EBM and Clinical Support Librarians@UCHC

A blog for medical students, faculty and librarians about their use of evidence based medicine, clinical literature, Web 2.0, sources and search strategies

News, Health Care, HMO Administration, Patients: Health Care Costs

In the past 30 days, there have been reasons for mental anxiety – as well as reasons to celebrate – for Americans.  A consistent litany of ever-more negative economic news reported daily affects both U.S. and world economies. In November 2008, a principal concern for millions of Americans is simply staying employed ahead of what is predicted to be a lengthy and steep global recession. Those who are currently employed – and whose employer provides health care or dental insurance for themselves and their families – are doubly worried.

There are currently 43,000,000 people in the U.S. without any health care or dental coverage whatsoever.  Rapidly rising costs for health care insurance remains a principal issue for employers, large and small.

A timely policy brief from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation was released this fall addressing some of these concerns.  The report is entitled “High and rising health care costs: Demystifying U.S. health care spending” (Policy Brief Number 16 – Oct 2008).  Written by Paul Ginsburg, it is available online (at no cost) at this link: http://www.rwjf.org/pr/product.jsp?id=35368

Related reports are available from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, at: http://www.policysynthesis.org

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Max Baucus, Democratic senator from Montana, is chairman of the United States Senate Finance Commission which, on Nov 12 2008, released a white paper about US health care entitled “Reforming America’s Health Care System: A Call to Action“.  This 98-page document is available online at: http://finance.senate.gov/healthreform2009/finalwhitepaper.pdf

Isn’t the participatory web and the wisdom of crowds a great thing?  On Nov 13 2008, Jacob Goldstein, blogger at the Wall Street Journal Health Blog wrote an item about “Why Senator Baucus Didn’t Wait for Obama on Health Reform“.  You might enjoy scanning the voluntary (and anonymous) comments about this post – they make for some good reading.

Financial pressures continue to bear down on those consumers who subscribe to HMOs, as detailed in another WSJ Health Blog post dated Nov 12 2008: http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2008/11/12/credit-clouds-darken-over-health-industry/

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An inundation of literature searches has prevented me from blogging lately… more on that topic next week.

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