Sunday Health Policy UpDate
Sunday, November 12, 2006
E-Mail Sign-Up

Comparative Effectiveness Center

Employer Coverage

Health Affairs Blog


E-mail Alerts

Current Issue

Theme Issues

Contact Us

Health Affairs

Current Issue on

Subscribe Now
To Health Affairs

"the bible of
health policy"
--The Washington Post

Get the full picture
with Health Affairs'
Theme Issues

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.

Wilensky Calls For Comparative Effectiveness Information Center

The United States should establish a new center for comparative effectiveness information, Gail Wilensky says in the lead paper of a Health Affairs Web package published Nov. 7. She suggests that a hybrid public-private structure could be the best way to maximize buy-in for the work of the new organization.

The new center envisioned by the former head of the Health Care Financing Administration would not make centralized coverage decisions. Instead, it would provide an independent assessment of the comparative effectiveness of medical interventions for use by payers, patients, and providers.

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.

The briefing will take place from 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM at the Columbus Club in Union Station, Washington, DC. 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

Election Analysis, The Nurse Shortage, And More On Health Affairs Blog

What will the election results mean for health policy? UNC medical school dean and former HCFA administrator William Roper weighs in from a Republican perspective. Visiting Georgetown law professor and former Medicaid director Timothy Westmoreland provides a Democratic take.

Linda Aiken, the director of Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania, debunks a series of myths about the nurse shortage. For example, responding to the myth that "care will increasingly shift to out-of-hospital settings, reducing the demand for nurses, Aiken writes: "Although inpatient days have fallen dramatically in the past 20 years, inpatient acuity has increased - meaning that more intensive services are needed within a shorter hospital stay. In addition, demand for nurses in nonhospital settings is growing rapidly because of the rising burden of chronic illnesses."

Health Affairs Communications Manager Christopher Fleming reports on the Commonwealth Fund's 2006 international symposium on health care policy: "Robin Osborn, director of the Commonwealth Fund's International Program in Health Policy and Practice, noted that the United States has 'fantastic pockets of innovation'...But she also said that 'systems matter,' as does 'the capacity to implement national policies from the top down.' Osborn commented, "At the end of the day, we [the U.S.] generally lack the 'systemness' to move to scale."


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.


Subscribe today for full online access to Health Affairs--"the bible of health policy" (Washington Post, January 12, 2005).


Be the first to see what's new in health policy.

  • Sign up for Web Exclusive e-mail alerts from Health Affairs
  • NEW! Receive Health Affairs' headlines via RSS feed.

Health Affairs gratefully acknowledges the support of Health Care Update News Service in the dissemination of this e-alert.