Kip Piper's Health Care Blog
Medicare, Medicaid, Health Reform

Sophisticated health care purchasers and health plans know the value of prescription drug data. When analyzed with paid claims data from physicians and hospitals, data from pharmacy claims can be used to identify, understand, and track a wide range of issues. Starting January 2006, when the 6.5 million dual eligibles...
The world's leading guru of competitive strategy, Michael Porter, Ph.D., has turned his sights on explaining the fundamental cause of high costs, poor quality, consumer dissatisfaction, uneven access, and skyrocketing premiums in American health care. In Redefining Health Care, Porter and innovation expert Elizabeth Teisberg, Ph.D. provide a thoughtful, groundbreaking...
Using new benefit design and cost-sharing options created by the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA), states are busy restructuring Medicaid programs. With recently announced approvals from HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Idaho are the first states to take advantage of DRA flexibility. With the help of top advisors,...
Using new flexibility created by the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA), states may restructure Medicaid benefits. States may now customize Medicaid health care benefits to specific populations, model some benefit package after commercial-like health plans, and offer additional benefits as incentives to reward healthier patient behavior. Based on the concept of...
Patient-centered care - one of the new buzz phrases in health care - is all about aligning the delivery of medical care with the needs and preferences of patients. Research shows that the practices and tools of patient-centered care result in: Superior clinical outcomes Higher consumer satisfaction Improved access to needed care Reduction...
In the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA), Congress authorized the new $150 million Medicaid Transformation Grant Program to help states design and implement reforms to increase quality and efficiency of Medicaid. This is a unique opportunity to help states restructure and modernize Medicaid, save taxpayer dollars, and improve services. But...
The latest issue of the American Journal of Managed Care has several interesting articles on diabetes, demonstrating several opportunities to improve outcomes and reduce costs: How Managed Care Organizations Contribute to Improved Diabetes Outcomes: Patricia Salber, MD, chief medical officer and SVP at Universal American, a large Medicare health and...
Serious and costly performance problems riddle U.S. health care. Because of overuse, under use, and misuse of health care, researchers at the Juran Institute and elsewhere estimate that about 30 percent of health care costs are generated by poor quality. Therefore, poor quality medical care will cost about $720...
To aid the incoming 111th Congress and Obama Administration, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a 235-page report outlining 115 budget options for health care reform. The report catalogs most of the hottest legislative ideas on Capitol Hill, with useful background information and scores of costs and savings. Here's...
Here are articles from the latest issue of American Health & Drug Benefits. AHDB is a peer-reviewed journal for 30,000 decision makers in health plans, PBMs, Medicare, Medicaid, and the pharma and biotech industries: June - July 2009 Issue: Applying Evidence for Medical Technologies: Closing the Gap between R&D and Decision...

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