Policy Snapshot

Policy Snapshots

The Center for Health Affairs' monthly healthcare policy snapshots are intended to provide a succinct look at relevant healthcare issues. These two-page publications published approximately eight times per year allow The Center to remain current with the issue of the day, and allow readers to quickly glean information on topics that are important to them.

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August 2014
Policy Snapshot Examines Skin Cancer Facts
Even after the last days of summer weather are just a memory, it’s important to pay attention to our skin to ensure that any cause for concern does not go unnoticed. A basic understanding of skin cancer f ... read more


June 2014
Policy Snapshot Covers Impact of Food Insecurity on Health
Most often, an assessment of the American diet leads to the conclusion that the problem is excess: too much sugar, too much fat, too much snacking and overly large portion sizes. But it’s not just excess ... read more


May 2014
Hospital Observation Status the Focus of May’s Policy Snapshot
Hospital observation status regularly gets a bad rap. This label’s less-than-glowing reputation results for many legitimate reasons but also because the rules and reasons behind it are generally not well ... read more


March 2014
Curbing Drug Abuse the Focus of March 2014 Policy Snapshot
While medications provide essential relief to many in need – including cancer patients, mothers in labor, and children with fractured bones – the downside is that they can also be abused. Curbing dr ... read more


February 2014
Medication Safety Tips Highlighted in February’s Policy Snapshot
Medications play an essential role in combating diseases and improving the lives of people around the world and right here in Northeast Ohio. For all of the benefits medications can provide, many people have un ... read more


December 2013
December’s Policy Snapshot Examines Medicaid Expansion Moving Forward in Ohio
To say that Medicaid expansion moving forward in Ohio was at the top of healthcare advocates’ holiday wish lists would be an understatement. From the moment the U.S. Supreme Court voted in June 2012 to up ... read more


October 2013
October’s Policy Snapshot Examines Whether Health Courts are The Next Frontier in Medical Liability Reform
The medical liability system in the U.S. has long been targeted as an area ripe for reform. What is fueling the recent push for medical liability reform? Current complaints with the system range from frustratio ... read more


August 2013
The Center’s August 2013 Policy Snapshot Clarifies the Various Navigator Roles
As medical care has grown more complex, and rates of chronic illness have risen, patients increasingly need someone to help guide them along the healthcare continuum to ensure they receive timely, high-quality ... read more


July 2013
The Center’s July 2013 Policy Snapshot Focuses on Gun Violence as a Public Health Issue
Columbine. Virginia Tech. Chardon. Sandy Hook. What comes to mind at the mention of these schools? For most people the mere mention of these schools doesn’t evoke thoughts of education, but of horrific cr ... read more


May 2013
The Center’s May 2013 Policy Snapshot Focuses on Immigrants’ Access to Healthcare
Since the founding of our nation, people have been coming to the Unite ... read more


April 2013
Medicare Wage Index Explained in April Policy Snapshot
In Northeast Ohio, close to 40 percent of payments hospitals receive come from the Medicare program, making Medicare reimbursement a key component of hospitals’ bottom lines. A crucial factor in determini ... read more


February 2013
Dear Lawmaker Part II: Top Considerations from the Northeast Ohio Healthcare Community for 2013
Part two of this two-part series describes how the region’s hospitals are improving healthcare quality, zeroing in on the patient experience, ensuring a sufficient supply of providers and improving the le ... read more


January 2013
Dear Lawmaker: Top Considerations from the Northeast Ohio Healthcare Community for 2013
As we draw closer to full implementation of the healthcare reform, uncertainty and skepticism remain about unanswered questions and the changes to come. Dear Lawmaker: Top Considerations from the Northeast Ohio ... read more


November 2012
Medicaid: Why Expanding Coverage Makes Sense
Medicaid: Why Expanding Coverage Makes Sense, provides context for the issues surrounding the state’s potential Medicaid expansion and why the state’s decision is so important. While the Supreme Cou ... read more


October 2012
Patient Experience: Spotlight on Communication Skills
When you think of great communicators, which names come to mind first? Is it someone famous, such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Ronald Reagan or Oprah? Maybe it’s a colleague who always seems to say the rig ... read more


September 2012
The Growing Importance of Health Literacy
The healthcare field is filled with complex medical terms. Beyond understanding the terminology, navigating the healthcare system can be incredibly complicated, especially for anyone with a chronic medical cond ... read more


July 2012
Federal Healthcare Reform: The Decision is In
By now the dust has started to settle on the Supreme Court’s highly anticipated ruling on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While it can be hard to navigate the legal jargon, the rul ... read more


June 2012
Drug Shortages: Seeking a Remedy to a Growing Problem
We have probably all witnessed the healing properties of an antibiotic that cures a pesky infection at some point in our lives. But what happens to a patient when the medicine that has been successfully holding ... read more


April 2012
Oral Health: Drilling Down to the Root of Access Problems
Does the thought of an upcoming trip to the dentist strike fear in your heart? While many people fear dental work, the consequences of not visiting the dentist are actually scarier. Almost half of Ohio adults h ... read more


February 2012
2012 Presidential Candidates: Health Policy Platforms
The election season is in full swing and unless you’ve joined the bears in hibernation you’ve probably caught some coverage of the Republican candidates vying for their party’s nomination. Tea ... read more


January 2012
Top 10 Issues Facing Hospitals: 2012
Looking for a story laced with mystery, intrigue and suspense? Look no further than this year’s highly anticipated U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the legality of the federal healthcare reform law. With the ... read more


November 2011
Federal Health Reform and the Individual Mandate Part II: Policy Alternatives
Of all the provisions in the recently enacted federal healthcare reform law, none has evoked as much controversy as the law’s minimum coverage requirement, which requires most individuals to maintain minimu ... read more


October 2011
Federal Health Reform and the Individual Mandate Part I: Legal Challenges
Escaping the media storm surrounding the federal healthcare reform law would be difficult even for those who rarely open a newspaper, surf the Web, or turn on the radio. Intense partisan battles that were waged ... read more


August 2011
Nurse Practitioners’ Role in Addressing Primary Care Shortages
Primary care doctors are a cornerstone of the healthcare system. They are the first line of defense when we get sick, and they’re who we rely on to manage and coordinate our care when we have more complex healt ... read more


July 2011
How Patient-Centered Medical Homes Aim to Strengthen Primary Care
Primary care is often described as the backbone of the U.S. healthcare system. With policymakers, business leaders and consumer groups all agreeing on the importance of improving healthcare ... read more


May 2011
Taking a Regional Approach to Trauma Care
None of us likes to think about the scenarios that could cause us or a loved one to require trauma care, but if that care is needed for life-threatening injuries, we all want to be assured that the appropri ... read more


February 2011
From Uncompensated Care to Government Shortfall: Clarifying Key Terms
Charity care. Bad debt. Government shortfall. Uncompensated care. These are all terms used to describe a portion of the care hospitals provide as part of their mission to their communities, but many of us h ... read more


January 2011
Dear Lawmaker: Considerations from the Northeast Ohio Hospital Community
The start of the new year and legislative session have brought many new faces to Washington’s Capitol Hill and Columbus’ Capitol Square. Newly elected officials and their veteran colleagues face a considera ... read more


November 2010
Performance Measurement: A Pivotal Piece of the Quality Puzzle
A variety of forces are converging to vastly transform U.S. healthcare as we know it. The passage of historic health reform legislation has a host of implications for the system, many which are still unknow ... read more


October 2010
Vaccines: Narrowing Disparities and Recent Advances Offer Reason to Celebrate
With the return of children and teachers to school and the dropping autumn temperatures comes flu season, and vaccines are once again on peoples’ minds. Last year’s H1N1 pandemic served as a disquieting rem ... read more


August 2010
Accountable Care Organizations At-a-Glance
A lot has been said lately regarding the success of the U.S. healthcare system, and, in particular, the bang Americans get for their healthcare buck. Many experts, policymakers and others believe we could d ... read more


July 2010
Post-Acute and Long-Term Care: Key Federal Healthcare Reform Provisions
The initial media storm surrounding the recently passed federal healthcare reform bills focused, to a large extent, on the individual mandate to purchase insurance and other consumer implications. More rece ... read more


May 2010
Buying Green: How Purchasing Programs Can Help Heal the Planet
Each year, often coinciding with Earth Day on April 22, many individuals and businesses take a renewed look at how their daily lives and business practices are affecting the environment. When the impact of ... read more


April 2010
Going Green: Start-Up Steps to a Sustainability Initiative
From simply remembering to grab reusable bags before heading to the store to as complex as constructing eco-friendly buildings, consumers and employers are increasingly considering the impact their choices ... read more


March 2010
Health 2.0: How Social Media are Transforming Healthcare
As the quantity of information accessible on the Web has grown, the public has increasingly turned to the Internet to find answers to health-related questions. A recent survey found that 61 percent of Ameri ... read more


January 2010
Art versus Science: The Complexities of Evidence-Based Medicine
Hospitals and other healthcare providers strive to provide patients with the highest quality of care. As the practice of medicine has evolved, innovations and technological advances have allowed the profess ... read more


December 2009
What’s Behind Geographic Variations in Healthcare Spending?
Concerns about rising healthcare spending have dominated healthcare reform conversations in the United States. Policymakers have been seeking explanations and solutions to reign in ever-rising healthcare sp ... read more


October 2009
The Strengths & Shortcomings of Government-Administered Health Insurance Programs
As healthcare reform conversations continue on Capitol Hill, the tone and energy associated with them have escalated. While most agree the current system is flawed, there are widely differing opinions on ho ... read more


September 2009
Hospital Trustees Navigate An Evolving Healthcare Environment
Organizations across the country have been working to improve their governance practices.  As a result, trustees have become increasingly aware of their importance in the effective management of the institu ... read more


July 2009
Some Surprises Can Be Found in the Effects of the Recession
The nationwide recession has sparked new habits for many of us, from paying more attention to prices at the grocery store to cutting back on non-essentials. And it seems that behaviors related to healthcare ... read more


May 2009
Creating a Workplace Wellness Program That Works
Workplace wellness programs have been gaining in popularity in recent years, and it’s not hard to understand why.  An investment in a wellness program can pay off in lower health insurance costs over the lo ... read more


April 2009
Healthier Employees = Healthier Bottom Lines: Why Worksite Wellness Programs Are Gaining Popularity
Research has shown that seven out of every 10 deaths in the United States today are attributable to largely preventable chronic illnesses such as heart disease. In fact, they account for 75 percent of Ameri ... read more


February 2009
Stormy Waters: The Effects of the Economic Downturn on Hospitals
One might think economic slowdowns have little effect on hospitals. After all, the economy has no bearing on whether people get sick, right? But in truth, economic trends have a significant impact on hospit ... read more


January 2009
Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down and Everything in Between: The Healthcare Year in Review
Many exciting healthcare developments have arisen in the last year that might have been eclipsed by the historic election and drastic downturn in the economy. While not all has been cause to rejoice, this s ... read more


November 2008
Key Issues to Consider When Evaluating Healthcare Reform Model
Part 3: Quality Quality is one of the buzzwords in healthcare today. With healthcare spending on the rise, everyone from consumers to payers to employers wants more information about the return they ar ... read more


October 2008
Key Issues to Consider When Evaluating Healthcare Reform Model
Part 2: Cost A day rarely passes without newspaper headlines bemoaning the fact that a growing portion of family, corporate and government budgets is being directed at healthcare. The development of ne ... read more


September 2008
Key Issues to Consider When Evaluating Healthcare Reform Models
Part 1: Access Recent estimates show that both the percentage and the number of people without health insurance remain high. A staggering 45.7 million people in the United States are uninsured, includi ... read more


July 2008
An Increasingly Complex Healthcare Field Demands the Best Leadership
In recent years, Congressional committees have been calling for increased scrutiny of the nonprofit sector, and nonprofit hospitals in particular, citing the importance of keeping up with the rapidly changi ... read more


March 2008
Treating Behavioral Health Illness in a Patchwork System
More than 20 percent of Americans aged 18 and over live with a diagnosable mental illness. Complicating treatment for these individuals is the fact that up to 50 percent of the mentally ill population also ... read more


February 2008
Preparing for An Emergency: Northeast Ohio Builds a Collaborative Approach
Since 9/11, the issue of emergency preparedness has been near the forefront of politicians’ minds and in the public eye. That day brought the realization that the response systems in place at the time could ... read more


December 2007
A Healthcare Holiday Wish List
With healthcare topping voters' list of concerns heading into the primaries, news article after news article lamenting the problems with the current state of healthcare, and analysts continuing to offer dir ... read more


August 2007
State Budget a Dose of the Right Medicine
With the recently signed biennial state budget, Ohio has made significant progress in expanding access to care for vulnerable populations and protecting hospitals and other health care entities that provide ... read more


July 2007
America's Healthcare System: Under Strain and Under Scrutiny
It’s no secret that the American healthcare system is under strain. The 2008 presidential candidates are talking out it. Polls show the American public thinks the system needs change. The topic has even fou ... read more


April 2007
Healthcare: The Heartbeat of Northeast Ohio
The economy is evolving in Northeast Ohio. Healthcare has become an increasingly larger source of economic activity, generating billions of dollars, employing thousands, and creating jobs even for those not ... read more


March 2007
The Importance of Reauthorizing the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)
This edition is on SCHIP, which is in its 10th year of providing health coverage for children in low-income families in Ohio and nationwide. SCHIP is credited with dramatically reducing the number of childr ... read more


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