Federal Regulatory Burden Reduced At HHS

An announcement from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) indicates that the regulatory burden in present-value terms has been reduced by $12.5 billion. A news release provides specific examples.

The news release can be obtained at https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2018/10/17/secretary-azar-highlights-recognition-of-hhs-as-top-agency-for-regulatory-reform.html.

The Education-Jobs “Mix-Match”

A new brief from the Urban Institute calculates the “mix-match” between the shares of individuals with postsecondary education and of jobs requiring it in 387 metropolitan areas. None of these areas has a higher share of jobs requiring “some college” than residents with that level of education and 87% percent of metros have a similar labor market “mix-match” for those with at least a four-year degree.

The brief can be obtained at https://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/publication/99185/the_education-jobs_mix-match_1.pdf.

Impact On Medicaid Of New “Public Charge” Rule Affecting Immigrants

A new post by the Commonwealth Fund discusses a proposed "public charge" rule by the Trump Administration that could affect millions of legal immigrants enrolled in Medicaid.

The post can be obtained at https://www.commonwealthfund.org/blog/2018/new-public-charge-rule-affecting-immigrants-has-major-implications-medicaid?omnicid=EALERT1491507&mid=thomas@asahp.org.

Campus Inclusion And Freedom of Expression: Hateful Incidents

The American Council on Education’s (ACE’s) Center for Policy Research and Strategy (CPRS) has released a brief that addresses hateful incidents on campus and explores how institutional leaders can balance free speech rights with providing a safe, inclusive, and welcoming environment for students, faculty, and staff. 

The brief can be obtained at https://www.acenet.edu/news-room/Documents/To-The-Point-Hateful-Incidents.pdf.

Addressing Inclusion And Freedom Of Expression On Campus

The American Council on Education’s (ACE’s) Center for Policy Research and Strategy (CPRS) has released a brief that focuses on how presidents and other campus leaders can practically consider and address tensions around inclusion and freedom of expression at their own institutions. 

The brief can be obtained at https://www.acenet.edu/news-room/Documents/To-The-Point-Controversial-Speakers.pdf.

How Smartphone Apps Could Help Keep Health Records Accurate

A commentary from the RAND Corp discusses the potential advantages of being able to use  a personal smartphone to tap into a doctor’s office computer system to upload medical history information safely, securely, and accurately. Moreover, the ability to do so could help solve a serious but lesser-known problem that plagues hospitals and clinics: providers aren't always able to pull together records for the same patient reliably that are held in different hospitals, clinics, and other health professionals’ offices.

The commentary can be obtained at https://www.rand.org/blog/2018/10/how-smartphone-apps-could-help-keep-health-records.html.

Health, Income, And Poverty

A new brief from Health Affairs reviews evidence supporting the income-health relationship and the likely mechanisms through which income affects health. The growing importance of this association is discussed, given widening income inequality, and policy levers that might help reduce income-related health disparities. 

The brief can be obtained at https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hpb20180817.901935/full/HPB_2017_RWJF_05_W.pdf.

Report: State Funding Cuts from the Recession Continue to Affect Higher Education Costs Today

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) has released a report detailing how state funding cuts to higher education institutions during the recession have not recovered. Tuition continues to rise threatening the affordability of higher education to many individuals and families.

Read the full report here.

Rural Hospital Closures

According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), 64 rural hospitals closed between 2013 and 2017, which is more than twice the number during the prior five-year period. The closures disproportionately occurred in the South, involved facilities that received the Medicare Dependent Hospital payment designation, and were hospitals affected by financial distress. 

The report can be obtained at https://www.gao.gov/assets/700/694125.pdf.

Reducing Racial Disparities In Health Care By Confronting Racism

Compared with whites, members of racial and ethnic minorities are less likely to receive preventive health services and often receive lower-quality care. They also have worse health outcomes for certain conditions. A report from the Commonwealth Fund offers examples of health systems that are making efforts to identify implicit bias and structural racism in their organizations, and developing customized approaches to engaging and supporting patients to ameliorate their effects.

The report can be obtained at https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/newsletter-article/2018/sep/focus-reducing-racial-disparities-health-care-confronting?omnicid=%25%25jobid%25%25&mid=%25%25emailaddr%25%25.

Lingering Effects of the Great Recession on Higher Education

The Great Recession of 2008 changed the course of higher education and still affect decision making today. Tuition rates that previously dropped after the recession continue to remain; however, students still have to take out loans to afford college. Students focus more on majors, such as healthcare and business, rather than humanities in hopes of better job placement after graduation. College presidents and boards shifted their focus to short-term visible goals, rather than long-term goals that may not show results immediately.

To read the full article, click here.

Creating Better Systems Of Care For Patients With Disabilities

U.S. adults with disabilities often have difficulty locating accessible providers with expertise in their conditions. Compared with other Americans, adults with disabilities receive less preventive care, have a higher incidence of chronic conditions, and visit the hospital and emergency department more often — leading to much higher health care spending. A new Commonwealth Fund report highlights model health plans and clinics around the U.S. that focus on preventing and identifying complications; seek to engage patients and earn their trust; and integrate long-term services and supports to promote independence and social inclusion.

The report can be obtained at https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/case-study/2018/sep/systems-care-adults-disabilities?omnicid=EALERT1480062&mid=thomas@asahp.org.

Competency-Based Education

Approximately three years ago, Eduventures Research set out to answer two simple questions: In what ways had schools implemented competency-based education (CBE) and what might be its prospects for further growth? This week, the results of a new study, the 2018 National Survey of Postsecondary CBE, will be released. 

The study can be obtained at https://cberesearch.org/sites/default/files/2018-09/NSPCBE%20-%202018%20-%20Infographic.pdf.

Consumer Protections For Preexisting Health Conditions

A new report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) discusses concerns of individuals with preexisting health conditions regarding practices in the private health insurance market in which insurers use medical underwriting to assess their risk of offering health insurance to applicants. 

The report can be obtained at https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/IN10969.pdf.

Addressing the Nation’s Primary Care Shortage

Access to primary care is a challenge for many individuals with health coverage as well as the uninsured. Thirteen percent of U.S. residents (44 million) live in a county with a primary care physician shortage, defined as less than one primary care physician per 2,000 individuals. The primary care access challenge has impacts on rural, urban, and suburban communities. A report from UnitedHealthGroup discusses the role of nurse practitioners and physician assistants in meeting this challenge. 

The report can be obtained at https://www.unitedhealthgroup.com/content/dam/UHG/PDF/2018/UHG-Primary-Care-Report-2018.pdf.

Share Of Immigrants With U.S. College Degrees Is Increasing

According to the Pew Research Center, U.S. immigrants are as likely as the U.S.-born population to have a college degree, although the rate depends on their country of origin. The share of immigrants ages 25 and older with bachelor's degrees rose from 7% in 1980 to 17.2% in 2016, while the share with postgraduate degrees increased from 8.7% to 12.8% during that time. 

Additional information can be obtained at http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/09/14/education-levels-of-u-s-immigrants-are-on-the-rise/.

IPEC Interprofessional Leaders Development Program

The call for applications for the February 6-8, 2019 IPEC Interprofessional Leadership Development Program (ILDP) is now open.

Applicants for the 2019 IPEC ILDP should either be a dean (and other senior academic administrators with similar institutional responsibilities) and/or administrators who are responsible for integrating IPE in school-wide learning experiences.  For this program, deans and senior administrators from multiple schools at the same institution are strongly encouraged to attend as a team, along with their campus-wide IPE administrator.

For more information, please visit the ILDP site.

Congress Agrees To Increase Funding For Health And Education

Congress reached an agreement on a bipartisan bill that was negotiated by a joint House and Senate conference committee on an appropriations package for FY 2019 that would raise the maximum Pell Grant by $100 to $6,195, increase funding for the Department of Education by $581 million to a level of $71.5 billion, and increase funding for the NIH by $2 billion for a total of $39.1 billion. The legislation, which is packaged with a defense spending bill and other short-term funding legislation, must now be approved by the full House and Senate. Congress has until September 30 to pass the bills. 

The conference report can be obtained at https://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20180910/CRPT-115hrpt952.pdf.

CMS Proposes To Lift Unnecessary Regulations And Ease Burden On Providers

Today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a proposed rule to relieve burden on healthcare providers by removing unnecessary, obsolete or excessively burdensome Medicare compliance requirements for healthcare facilities. Collectively, these updates would save healthcare providers an estimated $1.12 billion annually. Taking into account policies across rules finalized in 2017 and 2018 as well as this and other proposed rules, savings are estimated at $5.2 billion. 

More information can be obtained at https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/medicare-and-medicaid-programs-proposed-regulatory-provisions-promote-program-efficiency-0.