Healthcare Policy

What is An Accountable Care Organization (ACO)?

January 25, 2012
What is An Accountable Care Organization (ACO)?

By Karen Kan, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Last March, the Department of Health and Human Services released a set of proposed regulations that would govern Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), bringing ACOs back to the forefront of health policy news and re-opening the debate about healthcare reform . More recently, at the beginning of November, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final set of regulations that will govern these organizations . As we will likely hear increasingly more about ACOs in the…

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Watermelons for Medicine: Global Health and Residency Training

April 29, 2011
Watermelons for Medicine: Global Health and Residency Training

By Lucy Doyle, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Ten years ago, I found myself in a village in rural central China that was ravaged by AIDS. Villagers had contracted the disease through a contaminated blood-selling program.  It was there that I met a rural doctor riding his bicycle to see his patients.  In his basket, he was carrying watermelons.  It was heartbreaking to realize that this was all he could offer to his patients, who were all going to die. …

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From the Archives – $50,000: The price of a car or the price of life?

October 21, 2010
From the Archives – $50,000: The price of a car or the price of life?

Commentary by Vlad Fridman, MD

$50,000. This is the price of a new (and cheap) model BMW, and also a price the US government is willing to spend to prolong your medically trained (or everyone else’s for that matter) life by one year. Before describing why $50,000 was chosen it’s necessary to describe what this number stands for.

For years, health economists have been struggling to determine a way to ration health care. Since resources are limited, who is…

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The Ethics of Electronic Health Records

January 15, 2010
The Ethics of Electronic Health Records

John J. Mercuri

Faculty peer reviewed

Introduction
The 111th Congress allocated $19 billion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 toward the creation of an electronic health record (EHR) for each person in the United States by 2014.(1) The recent debate over EHRs has focused largely on the economic, logistical, and political consequences of implementing such a system; however, the country should also contemplate the ethical ramifications of EHRs. Addressing…

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PrimeCuts: This Week in the Journals

September 21, 2009
PrimeCuts: This Week in the Journals

Carolyn Bevan MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

With health care spending increasing at an unsustainable rate while an estimated 46 million Americans live without insurance , the urgent need for healthcare reform in the US is clear. Much less obvious, however, is how to go about it. At the beginning of the month, President Obama addressed Congress in a political call to arms, emphasizing that Americans must come together to address this important issue. This week, many of the major…

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Much Ado about Comparative Effectiveness

July 22, 2009
Much Ado about Comparative Effectiveness

Minal Kale MD
Nirav R. Shah MD, MPH

In the last few months, academic research communities have been all aflutter with the unprecedented sums of money that are up for grabs, as supported by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The federal stimulus package promises $10.4 billion administered through the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 80% of which is devoted specifically to scientific research. The frenzy in applying for these monies belies the high level of organization that…

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What should the Surgeon General do?

March 4, 2009
What should the Surgeon General do?

Commentary by Zackary Berger MD PhD, PGY-3, Health Care Policy Section Editor  

The name of neurosurgeon and health journalist Sanjay Gupta was leaked in early January as Barack Obama’s choice for Surgeon General. His selection has caused controversy, and the formal nomination seems to have been delayed by the search for a Secretary of Health and Human Services after the withdrawal of Tom Daschle. While we’re waiting for Gupta to be confirmed, we can ask: what exactly is the Surgeon General supposed to…

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Grand Rounds: “Health Care Access and Its Impact on Health Disparities”

February 11, 2009
Grand Rounds: “Health Care Access and Its Impact on Health Disparities”

Commentary by Zackary Berger MD PhD, PGY-3, Health Care Policy Section Editor 

As Massachusetts’ Secretary of Health and Human Services, JudyAnn Bigby, MD, is charged with overseeing the health-care program which covers nearly all of the Commonwealth’s residents (nearly 98%) while costing more than anyone expected (about 800 million dollars in 2008). On February 4th, Dr. Bigby spoke at NYU’s Medicine Grand Rounds, where she summarized the approach and accomplishments of Title 58, the health care legislation passed in 2006. The program…

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Pay for Performance: A Temporary Solution for Improving Health Care Quality

February 4, 2009
Pay for Performance: A Temporary Solution for Improving Health Care Quality

Commentary by Amit Sura, MD, MBA, PGY-1 and Nirav Shah MD, MPH, NYU Assistant Professor of Medicine

On March 1, 2001 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released “Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century” in response to alarming rates of medical errors that led to thousands of unnecessary deaths. (Washburn 2001) The report called for changes within information technology (IT), payment policies, and the medical workforce. By stressing a “new paradigm for health care delivery,” rules, aims, and the…

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Tackling Cancer Control Worldwide: Report From the 2008 World Cancer Congress

December 11, 2008
Tackling Cancer Control Worldwide: Report From the 2008 World Cancer Congress

Commentary by Antonella Surbone MD PhD FACP, NYU Department of Medicine and Clinical Correlations Ethics Section Editor

On Tuesday December 9th 2008, leading global cancer organizations met in Atlanta to discuss the 2008 WHO World Cancer Report predicting that cancer will overtake heart disease as the world’s top killer by 2010, and that global cancer cases and deaths will more than double by 2030. They called on governments to act, by ratifying an international tobacco control treaty and by asking the US to…

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Thanksgiving Day Post-The History of Veterans Healthcare

November 27, 2008
Thanksgiving Day Post-The History of Veterans Healthcare

By: Erin E. Ducharme, MD  PGY-1

With deep and humble gratitude we thank our nation’s veterans for the selfless sacrifices they and their families have made to establish and preserve the costly freedoms we take for granted.   On this Thanksgiving and in celebration of Veteran’s Day we are reinvigorated in our efforts to uphold the promise made by President Lincoln in his second inaugural address, “to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan.” As physicians it…

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The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)

October 25, 2008
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)

Commentary by Bani Chander MD, PGY-3.  Reviewed by Antonella Surbone MD PhD FACP, Ethics Section Editor.

On May 21, 2008, president George W. Bush signed the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) into effect. After 13 years of debate in Congress, the bill finally passed through both the senate and the house nearly unanimously. So what is GINA? This piece of legislation prohibits insurance companies from taking into account genetic conditions or family history when determining risk assessment. In addition, GINA makes it illegal for employers…

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