Using provider payment incentives to reduce health disparities in Fairfax County

Read the article here.

Dr. Nichols Quoted in the Journal Sentinel

November 17, 2014. Read the article here.

Dr. Nichols Quoted in Washington Post

In the article, A Bad SCOTUS Ruling Could Deepen Polarization of Health Care System by Greg Sargent, Dr. Len Nichols is quoted. Read full article here.

Len Nichols quoted in Wall Street Journal online

November 5, 2014.  Len Nichols was quoted in an article by Louise Radnofsky, Stephanie Armour and Kristina Peterson​ for the Wall Street Journal entitled “Republican-Controlled Senate Considers Health-Law Changes”  Read the article here.

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

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


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