Unpaid bills & charity care dropped by nearly half at Michigan hospitals soon after Medicaid expanded

A new study co-led by IHPI member Thomas Buchmueller, Ph.D., and Helen Levy, Ph.D., shows that soon after the Medicaid expansion happened in Michigan, many hospitals saw a major drop in uncompensated care -- a measure that includes unpaid bills and charity care. Their analysis of uncompensated care was mentioned by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder in his State-of-the-State address on January 17. 

IHPI's Profiles in Innovation

Safer hospital stays. More equitable access to health services. Innovating in e-health and health IT. Disrupting the opioid epidemic. Explore our first Profiles in Innovation magazine to learn how IHPI's collaborative community is transforming today's healthcare challenges into opportunities to improve health and well-being through innovations in research, practice, and policy.

Use of multiple brain-affecting drugs is rising among seniors, despite risks

The number of older Americans who take three or more medicines that affect their brains has more than doubled in just a decade, a new U-M study finds. The sharpest rise occurred in seniors living in rural areas, where the rate of doctor visits by seniors taking combinations of such drugs --- opioids, antidepressants, tranquilizers and antipsychotics --- more than tripled.

Publishing in JAMA Internal Medicine, IHPI members Helen Kales, M.D., Donovan Maust, M.D., M.S., and teams from the U-M and VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System report findings from their analysis of data collected from a representative sample of doctors' offices between 2004 and 2013 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

To make Medicare better for all, take social risk factors into account, experts recommend

Every day, the Medicare system pays certain doctors and hospitals a bit more, or judges them a bit differently, because their patients are sicker than national averages.

It's time for the Medicare system to start taking these non-medical, "social" risk factors into account when it decides how to pay or grade hospitals and other health care providers, IHPI Director John Ayanian, M.D., M.P.P., and Vanderbilt colleague Melinda Buntin, Ph.D., say in a new piece published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Doctor communication key to managing breast cancer patient risk worries

Nearly one-third of early stage breast cancer patients overestimate their risk of cancer recurrence --- believing it to be more than double their actual risk. And that overestimation is affecting their quality of life, according to two recent studies.

The good news? A better approach to doctor-patient communication may help improve patients' understanding, according to researchers from the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center, led by Sarah Hawley, Ph.D., M.P.H., professor of internal medicine.

1 in 4 ER visits for eye problems aren't actually emergencies

Pinkeye isn't a medical emergency. Neither is a puffy eyelid.

But a new national study conducted by IHPI members Brian Stagg, M.D., Maria Woodward, M.D., M.S., and Josh Stein, M.D., M.S., finds that nearly one in four people who seek emergency care for eye problems have those mild conditions, and recommends ways to help those patients get the right level of care.

The journal Ophthalmology published the results of the study, which looks at nearly 377,000 eye-related emergency room visits by adults with private insurance over a 14-year period. 

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The Institute brings great minds together to address healthcare's biggest challenges. More than 490 investigators come to IHPI from U-M's top-ranked schools of medicine, nursing, public health, engineering, social work, law, business, and public policy, among others, as well as members of affiliated local research organizations.
Capitol hill briefing puts focus on U-M health insurance ideas

As Congress debates the next steps in national health policy, a briefing organized by two U.S. representatives on February 7 gave elected officials and their staff a chance to learn about an idea born at U-M that has gained bipartisan support.

The event, organized by Representatives Diane Black (R-TN) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), featured Mark Fendrick, M.D., a U-M internal medicine professor with a joint appointment in the School of Public Health, and Michael Chernew, Ph.D., a former SPH faculty member now at Harvard University.

Fendrick and Chernew discussed how Value-Based Insurance Design (V-BID) could be used by high-deductible health plans and health savings accounts ---- two aspects of health insurance that are receiving wide attention since the new Congress began. They described how V-BID could be a bipartisan, multi-stakeholder solution to improve quality, enhance consumer experience, and lower costs.

Panel developing international guidelines for sexual healthcare after prostate cancer

Prostate cancer treatment, while highly successful in eradicating disease, can cause major disruption to men's sexual functioning as well as their psychological and physical wellbeing.

Over the next year, the leads of several national teams involved in developing sexual health interventions for prostate cancer survivors are working together to coordinate their projects, share best practices, and pool expertise to develop comprehensive guidelines covering the sexual healthcare needs and services across prostate cancer survivorship.

Daniela Wittmann, Ph.D., M.S.W., one of the leading members of the Prostate Cancer Survivorship Program at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center and a member of the Dow Division for Urologic Health Services Research, is co-chairing the International TrueNTH Sexual Health Team.

Daskin elected to National Academy of Engineering

The National Academy of Engineering has elected Mark Daskin, Ph.D., professor and chair of industrial and operations engineering, among its newest members. Induction into the NAE is one of the highest honors bestowed on engineers in the U.S.

Daskin, the Clyde W. Johnson Collegiate Professor, was recognized for leadership and creative contributions to location optimization and its application to industrial, service and medical systems. His current research focuses on supply chain design under uncertainty, humanitarian logistics and drug shortages.


See all upcoming events on our Events page
Pandemic! Contagious Crises From AIDS to Zika

Date: April 7, 2017
Time: 1:00 --- 6:30 p.m.
Location: University of Michigan, Biomedical Science Research Building,
Kahn Auditorium, 109 Zina Pitcher Place, Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Mark your calendars for this national conference on pandemics, co-sponsored by the U-M Center for the History of Medicine and the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation.

Speakers include Dr. Paul Farmer, co-founder, Partners In Health, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN medical correspondent.

Multicenter Perioperative Outcomes Group

Based at the University of Michigan, Multicenter Perioperative Outcomes Group (MPOG) is a non-profit academic consortium of 47 medical centers aggregating large volumes of inpatient electronic health record (EHR) data, patient reported outcomes, and long term administrative outcomes to improve patient care by developing the necessary policies, procedures, and technical infrastructure required for multicenter perioperative outcomes research.
The Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation is committed to improving the quality, safety, equity, and affordability of healthcare services.

To carry out our ambitious mission, our efforts are focused in four areas:
  • Evaluating the impact of healthcare reforms
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  • Promoting greater value in healthcare
  • Innovating in IT and healthcare delivery

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IHPI Informs is published monthly by the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation.
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