Readmission Penalites…Nice Job DC…

Kaiser Health News recently published a table with readmission rate penalties from Medicare data. The data shows the percentage of hospitals within a state who will be penalized for excessive readmissions as part of the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program. Here’s a quick choropleth map showing the geographic distribution of these penalties. Interestingly, all seven hospitals in DC will be penalized in year two of HRRP. And California….you’re not doing so well either at 66%.To access the table with percentages, click here.

What makes the area bordered by Missouri & Arkansas moving East so poorly ranked in terms of most health indicators & rankings?

How the ACA Affects Your Public Health Career

Is it a penalty or is it a tax? Or is it both? We’ve all heard that question being asked at least once. And if you watch TV for more than 2 hours a day, you’ve probably heard it multiple times. If you’re a patient (and if you haven’t been, you will eventually), this law comes with certain benefits and rights that I covered here (and also covered extensively by the media). If you’re a clinician, the law opens up new opportunities to form Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) that reward doctors when their patients are healthy. However, little has been discussed about the ACAs impact on the public health realm (with no surprise since we only invest $251/person in public health dollars compared to $8,086/person in health care dollars link). So what’s at stake for us public health practitioners? Continue reading…

The Vicious Cycle of Winners and Losers

Ask any Public Health Practitioner what the biggest public health success story is and they will mention the eradication of smallpox. Across the globe, this accomplishment is seen as the biggest contribution public health brought onto society and a sort of proof-of-concept that illness can be dealt with even before onset. Yet if you ask the Public Health Community what the current most pressing public health concern should be, you will never get consensus. Infectious disease¬†connoisseurs will bring forward the re-emergence of infectious diseases, chronic disease experts will point to the majority of top 10 leading causes of death (in the US) as being chronic. HIV/AIDS researchers will underline the fact that HIV/AIDS can lead to other infectious/chronic diseases, yet diabetes researchers could state the same. Continue reading…

7 billion reasons to think about 7 billion

I find it appropriate to cut the red tape on my new blog with something so relevant to every single person on this planet: population.

I found a cool iPad app called 7 billion offered by National Geographic that gives an in-depth look at the recently-achieved population size of 7 billion. And the first page of this application shows a great overview in lay terms on where we were, where we are, and where we are going.
Perhaps an even more interesting and worrisome issue is something that I learned in one of my classes in graduate school. The fathers and mothers of a 13 billion population are alive today. WOWZERS!

Continue reading…