Thursday, February 11, 2016

The five most underrated health care developments of 2015

Thursday, December 31, 2015, 6:00 AM
Health care stayed at the top of the news in 2015, as it has for the past several years. The Affordable Care Act continued to dominate much of it, although passions surrounding the law seem to have cooled somewhat. But there is a lot more to health care in America than the ACA. Other important developments... Read more

Think your drugs are fully tested for safety? Think again

Monday, December 28, 2015, 6:00 AM
Over the past weeks, we have learned that major companies that make products we trust, like Volkswagen's diesel engines and Takata's air bags, have rigged test results to make their products look cleaner and safer than they really are. Yet, far more widespread manipulation of test results is routinely... Read more

Are “concierge” practices good for patients?

Monday, December 21, 2015, 12:01 PM
A new survey finds that physician dissatisfaction with practice “has reached a tipping point with more than half of US physicians experiencing professional burnout.“ And this is bad news for patients: “Given the extensive evidence that burnout among physicians has effects on quality... Read more

Why the education and health sectors need to align

Thursday, December 17, 2015, 7:00 AM
In public health we are constantly reminded that our healthcare system and the Affordable Care Act can only do so much to get and keep our nation healthy. Unless we positively impact and shape the social determinants of health – or the wider forces and systems shaping conditions of daily life... Read more

Pa. passes half-million mark in Medicaid expansion

Thursday, December 10, 2015, 4:03 PM
More than 500,000 Pennsylvanians, including 110,954 from Philadelphia, have signed up for Medicaid since Gov. Wolf expanded the program this year, helping the state’s uninsured rate drop to 8 percent from 14 percent, the governor said Thursday. The gain in Philadelphia represents a 27 percent... Read more

Premiums are rising and deductibles are growing – under Bushcare

Tuesday, December 8, 2015, 6:00 AM
Remember Bushcare? It was enacted by Congress in the form of the Medicare Modernization Act in 2003. That law added a prescription drug benefit to Medicare as part of the largest expansion of the program in its history with a projected cost over ten years of close to $1 trillion. And the law, strongly... Read more

Remember Solyndra?

Friday, December 4, 2015, 9:23 AM
Solyndra was the grand plan of the federal government to demonstrate its business acumen in the solar energy space. To that end, the Obama Administration provided a $535M loan guarantee to Solyndra in 2009. The funds were drawn from a portion of the “Stimulus Package” administered by the... Read more

Get a flu vaccine – for everyone’s sake

Thursday, December 3, 2015, 6:00 AM
It’s hard to miss the ads on billboards, street signs, television, radio, and social media imploring us to get a flu shot. There’s a good reason for those ads. No other public health effort has had as profound an effect in controlling, and even eradicating, serious diseases. However,... Read more

Should you get your care from a retail clinic?

Wednesday, November 25, 2015, 6:00 AM
When the first retail clinics opened15 years ago, no one could have foreseen how they would transform healthcare delivery or how quickly they would do it. The 2,000th clinic recently opened, and the number is projected to grow to nearly 3,000 by 2017. And with its growth, retail health has evolved... Read more

How healthy is our health care?

Friday, November 20, 2015, 6:00 AM
Everyone likes to complain about health care, but how is our system really doing? Do we have the best in the world, as some have claimed? Or do we have one of the worst among developed countries, as many critics assert? The nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation created a scorecard for the system by asking... Read more
About this blog

Do you have a large bill from a provider you didn’t expect? A claim that was denied without explanation? A change in your insurance plan you don’t understand? Do you need help sorting through data on the quality of your doctor or hospital or figuring out what your care will cost?

“Health Cents” will point you toward answers, while also offering insights on government health policy and political debates. Read more about our panel of bloggers here.

This blog is produced in partnership with Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan health-policy research and communication organization not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Portions of this blog may also be found on and in the Inquirer's Sunday Health Section.

Robert I. Field, Ph.D., J.D., M.P.H. Professor, Drexel University Kline School of Law & Dornsife School of Public Health
Jeffrey Brenner, MD Founder of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, Medical Director of the Urban Health Institute at Cooper University Healthcare
Andy Carter President & CEO, The Hospital & Healthsystem Assoc. of Pa.
Robert B. Doherty Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs & Public Policy American College of Physicians
David Grande, MD, MPA Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Tine Hansen-Turton Chief Strategy Officer of Public Health Management Corporation
Drew A. Harris, DPM, MPH Director of Health Policy Program at the Jefferson College of Population Health
Antoinette Kraus Director of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network
Laval Miller-Wilson Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Health Law Project
David B. Nash, MD, MBA Founding Dean of the Jefferson College of Population Health
Mark V. Pauly, Ph.D. Professor of Health Care Management, Business Economics and Public Policy at The Wharton School
Howard J. Peterson, MHA Managing Partner of TRG Healthcare, a national healthcare consulting firm
Paula L. Stillman, MD, MBA Healthcare consultant with special expertise in population health and disease management
Elizabeth A. W. Williams Senior Vice President & Chief Communications Officer for Independence Blue Cross
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