What Bipartisan Opportunities Will The Next Congress And President Have To Improve Health Policy?

Regardless of the outcome of the upcoming election, the next Congress and Administration will have to address some key issues that require bipartisan collaboration.  A bipartisan collaboration can hopefully advance the health of the American population. The new Congress will have to address funding extension for Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), extensions of community health center funding, expiring Medicare provisions, and reauthorization of prescription drugs and medical device user fee bills. Not only will the new Congress address these issues, but it will also determine the fate of the Affordable Care Act. To read more click here

Federal Funds Allocated for Zika Research

Congress has allocated $1.1 billion for Zika research. $935 million will be used to curb Zika in the U.S. and $175 will be used to slow its spread abroad. The CDC will be given $394 million and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) will be allocated $152 million for researching potential vaccines. 

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The Silver Lining Behind Global Aging

The aging population and increasing life span are predicted to change the world's economy.  It is predicted that by 2018, those over the age of 65 will overpopulate those under the age of 5. With this increase in the elderly population it is important to acknowledge that real economic power in this age group.  This changing demographic will reshape the economy for decades to come. To read more about the influence the aging population has on the economy, investments, and policy click here

Flu +You Campaign: A Collaboration between Actress Judith Light and the National Council on Aging

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is teaming up for the third year with award-winning actress Judith Light to raise awareness that getting an influenza ("flu") vaccination is one of the things you can do to help maintain your health. The 2016 NCOA Flu+you campaign's goal is to educate older adults and their loved ones about the seriousness of the flu, the importance of getting an annual flu vaccination and flu vaccine options. There is a higher dose of the vaccine designated for those 65 years or older, and Light is assisting the NCOA to get the word out. Read more about the initiative here. 

Aging Federal Workforce Bucks Retirement Trends, Georgia State University Public Policy Study Shows



The percentage of federal white-collar workers eligible to retire doubled between 1999 and 2007, but the number of federal retirements has not, according to the study. The Government Accountability Office estimates 600,000 federal employees (about 30 percent) will be eligible for retirement by September 2017. What could this change mean for the future of employment,retirement, and aging well? 


Investing in Healthcare – A Comparative Study in Healthcare Financing Across Countries, Lessons Help India Improve Its Health Delivery

In the context of healthcare benefits to all, political will at both the Centre and state levels is critical for implementation of various government health programs. As ACCESS Health compares data among countries that have been successful in achieving universal health coverage, they see several common strategies: prioritizing primary care, improving the quality of healthcare services, transitioning from incremental budgeting to a more performance and needs based budget allocation, defining the purchasing and providing split, emphasizing evidence based decision making. Moreover, across all countries, the success of universal health coverage reforms rests upon strong political commitment and leadership.

In Thailand, universal health coverage became a political priority in the 2000 elections. Reformers, civil society, and technocrats mobilized together to create a political force that led to almost full universal health coverage in a middle-income country, in seemingly record time.

This case study was discussed in detail at a recent high level policy consultation on health financing in India, hosted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy. Representatives from several member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) attended, the conference, in addition to representatives from Thailand and the Philippines. The countries came together to share experiences in achieving successful universal health coverage The conference focused at length on health financing in the context of the many challenges and variations across India.

International and national experts debated the role of the different central ministries and state governments in healthcare financing, particularly in the context of fiscal devolution, and suggested a way forward.

Key lessons learned from various country experiences focused on five areas, which ACCESS Health discusses in greater detail, at http://accessh.org/feature-investing-in-healthcare-a-comparative-study-in-healthcare-financing-across-countries-lessons-help-india-improve-its-health-delivery/

The Gross Domestic Product and Health Care Spending

How much will the United States spend on health care during the next decade or two? The answer matters greatly to physicians, federal and state governments, businesses, and the general public. The answer will determine the type and extent of care that physicians can provide to their patients, as well as the amount of physicians' take-home pay. It will also determine how much everyone else can consume or invest in other goods and services. Unfortunately, forecasting health care spending is extremely difficult. Future spending depends in part on developments within the health care sector and in part on developments in the economy as a whole. The former include changes in the prevalence of health problems such as obesity, infectious diseases, and dementia, as well as changes in medical technology such as new drugs, imaging devices, and surgical procedures. The economy as a whole includes variables such as the unemployment rate, trends in average wages, and prices of securities and housing.

Buurtzorg: A Neighborhood Model of Care

Buurtzorg Nederland is a not for profit homecare provider with a reputation for delivering high quality and affordable elder care services. Buurtzorg means “neighborhood care” in Dutch. Buurtzorg is centered on neighborhood resources, including family members and neighbors. This is a summary of an interview with Jos de Blok and the transcript of an interview with Gertje van Roessel. The interviews highlight the Buurtzorg philosophy and working methods in homecare management. Buurtzorg methods are being replicated worldwide.

Touch Home Care

Worldwide, rapidly aging populations are forcing a paradigm shift in how to treat those with chronic diseases. While many patients are placed in nursing homes or hospices for their sunset years, they express an almost universal desire to continue living at home. This trend has created demand for homecare services so the elderly can be cared for without having to abandon their homes or independent lifestyles.