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Full-Text Articles in Law

A Public Option For Employer Health Plans, Allison K. Hoffman, Howell E. Jackson, Amy Monahan Feb 2021

A Public Option For Employer Health Plans, Allison K. Hoffman, Howell E. Jackson, Amy Monahan

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Following the 2020 presidential election, health care reform discussions have centered on two competing proposals: Medicare for All and an individual public option (“Medicare for all who want it”). Interestingly, these two proposals take starkly different approaches to employer-provided health coverage, long the bedrock of the U.S. health care system and the stumbling block to many prior reform efforts. Medicare for All abolishes employer-provided coverage, while an individual public option leaves it untouched.

This Article proposes a novel solution that finds a middle ground between these two extremes: an employer public option. In contrast to the more familiar public ...


The Irony Of Health Care’S Public Option, Allison K. Hoffman Jan 2021

The Irony Of Health Care’S Public Option, Allison K. Hoffman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The idea of a public health insurance option is at least a half century old, but has not yet had its day in the limelight. This chapter explains why if that moment ever comes, health care’s public option will fall short of expectations that it will provide a differentiated, meaningful alternative to private health insurance and will spur health insurance competition.

Health care’s public option bubbled up in its best-known form in California in the early 2000s and got increasing mainstream attention in the lead up to the 2010 health reform, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ...


The Aca’S Choice Problem, Allison K. Hoffman Aug 2020

The Aca’S Choice Problem, Allison K. Hoffman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is in many ways a success. Millions more Americans now have access to health care, and the ACA catalyzed advances in health care delivery reform. Simultaneously, it has reinforced and bolstered a problem at the heart of American health policy and regulation: a love affair with choice. The ACA’s insurance reforms doubled down on the particularly American obsession with choice. This article describes three ways in which that doubling down is problematic for the future of US health policy. First, pragmatically, health policy theory predicts that choice among health plans will produce tangible benefits ...


Opioid Overdoses Among High-Risk Medicaid Members: Healthcare Cost, Service Utilization, And Risk Factor Analysis, Judith A. Savageau, Melissa Brindisi, Faye Miller, Laura A. Sefton, Adam Stoler, Margaret Harvey, Dana Bernson Jul 2020

Opioid Overdoses Among High-Risk Medicaid Members: Healthcare Cost, Service Utilization, And Risk Factor Analysis, Judith A. Savageau, Melissa Brindisi, Faye Miller, Laura A. Sefton, Adam Stoler, Margaret Harvey, Dana Bernson

Commonwealth Medicine Publications

Research Objective: Identify risk factors associated with opioid overdoses among three high-risk populations of Medicaid members related to cost and service utilization.

Study Design: Repeated cross-sectional study using five years of Massachusetts Medicaid (MassHealth) claims and state agency data.

Population Studied: MassHealth members aged 11-64 years considered to be high-risk (homeless, unstably housed, and/or criminal justice-involved) and in need of support services, especially those with extensive behavioral health (BH) needs. These three populations were identified as being particularly vulnerable to non-fatal and/or fatal opioid overdoses.

Principal Findings: MassHealth members who were both justice-involved and unstably housed were at ...


What Do We Know About Health Insurance Choice?, Megan Mccarthy-Alfano Jun 2020

What Do We Know About Health Insurance Choice?, Megan Mccarthy-Alfano

Issue Briefs

No abstract provided.


Long-Term Care Policy After Covid-19 — Solving The Nursing Home Crisis, Rachel M. Werner, Allison K. Hoffman, Norma B. Coe May 2020

Long-Term Care Policy After Covid-19 — Solving The Nursing Home Crisis, Rachel M. Werner, Allison K. Hoffman, Norma B. Coe

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Nursing homes have been caught in the crosshairs of the coronavirus pandemic. As of early May 2020, Covid-19 had claimed the lives of more than 28,000 nursing home residents and staff in the United States. But U.S. nursing homes were unstable even before Covid-19 hit. The tragedy unfolding in nursing homes is the result of decades of neglect of long-term care policy.

Beyond the pandemic, we will have to transform the way we pay for and provide long-term care. First, Medicaid programs need to invest considerably more in care in all settings, including home-based settings as Medicaid shifts ...


Structural Discrimination In Covid-19 Workplace Protections, Ruqaiijah Yearby, Seema Mohapatra Jan 2020

Structural Discrimination In Covid-19 Workplace Protections, Ruqaiijah Yearby, Seema Mohapatra

All Faculty Scholarship

Workers, who are being asked to risk their health by working outside their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, need adequate hazard compensation, safe workplace conditions, and personal protective equipment (PPE). Sadly, this is not happening for many essential workers, such as those working in home health care and in the meat processing industry. These workers are not only being unnecessarily exposed to the virus, but they are also not receiving paid sick leave, unemployment benefits, and affordable health care and childcare. The lack of these protections is due to structural discrimination and has disproportionately disadvantaged women of color and low-wage ...


Stress Testing During Times Of War, Kathryn Judge Jan 2020

Stress Testing During Times Of War, Kathryn Judge

Faculty Scholarship

The COVID crisis raises important questions about the role of stress testing during periods of systemic distress. Should stress testing of banks be abandoned? Modified? Proceed as scheduled? Different jurisdictions have taken different tacks, reflecting contestation over these fundamental issues. This essay argues that stress tests become more important, not less, in the midst of systemic distress, but only if the stress scenarios are modified to reflect the distinct challenges an economy is facing. Well-designed stress tests can provide critical information to policy makers and others, promoting more timely efforts to address underlying weaknesses. Given that regulators will rationally be ...


The American Pathology Of Inequitable Access To Medical Care, Allison K. Hoffman, Mark A. Hall Sep 2019

The American Pathology Of Inequitable Access To Medical Care, Allison K. Hoffman, Mark A. Hall

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

What most defines access to health care in the United States may be its stark inequity. Daily headlines in top newspapers paint the highs and lows. Articles entitled: “We Mapped the Uninsured. You’ll notice a Pattern: They tend to live in the South, and they tend to be poor” and op-eds with titles like “Do Poor People Have a Right to Health Care?” and “What it’s Like to Be Black and Pregnant when you Know How Dangerous That Can Be” run side-by-side with headlines touting “The Operating Room of the Future, and advances in gene therapy that promise ...


Best Practices For Member Outreach And Engagement: How Effective Acos Build Understanding And Respect, Jessica Carpenter, Jocelyn Gordon Jun 2019

Best Practices For Member Outreach And Engagement: How Effective Acos Build Understanding And Respect, Jessica Carpenter, Jocelyn Gordon

Commonwealth Medicine Publications

Targeted strategies and sustained efforts at member outreach and engagement are helping Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and their Community Partners (CPs) achieve their shared goals for delivering patient-centered care. The most successful organizations focus on activities designed to create a stronger connection with their members, building trust and a better understanding of individuals’ characteristics and care needs. Positive results of these efforts include successful person-centered care planning, improved compliance with care plans and prescriptions, and implementation of recommended lifestyle changes — changes that help support independent living, reduce medical costs and complications, and drive improvements in member satisfaction.


University Of Massachusetts Medical School Report To Minnesota Department Of Human Services Health And Incarceration Project, Katharine London, Jeremy Tourish Jun 2019

University Of Massachusetts Medical School Report To Minnesota Department Of Human Services Health And Incarceration Project, Katharine London, Jeremy Tourish

Commonwealth Medicine Publications

On behalf of the Minnesota Department of Health Services, Health Law & Policy experts from our Public and Private Health Solutions group completed a literature review of successful efforts to improve the health of previously incarcerated individuals. In addition, our experts conducted five focus groups to obtain recommendations from experienced professionals who work directly with previously incarcerated individuals regarding interventions likely to improve the health of this unique population.

This study came about at the direction of Minnesota Legislature. They were interested in developing a methodology for paying higher rates to health care providers who provide services to high cost and ...


Infants Exposed To Homelessness: Health, Health Care Use, And Health Spending From Birth To Age Six, Robin E. Clark, Linda Weinreb, Julie M. Flahive, Robert W. Seifert May 2019

Infants Exposed To Homelessness: Health, Health Care Use, And Health Spending From Birth To Age Six, Robin E. Clark, Linda Weinreb, Julie M. Flahive, Robert W. Seifert

Commonwealth Medicine Publications

Homeless infants are known to have poor birth outcomes, but the longitudinal impact of homelessness on health, health care use, and health spending during the early years of life has received little attention. Linking Massachusetts emergency shelter enrollment records for the period 2008-15 with Medicaid claims, we compared 5,762 infants who experienced a homeless episode with a group of 5,553 infants matched on sex, race/ethnicity, location, and birth month. Infants born during a period of unstable housing resulting in homelessness had higher rates of low birthweight, respiratory problems, fever, and other common conditions; longer neonatal intensive care ...


Will Ending Certain Drug Rebates Lower List Prices And Patient Out-Of-Pocket Costs?, Mckenzie Taylor, Stephanie Tran Apr 2019

Will Ending Certain Drug Rebates Lower List Prices And Patient Out-Of-Pocket Costs?, Mckenzie Taylor, Stephanie Tran

Commonwealth Medicine Publications

Earlier this year, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed changes to the current pricing and contracting system for federal health care programs, Medicare Part D and Medicaid.This proposal aligns with the Trump Administration’s blueprint for lowering drug prices which we have written about previously.


Payment Reform For Kids, Robert W. Seifert Feb 2019

Payment Reform For Kids, Robert W. Seifert

Commonwealth Medicine Publications

Comprehensive care for children – including greater attention to behavioral health, socio-emotional development, and strong family relationships – may hold the key to lifelong health and well-being. With this premise, a group in Connecticut has just published recommendations for improving pediatric primary care through payment reform.


Lowering Out Of Pocket Drug Costs For Consumers, Mylissa K. Price Jan 2019

Lowering Out Of Pocket Drug Costs For Consumers, Mylissa K. Price

Commonwealth Medicine Publications

Prohibiting gag clauses could help lower consumer out-of-pocket pharmacy costs - if Pharmacy Benefits Managers don't raise prices to make-up the difference. Mylissa Price closes our blog series on President Trump's Blueprint to Lower Drug Costs in this final entry.


Deciphering State Medicaid Programs, Rachel Gershon Jan 2019

Deciphering State Medicaid Programs, Rachel Gershon

Commonwealth Medicine Publications

State Medicaid programs vary substantially from one another. For members, researchers, policymakers, and advocates trying to decipher a state’s Medicaid program, this variation can be a source of frustration, because the details of this variation can be hard to locate.


Unlocking Access To Health Care: A Federalist Approach To Reforming Occupational Licensing, Gabriel Scheffler Jan 2019

Unlocking Access To Health Care: A Federalist Approach To Reforming Occupational Licensing, Gabriel Scheffler

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Several features of the existing occupational licensing system impede access to health care without providing appreciable protections for patients. Licensing restrictions prevent health care providers from offering services to the full extent of their competency, obstruct the adoption of telehealth, and deter foreign-trained providers from practicing in the United States. Scholars and policymakers have proposed a number of reforms to this system over the years, but these proposals have had a limited impact for political and institutional reasons.

Still, there are grounds for optimism. In recent years, the federal government has taken a range of initial steps to reform licensing ...


How Liability Insurers Protect Patients And Improve Safety, Tom Baker, Charles Silver Jan 2019

How Liability Insurers Protect Patients And Improve Safety, Tom Baker, Charles Silver

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Forty years after the publication of the first systematic study of adverse medical events, there is greater access to information about adverse medical events and increasingly widespread acceptance of the view that patient safety requires more than vigilance by well-intentioned medical professionals. In this essay, we describe some of the ways that medical liability insurance organizations contributed to this transformation, and we catalog the roles that those organizations play in promoting patient safety today. Whether liability insurance in fact discourages providers from improving safety or encourages them to protect patients from avoidable harms is an empirical question that a survey ...


Health Care's Market Bureaucracy, Allison K. Hoffman Jan 2019

Health Care's Market Bureaucracy, Allison K. Hoffman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The last several decades of health law and policy have been built on a foundation of economic theory. This theory supported the proliferation of market-based policies that promised maximum efficiency and minimal bureaucracy. Neither of these promises has been realized. A mounting body of empirical research discussed in this Article makes clear that leading market-based policies are not efficient — they fail to capture what people want. Even more, this Article describes how the struggle to bolster these policies — through constant regulatory, technocratic tinkering that aims to improve the market and the decision-making of consumers in it — has produced a massive ...


Will Removing Rebates Really Lower Drug List Prices?, Stephanie Tran Dec 2018

Will Removing Rebates Really Lower Drug List Prices?, Stephanie Tran

Commonwealth Medicine Publications

The Trump Administration Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs calls for incentives to lower drug list prices, including removing rebates. Our clinical consultant Stephanie Tran continues our pharmacy blog series with an assessment of this potential change & its impacts.


New Aca Waiver Directives Signal Changes For State Health Insurance Marketplaces, Rachel Gershon, Catherine Torri Dec 2018

New Aca Waiver Directives Signal Changes For State Health Insurance Marketplaces, Rachel Gershon, Catherine Torri

Commonwealth Medicine Publications

New Trump Administrations Section 1332 waiver guidance increases state ACA flexibility. Rachel Gershon & Catie Torri discuss what this could mean for health care policy.


Better Negotiations Between Payers And Manufacturers In An Effort To Reduce Drug Prices, Mckenzie Taylor Nov 2018

Better Negotiations Between Payers And Manufacturers In An Effort To Reduce Drug Prices, Mckenzie Taylor

Commonwealth Medicine Publications

Mckenzie Taylor continues our monthly conversation on the strategies presented in The Trump Administration Blueprint to Low Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs, discussing the ways new negotiations between payers and manufacturers are helping to reduce drug prices.


Why Retirement Systems Should Consider Vocational Review, Jody Simpson Nov 2018

Why Retirement Systems Should Consider Vocational Review, Jody Simpson

Commonwealth Medicine Publications

Whether the task is determining if a disability retirement applicant is prevented from performing their past public employment or whether they are able to adjust to other substantial work, administering disability benefit claims is a complex process that requires a sophisticated skill-set to ensure accurate and objective determinations. A critical component of that process is a comprehensive vocational assessment that determines a disability applicants vocational skills and abilities before a final recommendation is rendered.

Discover the value of vocational review and why it can be a critical part of the decision-making process.


How Can Improved Competition Lead To Lower Drug Prices?, Youkavet Samih Oct 2018

How Can Improved Competition Lead To Lower Drug Prices?, Youkavet Samih

Commonwealth Medicine Publications

In this installment of our blog series on "President Trump's Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-Of-Pocket Costs," our pharmacy expert Youkavet Samih discusses how creating drug competition drives down prices for consumers.


Hiring Workers With Disabilities Makes Sense Whether The Job Market Is Hot Or Cold, Kathleen A. Petkauskos Oct 2018

Hiring Workers With Disabilities Makes Sense Whether The Job Market Is Hot Or Cold, Kathleen A. Petkauskos

Commonwealth Medicine Publications

The U.S. Department of Labor released its latest report in September, and it was more of the same. Unemployment remained at 3.9 percent, where it has hovered for much of the year, but there was a shift for one key demographic.

After decades of struggle, workers with disabilities are beginning to move the needle, outpacing the employment gains of people without disabilities. In August 2018, the employment-to-population ratio for working-age people with disabilities jumped to 30.2 percent from 29.5 percent the year before. The labor force participation rate for working-age people with disabilities also increased, rising ...


Utilization Management Programs Are Critical For Effective Mltss Programs, Jessica Carpenter Oct 2018

Utilization Management Programs Are Critical For Effective Mltss Programs, Jessica Carpenter

Commonwealth Medicine Publications

When discussing an efficient managed long-term services and supports (LTSS) program, the importance of a utilization management program cannot be overlooked. It’s a way to not only ensure individuals receive the high-quality services they need, but also realize substantial cost savings for payers.


A View Of The Drug Pricing Blueprint, Bonnie C. Greenwood Sep 2018

A View Of The Drug Pricing Blueprint, Bonnie C. Greenwood

Commonwealth Medicine Publications

Drug spend is predicted to experience the fastest annual growth between 2017-2026 compared to other health care goods and services.Contributing factors include increasing unit prices of branded and generic medications, growth of the specialty drug market, and greater numbers of people with access to prescription drug coverage. A recent analysis estimates total drug expenditures in 2016 to be $480 billion when accounting for gross profits of intermediaries in the distribution chain, such as wholesalers, pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), and pharmacies. Certainly, the complexity of the drug distribution and reimbursement system and lack of pricing transparency can be viewed both ...


Case Files Key To Comprehensive Medical Board Reviews, Jody Simpson Aug 2018

Case Files Key To Comprehensive Medical Board Reviews, Jody Simpson

Commonwealth Medicine Publications

There are many obstacles public retirement systems must overcome to ensure clinically sound medical board recommendations. Complex medical records that describe various conditions and ailmentsmust be compiled and analyzed to make accurate recommendations. There are key elements to inform a successful medical board review, and chief among them is compiling robust, well-documented case files. If you begin the process with incomplete documentation, you run the risk of getting a partial clinical picture of the member. Not having a full clinical picture could make it difficult to achieve a fully-informed decision.


Bringing Data Into Focus To Optimize Benefits And Savings For Medicare-Medicaid Members, Jenifer Hartman Aug 2018

Bringing Data Into Focus To Optimize Benefits And Savings For Medicare-Medicaid Members, Jenifer Hartman

Commonwealth Medicine Publications

Dual eligible recipients represent a critical population for state Medicaid programs. To get a better understanding of this unique demographic, MassHealth partnered with UMass Medical School to design data analytics programs around the objective of protecting Medicaid as the payer of last resort.

Over the last three years, these programs achieved over $68 million in new savings by optimizing benefits for dual eligible members. The program also identified and recovered over $21 million in Medicare premium overpayments for Medicaid members with discrepancies in Medicare entitlement and premium charges.

Jenifer Hartman of the Center for Healthcare Financing presented UMass Medical School ...


Managed Long-Term Services And Supports Program Framework: Best Practices, Jessica Carpenter Aug 2018

Managed Long-Term Services And Supports Program Framework: Best Practices, Jessica Carpenter

Commonwealth Medicine Publications

Health plans and accountable care organizations are working with Medicaid programs to transition fee-for-services long-term services and supports (LTSS) to a managed care model known as managed LTSS. With more individuals with disabilities seeking to living in their own homes or in community settings, payers must take proactive steps to ensure individuals receive the right service and in the right setting. This white paper details the actions health plan decision makers should consider while developing a comprehensive managed LTSS program.