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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December 2016
Policy Snapshot Addresses Impact of Election on Health Policy Landscape in Ohio
One thing is certain following the Nov. 8 elections, the health policy landscape in Ohio is about to shift. How drastic that shift will ultimately be is unknown with many in health policy circles using the term ... read more

November 2016
Marijuana Legalization the Focus of December’s Policy Snapshot
Support for marijuana legalization has been growing over time across the United States, with a recent poll suggesting that 54 percent of registered voters support legalizing the use of marijuana and 41 percent ... read more

September 2016
Policy Snapshot Highlights Emergency Operations Plans
For the last 15 years, hospitals in the region have been working with one another, as well as with other agencies, to put in place the equipment and emergency operations plans necessary to respond to a wide-sca ... read more

August 2016
Policy Snapshot Highlights Emergency Preparedness Consulting Work
The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 set in motion a series of activities, large and small, that shifted the United States to a new trajectory. That day, of course, precipitated great change in the activities of this ... read more

June 2016
Latest Policy Snapshot Examines Health Exchanges’ Impact on the Uninsured Rate
There is no disputing the fact that the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as the ACA or Obamacare, has had a significant impact on the uninsured rate in Ohio and elsewhere across the country. Estimates ... read more

May 2016
Organ Donation the Focus of Latest Publication
The ability to donate an organ to save another person’s life is among the most incredible medical advances in recent history. Today organ donation seems relatively commonplace, yet it was only in 1954 tha ... read more

March 2016
Antibiotic-Resistant Infections the Focus of Latest Publication
When you or your child is sick, a visit to the doctor to get the care you need quickly becomes a priority. Sometimes the doctor determines that the infection is caused by a virus and sends you home without a pr ... read more

February 2016
Vaccination Basics the Focus of Latest Publication
Immunizations are among the most critical public health advances. The protection that vaccines provide for individual patients and the public can often be taken for granted until serious disease outbreaks draw ... read more

December 2015
CHNA Implementation Strategy Requirements the Focus of Latest Publication
The Center for Health Affairs has released its January 2016 Policy Snapshot, Community Health Planning Part 2: Implementation Strategy Requirements, which examines the many requirements hospitals must fulfill r ... read more

November 2015
Health Needs Assessment Requirements Topic of Latest Publication
The Center for Health Affairs’ has released its December 2015 Policy Snapshot, which examines the many requirements hospitals must fulfill related to community health needs assessments. Passage of the Aff ... read more

October 2015
Policy Snapshot Assesses State Budget Committees within the Ohio Legislature
Every two years, lawmakers in the state of Ohio from the Ohio Legislature engage in the herculean task of crafting a budget bill that will fund state programs for the coming biennium. Often, the process of comp ... read more

September 2015
September Policy Snapshot Evaluates Efforts to Reduce Hospital Readmissions
Unplanned hospital readmissions are a problem from several perspectives. Not only does additional hospitalization result in added healthcare treatment costs, it also suggests that patients are remaining sick &n ... read more

June 2015
Human Trafficking the Focus of July's Policy Snapshot
It is both shocking and disheartening that if human trafficking were a legitimate industry rather than the criminal activity that it is, it would be the fastest growing industry in the world. Commonly referred ... read more

May 2015
Policy Snapshot Examines Impacts of Living in Food Deserts
For too many people, access to healthy and affordable food options is limited, at best, or not an option at all. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, food deserts are defined as “urban neighbo ... read more

March 2015
Policy Snapshot Examines the Need for Continued CHIP Funding
The Center for Health Affairs' latest Policy Snapshot, Chipping Away at the Uninsured Rate among Children: Why Continued CHIP Funding is Essential, examines this critical children’s health program. Most c ... read more

February 2015
Access Works: Seven Reasons Why Continued Support of Medicaid is Critical
When Medicaid expansion became a reality in Ohio – and childless adults earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level gained access to health insurance – Ohio healthcare advocates celebrate ... read more

December 2014
Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace Coverage Highlighted in January’s Policy Snapshot
Recognizing the challenging health insurance market that small businesses face, one of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) provisions mandated the creation of a Small Business Health Options (SHOP) program in ... read more

November 2014
Health Insurance Marketplace Enrollment the Focus of December’s Policy Snapshot
Health Insurance Marketplace Enrollment efforts are in full swing in Ohio. The open enrollment period for coverage purchased through the federally-facilitated Health Insurance Marketplace begins Nov. 15, 2014 a ... read more

October 2014
Policy Snapshot Provides Key Questions for Candidates as November Elections Approach
The November elections are fast approaching and political candidates hoping to represent Northeast Ohioans are busy meeting with potential constituents and sharing their positions on key issues. For Northeast O ... read more

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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