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A Health Podyssey

A Health Podyssey

A Health Podyssey goes beyond the pages of Health Affairs to tell stories behind the research and share policy implications.

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LIVE with Micky Tripathi, National Coordinator for Health IT

BONUS EPISODEAs part of Policy Spotlight, a new virtual event series from Health Affairs, The Commonwealth Fund President David Blumenthal welcomed Micky Tripathi, the national coordinator for health information technology (IT), to an in-depth discussion of Biden administration's plans and priorities for health care data.The interview was conducted on July 1, 2021.At the Department of Health and Human Services, Micky Tripathi leads the formulation of the federal health IT strategy and coordinates federal health IT policies, standards, programs, and investments. Guest host David Blumenthal held the same post during the Obama administration from 2009 to 2011.The discussion covered a number of topics, including information blocking, interoperability, Biden's equity project, social determinants of health data, artificial intelligence, data privacy, and much more.Policy Spotlights feature conversations with influential health policy experts in Washington, DC, and beyond. Interested in attending future events? Sign up for Health Affairs Today or Health Affairs Sunday Update newsletters to be the first to hear about the upcoming events. Health Affairs is grateful to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Commonwealth Fund for their support of the “Affordable Care Act Turns 10” issue.Subscribe: RSS | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts
July 22, 2021

Many US Immigrants May Defer Health Care to Avoid ICE

Sixty-eight percent of undocumented immigrants in the United States come from Mexico or Central America. As a result, deportation policies have a disproportionate effect on people of Hispanic origin.Immigration enforcement activity may influence behaviors like obtaining health care services; the effects of which can be felt throughout the community. On today's episode of A Health Podyssey, Abigail Friedman from the Yale School of Public Health joins the program to discuss the relationship between immigration enforcement and health care use. In the July issue of Health Affairs, which focuses exclusively on Borders, Immigration & Health, Dr. Friedman and coauthor Atheendar Venkataramani from the University of Pennsylvania analyzed the relationship between immigration enforcement activity and health care use. They focused on the comparison between adults of Hispanic origins and those not of Hispanic origin.The study ultimately found that aggressive deportation enforcement in the US may make undocumented immigrants and those close to them reluctant to seek medical care.Listen to Health Affairs Editor-in-Chief Alan Weil interview Abigail Friedman from the Yale School of Public Health on the chilling effects of US immigration enforcement, where undocumented immigrants and their families forgo necessary care for fear of attracting immigration authorities’ attention.Order your copy of the July 2021 issue of Health Affairs.Subscribe: RSS | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts
July 20, 2021

An Aging Immigrant Population and the Health Policy Questions It Raises

Roughly 45 million immigrants live in the United States today, a fourfold increase since the 1960s. Immigrants face unique challenges obtaining health care services. Some of the challenges are caused by explicit policies designed to limit or exclude immigrants from programs and benefits available to people born in the US. Other barriers relate to household income or the greater likelihood of having limited English proficiency.The health of immigrants in the United States is the topic of today's A Health Podyssey. Arturo Vargas Bustamante is a professor at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and faculty director of research at the UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative. For the July issue of Health Affairs - focused exclusively on borders, immigrants and health - Bustamante and coauthors published a paper describing a range of health policy issues raised by the shifting demography of US immigrants. They explored health insurance, health status, and access to care over the past two decades across the immigration and citizenship continuum. They found that inequities between immigrants and US-born residents increased after The Great Recession and began to decline after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.Listen to Health Affairs Editor-in-Chief Alan Weil interview UCLA's Arturo Vargas Bustamante about the health of immigrants in the US today and how the shifting demographics of the US are affecting health policies.Order your copy of the July 2021 issue of Health Affairs.Subscribe: RSS | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts
July 13, 2021

The importance of mental health workers for mobile crisis response

With the US becoming more focused on addressing mental health, one important topic is how society responds to people experiencing mental health crises. A typical crisis response involves a 911 dispatcher sending a police officer to respond and provide support. However, the vast majority of police officers have little or no training for how to best respond to those in mental health crises. In addition, people with serious mental health disorders are at elevated risk of being harmed in confrontations with the police.About 30 years ago in Eugene, Oregon, a small group created an alternative program for people in crisis by sending trained mental health workers and EMTs to people experiencing mental health crises instead of the police. The program is called CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets) and it's become a model for similar efforts around the country.The organization, run by White Bird Clinic, is the subject of a Leading To Health article in the June 2021 issue of Health Affairs. On today's A Health Podyssey, CAHOOTS co-founder David Zeiss joins Health Affairs Editor-in-Chief Alan Weil to discuss diverting people in a mental health crisis from a police response to a system designed around mental health needs. Order your copy of the July 2021 issue of Health Affairs.Subscribe: RSS | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts
July 6, 2021

What gun violence does to health

Gun violence harms the health of victims and witnesses, but it also disrupts community social cohesion and behavioral norms. The people in communities that have experienced violence can suffer adverse health consequences, including post-traumatic stress disorder.Exposure to gun violence and the disproportionate burden of that violence in certain communities is the topic of today's A Health Podyssey. Sarah James, a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University, joins Health Affairs Editor-in-Chief Alan Weil to discuss her research on adolescent exposure to deadly gun violence published in the June 2021 issue of Health Affairs. She and her coauthors analyzed data about adolescents living or attending school near a deadly gun violence incident in the past year. They found stark trends by race and ethnicity as well as income level.Listen to Health Affairs Editor-in-Chief Alan Weil interview Sarah James on the affects of adolescent exposure to deadly gun violence within 500 meters of home or school.This episode is sponsored by the Rural Health Research Gateway at the University of North Dakota.Order your copy of the July 2021 issue of Health Affairs.Subscribe: RSS | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts
June 29, 2021

Timing out-of-pocket spending in health care is challenging

Almost all commercial insurance plans have cost-sharing provisions where patients help pay for their health care services. Annual deductibles — which patients have to meet before insurance pays anything at all — and co-payments — where the patient pays either a fixed amount for or a share of the cost of each service received — are common examples.Cost-sharing generally reduces the health insurance premium by simply shifting a share of the costs to enrollees. But it also affects utilization because having to pay for a share of the care can deter people from getting it.How cost-sharing actually works in practice is the subject of this episode's A Health Podyssey.Stacie Dusetzina from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and Michal Horný from Emory University published a paper in the February 2021 edition of Health Affairs that analyzes the out-of-pocket spending patterns for commercially-insured individuals. They focused on the timing for when expenses are incurred.  The unique analysis points to some distorting of the provisions of a typical health insurance plan. In particular, they found that although most commercially-insured people had several health care encounters throughout the year, their out-of-pocket spending was mostly concentrated within short time intervals.Listen to Health Affairs Editor-in-Chief Alan Weil interview Stacie Dusetzina and Michal Horný on out-of-pocket health care spending.This episode is sponsored by the Rural Health Research Gateway at the University of North Dakota.Order your copy of the July 2021 issue of Health Affairs.Subscribe: RSS | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts
June 22, 2021

A Health Podyssey

Each week, Health Affairs Editor-in-Chief Alan Weil brings you in-depth conversations with leading researchers and influencers shaping the big ideas in health policy and the health care industry.

A Health Podyssey goes beyond the pages of Health Affairs to tell stories behind the research and share policy implications. Learn how academics and economists frame their research questions and journey to the intersection of health, health care, and policy. Health policy nerds rejoice! This podcast is for you.
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Alan Weil

Alan Weil

Alan Weil is the Editor-in-Chief of Health Affairs, the leading health policy journal.

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