RWJF Content Alert - Improving Health, Health Care and the Value of Health Care Dollars

Publication Date: 
November 3, 2010

The current issue of Health Affairs features articles on a wide range of topics that are central to the Foundation’s mission, including designing health insurance to improve value, improving clinical outcomes and examining the role of public health in our health system. Four articles that appear in the journal’s current issue were supported by a variety of teams and portfolios at RWJF and reflect the wide variety of research the Foundation supports.

Assessing the Evidence for Value-Based Insurance Design
Niteesh K. Choudhry, Meredith B. Rosenthal, and Arnold Milstein
In this article, the authors write that maximizing the benefits of value-based insurance design will require mechanisms to target appropriate copayment reductions, offset short-run cost outlays and expand its use to other health services. 

Copayment Reductions Generate Greater Medication Adherence in Targeted Patients
Matthew L. Maciejewski, Joel F. Farley, John Parker, and Daryl Wansink
This article studies a large value-based insurance design program offered by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina that eliminated generic medication copayments and reduced copayments for brand-name medications. The authors found that the program improved adherence to medications for diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and congestive heart failure.  

Americans’ Conflicting Views about the Public Health System, and How to Shore Up Support
Robert J. Blendon, John M. Benson, Gillian K. SteelFisher, and John M. Connolly
This analysis of national opinion polls shows that a majority of Americans support increased spending on public health in general, and that they see public health interventions as money-saving in the long-term. At the same time, polls show that many Americans do not favor increased federal spending in a number of areas that public health officials deem important.

Controversy Undermines Support for State Mandates on the Human Papillomavirus Vaccine
Sarah E. Gollust, Amanda F. Dempsey, Paula M. Lantz, Peter A. Ubel, and Erika Franklin Fowler
The authors of this article describe an experimental Internet survey conducted to determine how controversy affects attitudes about vaccines. They discovered that public support for the HPV vaccine mandates wanes when the public is informed that the policies are controversial, but exposure to this policy controversy did not spill over and reduce public support for immunizations in general.