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New postings and analysis from Health Affairs, the leading journal of health policy. Health Affairs publishes new research each week online at For more information, contact Chris Fleming at 301-347-3944.

U.S. Primary Care Physicians Lag Behind Overseas Counterparts In Crucial Areas

Primary care doctors in the U.S. are less likely than those in several other countries to be able to offer patients access to care outside regular office hours or to have systems that alert doctors to potentially harmful drug interactions. U.S. primary care physicians are also less likely to receive financial incentives for improving patient care, according to the Commonwealth Fund 2006 International Health Policy Survey published Nov. 2 as a Health Affairs Web Exclusive.

Health Affairs Nov/Dec Issue On Employer Coverage To Be Released At Nov. 14 Briefing

The unrelenting growth in medical expenditures, the continued erosion in private health insurance coverage, and a surge in the ranks of the uninsured have left Americans unsettled about their health care security. What do these trends mean for an aging population and an already strained employer-based health system? Have employers reached their tipping point as purchasers of health benefits?

These are some of the questions addressed in the Nov/Dec issue of Health Affairs, titled "Will Employer Coverage Endure?" The issue will be released at a Nov. 14 briefing by a panel of health care, public opinion, and employer experts. A new national poll exploring public views on health insurance, to be published as a Health Affairs Web Exclusive, will also be released at the briefing.

RSVP for this event at For more information, contact Christopher Fleming, 301-347-3944,, or Alex Field, 301-652-1558,

Print editions of Health Affairs may be ordered for $35 each from Health Affairs' Customer Service at 301-347-3900 or online at

Health Reform And Pay-for-Performance Discussed On Health Affairs Blog

Kaiser President & CEO Drew Altman and Harvard Professor Robert Blendon issue a "Wake-up Call" on health reform: "What health needs most to rise up in American politics is for national political candidates, whether from the political left, right, or center, to begin talking about the issue again as they did in the early nineties. ... If [candidates] do play a leadership role on health, the media will follow, and the agenda-setting power of a debate driven from the top will meet the public's concerns rising up from the bottom like two weather fronts colliding."

Health Affairs Deputy Editor Rob Cunningham provides a long-term perspective on P4P: "The unsolved mystery of coordination is the living legacy of the failure of integration to catch on across the system. It hasn't gone away, and thoughtful discussions of P4P -- like the recent Institute of Medicine report -- warn clearly that payment system tweaks like P4P (and increased consumer cost sharing or disease management, for that matter) merely nibble at the edges of the delivery system's fragmentation problem."


Health Affairs, published by Project HOPE, is the leading journal of health policy. The nonpartisan, peer-reviewed journal appears bimonthly in print, with additional online-only papers published weekly as Health Affairs Web Exclusives at The full text of each Health Affairs Web Exclusive is available free of charge to all Web site visitors for a two-week period following posting, after which it switches to pay-per-view for nonsubscribers. The abstracts of all articles are free. The Sep/Oct 2006 issue was supported principally by the Blue Shield of California Foundation with additional support from Amgen and Genentech. Web Exclusives are supported in part by a grant from the Commonwealth Fund.


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