Health Affairs This Week

Health Affairs This Week

Health Affairs editors discuss this week's most pressing health policy news.

All Episodes

COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates, Paid Sick Leave, and the Economy

Earlier this week, the White House released its "path out of the pandemic," which notes the FDA is currently evaluating a COVID-19 vaccine for children under the age of 12.A major pillar in the plan is to reduce the number of unvaccinated Americans by using regulatory powers to increase Americans covered by vaccination requirements. For example, the plan requires that all employers with more than 100 employees ensure their workers are vaccinated or tested weekly for COVID-19.As Health Affairs' Senior Editors Ellen Bayer and Leslie Erdelack note in today's Health Affairs This Week, the workplace is an important focus for public health efforts, as it can be a place where disease spreads. Because of this, paid sick leave policies are important when thinking about public health. However, the US lags behind other countries when it comes to guaranteeing paid sick leave. Listen to Ellen Bayer and Leslie Erdelack go over President Joe Biden's latest path out of the COVID-19 pandemic and how paid sick leave can influence public health.View the Full Agenda for Health Affairs' NEW EVENT SERIES.Related Links: Path Out of the Pandemic (White House) COVID-19 Emergency Sick Leave Has Helped Flatten The Curve In The United States (Health Affairs) Olive Garden's Expansion Of Paid Sick Leave During COVID-19 Reduced The Share Of Employees Working While Sick (Health Affairs) US Sick Leave In Global Context: US Eligibility Rules Widen Inequalities Despite Readily Available Solutions (Health Affairs) Subscribe: RSS | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Castro | Stitcher | Deezer | Overcast
September 17, 2021
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Health Affairs' Health Equity Round-Up

In January 2021, Health Affairs posted an announcement regarding its new Health Equity Project.Since then, Health Affairs has been ramping up its efforts to advance equity in scholarly publishing and health services research.Last month, the organization announced the members of the Health Affairs' Health Equity Advisory Board. This week, the Health Affairs Blog published a cluster of blogs related to various topics on health equity. Join Health Affairs' Director of Health Equity Vabren Watts and Senior Editor Rob Lott as they discuss the journal's latest efforts to highlight and advance health equity through a new blog cluster, the new Health Equity Advisory Committee, and the Health Equity Fellowship for Trainees.  Related Links: Clinically Driven Payment and Benefit Design To Improve Health Equity: The Case of Obesity Prevention and Treatment (Health Affairs Blog) Medical Algorithms Are Failing Communities of Color (Health Affairs Blog) A New Effort To Address Racial and Ethnic Disparities In Care Through Quality Measurement (Health Affairs Blog) Apply to the Health Equity Fellowship for Trainees at Health Affairs Subscribe: RSS | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Castro | Stitcher | Deezer | Overcast
September 10, 2021
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On the Texas Abortion Ban Decision, Medicare's Insolvency & More with Katie Keith

This week in Health Affairs Today, Georgetown University faculty member and Health Affairs Contributing Editor Katie Keith shared her "back-to-school" reading list with subscribers.In part to talk about her reading picks for the future health policy leaders of tomorrow, Katie joins Health Affairs Senior Editor Chris Fleming on Health Affairs This Week. In addition to teasing out a virtual Health Affairs-hosted Lunch-and-Learn event later in September, Katie and Chris discuss the latest on the Texas abortion ban Supreme Court decision, Medicare's projected insolvency, and the health policy landscape at large.Watch out for details on Katie Keith's virtual Lunch-and-Learn session in September on Health Affairs Events Page or by signing up for Health Affairs Today.Related Links: Supreme Court Leaves Texas Abortion Ban In Place (SCOTUS Blog) Katie Keith's Back To School Reading List (Health Affairs) Rethinking Race In Medicine: ACOG Removes A Race-Based Cutoff For Anemia In Pregnancy (Health Affairs Blog) 2021 Annual Report Of The Boards Of Trustees of the Federal Hospital Insurance and Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Funds (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) National Health Interview Survey Early Release Program (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) Subscribe: RSS | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Castro | Stitcher | Deezer | Overcast
September 3, 2021
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Back To School Edition: COVID-19 Vaccines & Mask Mandates

This week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Pfizer full approval for its COVID-19 vaccine. Schools around the country also started to reopen for the 2021-2022 school year. With schools reopening and the Delta variant of COVID-19 flaring up across the US, many are bringing up the pros and cons of mask mandates in schools in addition to COVID-19 vaccine access to young children. In today's episode of Health Affairs This Week, Senior Editors Rob Lott and Jessica Bylander weigh the perspectives for both topics as parents prepare for the new school year.Sign up to the the Health Affairs Today newsletter for more Back-To-School Essentials content during the week of August 30, 2021. In the newsletter, we will promote past Health Affairs content for future health policy experts. Related Links: COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Teens (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) FDA Approves First COVID-19 Vaccine (FDA) As Schools Reopen, It's Time To Increase Funding For School-Based Health Centers (Health Affairs Blog) Children and COVID-19: State-Level Data Report (American Academy of Pediatrics) The Delta Variant: I’m Vaccinated. Should I Wear A Mask? (Johns Hopkins University) Subscribe: RSS | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Castro | Stitcher | Deezer | Overcast
August 27, 2021
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Inside the Historic Boost for SNAP Food Assistance

This week, the Biden administration updated its Thrifty Food Plan, which is used to calculate Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.The analysis led to an increase in the average SNAP benefit which is set to increase in October 2022.The cost adjustment, according to the Biden administration, is the first update since the plan was first introduced in 1975.Food insecurity is a big issue, especially as the social determinants of health increasingly are in health policy discussion. For example, one Health Affairs research article found that food-insecure children are at least twice as likely to report being in fair or poor health.SNAP reduces the prevalence of food security. Listen to Health Affairs' Editors Jessica Bylander and Leslie Erdelack discuss the Biden administration's latest move on SNAP, and what it means for health care. Related Links: Biden Administration Prompts Largest Permanent Increase in Food Stamps (The New York Times) USDA Modernizes the Thrifty Food Plan, Updates SNAP Benefits (U.S. Department of Agriculture) Loss Of SNAP Is Associated With Food Insecurity And Poor Health In Working Families With Young Children (Health Affairs) The Effect Of The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program On Mortality (Health Affairs) Podcast: The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill - What's in it for Health Care (Health Affairs This Week) Subscribe: RSS | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Castro | Stitcher | Deezer | Overcast
August 20, 2021
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The Public Transit-Health Connection

This week, the US Senate approved the sweeping Bipartisan Infrastructure Plan. The bill includes a $39 billion investment in public transit to report aging infrastructure across the US.Public transportation in the US is an important aspect of American Life, including health care. Health Affairs recently published a Health Policy Brief on the connection between public transportation and health.On this episode of Health Affairs This Week, Health Affairs' Rob Lott and Jeff Byers discuss what to expect next for the infrastructure bill and dive into the insights from the health policy brief.Related Links: Public Transportation In the US: A Driver Of Health And Equity (Health Affairs) Senate Approves The $1 Trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill In A Historic Vote (NPR) Podcast: The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill - What's in it for Health Care (Health Affairs This Week) Subscribe: RSS | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Castro | Stitcher | Deezer | Overcast
August 13, 2021
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The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill – What's in it for Health Care

Last week, President Joe Biden and his administration released more detail on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.While a lot of focus has been given to provisions, such as the $66 billion investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak 50 years ago, there are many areas which will affect the health care sector.Health Affairs' Senior Editors Ellen Bayer and Chris Fleming share the latest on the bipartisan infrastructure deal and how health care will be affected, including policies on telehealth, clean drinking water, climate change, broadband internet, and other social determinants of health.Related Links: Bipartisan Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act (White House Fact Sheet) A Lead Poisoning Crisis Enters Its Second Century (Health Affairs) Climate & Health Theme Issue (Health Affairs) Health Risks Due to Climate Change: Inequity In Causes and Consequences (Health Affairs) Ensuring the Growth of Telehealth During COVID-19 Does Not Exacerbate Disparities In Care (Health Affairs Blog) Subscribe: RSS | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Castro | Stitcher | Deezer | Overcast
August 6, 2021
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COVID-19: The Latest on Federal Mask Guidance and Vaccine Mandates

This week has seen considerable movement in the effort to curb the COVID-19 pandemic from the federal level.On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its mask guidance, recommending that fully vaccinated individuals wear mask indoors in areas with high COVID-19 transmission rates to reduce the spread of COVID-19. At the time of this recording on Thursday July 29, 2021, President Joe Biden is expected to announce a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for federal employees.On this episode of Health Affairs This Week, editors Rob Lott and Leslie Erdelack discuss the latest on COVID-19, the Delta variant, CDC's updated mask guidance, and President Joe Biden's expected vaccine requirement for federal government employees.Related Links: Assessing The Legality Of Mandates For Vaccines Authorized Via An Emergency Use Authorization (Health Affairs Blog) Community User Of Face Masks And COVID-19: Evidence From A Natural Experiment Of State Mandates In The US (Health Affairs) President Biden To Announce New Actions To Get More Americans Vaccinated And Slow the Spread Of the Delta Variant (White House) COVID-19 Data Tracker: Integrated County View (CDC) When You've Been Fully Vaccinated (CDC) Subscribe: RSS | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Castro | Stitcher | Deezer | Overcast
July 30, 2021
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Behind the Pages: July 2021 Issue on Borders, Immigrants & Health

In July, Health Affairs published an issue dedicated to borders, immigrants, and health. A public health crisis is unfolding along and inside the US-Mexico border. Immigrants arriving at the US border are likely to have experienced political, economic, or interpersonal violence prior to their arrival, leading to unmet mental health and physical health needs. Immigrants detained at the border may face crime and violence in border towns as they await trial in the US, or prolonged stays in detention centers and family separations if they are able to cross the border. Immigrants in the US face health challenges that extend well beyond the border.Health policy issues are impacted by the continuously shifting demography of US immigrants. The July 2021 journal issue of Health Affairs and related content focuses on immigrants and borders and the impact on health policy. The issue examines recent trends in immigrant health and health care after the Great Recession and the nationwide implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).In today's episode of Health Affairs This Week, Senior Editors Leslie Erdelack and Jessica Bylander discuss the publication process and highlight research insights from the issue.Order your copy of the July 2021 issue of Health Affairs.Related Links: Borders, Immigrants & Health July 2021 Issue (Health Affairs) Health Policy Challenges Posed By Shifting Demographics And Health Trends Among Immigrants To The United States (Health Affairs) Immigrant Essential Workers Likely Avoided Medicaid And SNAP Because Of A Change To The Public Charge Rule (Health Affairs) Podcast: Many US Immigrants May Defer Health Care to Avoid ICE (A Health Podyssey) Health Care Has Few Plans To Address The Aging Immigrant Population (Axios) Subscribe: RSS | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Castro | Stitcher | Deezer | Overcast
July 23, 2021
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New Biden Executive Order Targets Hospital Mergers & Drug Pricing, Renews Antitrust Focus

Last week, the Biden Administration unveiled a sweeping executive order, focused on promoting competition in the US economy. With Lina Khan as the new chairperson of the Federal Trade Commission, the administration is looking to increase its antitrust focus and potentially break up monopolies. The new executive order contains 72 provisions, giving direction to multiple agencies on sectors such as agriculture, transportation, labor, and health care. In health care, the executive order focuses on drug pricing, hospital mergers and acquisitions, hospital pricing transparency, biosimilars, and comparison shopping for health plans.Listen to Health Affairs' Deputy Editor Rob Lott and Senior Content Marketing Manager Jeff Byers go over the health care sections in the Biden administration's executive order on promoting competition in the US economy. They also discuss the hipster antitrust movement, the cost of hearing aids, and hospital deal trends since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.Related Links: Fact Sheet: Executive Order On Promoting Competition In The American Economy (White House) Hospital M&A Down From Pre-Pandemic Highs, Though Deal Size Growing, Kaufman Hall Says (Healthcare Dive) Biden Administration's First Marketplace Rule Promotes Coverage and Reverse Trump-Era Changes (Health Affairs Blog) How Biosimilars Are Affecting The Drug Markets (A Health Podyssey) Lina Khan And the "Hipster Antitrust" Movement (The Atlantic) The End of Friedmanomics (The New Republic) Subscribe: RSS | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Castro | Stitcher | Deezer | Overcast
July 16, 2021
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No Surprises Act: Known Impacts on Surprise Medical Bills & What's Next

Last week, the Biden administration issued an interim final rule to implement critical components of the No Surprises Act (NSA).Building on the Affordable Care Act, the NSA includes new patient protections against surprise medical bills. About one in five insured adults had an unexpected medical bill from an out-of-network provider, according to a 2020 Kaiser Family Foundation survey. A study released this week found that about one in five newborn hospitalizations or childbirth deliveries result in receiving a surprise medical bill. These surprise medical bills can cause financial stress to patients and their families.Listen to Health Affairs' Senior Editors Leslie Erdelack and Chris Fleming break down the interim final rule, how it will impact surprise medical bills or "balance billing," and what we can expect regarding what's next.Check out the July issue on Borders, Immigrants & Health. Register for the July 12 Event on Border Health.Related Links: Banning Surprise Bills: Biden Administration Issues First Rule on No Surprises Act (Health Affairs Blog) Unpacking The No Surprises Act: An Opportunity To Protect Millions (Health Affairs Blog) Emergency Physicians Recover A Higher Share Of Charges From Out-Of-Network Care Than From In-Network Care (Health Affairs) Timing Out-of-Pocket Spending In Health Care Is Challenging (A Health Podyssey) Surprise Billing Protections Are One Step Closer To Becoming Reality (The Washington Post) Subscribe: RSS | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Castro | Stitcher | Deezer | Overcast
July 9, 2021
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Home-based Care Left Out of Bipartisan Infrastructure Plan

President Joe Biden has been making negotiations to get his massive infrastructure plan over the finish line. Some funding related to health care that was originally in the plan ended up on the cutting room floor.In particular, $400 billion in federal Medicaid funding for home and community-based long term care services were removed from the plan. The earmarked funds for Medicaid still could be passed through a budget reconciliation act but that remains to be seen. This has implications for the health and well-being of many Americans including low-income individuals 65 and older, people with disabilities, and home-based care workers. Listen to Health Affairs' Senior Editors Ellen Bayer and Jessica Bylander go beyond recent headlines on President Biden's infrastructure plan and discuss important provisions to improve home-based care.Order your copy of the July 2021 issue of Health Affairs.Related Links: Biden's Pledge To Boost Home Caregiver Funding Excluded From Infrastructure Deal (CNBC) Making Care Work Pay: How A Living Wage For LTSS Workers Benefits All (Health Affairs Blog) Home And Community-Based Workforce For Patients With Serious Illness Requires Support To Meet Growing Needs (Health Affairs) Modernizing Long-Term Services And Supports And Valuing The Caregiver Workforce (Health Affairs Blog) Direct Care Workers In The United States: Key Facts (PHI) Subscribe: RSS | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Castro | Stitcher | Deezer | Overcast
July 2, 2021
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Unpacking Apple's health care efforts and digital health's overall maturity

Tech giants like Apple and Alphabet, the parent company of Google, have been trying to push into health care for some time now. But pursuing health care as a business is hard. Recent news of Google reorganizing its health team and Apple struggling to create primary care services illuminate how difficult it can be for companies - even those with deep pockets and resources - to break into the health care industry.To discuss the recent Apple news as well as the maturity of the digital health industry, Health Affairs' Jeff Byers welcomes Brian Dolan, founder of digital health news and market research publication Exits & Outcomes, to Health Affairs This Week. Dolan is a veteran journalist in the health tech space and shares his insights from his reporting on Crossover Health's partnership with Apple.Related Links: Apple Struggles In Push To Make Healthcare Its Greatest Legacy (The Wall Street Journal) The Crossover Health Report (Exits & Outcomes) Apple Explored Buying A Medical-Clinic Start-Up As Part Of A Bigger Push Into Health Care (CNBC) Google Is Downsizing Its Health Team And Moving Employees To Fitbit As Part Of A Major Reorganization (Insider) Subscribe: RSS | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Castro | Stitcher | Deezer | Overcast
June 25, 2021
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Peering into the MedPAC crystal ball for the future of Medicare payments

June is shaping to be a busy month in the health policy space. Two major events happened this week alone.First, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) survived its latest legal challenge in the Supreme Court. After facing many court challenges, the 2010 policy is still the law of the land.Also, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) sent a report to Congress on Tuesday making many recommendations to revamp Medicare payments. It's recommendations are not binding but the group is influential in the health policy community. In the report, the advisory group called for streamlining alternative payment models (APMs) and changing how Medicare Advantage benchmarks are calculated.On this episode of Health Affairs This Week, Senior Editors Leslie Erdelack and Jessica Bylander discuss the recent Supreme Court decision and try and demystify what MedPAC is and highlight some of the agency's recommendations from the recent report. Related Links: MedPAC June 2021 Report Affordable Care Act Survives Latest Supreme Court Challenge (The New York Times) LIVE with Liz Fowler, Director Of The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (A Health Podyssey) Private Equity Investments In Health Care: An Overview Of Hospital And Health System Leveraged Buyouts, 2003-17 (Health Affairs) Understanding Private Equity Investment In Hospitals (A Health Podyssey) Subscribe: RSS | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Castro | Stitcher | Deezer | Overcast
June 17, 2021
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Insights into FDA's controversial decision to approve a new Alzheimer's treatment drug

This week, the US Food and Drug Administration approved Aduhelm (aducanumab) to treat patients with Alzheimer's disease using an accelerated approval pathway.The drug was approved on June 7, 2021, and the decision was quick to spark controversy. At least two members of a panel of outside advisors to the FDA from Mayo Clinic and Washington University resigned in protest over the drug's approval.Clinical trials for the drug, which is manufactured by Biogen, showed a reduction in amyloid beta plaques. According to the FDA, that is "a hallmark finding in the brain of patients with Alzheimer's" and "is expected to lead to a reduction in the clinical decline of this...form of dementia."But there remain concerns about the drug's side effects in addition to its price tag.Health Affairs' Senior Editor Leslie Erdelack joins Deputy Editor for Special Content Rob Lott on this episode of Health Affairs This Week to discuss the approval and review outstanding questions, drug pricing, and whether pharmaceutical companies might look to old data for new drug approvals.  Related Links: The FDA's Approval of Aduhelm: Potential Implications Across A Wide Range Of Health Policy Issues and Stakeholders (Health Affairs Blog) Limiting Coverage Based On Efficacy And Safety: A Path For Medicare Regarding The Alzheimer's Treatment Aducanumab (Health Affairs Blog) The Search For Effective Alzheimer's Therapies: A Work In Progress (Health Affairs) Subscribe: RSS | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Castro | Stitcher | Deezer | Overcast
June 11, 2021
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States are leading the way on the public option

President Joe Biden included the public health insurance option, commonly referred to as the "public option," as a major pillar of his health care platform during the 2020 presidential campaign.To date, the public option hasn't been included in the discourse for the Biden administration. Instead the administration has focused on supporting the Affordable Care Act, among other agenda items.Now states are leading the charge and considering the adoption of public option policies. Nevada's Governor stated earlier this month that they would sign a public option bill while Colorado is also considering a public option. Washington adopted similar legislation in 2019.On today's episode, Georgetown University's Katie Keith joins Health Affairs Blog Editor Chris Fleming to discuss the latest on how states are leading the way on the public option. In addition, Katie shares her insights on where the major Affordable Care Act case - California v. Texas - currently stands in the Supreme Court. Related Links: The Origins And Demise Of The Public Option (Health Affairs) Hill Democrats Ask For Input On Public Option As CO, NV Consider Adoption (Health Affairs Blog) Letter from Frank Pallone, Jr. and Patty Murray on Public Health Insurance Option (May 26, 2021) Sisolak Pledges To Sign Public Option Health Care Bill (Las Vegas Review-Journal) Public Option(al): What Happened To Biden's Big Idea? (Tradeoffs) Subscribe: RSS | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Castro | Stitcher | Deezer | Overcast
June 4, 2021
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Does the US have a drug innovation problem?

Last week, Representative Katie Porter took AbbVie CEO Richard Gonzalez to task on drug pricing during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing. Porter highlighted the CEO's high salary while pointing to increases in drug prices in the pharmaceutical industry.The narrative casts pharmaceutical companies as villains but it's more complicated than that. It's true that pharmaceutical companies provide life-saving medicines and it's also true that some drugs simply aren't affordable for individuals that would benefit from them. On this episode of Health Affairs This Week, Senior Editor Jessica Bylander joins Deputy Editor Rob Lott to discuss the inherent tensions in drug innovation and pricing. Related Links: Beyond The High Prices Of Prescription Drugs: A Framework To Assess Costs, Resource Allocation, And Public Funding (Health Affairs) New Players Join The Drug Development Game (Health Affairs) Lawmakers Pitch A Bill To Create $30 Billion In 'Biobonds' To Jumpstart Drug Development (Stat News) Drug Pricing Conversations Must Take The Cost Of Innovation Into Consideration (Stat News) Nonprofits, Federal Government Surpass Pharma To Lead Alzheimer's Drug Development (Medical Xpress) Subscribe: RSS | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Castro | Stitcher | Deezer | Overcast
May 28, 2021
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Behind the CDC’s new COVID-19 mask guidelines for those who are fully vaccinated

Last week, the CDC updated its guidance on mask-wearing in public for individuals that are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The agency stated, "if you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic." That means fully vaccinated individuals can wear masks indoors or outdoors if they choose to.Unsurprisingly, this guidance was met with controversy. Some critics felt the guidelines were too abrupt while others questioned if the guidelines hold up principles of health equity. On today's episode of Health Affairs This Week, Health Affairs' Blog Editor Chris Fleming and Director of Equity Vabren Watts review the CDC guidelines and discuss the criticism and remaining questions surrounding the agency's decision.Related Links: When You've Been Fully Vaccinated (CDC) Fauci Says Public Is 'Misinterpreting' Latest CDC Mask Guidance (CNBC) The CDC's Mask Guidance Is A Mess. Biden Needs To Clean It Up (Washington Post) Community Use Of face Masks And COVID-19: Evidence From A Natural Experiment Of State Mandates In The US (Health Affairs) Subscribe: RSS | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Castro | Stitcher | Deezer | Overcast
May 21, 2021
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Three unanswered questions for telehealth's future

The COVID-19 pandemic reshaped the telehealth landscape. Many physicians and patients had their first experience with a telehealth visit as lockdown measures limited in-person physician offices. Many questions remain whether the telehealth explosion is a flash-in-the-pan success or if it will have long-lasting changes in patient visit behaviors. Health Affairs' Chris Fleming and Rob Lott join Health Affairs This Week to discuss a recently published series of blog articles on the topic and unpack the biggest questions regarding the future of telehealth, including:  Should Medicare continue payment parity? Where does payment reform stand on telehealth? What are current barriers affecting implementation of telehealth?  Related Links: The Coming Conflict Over Tele-Visits: The Need For Innovation In Payment And Information Sharing (Health Affairs Blog) Understanding The Case For Telehealth Payment Parity (Health Affairs Blog) Congress: Act Now To Ensure Telehealth Access For Medicare Benefits (Health Affairs Blog) Mutual Recognition Of Physician Licensure By States Would Provide For Better Patient Care (Health Affairs Blog) How Telehealth Can Enable New Care Management Strategies In Alternative Payment Models (Health Affairs Blog) Subscribe: RSS | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Castro | Stitcher | Deezer | Overcast
May 14, 2021
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The next wave of federal food aid for children and families

Listen to Health Affairs' Leslie Erdelack and Jessica Bylander discuss food insecurity and President Biden's latest efforts on federal food aid.
May 7, 2021
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Aggressive policing damages health equity and community health

Listen to Rob Lott talk with Dr. Hedwig Lee, author of a new Health Affairs Policy Brief on the impacts of aggressive policing on health and health equity.
April 30, 2021
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Hospitals at large are failing at price transparency

Listen to Health Affairs' Leslie Erdelack and Rob Lott break down the latest on the federal hospital pricing transparency rule and hospital compliance.
April 23, 2021
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What's the deal with hospital mergers?

Listen to Health Affairs' Jessica Bylander and Jeff Byers talk about the latest data on hospital mergers and why Microsoft is acquiring the health tech firm Nuance Communications.
April 16, 2021
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A renewed effort to address the opioid epidemic

It’s National Public Health Week, and HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra just renewed the agency’s emergency declaration for the opioid crisis. Listen to Senior Editor Leslie Erdelack and Health Equity Director Vabren Watts discuss why.
April 9, 2021
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Drug pricing on the agenda for massive infrastructure bill

Listen to Chris Fleming and Washington University's Rachel Sachs break down H.R. 3, which contains a series of far-reaching drug pricing reforms that could be included as part of a massive infrastructure package proposal.
April 2, 2021
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Elevating women's voices in health policy during Women's History Month

Listen to Vabren Watts and Jessica Bylander discuss Women's History Month, all the great work women have contributed to the Health Affairs community, and the latest on COVID-19 vaccines and their impact on pregnant women.
March 26, 2021
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In addressing vaccine hesitancy, how the message is delivered matters

Listen to Leslie Erdelack and Rob Lott discuss vaccine hesitancy, what it is, how it relates to COVID-19 herd immunity, and how health care professionals can connect targeted messaging campaigns to vaccine hesitant individuals via trusted resources such as physicians.
March 19, 2021
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American Rescue Plan addresses the Affordable Care Act's unfinished business

Listen to Chris Fleming and Katie Keith break down the American Rescue Plan and how it impacts health and health care, including Medicaid expansion incentives, premium tax credit claw backs for 2020, and the ACA's unfinished business.
March 11, 2021
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What nursing home turnover means for quality of care

Listen to Rob Lot and Jessica Bylander discuss the latest on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, nursing home staff turnover, and how health equity relates to both topics.
March 5, 2021
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COVID-19 vaccine production is dramatically ramping up

Listen to Leslie Erdelack and Chris Fleming discuss the latest on COVID-19 and vaccine availability as well as the status on various health policy court cases and administrative regulations.
February 26, 2021
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What a $15 minimum wage could mean for population health

Listen to Rob Lott and Jeff Byers discuss how raising the minimum wage could impact health.
February 19, 2021
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Breaking down the 2021 Momnibus bill

Listen to Health Affairs editors Leslie Erdelack and Jessica Bylander discuss what's in the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021.
February 12, 2021
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What is and isn't in the Biden executive order on Medicaid and the ACA

Listen to Rob Lott, Chris Fleming, and Katie Keith discuss the Biden administration's executive order on Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act.
February 5, 2021
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A call for health equity in scholarly publishing

Listen to Jessica Bylander and Vabren Watts discuss the Biden administration's vision for advancing racial equity and the new Health Affairs health equity project.
January 29, 2021
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More seats at the federal table for health equity

Listen to Leslie Erdelack and Vabren Watts talk about the Biden inauguration, his picks for an incoming health team, and what is means for health equity.
January 22, 2021
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What could Medicaid and COVID-19 vaccine distribution look like under a Biden administration?

Listen to editors Chris Fleming and Jessica Bylander discuss the COVID-19 vaccine rollout and what the Biden administration may do with Medicaid block grants and work requirements.
January 15, 2021
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Health policy on the table in 2021 with democratic Congress

Listen to editors Leslie Erdelack and Rob Lott start 2021 by discussing the Georgia runoff election, the fall of Haven, the coverage provisions in the 2021 appropriations and COVID-19 stimulus package, and what is all means for health policy.
January 8, 2021
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Overlooked health policy stories of 2020 – Part 2

Listen to Leslie Erdelack, Vabren Watts, and Jessica Bylander discuss some of health policy's overlooked stories thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a special extended episode of Health Affairs This Week, the group highlights drug pricing and regulations, the public charge rule, and the increase in health literacy due to the pandemic.
December 31, 2020
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Overlooked health policy stories of 2020 – Part 1

Listen to Leslie Erdelack, Chris Fleming, and Rob Lott discuss some of health policy's overlooked stories thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a special extended episode of Health Affairs This Week, the group highlights the ACA turning 10, antitrust regulations, and environmental rollbacks.
December 24, 2020
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Snow can’t stop the COVID-19 vaccine supply chain

Listen to Jessica Bylander and Vabren Watts enter the snow discourse and discuss the latest on COVID-19 vaccines.
December 18, 2020
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Climate change and the future of health policy

Leslie Erdelack and Chris Fleming discuss why health policy is ready to enter the climate change discussion.
December 11, 2020
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Is a COVID-19 vaccine within reach?

Health Affairs' Jessica Bylander and Rob Lott chat about COVID-19, vaccine distribution, emergency use authorization for vaccines, toddlers' interpretations of masks, and mistrust over the healthcare industry.
December 4, 2020
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