February 6, 2019
No matter how we measure disparity in health care for women in the U.S, African American women stand out. Across the board, they have higher risk factors for disease and poorer outcomes, including much higher mortality for many conditions. African American women contract cardiac disease and cancer at a younger age and, often, in worse forms. Their risk of maternal death after giving birth is three or four times greater. Health care for African American women is complicated by racial and gender prejudices as well as by poverty and inadequate insurance coverage. But even among African American women who are…Read More
December 5, 2018
Should Value-Based Health Care Help Improve Life Expectancy?
As Americans in a highly developed and prosperous economy, we have ascribed a value to our highly sophisticated, expensive health care system—that it should enable us to achieve better health. If we didn’t believe in the value of our health care system, we would not support health coverage, most people would not visit health care providers, and the public health system would not get be funded. This may sound all too obvious, but it isn’t. Whether our health care system actually achieves that ascribed value of improving health status is now in question. Given last week’s release of Center for…Read More
November 8, 2016
Risky Business: How to Make Risk Adjustment Fair and Accurate for Quality Measurement
No two patients are the same. Some are much sicker than others. Obvious? Yes. But this is the fundamental challenge of quality measurement. As public scrutiny of physician performance intensifies via the CMS Physician Compare website, and as outcome comparisons become ever more crucial to Medicare and private insurance reimbursement strategies, finding a fair and accurate way to adjust for risk is critical. Each patient population has its own challenges. Academic medical centers may get the most difficult cases, but solo practitioners see the entire community, and without the infrastructure available elsewhere. For health care to improve for all patients,…Read More