Thursday, November 26, 2015

Square pegs don’t fit in round holes – health care has a lot to teach public education

Friday, September 25, 2015, 12:01 PM
Over the past few weeks, I have found myself having surreal conversations with top government education leaders about how to promote innovation. They claim there is no room for innovative “square peg” funding models that don’t fit into the “round hole” of traditional education... Read more

Poor physician behavior – is it malpractice?

Thursday, September 17, 2015, 6:00 AM
A close friend of mine who is a physician has severe low back pain. She has multiple anatomical abnormalities in her back and her pain is disabling. Her treatment has consisted of injections of steroids and pain killers, but they have offered only temporary pain relief. My friend’s primary care... Read more

What do health insurance mergers mean for you?

Monday, September 14, 2015, 6:00 AM
America’s biggest health insurance companies are about to become bigger. In recent months, Anthem announced plans to buy Cigna, and Aetna announced a deal to acquire Humana. That will leave only three major national companies. Will less competition lead to higher prices? Will it mean lower quality... Read more

Happy 50th birthday to Medicare’s essential partner - Medicaid

Thursday, September 10, 2015, 6:00 AM
This summer marks the 50th anniversary of a monumental change for our country: President Lyndon Baines Johnson signing into law the bill that created Medicare and Medicaid. While there has been much publicity over the past several months about this milestone for Medicare and its positive impact on... Read more

The cost of living longer

Friday, September 4, 2015, 5:30 AM
A study published recently in the British medical journal The Lancet found that while life expectancy worldwide has been rising, many people are living their longer lives with more illness. The study included data on 306 diseases in 188 countries during the period from 1990 to 2013. It found that... Read more

U.S. internal medicine doctors: mass deportation would be bad news for the country’s health

Wednesday, September 2, 2015, 6:00 AM
As politicians rush to one-up each other on who would be toughest on the 12 million people who reside in the U.S. without legal residency documentation (“illegal immigrants”), the idea of mass deportation has become the flavor of the day, championed by Donald Trump and supported to varying... Read more

Health information exchange: answers to common questions and concerns

Friday, August 28, 2015, 9:00 AM
In an age of smartphones, tablets, apps, social media, and e-commerce, we expect maximum convenience, information flow, and efficiency on a daily basis—while at the same time expecting that our privacy will be protected. When it comes to information about our health care, statewide health information... Read more

Bureaucracy can save lives – the legacy of Dr. Frances Kelsey

Tuesday, August 25, 2015, 6:00 AM
What adjective would most people associate with the word “bureaucrat”? For many, it would be “inefficient,” “inept,” or “incompetent.” But another that is just as descriptive is “lifesaving.” Dr. Frances Kelsey, who died this month at the... Read more

What do we really want from our health care?

Friday, August 21, 2015, 12:23 PM
A recent survey conducted by the Advisory Board Company, a health care consultant group, asked 4,000 people to prioritize the factors that would matter most if they had to get care for a simple illness like the flu. Somewhat surprisingly, most respondents didn’t mention many of the things that... Read more

Chief Justice Roberts' flawed reasoning

Monday, August 17, 2015, 6:00 AM
On June 25, 2015, the Supreme Court once again saved the Affordable Care Act by upholding subsidies for citizens in the 34 states where the federal government operates the insurance exchange. Speaking for the majority, Chief Justice Roberts wrote, "Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve... 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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