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News about Health Services Research

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  • Sources and Burden of Opioid Deaths - (National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation) - May 22, 2019 Details

    The opioid crisis intensified from 2016 to 2017 despite public and private sector efforts to prevent addiction and increase access to treatment. This infographic highlights key findings developed from the latest CDC data.


  • Expanding Postpartum Medicaid Coverage - (Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF)) - May 22, 2019 Details

    This brief discusses Medicaid’s eligibility for pregnancy and postpartum care, describes gaps in coverage particularly for low-income women who live in states that have not expanded Medicaid under the ACA, and highlights several state and federal efforts to extend postpartum coverage to more women for a longer period of time.













  • Marketplace Pulse: Medicaid Managed Care Organizations in the Individual Market - (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)) - May 21, 2019 Details

    A recent analysis by the Urban Institute notes that benchmark premiums are lower in states where Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (MMCOs) participate in the marketplace. MMCO participation may also improve continuity of care for enrollees who switch between Medicaid and marketplace plans as their income fluctuates.



  • Rapid Opioid Cutoff Is Risky Too, Feds Warn - (Pew Charitable Trusts) - May 21, 2019 Details

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration last month warned prescribers that abruptly cutting off high-dose patients or tapering their doses too rapidly could cause withdrawal and even suicide.




  • The Promise of Adolescence: Realizing Opportunity for All Youth (2019) - (National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM)) - May 20, 2019 Details

    This report examines the neurobiological and socio-behavioral science of adolescent development and outlines how this knowledge can be applied, both to promote adolescent well-being, resilience, and development, and to rectify structural barriers and inequalities in opportunity, enabling all adolescents to flourish.


  • Opioid Prescriptions Drop Sharply Among State Workers - (Kaiser Health News (KHN)) - May 20, 2019 Details

    The agency that manages health care for California’s massive state workforce is reporting a major reduction in opioid prescriptions, reflecting a national trend of physicians cutting back on the addictive drugs.




  • Medicaid Demonstrations: Approvals of Major Changes Need Increased Transparency - (U.S. Government Accountability Office) - May 20, 2019 Details

    GAO was asked to examine the transparency of Section 1115 demonstration approvals. Among other things, this report examines CMS's transparency policies and procedures for new demonstrations and extensions, and amendments to existing demonstrations. To review a variety of approval types across a large number of states, GAO examined all approvals of new demonstrations and extensions of and amendments to existing demonstrations granted from January 2017 through May 2018. GAO also conducted in-depth reviews of one approval in each of seven states, selected to include at least two approvals of each type.


  • The Special Diabetes Program for Indians: Estimates of Medicare Savings (May 2019) - (Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH), HHS) - May 17, 2019 Details

    SDPI is a $150 million/year grant program that currently provides funding to 301 Indian health programs for diabetes prevention and treatment services. This paper estimates the potential savings to the Medicare program that accrued from the reduction in cases of end-stage renal disease during 2006-2015, in order to gain a better understanding of the potential savings that have resulted from SDPI.


  • Opioids in Appalachia: The Role of Counties in Reversing a Regional Epidemic (May 2019) - (Appalachian Regional Commission) - May 17, 2019 Details

    This report aims to strengthen the local response to the opioid epidemic in Appalachia by presenting an analysis of its impacts on the region, followed by recommendations for local action. These recommendations are discussed in five sections: (1) leadership, (2) prevention, (3) recovery, (4) rehabilitation for justice-involved individuals and (5) economic development. Each recommendation section includes one or more case studies featuring an Appalachian county.



  • Status of Protections in the U.S. for Victims of Domestic Violence in Same-Sex Relationships (March 2019) - (Network for Public Health Law) - May 17, 2019 Details

    Obergefell held that: (1) the right to marry is a fundamental right protected under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment; (2) same-sex couples may not be deprived of that right; and (3) states must recognize lawful same-sex marriages performed in other states. This issue brief (1) examines the various approaches taken by states in implementing the Obergefell decision; (2) demonstrates how the various approaches may impact or implicate the applicability of domestic violence statutes to unmarried victims in same-sex relationships; (3) outlines the potential enforcement issues of existing domestic violence statutes as applied to unmarried victims in same-sex relationships; and (4) examines certain non-legal barriers to accessing domestic violence protections for victims.


  • Pathways to Stable Homes: Promoting Caregiver and Child Health Through Housing Stability - (Children's HealthWatch) - May 17, 2019 Details

    In search of a way to complement efforts to build more affordable homes in Massachusetts and ensure the state’s working families can avoid health damaging toxic trade-offs between rent and other basic necessities, Children’s HealthWatch developed a strategy named “Pathways to Stable Homes”. This strategy emerged and evolved out of feedback and information from multiple sources, including a listening tour, simulation modeling, and a healthcare cost analysis.


  • A Tell-All on Telehealth: Where Is Congress Heading Next? - (Commonwealth Fund) - May 17, 2019 Details

    Recent federal policy changes suggest a broader application of telehealth in Medicare in the near term. These changes span new legislative authorizations, enhanced regulatory flexibilities, and testing of innovative approaches through demonstrations.


  • Medications for Opioid Use Disorder Save Lives (2019) - (National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM)) - May 17, 2019 Details

    To support the dissemination of accurate patient-focused information about treatments for addiction, and to help provide scientific solutions to the current opioid crisis, this report studies the evidence base on medication assisted treatment (MAT) for OUD. It examines available evidence on the range of parameters and circumstances in which MAT can be effectively delivered and identifies additional research needed.



  • Visualizing Health Equity: One Size Does Not Fit All Infographic - (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)) - May 17, 2019 Details

    To build a Culture of Health, we must first ensure everyone has the basics to be healthy. And when it comes to expanding opportunities for health, thinking the same approach will work universally is like expecting everyone to be able to ride the same bike. Download and share this image to #PromoteHealthEquity, and help create a shared vision of better health for all.


  • HHS Establishing Interdepartmental Substance Use Disorders Coordinating Committee, Seeking Member Nominations - (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)) - May 16, 2019 Details

    Adm. Brett P. Giroir, M.D., Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Health and Senior Advisor to the Secretary for Opioid Policy, announced today the creation of a new committee to identify areas for improved coordination related to substance use disorder (SUD) research, services, supports and prevention activities across all relevant federal agencies. HHS, in coordination with the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), is seeking members for the Interdepartmental Substance Use Disorders Coordinating Committee, which was authorized by the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act Public Law 115-271. Applications are due June 14, 2019.




  • Leveraging information technology to address Health Disparities - (National Institutes of Health (NIH), HHS) - May 15, 2019 Details

    In the Medical Care June supplement, “Addressing Health Disparities Through the Utilization of Health Information Technology,” authors discuss the potential application of health IT in reducing disparities by increasing access to care, improving quality of healthcare and by promoting better patient-clinician communication.


  • Easier Access to Naloxone Linked to Fewer Opioid Deaths - (National Institutes of Health (NIH), HHS) - May 15, 2019 Details

    Between 2013 and 2016, nine states instituted laws that give pharmacists direct authority to dispense naloxone to anyone without a prescription. However, the impact of such changes has remained rather unclear. Now, an NIH-funded analysis has found that within a couple of years of these new laws taking effect, fatal opioid overdoses in these states fell significantly.





  • Promoting Interoperability: Roles for Commercial Payers - (New England Journal of Medicine) - May 13, 2019 Details

    Providers and payers must collaboratively meet the demands for data exchange within the ongoing transformation in health care. Nevertheless, public and commercial payers have a unique set of levers to shift the value proposition and expectations for data sharing, security, and compliance to standards. Payers may incentivize maturation and adoption of recognized standards, stimulate demand for interoperability through value-based contracts, and facilitate access and secure exchange of personal health data.






  • Drug Policy: Assessing Treatment Expansion Efforts and Drug Control Strategies and Programs - (U.S. Government Accountability Office) - May 13, 2019 Details

    This statement includes information from GAO's 2016 and 2017 reports on access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder, including selected recommendation updates as of May 2019. It also includes information from GAO's March 2019 testimony with preliminary observations on the 2019 National Drug Control Strategy and on GAO's ongoing work regarding ONDCP's efforts.



  • Opioid Addiction: Meeting the Need for Treatment in Michigan (April 2019) - (University of Michigan) - May 13, 2019 Details

    This policy brief uses data from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Michigan Public Policy Survey (MPPS), an ongoing survey of the leaders of Michigan’s general purpose local governments (all counties, cities, townships, and villages) to examine drug treatment needs across Michigan counties and makes policy recommendations for increasing access to evidence based care.


  • Spotlight on North Carolina: Best Practices and Next Steps in the Opioid Epidemic (May 2019) - (American Medical Association (AMA)) - May 13, 2019 Details

    In this analysis of North Carolina, researchers review the state’s progress in Medicaid and the commercial insurance market in substance use disorder (SUD) treatment, pain management and efforts to increase access to naloxone; and identify options for further building on these gains, drawing on emerging strategies from around the country.





  • A System-Level Approach to Addressing Health-Harming Legal and Social Needs (April 2019) - (National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership) - May 10, 2019 Details

    This case study is an outgrowth of a January 2018 webinar and a September 2018 site visit, both of which delved into the inner-workings of the NYC Health + Hospitals-LegalHealth partnership for the purpose of understanding (1) how the use of patient-facing legal services fits into NYC Health + Hospitals leadership’s overall mission and (2) how LegalHealth structures a variety of legal clinics across the NYC Health + Hospitals system to meet the legal needs of many different types of marginalized patients.


  • 2017 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey Early Look - (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS) - May 09, 2019 Details

    A new report presents a demographic portrait of the Medicare population residing in the community. The results presented here provide an opportunity to preview data in the upcoming MCBS Survey File release.




  • Kaiser Family Foundation/LA Times Survey Of Adults With Employer-Sponsored Insurance - (Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF)) - May 09, 2019 Details

    The Survey Of Adults With Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance – the first partnership project conducted jointly by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Los Angeles Times – explores the attitudes and experiences of adults with employer-sponsored health insurance (ESI), including views of their health plans and affordability challenges related to premiums, deductibles, and unexpected medical bills.


  • KFF Poll: Public Opinion and Knowledge on Reproductive Health Policy - (Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF)) - May 09, 2019 Details

    In this poll, KFF examines public opinion towards many different facets of reproductive health care, with a focus on recent changes to federal reproductive health policy made by the Trump administration. In particular, the administration recently finalized major changes to the Title X program, which provides federal funding for family planning services for lower-income people.



  • State Pathways to Integrated Care: Exploring Options for Medicare-Medicaid Integration - May 08, 2019 Details

    To help state Medicaid programs better serve their dually eligible populations, the Integrated Care Resource Center has developed a decision tool, State Pathways to Integrated Care. This tool describes: (1) foundational steps states can take to better understand their dually eligible populations; (2) how state Medicaid administrative processes can be modified to improve access to care; and (3) available Medicare-Medicaid integration options and how states can chart a path toward integration.






  • Vital Signs: Pregnancy-Related Deaths, United States, 2011–2015, and Strategies for Prevention, 13 States, 2013–2017 - (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)) - May 08, 2019 Details

    Among pregnancy-related deaths for which timing was known, 31.3% deaths occurred during pregnancy, 16.9% on the day of delivery, 18.6% on days 1–6 postpartum, 21.4% on days 7–42 postpartum, and 11.7% on days 43–365 postpartum. Leading causes of death varied by timing relative to the end of pregnancy. Approximately three in five pregnancy-related deaths were preventable. Contributing factors can be categorized at the community, health facility, patient, provider, and system levels.


  • NIH facilitates first Tribal data-sharing agreement with Navajo Nation - (National Institutes of Health (NIH), HHS) - May 08, 2019 Details

    The National Institutes of Health has facilitated a data-sharing and use agreement between the Navajo Nation and NIH grantees of the Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Program, which was ratified yesterday in a ceremony at the Navajo Nation Head Start Center in Leupp, Arizona.




  • Informing Early Childhood Health Policy - (Health Affairs) - May 07, 2019 Details

    A cluster of articles in a RWJF-supported issue of Health Affairs provides further evidence that food insecurity, housing instability, low income, and other factors have on early childhood development.


  • The Social Determinants of Health and the Decline in U.S. Life Expectancy: Implications for Appalachia - (University of Kentucky) - May 07, 2019 Details

    For the past century, life expectancy in industrialized countries has increased, and the U.S. has shared in that progress. However, beginning in the 1980s, advances in U.S. life expectancy began to lose pace with peer countries. By 1998, U.S. life expectancy had fallen below the average for Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development nations. U.S. life expectancy peaked in 2014 and has been decreasing for three consecutive years, a trend not been seen since the influenza pandemic a century ago. Put simply, U.S. health is in decline.


  • Meth Vs. Opioids: America Has Two Drug Epidemics, But Focuses On One - (Kaiser Health News (KHN)) - May 07, 2019 Details

    While public health officials have focused on the opioid epidemic in recent years, another epidemic has been brewing quietly, but vigorously, behind the scenes. Methamphetamine use is surging in parts of the U.S., particularly the West, leaving first responders and addiction treatment providers struggling to handle a rising need.



  • Community-Based Health Information System Guide: Approaches and Tools for Development - (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, MEASURE Evaluation) - May 06, 2019 Details

    A community-based health information system (CBHIS) is a dynamic system that includes information on how data are collected, how they flow, how to assess and improve their quality, and how they are used. This system involves collection, management, and analysis of data on health and related services provided to communities outside of facilities. This guide focuses on approaches, tools, and action items for developing areas under the enabling environment to work towards a harmonized health information system.



  • What’s Driving High Disenrollment in Medicare Advantage? - (Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.) - May 03, 2019 Details

    Study used 3 years of data published by CMS to examine the characteristics of Medicare Advantage contracts with high disenrollment rates from 2015 to 2017 and the relationship between disenrollment rates in MA contracts and 6 patient experiences of care performance measures.


  • Drug Overdose Deaths Involving Cocaine and Psychostimulants with Abuse Potential — United States, 2003–2017 - (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)) - May 03, 2019 Details

    From 2016 to 2017, death rates involving cocaine and psychostimulants increased across age groups, racial/ethnic groups, county urbanization levels, and multiple states. Death rates involving cocaine and psychostimulants, with and without opioids, have increased. Synthetic opioids appear to be the primary driver of cocaine-involved death rate increases, and recent data point to increasing synthetic opioid involvement in psychostimulant-involved deaths.



  • State Strategies for Averting Early Deaths: Innovations and Best Practices for Preventing Suicide (April 2019) - (National Governors Assocation Center for Best Practices) - May 03, 2019 Details

    The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center), in partnership with CDC and SAMHSA, convened 13 states in March 2018— Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming — to discuss innovative approaches to suicide prevention. Lessons learned, resources and concrete initiatives shared at the convening are presented in the sections that follow.


  • Palliative Care State Policymaker Summit Request for Applications - (National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP)) - May 03, 2019 Details

    The National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) and The John A. Hartford Foundation are excited to offer state policymakers an informative, day-long summit designed to improve access to and quality of palliative care services in their states, followed by ongoing support and expertise. The Palliative Care State Policymaker Summit, on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019, in Chicago, will bring together teams of state officials from up to 10 states for information sharing, discussion, and problem solving related to palliative care policies and programs. Applications are due May 23, 2019.






  • New Naloxone Laws Seek to Prevent Opioid Overdoses - (Pew Charitable Trusts) - May 02, 2019 Details

    In the last five years, at least 46 states and the District of Columbia enacted so-called good Samaritan laws, allowing private citizens to administer the overdose-reversal medication without legal liability. And all but four states — Connecticut, Idaho, Nebraska and Oregon — have called on pharmacies to provide the easy-to-administer medication to anyone who wants it without a prescription, according to the Network for Public Health Law. But a handful of states are going even further by requiring doctors to give or at least offer a prescription for the overdose rescue drug to patients taking high doses of opioid painkillers.


  • Reducing Cancer Among Native Populations: Models for Research, Prevention, and Treatment - (Rural Health Information Hub) - May 02, 2019 Details

    Along with genetic predisposition, environmental exposures, cultural influences, diet, and substance use, the lack of access to medical information and services has also contributed to the high AI/AN cancer mortality rates. However, researchers, nonprofits, tribal healthcare facilities, and cancer centers are stepping up to address these factors and create solutions. Across the nation, models for cancer research dissemination, prevention, and treatment are emerging to engage Native populations in cancer care.


  • Rural Obstetric Services: Access, Workforce, and Impact - (Rural Health Research Gateway) - May 01, 2019 Details

    This resource presents current hospital-based obstetric closure rates and characteristics of rural communities without and losing obstetric services, as well as the impact of limited access on maternal and child health.




  • A Blueprint for Changemakers: Achieving Health Equity Through Law & Policy - (ChangeLab Solutions) - May 01, 2019 Details

    This new resource presents legal strategies and best practices to help policymakers, practitioners, and communities improve health outcomes. The Blueprint outlines ways to leverage the unique power and efficacy of local policy solutions, incorporate health in all policies, and engage diverse community members in the policy process. At its core, the Blueprint focuses on comprehensive strategies to address the fundamental drivers of health inequities.


  • Aligning Quality Measures across Payers: Lessons from State Innovation Models - (State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC)) - May 01, 2019 Details

    Brief examines the work of five state innovation model (SIM) states to develop common measure sets that align quality measures across private and public payers—a strategy aimed at reducing administrative burdens on providers and giving focus to quality improvement efforts.


  • Consumer-Centric Evaluation of Healthcare Price and Quality Transparency Tools - (Altarum Institute) - May 01, 2019 Details

    This study employed a unique approach designed to emulate consumers’ real-world experience of trying to schedule needed healthcare. Using six common, non-emergency medical scenarios, researchers tested six highly ranked healthcare transparency tools with real consumers and evaluated their ability to navigate the tools to get desired information.








  • Why Don't More Medicaid Insurers Sell Plans in ACA Marketplaces? - (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)) - Apr 30, 2019 Details

    The authors analyze the possibility of convincing more Medicaid insurers to participate in the marketplaces and the impact that would have on lowering marketplace premiums. The findings come from interviews with Medicaid managed care organization leaders and help explain why some potential participants in Medicaid managed care have been reluctant to offer coverage on ACA marketplaces.


  • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation 2018 Report to Congress (April 2019) - (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS) - Apr 30, 2019 Details

    Between October 1, 2016 and September 30, 2018, the CMS Innovation Center announced or tested 36 payment and service delivery models and initiatives under section 1115A authority. In addition, it conducted eight congressionally mandated or authorized demonstration projects. The CMS Innovation Center also played a central role in the implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) during the period of this report.