003

Previous research based on HSC's Community Tracking Study (CTS) showed that while coverage expansions through the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) greatly increased children's eligibility for public or private health insurance coverage, uninsurance rates remained unchanged because of low take-up by eligible children. However, more recent data show that this is changing.

Journal Article


Little Rock Employers Shift More Health Care Costs to Workers

June 30, 2003

Rapidly rising health insurance premiums are prompting Little Rock employers to shift more costs to workers, whoas a resultare finding coverage to be increasingly difficult to afford, according to a new Community Report released today by HSC.

Little Rock Community Report
News Release


Cost Concerns Grow in Syracuse Despite New Health Plan Competion

June 24, 2003

More health plan consolidation, higher health care costs and persistent hospital difficulties signal increasing concern about the future of the Syracuse health market, according to a new Community Report released today by HSC.

Syracuse Community Report
News Release


Tracking Health Care Costs in 2002

June 11, 2003

Health care spending per privately insured American jumped 9.6 percent in 2002, growing nearly four times faster than the overall U.S. economy, according to a study by HSC published today as a Web-exclusive article in the journal Health Affairs.

Journal Article
Data Bulletin No. 25
News Release


Market Developments Signal Cost Hikes in Greenville

June 3, 2003

The end of exclusive contracts between dominant Greenville Hospital System (GHS) and two major health plans, along with increased hospital expansion, may signal higher health care cost growth in Greenville, S.C., according to a new Community Report released today by HSC.

Greenville Community Report
News Release


Contract Dispute Reaffirms Blues' Dominant Position in Lansing

May 28, 2003

A bitter contract dispute between Lansing's largest health plan and hospital system threatened to disrupt the otherwise stable health care market, but a last-minute reprieve averted a major dislocation of consumers, according to a new Community Report released today by HSC.

Lansing Community Report
New Release


Health Care Market Changes Promise Little Relief From Rising Costs

May 21, 2003

As employers shift more health care costs to workers, hospitals and physiciansunleashed by the retreat of tightly managed careare competing fiercely for profitable specialty services, threatening to drive costs even higher, according to initial findings from HSC's latest round of community site visits.

Issue Brief No. 63 - Health Care Cost and Access Problems Intensify: Initial Findings from HSC's Recent Site Visits
News Release
Community Reports


Physicians: So Much to Do, So Little Time

May 7, 2003

While physicians spent about two additional hours a week on patient care in 2001 than in 1997, more doctors say they don't have enough time with patients, according to a national tracking study released today by HSC.

Tracking Report No. 8 - So Much to Do, So Little Time: Physician Capacity Constraints, 1997-2001
News Release


Specialty Hospital Building Boom Threatens General Hospitals

April 15, 2003

General hospitals fear a rise in physician-owned specialty hospitals will siphon off the most profitable patients, leaving them with the sickest, costliest patients, according to a study released today by HSC. The study was released at an HSC-sponsored conferenceSpecialty Hospitals: Focused Factories or Cream Skimmers?held today in Washington, D.C.

Issue Brief No. 62
News Release
Conference Transcript
PowerPoint Presentation


Rising Costs Dominate Northern New Jersey Health Care Market

March 31, 2003

Higher hospital payment rates and more use of health care services are driving rapid cost increases in northern New Jersey, forcing employers to confront steep health insurance premium increases, according to a new Community Report released today.

Northern New Jersey Community Report
News Release


Economic Boom a Bust for Physician Income

March 26, 2003

Average physician net income from the practice of medicine dropped 5 percent in real dollars between 1995 and 1999, while other skilled professionals average income increased 3.5 percent, according to a national study released today by HSC.

Data Bulletin No. 24
News Release


Seattle's Economic and Budget Woes Threaten Health Coverage Expansions

March 21, 2003

Seattle's struggling economy and rapidly rising health care costs, coupled with a state budget deficit, threaten to unravel recent gains in health insurance coverage, according to a new Community Report released today.

Seattle Community Report
News Release


Most Americans Don't Seek Health Information

March 16, 2003

Contrary to popular belief that Americans avidly seek health information especially on the Internetmore than six out of 10 American adults in 2001 sought no information about a health concern, according to a national study released today by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 61 - Seeking Health Care Information: Most Consumers Still on the Sidelines
News Release


Nichols Testifies on Ways to Address the Uninsured

March 10, 2003

If Congress wants to make headway on reducing the number of Americans without health insurance, it also will have to tackle the problems of waste and uneven quality of care in the current health system, HSC Vice President Len Nichols, Ph.D. told Congress today.

Congressional Testimony
News Release


Intense Competition and Rising Costs Dominate Cleveland's Health Care Market

Feb. 28, 2003

After an aggressive building boom, the two giants of the Cleveland health care marketthe Cleveland Clinic Health System and University Hospitals Health Systemare now vying to attract patients and physicians amid rapidly rising health care costs, according to a new Community Report released today.

Cleveland Community Report
News Release


Ginsburg to FTC: Potential for Competition Limited

Feb. 26, 2003

When employers retreated from tightly managed care, they unwittingly dampened competitive forces to cut costs and improve quality in local health care markets, especially in communities with significant hospital consolidation, HSC President Paul Ginsburg told federal antitrust officials today.

Click here to view the PowerPoint presentation.
News Release
Hearing Transcript
Click here for testimony by additional HSC researchers


Ginsburg Speaks at AAHP Health Policy Conference

Feb. 25, 2003

HSC President Paul B. Ginsburg, Ph.D., opened the American Association of Health Plans' annual health policy conference today, delivering an address titled "Can We Expand Coverage Amid Rising Costs?"

Click here to view the PowerPoint presentation.


Special Edition of Journal Focuses on Local Health Market Changes

Feb 21., 2003

As the rise and fall of managed care reverberated throughout the U.S. health care system in recent years, a roller coaster of change in health care organization and financing occured in local communities, according to research by HSC published in a special edition of Health Services Research.

Click here for a list of the articles.
News Release


Competition Revs Up the Indianapolis Health Care Market

Feb. 18, 2003

Indianapolis hospitals and physicians are competing fiercely over patients and profits from lucrative specialty services, especially cardiac care, according to a new Community Report.

Indianapolis Community Report - Competition Revs Up the Indianapolis Health Care Market
News Release


Nichols Testifies on Association Health Plans

Feb. 5, 2003

Allowing small employers to band together to offer health insurance through association health plans poses risks to insurance market costs and stability, HSC Vice President Len Nichols told Congress today.

Congressional Testimony
News Release


Many Physicians View Treatment Guidelines Positively

Jan. 30, 2003

Sometimes dismissed as "cookie-cutter" medicine, treatment guidelines for specific medical conditions influenced more than half of all U.S. physicians in 2001, and nearly two-thirds of affected physicians viewed guidelines positively, according to a new Issue Brief.

Issue Brief No. 60 - Physicians and Care Management: More Acceptance Than You Think
News Release


Physician Career Satisfaction Varies Across Communities

Jan. 22, 2003

While career satisfaction among physicians nationally has changed little since 1997, there is wide variation in physician satisfaction in communities across the country, according to a study by Harvard Medical School and Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) researchers published in the Jan. 22 Journal of the American Medical Association.

Journal Article Abstract
News Release


Specialist Physicians Back in the Driver's Seat

Jan. 15, 2003

As managed care plans eased restrictions in the late 1990s, the proportion of specialist physicians who believe they have enough control over clinical decisions to meet patients needs jumped sharply between 1997 and 2001, increasing 13 percentage points from 72.7 percent to 85.7 percent, according to a national tracking study released today by HSC.

Tracking Report No. 7 - Back in the Driver's Seat: Specialists Regaining Autonomy
News Release


SCHIP, Medicaid Expansions Lead to Shifts in Children's Coverage

Dec. 19, 2002

Expanded public health insurance eligibility, along with aggressive outreach to enroll eligible children, helped decrease the proportion of low-income, uninsured children in America, according to a new Issue Brief released today.

Issue Brief No. 59 - SCHIP, Medicaid Expansions Lead to Shifts in Children's Coverage
News Release
Research Report No. 7 - The Effects of SCHIP on Children's Health Insurance Coverage
Journal Article


HSC Releases Report from Individual Insurance Conference

Dec. 16, 2002

As policy makers in Washington consider the use of tax credits to encourage uninsured Americans to buy health insurance, researchers and policy experts debated the merits of the individual insurance market at a conference sponsored by HSC and Health Affairs. An Issue Brief summarizing the conference has been released.

Issue Brief No. 58 - The Individual Health Insurance Market: Researchers, Policy Makers Seek Common Ground on Tax Credits for the Uninsured


Mounting Pressures: Physicians Serving Medicaid Patients and the Uninsured

Dec. 5, 2002

The proportion of physicians providing charity care and treating Medicaid patients declined between 1997 and 2001, according to a tracking study released today.

Tracking Report No. 6 - Mounting Pressures: Physicians Serving Medicaid Patients and the Uninsured, 1997-2001
News Release


Despite Backlash, Most Physicians Contract with Managed Care Plans

Nov. 7, 2002

Despite the backlash against managed care, nine out of 10 U.S. physicians continued to contract with at least one managed care plan between 1997 and 2001, according to a study released today by HSC.

Tracking Report No. 5 - Kinder and Gentler: Physicians and Managed Care, 1997-2001
News Release


HSC/Health Affairs Hold Individual Insurance Market Conference

Oct. 23, 2002

HSC and Health Affairs conducted a conference today titled "Individual Health Insurance: Fact, Opinion and Policy" featuring some of the nations leading experts on this topic. Panelists discussed what is working and what is not working in the individual insurance market and examine proposals for change and expansion. The conference was held in conjunction with the release of a Web-exclusive issue of Health Affairs, featuring two articles by HSC researchers.

Journal Articles
Conference Transcript
Kaisernetwork.org Webcast


Small Employers Pare Health Benefits; Increase Worker Costs

Oct. 15, 2002

Rapidly rising health insurance premiums hit small employers particularly hard, prompting many to pay a larger share of premiums, raise copayments and deductibles, reduce benefits and switch insurance, according to a new HSC study. A second study found that health insurance brokers can provide small employers with valuable services, such as obtaining prices for coverage, explaining benefits to employees and resolving claims disputes.

Issue Brief No. 56 - Cutting Back But Not Cutting Out: Small Employers Respond to Premium Increases
Issue Brief No. 57 - The Role of Insurance Brokers: Providing Small Employers with a Helping Hand
News Release


Hill Staffer Joins HSC as Public Affairs Manager for Policy

Oct. 11, 2002

Senate health aide Kyle Kinner, J.D., has joined HSC as a public affairs manager for policy. Kinner most recently served as a legislative assistant to U.S. Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina.

News Release


Spending on Hospital Care Drives Double-Digit Jump in Health Care

Sept. 25, 2002

Spending on health care jumped 10 percent in 2001, the first double-digit increase in more than a decade, according to a study by HSC published today as a Web-exclusive article in the journal Health Affairs.

The findings also are detailed in a new HSC Data BulletinTracking Health Care Costs: Hospital Spending Spurs Double-Digit Increase in 2001.

Journal Article Abstract
Data Bulletin No. 22
News Release
Kaisernetwork.org Webcast


Aging Baby Boomers Play Limited Role in Rising Health Care Cost Trends

Sept. 25, 2002

Contrary to popular belief, the aging of the baby boom generation plays a limited role in rapidly rising health care costs for people under age 65, according to a study released today by HSC.

Data Bulletin No. 23
News Release


Reservations Available for HSC's Health Care Cost Report

Sept. 18, 2002

Health insurance premiums jumped nearly 13 percent in 2002the biggest leap in a decade. Find out what's driving premiums up in the definitive study of health care costs to be released Sept. 25.

Click here to reserve a free copy of the study immediately upon release.


HSC Researcher Speaks at FTC Conference

Sept. 9, 2002

Cara Lesser, senior health researcher and director of HSC's site visits, spoke at the Federal Trade Commission Workshop on Competition in Health Care Markets.

Click here for more information and to access a copy of the presentation.


Declining Access to Physician Services Not Just a Medicare Problem

Sept. 5, 2002

A growing proportion of Medicare beneficiaries and older privately insured people are having problems obtaining medical care and experiencing long waits for physician appointments, according to a study released today by HSC

Issue Brief No. 55 - Growing Physician Access Problems Complicate Medicare Payment Debate
News Release


New Research Looks at Efforts to Improve Quality

Sept. 4, 2002

Three articles have been published in the September/October edition of the journal Health Affairs about quality improvement activities in local health care markets. The articles are based on HSC's 2000-01 site visits to 12 nationally representative communities across the United States. The research offers an early look at community level efforts to improve quality on the part of purchasers, health plans and providers.

Article Abstracts


Ginsburg Named to 100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare List

August 26, 2002

Click here to find out who readers of Modern Healthcare choose along with HSC President Paul B. Ginsburg.


Economic Boom Failed to Boost Employer Coverage for Working Families

August 21, 2002

The proportion of Americans in working families covered by employer-sponsored health insurance remained almost flat between 1997 and 2001, with the recent economic boom only suspending a long and steady decline in employer-sponsored health insurance, according to a national tracking study issued today by HSC.

Tracking Report No. 4 - Working Families' Health Insurance Coverage, 1997-2001
News Release


Consumer Confidence in Health Care on the Rise

August 7, 2002

Privately insured consumers confidence in the health care system increased slightly between 1997 and 2001, signaling that people have noticed the easing of managed care restrictions, according to a national tracking study issued today by HSC.

Tracking Report No. 3 - Who Do You Trust? Americans' Perspectives on Health Care, 1997-2001
News Release


Ginsburg Speaks on Health Care Costs

August 2, 2002

HSC President Paul Ginsburg participated in a luncheon briefing on health care costs and health coverage sponsored by the Alliance for Health Reform. A webcast, which was carried live on C-SPAN, is available from Kaisernetwork.org

Kaisernetwork Webcast


Nichols Speaks at NCSL Annual Meeting

July 29, 2002

HSC Vice President Len Nichols recently spoke about health care costs at the annual meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures. A webcast of the sessionNew Thinking in Health Care Costsis available from Kaisernetwork.org.

Kaisernetwork Webcast


Current Tax Credit Proposals Offer Little Help to Older, Sicker Americans

July 25, 2002

Only about one in 100 uninsured people aged 55-64 in poor health would receive tax credits covering at least half of the estimated cost of an individual health insurance policy under leading congressional and White House proposals, according to a national study issued today by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 53 - Tax Credits and the Affordability of Individual Health Insurance
News Release


HSC's Seventh Annual Wall Street Comes to Washington Roundtable

July 24, 2002

HSC's seventh annual "Wall Street Comes to Washington: Market Watchers and Policy Analysts Evaluate the Health Care System" roundtable was held Tuesday, June 11, 2002. An Issue Brief summarizing the panelists' discussion has been released.

Issue Brief No. 54 - Wall Street Comes to Washington: Market Watchers and Policy Analysts Evaluate the Health Care Market
News Release
Conference Transcript
Click here for the kaisernetwork.org webcast, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation.


HSC Releases 2001 Annual Report

July 12, 2002

The reportNavigating a Changing Health System: Mapping Today's Markets for Policy Makersfeatures essays by HSC's President Paul Ginsburg and Vice President Len Nichols.


New Study Shows Changes in Health Plan-Provider Risk Contracting

July 9, 2002

Over the past several years many health plans adopted risk-contracting arrangements that transferred financial risk and care management responsibilty to physician groups and hospital-sponsored integrated delivery systems. A decline in reliance on risk contracting is evident in nearly all of the markets in HSC's Community Tracking Study, according to a study published in the July/August issue of Health Affairs.

Article Abstract


Physician Researcher Joins HSC

July 1, 2002

Hoangmai H. Pham, M.D., M.P.H., a general internal medicine fellow at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, has joined the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) as a physician researcher.

News Release


Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Physicians Now Online

June 23, 2002

Want to find out how many hours of charity care physicians typically provide? Or whether doctors believe they can spend enough time with their patients? How about the percentage of physicians earning more than $300,000 a year? HSC's new CTSonline system provides easy access to CTS Physician Survey results.

CTSonline
News Release


Health Insurance Gap Plays Major Role in Minority Access-to-Care Disparities

June 19, 2002

Ethnic and racial disparities in access to medical care among uninsured working-age Americans are much greater than disparities among insured people, according to a national tracking study issued today by HSC.

Tracking Report No. 2 - The Insurance Gap and Minority Health, 1997-2001
News Release


Ginsburg Points to 2001 Hospital Spending Increase

June 18, 2002

Strong demand and higher prices for hospital care helped drive overall 2001 health care spending increases to the highest level in a decade, HSC President Paul Ginsburg told Congress Tuesday.

News Release
Written Testimony


Reversal of Fortune: Medicare+Choice Collides With Market Forces

May 22, 2002

As policy makers consider stopgap measures to prop up Medicares struggling managed care program, Medicare+Choice, a new HSC study indicates longer-term reforms need to reflect broader market conditions that influence health plans decisions to participate.

News Release
Issue Brief No. 52 - Reversal of Fortune: Medicare+Choice Collides With Market Forces


Rising Health Care Costs Might Spark Resurgence of HMOs

May 14, 2002

Cost considerationsnot whether people are healthy or sickplay a major role in privately insured people's decision to enroll in health maintenance organizations (HMOs) when they have a choice of health plans, according to an HSC study published in the May/June edition of the journal Health Affairs.

News Release
Journal Abstract


Sick People in For-Profit HMOs Less Satisfied with Health Care

April 25, 2002

Sick people enrolled in for-profit health maintenance organizations (HMOs) were less satisfied with their care, had higher out-of-pocket costs and rated their interactions with physicians lower than similar people in nonprofit HMOs, according to a study by HSC researchers published in the April 25 New England Journal of Medicine.

News Release
Article Abstract


More Than 1 in 4 Medicaid Beneficiaries Can't Afford Prescription Drugs

April 9, 2002

Medicaid beneficiaries in states with aggressive prescription-drug cost controls are twice as likely to report they can't afford medications as people in states with less stringent policies, according to a new HSC Issue Brief.

News Release
Issue Brief No. 51 - Prescription Drug Access: Not Just a Medicare Problem
Research Report No. 5 - Affording Prescription Drugs: Not Just a Problem for the Elderly
Kaisernetwork Webcast


One in Seven Americans Faces Problems Getting Needed Medical Care

March 21, 2002

More than 41 million Americans reported problems getting needed medical care in 2001, and nearly two-thirds cited cost as the reason, according to a new national tracking study issued today by HSC.

News Release
Tracking Report No. 1 - Treading Water: Americans' Access to Needed Medical Care, 1997-2001
Kaisernetwork Webcast


State Health Policy Makers Value Research Relevance and Timeliness

March 12, 2002

Nearly half of the health policy research coming over the transom of state policy makers lacks relevance to current debates, and more than a third goes unread by overwhelmed officials, according to a new HSC study published in the March/April edition of the journal Health Affairs.

News Release
Article Abstract


Ginsburg Cautions Medicare Beneficiary Access to Physicians Slipping

Feb. 28, 2002

Fewer physicians accepting new Medicare patients, longer waits for appointments and physicians working more hours are all telltale signs that Medicare beneficiaries access to physicians is slipping, Paul B. Ginsburg, Ph.D., HSC president, told Congress today.

News Release
Opening Statement
Written Testimony


HSC Launches New Web Site

Feb. 26, 2002

HSC has made a number of improvements to enhance the site's speed and appearance and to make it even easier to find the HSC research and information you need. Major changes include a restructured Policy Research navigation, a new CTS Data section and an improved search function.


Triple Jeopardy: Low Income, Chronically Ill and Uninsured in America

Feb. 20, 2002

At least 7.4 million working-age Americans with chronic conditionsincluding diabetes, heart disease and depressionlacked health insurance in 1999, according to a new HSC study. And two-thirds also had low incomes, putting them in triple jeopardy.

News Release
Issue Brief No. 49 - Triple Jeopardy: Low Income, Chronically Ill and Uninsured in America
Issue Brief No. 50 - Options for Expanding Health Insurance for People with Chronic Conditions


Most Physicians Dont Face Financial Incentives Perceived to Conflict with Patients Interests

Jan. 22, 2002

Physicians are more likely to face direct financial incentives aimed at improving patient care than incentives that might curtail needed care, according to a new HSC Issue Brief.

News Release
Issue Brief No. 48 - Physicians More Likely to Face Quality Incentives Than Incentives That May Restrain Care


Richard Sorian Joins HSC as Public Affairs Director and Senior Researcher

Jan. 8, 2002

Richard Sorian, currently a senior researcher at Georgetown Universitys Institute for Health Care Research and Policy, will join the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) on Feb. 1 as director of public affairs and senior researcher.

News Release


Premium Subsidies for Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance

Dec. 18, 2001

Only about 500,000 of the 16 million people working in small firms not currently offering health insurance would gain coverage through a 30 percent employer-targeted premium subsidy, according to a new HSC study. Yet, some state and local officials are hopeful subsidies can leverage public and private funding to expand coverage, a second HSC study shows.

News Release
Issue Brief No. 46 - Employer Health Insurance Premium Subsidies Unlikely to Enhance Coverage Significantly
Issue Brief No. 47 - Premium Subsidies for Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage: An Emerging State and Local Strategy


HSC's Conference on Emerging Local Market Trends

Dec. 10, 2001

HSC's "Emerging Health Care Market Trends: Insights from Communities" conference was held on December 10. A transcript and other conference information can be found here.


Consumers Face Higher Costs as Health Plans Move to Slow Drug Spending

Nov. 14, 2001

Insured consumers used to paying $5 or $10 for prescription drugs increasingly may face sticker shock at pharmacy counters as health plans take more aggressive steps to control rapidly rising drug costs, according to a new HSC Issue Brief.

News Release
Issue Brief No. 45 - Consumers Face Higher Costs as Health Plans Seek to Control Drug Spending.


Local Outreach Key to Enrolling Children in Public Health Insurance

Oct. 31, 2001

Local outreach efforts led by health care providers, schools, employers and community and religious groups can play important roles in identifying children who are eligible for public health insurance but not enrolled, according to a new HSC Issue Brief.

News Release
Issue Brief No. 44 - Communities Play Key Role in Extending Public Health Insurance to Children


Tracking Health Care Costs

Sept. 26, 2001

Contrary to conventional wisdom, hospital spending -- not prescription drugs -- accounted for the largest share of increased health care costs in 2000, according to an HSC study published on HealthAffairs.org as a Web-exclusive article.

News Release
Data Bulletin No. 21 - Tracking Health Care Costs
Article Abstract


Sixth Annual Wall Street Comes to Washington Conference

Sept. 26, 2001

A new Issue Brief is now available summarizing the discussion at HSC's sixth annual "Wall Street Comes to Washington: Market Watchers and Policy Analysts Evaluate the Health Care System" roundtable held in July 2001.

Issue Brief No. 43 - Wall Street Comes to Washington

News Release
Conference Transcript
Click here for the audio webcast


Proportion of Physicians Providing Charity Care Drops

Aug. 23, 2001

New HSC Issue Brief shows the proportion of physicians providing charity care dropped from 76 percent to 72 percent between 1997 and 1999, raising concerns that access to care for poor and uninsured people could decline in the future.

News Release
Issue Brief No. 42 - Physicians Pulling Back from Charity Care


Minority Physicians Face More Difficulties Obtaining Needed Care for Patients

Aug. 9, 2001

African-American and Hispanic physicians are much more likely than white physicians to report being unable to obtain needed hospital admissions and specialty referrals for patients, according to an HSC study published in Medscape General Medicine. You will have to register at the Medscape site for free access to the article and editorial.

News Release
Article Abstract
Medscape Article
Medscape Editorial


HSC Issues 2000 Annual Report

July 27, 2001

The report -- Analyzing the Changing Health System: The Path Taken and the Road Beyond -- features an essay by HSC President Paul B. Ginsburg and highlights HSC's new policy research focus on private insurance coverage, access to care for the uninsured and managed care and market trends.


Sixth Annual Wall Street Comes to Washington Conference

July 12, 2001

HSC's sixth annual "Wall Street Comes to Washington: Market Watchers and Policy Analysts Evaluate the Health Care System" roundtable was held Thursday, July 12, 2001.

News Release
Conference Transcript
Click here for the audio webcast


Health Plan-Provider Contract Showdowns Trigger Network Instability

June 28, 2001

HSC releases two new Issue Briefs describing the growing trends of plan-provider showdowns and the resulting network instability. Consumers may face higher costs, threats to caregiver choice and anxiety as plans scramble to maintain networks.

News Release
Issue Brief No. 39 - Network Instability
Issue Brief No. 40 - Plan-Provider Showdowns


HCFO Seeks Research Proposals Using HSC's Community Tracking Study

The Changes in Health Care Financing and Organization Program (HCFO) is requesting proposals to conduct research and analyses using data sets from the HSC's Community Tracking Study. Proposals are due Aug. 31, 2001. More information is available at the HCFO Web site.

These are the CTS data sets that are included in this solicitation:

Household Survey
Physician Survey
Followback Survey
Employer Survey


New HSC Book Examines Health System Change

June 7, 2001

Consumer backlash against managed care has sparked considerable changes in the U.S. health care system. What are these changes and what are their implications for consumers and public policy. Find out in Understanding Health System Change: Local Markets, National Trends, edited by HSC's Paul Ginsburg and Cara Lesser. The book is available at the Health Administration Press website.


Emergency Room Diversions: A Symptom of Hospitals Under Stress

May 9, 2001

Too many patients, too few beds and a severe nursing shortage mean hospitals across the country must increasingly divert critically ill patients to other emergency rooms, according to a new HSC study.

News Release
Issue Brief No. 38 - Emergency Room Diversions


Gaps in Preventive Care Narrow Between African-Americans and Whites; Hispanics Lag Behind

January 16, 2001

New HSC study finds that longstanding disparities in preventive care between whites and African-Americans are narrowing, but Hispanics continue to receive significantly less preventive care than both groups.

Issue Brief No. 34

News Releases


At the Brink: How Harvard Pilgrim Got in Trouble

December 18, 2000

HSC followed the Harvard Pilgrim story closely as part of its continuous tracking of Boston, and produced a publication that puts this event in broader context. This document discusses the causes of the plans financial problem and the states response, which has preserved the organization.

Issue Brief No. 33


44% of Health Care Cost Increase Attributable to Pharmaceutical Spending

November 13, 2000

Nearly half of health care cost increases in 1999 were due to increased prescription drug spending, according to an HSC study published this month in Health Affairs. The study, "Tracking Health Care Costs: Inflation Returns" also addresses the sharp increase of premium rates that outpaced the increases in underlying cost, thus marking a turn in the insurance underwriting cycle.

Data Bulletin No. 20

News Releases


Percentage of Uninsured Children Dropping in Some Communities

October 31, 2000

Boston, Little Rock and Syracuse saw a significant decline in the percentage of uninsured children between 1996-97 and 1998-99 even though the national percentage did not change, according to a new HSC study.

Data Bulletin No. 19

News Releases


Overall, Negative Views About HMOs Bias Consumer Ratings

September 8, 2000

Newly released HSC research suggests that most surveys overstate differences in how people in HMOs versus other types of plans rate their care.

Issue Brief No. 30

News Releases


HSC Launches New, Dynamic Web Site

August 30, 2000

A topically driven web site was launched today by HSC to make its growing number of analyses more accessible.

News Releases


Community Safety Nets Stretching to Catch Immigrant Patients

Feb. 28, 2006

With the federal government opting to provide little health care aid to legal and illegal immigrants alike, communities across the country are stretching already-strained safety nets to care for more immigrant patients, according to a study released today by HSC.

Issue Brief No. 104
News Releases


 

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