Grand Rounds: the Impact of Healthcare Reform

Welcome to Grand Rounds: the Impact of Healthcare Reform.

There’s a revolution occurring on the Web: those “authoritative” articles written on traditional, static websites are being replaced with blogs, wikis and online social networks. In the sphere of health, medicine and information technology, this “real-time Web” consists of many who are professionals in the field; their posts are listed below. In the digital age, these are the characteristics of new media: recent, relevant, reachable and reliable.

For this edition of Grand Rounds, Vol. 7 No. 11, we’re focusing on the impact of healthcare reform: what are the changes to healthcare delivery, utilization, quality, costs (either as a provider or a patient) and outcomes. After all, these changes affect everyone, whether you’re a patient, a healthcare provider or a biomedical researcher.

Healthcare reform

The Spectrum Health Value Study: Insured vs. Uninsured

In May, we wrote about the Spectrum Health Value Study, an ongoing national online survey where Americans are asked what they value when it comes to healthcare products and services. The survey evaluates 27 programs, products and services categories used by the U.S. government for measuring economic activity in various sectors of the economy. Every three months, Spectrum, a public relations and public affairs firm based in Washington DC, interviews 1,000 people and asks them to identify from the 27 healthcare products, programs and services those ever used and how satisfied they were with each. The ongoing study can be used to identify the relative value Americans place in healthcare programs, products and services, and how the value changes over time.


Insured and uninsured

The most recent Spectrum Health Value Study data was used to compare answers from insured and uninsured respondents. As Congress recesses for the month of August to talk with their constituents about the current healthcare legislation under consideration in the U.S. House and Senate, these data offer a glimpse into what insured and uninsured Americans value in healthcare.

Lack of Health Insurance Increases Risk of Cancer Death

ResearchBlogging.orgWith all the recent discussion and debate by the presidential candidates regarding healthcare issues, I thought a study published last month in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians was quite timely. The study, titled Association of Insurance with Cancer Care Utilization and Outcomes, presents evidence that lack of adequate health insurance coverage is associated with reduced access to care and poorer outcomes for cancer patients [1]. The article further presents data on the association between health insurance status and screening, stage at diagnosis and survival for breast and colorectal cancer.