As noted in the Institute of Medicine’s seminal report Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century, “health care today harms too frequently and routinely fails to deliver its potential benefits.” For over a decade, foundations have been showcasing to the field that improving health care quality is both needed and possible. GIH recognizes that this work is now an integral part of the health reform law and that bridging the “quality chasm” will require change at all levels of our health care system.
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Physicians in rural America share many similar challenges in their practices. They serve large geographic areas. Many of their patients are in poor health. And, perhaps most important, the people they serve often live below the poverty level. As part of a project to understand the experiences of low-income patients, the Commonwealth Fund interviewed physicians in rural communities to learn more about the hardships they see day-to-day. The doctors speak about their patients' inability to pay for insurance or basic medical care; struggles finding affordable, healthy food; social and behavioral health issues; scarce economic opportunities; and a lack of specialty providers
Surprise medical bills, or "surprise balance billing," are those bills from out-of-network physicians that patients had no role in choosing. These bills are not a new phenomenon, but national attention to the issue has grown tremendously in recent years, likely due to increased incidence and larger bills. This Health Affairs article analyzes federal bipartisan legislation intended to address the situation.
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Reimagining a Patient-Centered Health Care System
May 11, 2017
Amy Shefrin, New York State Health Foundation
Sharrie McIntosh, New York State Health Foundation
Sparking a Patient Activation Movement
September 15, 2015
Karen Wolk Feinstein, Jewish Healthcare Foundation
August 18, 2015
Eileen Salinsky, Grantmakers In Health