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There’s cause for optimism about the future of health care, according to panelists who discussed the topic at the Wharton Economic Summit 2013. While the panelists agreed on the enormity of the challenges posed by rising health care costs, increased demand and the need to rein in spending while still being patient-centric, all believed that the outlook for health care would be better by the end of the decade.
From: April 30, 2013
In India, recent rulings to deny patent protection for drugs manufactured by Western pharmaceutical firms have cast doubt on whether the industry can make a profit in the world's second-most populous country. They also add fire to the growing debate over whether the industry's obligation to provide access to life-saving medicine should outweigh its drive for profits. According to experts, the rulings will make pharmaceutical multinationals think twice about their overseas strategies -- particularly with regard to innovative drugs.
From: April 10, 2013
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act -- better known as Obamacare -- was signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010. Since then, it has generated enormous amounts of debate, controversy and uncertainty. In an interview with Knowledge@Wharton, Bruce Broussard, president and CEO of Humana, the fourth-largest health care insurance group, offers his take on Obamacare and the challenges -- and opportunities -- it presents to health care stakeholders. (Video with transcript)
From: March 27, 2013
In order to design effective wellness programs, most large companies are now asking employees to complete health risk assessments (HRAs) -- questionnaires that ask them to reveal such details as their weight, blood pressure and family history of disease. Experts agree that HRAs can be a useful tool, but only if employees actually bother to fill them out. A recent study co-authored by Wharton health care management professor Kevin Volpp suggests one way to encourage workers to do so.
From: February 27, 2013
Despite continuing protests from some physician groups, the role of nurse practitioners in U.S. health care is expanding and will likely change both the costs and type of care experienced by millions of Americans. Insurers, health care centers and private companies are taking notice.
From: February 13, 2013
Hospital nurses often work shifts of 12 hours or longer, either by choice or because of pressure from their managers. But what effect do such long hours have on job satisfaction, and equally important, on the quality of patient care? A new research paper -- "The Longer the Shifts for Hospital Nurses, the Higher the Levels of Burnout and Patient Dissatisfaction," by Amy Witkoski Stimpfel, a research fellow at Penn's School of Nursing, and two colleagues -- offers some perspectives.
From: January 29, 2013
These days, anyone with a smartphone can download a variety of games designed to make users healthier, whether that means sticking to an exercise routine, losing weight or managing a chronic illness. While experts have dubbed this trend "the gamification of health care," it has already presented a unique set of problems, including how to protect consumers' privacy and how to keep users engaged enough to show positive results.
From: January 16, 2013
Personalized medicine -- the ability to tailor therapies to patients' individual genetic characteristics -- has long been the holy grail of the life sciences industry. The effort has produced a string of recent successes, including European approval of the world's first gene therapy treatment. While exciting for patients, such advances raise a host of ethical, legal and financial challenges that people working in the field will need to address before personalized medicine can become a thriving business.
From: December 19, 2012
Using two decades of data, Wharton health care professors Lawton R. Burns and Mark V. Pauly recently dissected the cost-cutting component of the Affordable Health Care Act, also known as Obamacare. While the title of their research paper, published in Health Affairs,
was "Accountable Care Organizations May Have Difficulty Avoiding the Failures of Integrated Delivery Networks of the 1990s," the authors had offered another, shorter title: "Doomed to Fail?"
From: December 05, 2012
Can a health insurance policy based on an individual mandate be more effective than a tax in expanding coverage to more Americans? How does giving time to others affect a person's subjective sense of how much time he or she has overall? How does the complicated relationship between advertising and the value of a brand name play out in the stock market? Wharton professors Jonathan Kolstad, Cassie Mogilner and Maria Ana Vitorino, respectively, studied these questions and their impact on the business world in recent research papers.
From: July 03, 2012
With the Supreme Court's decision to uphold most of the Affordable Care Act, experts from Wharton and the University of Pennsylvania say a small subset of Americans will see significant changes in their ability to obtain insurance, but the health care system as a whole still has a long way to go.
From: June 28, 2012
The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard arguments both for and against President Obama's health care reform initiative, known as the Affordable Care Act. The provision at the center of the legal debate -- the individual mandate -- requires all adults to buy health insurance, either through their employers or by purchasing it themselves. Knowledge@Wharton talked with Wharton professors Scott Harrington, Jonathan Kolstad, Mark Pauly and Arnold Rosoff about the possible outcomes of the court case; the potential implications for businesses and consumers, and ways in which health care delivery in this country can be improved. (Video with transcript)
From: April 11, 2012
In his new book, The Creative Destruction of Medicine: How the Digital Revolution Will Create Better Health Care
, Eric Topol argues that medicine is set to undergo its biggest shakeup in history, pushed by demanding consumers and the availability of game-changing technology. Topol -- a cardiologist, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute and co-founder of the West Wireless Health Institute in La Jolla, Calif. -- was recently interviewed for Knowledge@Wharton by C. William Hanson, III, director, surgical intensive care, at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. (Podcast with transcript)
From: April 04, 2012
While the U.S. health care system is not yet on life support, it remains a fragmented and unwieldy structure whose rising costs bear little relation to improvements in access or quality. This is despite the introduction of patient management programs, some restructuring of insurance models, and efforts to adjust incentives for decision making all across the care continuum. But during keynote presentations and panel discussions at Wharton's 18th
Annual Health Care Business Conference, the emphasis was on solutions.
From: March 28, 2012
For anyone who has ever waited days or weeks to see the doctor, concierge medicine sounds appealing: For an additional fee, patients typically enjoy same-day appointments and 24-hour access, more face time with the doctor and extra preventative care. Doctors who offer concierge medicine say the practice frees them from the constraints imposed by insurance providers and allows them time to give patients the individualized attention they need. Skeptics argue that concierge medicine promotes a two-tiered system, improving health care for a few but worsening it for everyone else.
From: November 22, 2011
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