Nichols quoted in CNBC article

October 30, 2014.  In a CNBC article by Dan Mangan “Ending Obamacare subsidies: Risks vs. Rewards debated ” , Len Nichols “questioned the political wisdom of attacking subsidies that go to the one group of adults ‘paying retail’ for insurance. Nichols noted that poor adults in a little more than half the states can get Medicaid, at no cost to them, while employer-sponsored insurance is subsidized by a tax exemption for such benefits.

‘Why would you want to turn 30 million people into opponents of your political positions?’ Nichols asked, referring to the people now eligible for Obamacare subsidies.”   To read the full article, click here


Len Nichols – Panelist on Alternatives to Affordable Care Act Discussion

October 30, 2014.  CATO Institute.  Len Nichols took part in a discussion at the CATO Institute about the possible scenarios if the Supreme Court were to strike down the tax subsidies portion of the Affordable Care Act.    The cases included Pruitt v. Burwell, Halbig v. Burwell, King v. Burwell, and Indiana v. IRS   Watch here

Fighting Ebola or Fighting Fear? November 5, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 11.41.14 AMUniversity Life Arlington sponsors this monthly series of academic discussions for members of the Arlington Campus community. The goal of Pizza & Perspectives is to involve students, faculty, and alumni across disciplines in meaningful and rational dialogue on relevant topics. University Life provides pizza and soda.

November 5, 2014

George Mason University’s Arlington Campus

Founders Hall Multipurpose Room (Room 126) from 6-7:15 pm.

Panelists Include:
Salim Habayeb, Director, Health and Medical Policy, School of Policy, Government and International Affairs
Treniese Polk,  Center for Health Policy Research & Ethics, George Mason University
The Ebola virus disease (formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever) has claimed over 4,400 lives with its recent outbreak in West Africa. While originally being discovered in 1976, the most recent outbreak has claimed more lives than all cases combined from previous years. However, many questions and issues remain for government officials, health care providers and global leaders to address. What are the resources and needs of developing healthcare systems to control the spread of this virus? Should the United States close borders to countries with Ebola outbreaks? How has the disproportionate attention given to Ebola cases in the West shed light on the ongoing dialogue around global inequity? Join University Life Arlington and our panelist for an engaging dialogue on November 5th.

Using Provider Payment Incentives to Reduce Health Disparities in Fairfax County

October 24, 2014 – Len Nichols, PhD, Professor and Director of the Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics, and Kalahn Taylor-Clark, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Administration and Policy and Senior Advisor to the Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics, were awarded a three-year grant for $488,000 from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation titled, “Effects of Payment Incentives on Care Processes in a Network Serving Multi-Ethnic Uninsured Populations.”

Funding for this project grew out of a long standing partnership among the Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics, Fairfax County Health Department, and Molina Healthcare (Molina), a clinical contractor that provides health services to low-income families and individuals who do not have access to insurance of any kind, public or private. Fairfax County contracts with Molina to manage three health clinics within the Community Health Care Network (CHCN), which are located in areas that have a disproportionately high number of low-income and uninsured residents. “Molina, under Fairfax County’s arrangement, is a perfect partner for this work. [They have] health plans, medical clinics, and a health information management solution. No other organization of its kind performs all three essential functions,” says Dr. Nichols. Dr. Taylor-Clark adds, “Our goal for this project is to reduce health disparities that we see in this population by building on existing payment incentives and rewarding provider teams for better connecting patients to appropriate services in areas related to cholesterol-lowering drugs, cervical cancer screening, and smoking cessation counseling.”

The team hypothesizes that providing incentives to clinicians and their support staff will encourage them to deliver themselves or refer patients to clinical or social services that address these health issues that disproportionally impact this population. Examples of incentives include: encouraging more smoking cessation counseling and referrals for patients, increasing access and number of pap smears provided by clinicians, and increasing appropriate use of statins. Along with the project’s newest partners, Health Management Associates and research led by Catherine Gallagher, PhD, Director of the Cochrane Collaboration College for Policy, the team will conduct in-depth interviews with key health care specialists to understand patient barriers to treatment and determine better opportunities for improved health outcomes. Patient surveys will also be conducted to better understand their experiences of medical care, including barriers to care and perspectives on patient/provider communication. With fewer new physicians choosing to go into primary care, the need for this support for underserved populations is crucial to improving better health outcomes.

Written by Caroline Valentino, CHHS Staff

Ebola: A Recurring Epidemic by Treniese Polk

September 24, 2014. In this article, Treniese Polk, CHPRE Project Manager, discusses the Ebola epidemic, gives context for the patient experience in a health system of a developing country, and explains how infectious diseases thrive under the climate and conditions of developing health systems, thus propelling epidemics. At the close of the article, Polk proposes forward-thinking strategies to combat future epidemics.

For the full article click here.


Debate on Affordable Care Act

Sept. 22, 2014, Bristol, TN.  Len Nichols  moderated a panel at the event sponsored by Wellmont Health Systems, Appalachian School of Law, and the Sorenesen Institute for Political Leadership at UVA.  The topic was entitled “From Policy to Implementation with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:  How do We Get There?”  To read more about the event click  here


Recent Court Challenges to the Affordable Care Act

Len Nichols recently joined other health policy experts at George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health ​to discuss  recent court decisions about legality of subsidies in state marketplaces. Watch video here.

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