January, 2017 vol. 1 - In This Issue:
As 2017 unfurls, there are many unknowns on the health policy landscape. As I noted last time, patient centricity and improvement of patient outcomes (the "value" dialogue) are top of mind. Here are a few articles to bring you out of the holiday bubble and prepare to consider new directions, whatever they may be.

The Reality of Healthcare Will Never Be Perfect

Healthcare is once again a major focus of political conversation, so it's important we understand a few things.

Our President-elect has  said he will work to repeal President Obama's healthcare law, but at this point, the details are not clear. Will his replacement product be better than what it's replacing?

Medicaid Block Grants: Not Such a Bad Idea?

Turning Medicaid into a block grant program, with states given more flexibility to set their own rules, could improve "social determinants" of health, said health policy scholars and financial experts at a briefing here. 

Critics of block granting Medicaid -- allocating lump-sum payments to states to spend as they see fit, within broad guidelines -- have argued that some states might mismanage the funds.

How Doctors Could Thwart Health-Care Reform

On the campaign trail, Donald Trump made many promises he doubtless won't keep and a few he apparently doesn't remember. But his nomination of Representative Tom Price, a hard-core conservative from Georgia, to be Secretary of Health and Human Services is a sign that repealing Obamacare is one promise he'd like to carry out. In every Congress since the Affordable Care Act was passed, Price has sponsored a bill to replace it. And there's something else that should worry supporters of Obamacare: he's a doctor.

Medicaid Coverage for Addiction Treatment Varies Dramatically by State

New Hampshire, along with 30 other states and the District of Columbia, expanded eligibility for the state-federal low-income health insurance program under the Affordable Care Act. Ashley Hurteau, 32, is just one among the 1.6 million Americans who since then have had access to substance abuse services.

But a study published Monday in the journal Health Affairs found significant disparities in coverage among the states.

Housing, Transportation, and Food: How ACOs Seek To Improve Population Health By Addressing Nonmedical Needs of Patients

Addressing nonmedical needs-such as the need for housing-is critical to advancing population health, improving the quality of care, and lowering the costs of care. Accountable care organizations (ACOs) are well positioned to address these needs. We used qualitative interviews with ACO leaders and site visits to examine how these organizations addressed the nonmedical needs of their patients, and the extent to which they did so. 

Passion + Quality = Change That Matters
I embrace the powerful opportunities in our evolving health care landscape. I founded Momentum Health Strategies to be a catalyst for change through continuous learning, diverse engagement and thoughtful policy and practice initiatives. I deliver innovative, strategic thinking and a passion for improving the patient experience. My personal drive and dedication to high-quality results will help you navigate the competitive terrain you face and convert your vision to action.

Momentum Health Strategies

Jennifer L Bright, MPA
(703) 628 - 0534