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Archive: March, 2013

A grand bargain on Medicare – Could it be for real?

Sunday, March 31, 2013, 4:00 PM
When it comes to Medicare, could Democrats and Republicans be any further apart? President Obama and most Democrats in Congress want to keep the current structure with tweaks to save costs. Republicans have rallied around Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wisc.) proposal to radically transform Medicare into... Read more

Could hackers really take over your pacemaker?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 1:45 PM
Fans of the TV series Homeland may have wondered at the end of last season whether it is truly possible to hack into a pacemaker and cause someone’s death. That’s what the show’s terrorist organization did to the vice president. The answer is, scarily, yes. For years, experts have... Read more

Media confusion reigns over testing Anthrax vaccine in children

Sunday, March 24, 2013, 6:00 AM
Apparently, some people find bioethics as confusing as rocket science. And many of those who are most confused are in the media. Last week, a presidential bioethics commission led by University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann declared that the vaccine against anthrax should not be tested in... Read more

HIV patients deserve equal treatment

Thursday, March 21, 2013, 6:00 AM
We live in a society that values openness and acceptance of difference, yet many people face unfair stigma and discrimination. No group experiences it more that those who live with HIV, and it is especially evident in the health care setting. Federal laws protect those with HIV by explicitly prohibiting... Read more

Doctors’ appearance may be more important than they think

Thursday, March 14, 2013, 5:55 AM
While physicians are usually more concerned with monitoring patient heart rates and reading lab results than with their personal grooming, a recent study showed that a physician’s appearance can be quite important. It is part of making patients’ families feel comfortable in a high-stress... Read more

Feel like your health benefits are shrinking? They probably are

Monday, March 11, 2013, 6:00 AM
If you get health benefits through an employer, you have probably seen your costs rise every year. That’s in part because premiums keep going up. But it’s also because many employers are picking up a smaller share of the tab. A recent survey by the consulting firm of Towers Watson and... Read more

Health care on the internet: Can you trust it?

Friday, March 8, 2013, 6:00 AM
As the Internet becomes ever more ingrained in our lives, it increasingly affects the way patients interact with each other and with their doctors. They can more easily learn about conditions, treatments, and providers and can find the solace and support of others in similar circumstances. Web-based... Read more

Sequestration could be bad for your health

Sunday, March 3, 2013, 5:05 AM
With no deal in Washington to stop it, the sequestration of federal funds is about to begin. It could be enough to make you sick - literally. Some of the automatic budget cuts won’t be felt for months, if sequestration lasts that long. But several cuts involving health care will hit us much... Read more

Prix fixe menu offers more value for health care payments

Friday, March 1, 2013, 6:00 AM
The Field Clinic is pleased to present the inaugural guest blog by Dr. David Nash, the Founding Dean of the Jefferson School of Population Health where he is the Dr. Raymond C. and Doris N. Grandon Professor of Health Policy. My mother prefers restaurants that offer a complete meal for a set price... 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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