Home » Blog
03/11/2014 Obesity in Michigan: What Can We Do?
obesity bariatric surgery intensive behavioral therapy mental health aca affordable care act access sympsoium obamacare narrow networks reference pricing contraceptive exchange health reform health insurance exchanges marketplace fqhc safety net decision making patient engagement electronic health records cms electronic medical records health care cost medicaid michigan small business oregon depression readmissions aco health care costs costs medicare health policy exchanges politics wellness programs rules election courts coverage dual-eligible funding cheboygan memorial communication scotus employers poverty variation cost use quality research policy health insurance acos hmos essential benefits reform sgr congress drugs class long term care va e-prescribing emrs patient safety states for-profit nonprofit block grant tanf welfare reform hospice end of life non-profit evidence-based care waste washtenaw county uninsured population health managed care cancer end-of-life care individual mandate ryan proposal pharmaceutical industry r & d comparative effectiveness research evidence based care quality improvement collaborative quality initiatives cqi pharmaceuticals regulations prematurity heath reform antibiotics overuse geographic variation medical appropriateness health websites imrt radiation therapy medical errors constitutionality translate health care economics rationing insurance regulation incentives cardiology pcmh health disparities british health care system guidelines radiology pain early childhood physician employment dartmouth atlas cover michigan health care coverage insurance preventive care public health
Why does health care cost so much more in America than in any other country in the world? One major reason is that our system is really a non-system. That is, in America we have many different payers, financing mechanisms, benefit designs, and structures. Every health plan has its own ways of doing things, and every health purchaser wants a customized benefit plan that meets its own specific goals.
On April 13, 2012, CHRT is sponsoring a symposium geared to health policy-makers, funders and researchers, to ask this question: can individuals from these three worlds do a better job of working together?
Well, the federal government has spoken about its intent with regard to defining essential benefits, and the answer is: leave it to the states. As Tim Jost notes in his latest blog post, there are some (probably, most) who assumed the Affordable Care Act would result in more uniformity in essential benefits across the country. But instead (no doubt bowing to a perceived political backlash at this time of difficult discourse in Washington, DC) the Obama administration decided to publish guidelines and establish broad parameters for essential benefits without going into the details.
Health care policy happens at many levels, but health care delivery: just one. Policy is made at the federal, state and local levels—but delivery is at the local level: in organized systems of care or with individual or teams of practitioners working with patients and families.
Mayor Bloomberg of New York made headlines when he decided to take on the soda industry (ok, I know, my New York roots are showing – pop for those of you from the Midwest!). Specifically, Mr. Bloomberg is seeking a federal waiver in the food stamp program (now called SNAP – supplemental nutrition assistance program) to ban the purchase of sugary beverages because of their contribution to diabetes and obesity.
Lately I’ve noticed a resurgence of the term “population health” in the health policy literature. It seems to me that the term is being used differently today than in the past, and I wonder how that might affect our ability to actually affect and improve population health.