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Category Archives: Health Care

Medicare Provider Utilization and Payment Data: Physician and Other Supplier

“As part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to make our healthcare system more transparent, affordable, and accountable, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has prepared a public data set, the Medicare Provider Utilization and Payment Data: Physician and Other Supplier Public Use File (Physician and Other Supplier PUF), with information on services andContinue Reading

New GAO Report – College and Career Readiness, Health Care, Hurricane Sandy, Aviation Securrity

College-and-Career Readiness: States Have Made Progress in Implementing New Standards and Assessments, but Challenges Remain, GAO-15-104R: Published: Dec 12, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 12, 2014. Grant Program Consolidations: Lessons Learned and Implications for Congressional Oversight, GAO-15-125: Published: Dec 12, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 12, 2014. Grants Management: Programs at HHS and HUD Collect Administrative Cost Information butContinue Reading

CFPB Spotlights Concerns with Medical Debt Collection and Reporting

“…the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a report that found medical debt has a significant impact on consumer credit, as 43 million Americans have overdue medical debt on their credit reports. The CFPB is concerned that the systems for incurring, collecting, and reporting medical debt can create difficult challenges for consumers. To better addressContinue Reading

Predicting the Fallout from King v. Burwell – Exchanges and the ACA

Predicting the Fallout from King v. Burwell — Exchanges and the ACA – Nicholas Bagley, J.D., David K. Jones, Ph.D., and Timothy Stoltzfus Jost, J.D., December 10, 2014. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1414191. “The U.S. Supreme Court’s surprise announcement on November 7 that it would hear King v. Burwell  [759 F.3d 358] struck fear in the hearts of supporters of theContinue Reading

Patients Prescribed Narcotic Painkillers Use More of Them for Longer, Study Finds

New York Times: “While a major public health campaign has had some success in reducing the number of people who take potentially addictive narcotic painkillers, those patients who are prescribed the drugs are getting more of them for a longer time, according to a new study. Nearly half the people who took the painkillers for overContinue Reading

Older Americans With a Disability: 2008−2012

Older Americans With a Disability: 2008−2012 – American Community Survey Reports “Disability, as defined by the Americans With Disabilities Act, is an individual’s physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of that individual.1Studies consistently find that disability rates rise with age (Altman and Bernstein, 2008; Brault, 2012). Beyond age 65, the oldest old (aged 85 and over) are at highestContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Children’s Health Insurance, Federal Data Transparency, VA Health Care, Broadband Internet

Children’s Health Insurance: Cost, Coverage, and Access Considerations for Extending Federal Funding, GAO-15-268T: Published: Dec 3, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 3, 2014. Federal Data Transparency: Effective Implementation of the DATA Act Would Help Address Government-wide Management Challenges and Improve Oversight, GAO-15-241T: Published: Dec 3, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 3, 2014. VA Health Care: Improvements Needed to ManageContinue Reading

Diabetes State Atlas Now Available Online

“CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation announces the launch of the Diabetes State Atlas (available athttp://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/data), an interactive Internet tool for the public to view maps and charts of diabetes data and trends at the U.S. state level. Some of the features of the atlas include 1) customizable maps and graphics of diabetes surveillance data, 2)Continue Reading

New GAO Reports – Private Health Insurance, Regional Missile Defense

Private Health Insurance: Concentration of Enrollees among Individual, Small Group, and Large Group Insurers from 2010 through 2013, GAO-15-101R: Published: Dec 1, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 1, 2014. Regional Missile Defense: DOD’s 2014 Report Generally Addressed Required Reporting Elements, but Excluded Additional Key Details, GAO-15-32: Published: Dec 1, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 1, 2014.

Global AgeWatch Index ranks countries by how well their older populations are faring

“HelpAge International’s Global AgeWatch Index ranks countries by how well their ageing populations are faring. It is based on four domains that are key enablers of older people’s wellbeing: income, health, capability and enabling environment…The world is ageing fast. By 2030, there will be more people over 60 than under 10. Already there are moreContinue Reading

NIH scientists determine how environment contributes to several human diseases

“Using a new imaging technique, National Institutes of Health researchers have found that the biological machinery that builds DNA can insert molecules into the DNA strand that are damaged as a result of environmental exposures. These damaged molecules trigger cell death that produces some human diseases, according to the researchers. The work, appearing online Nov. 17Continue Reading

November 2014 Vital Signs Issue: HIV Care Saves Lives

“Viral suppression is key for people living with HIV. Viral suppression means having very low levels of HIV in the body, even though the virus is still there. Achieving viral suppression by taking HIV medicines allows people living with HIV to have nearly normal lifespans and greatly reduces their chances of transmitting the virus. WhileContinue Reading