robert wood johnson foundation


Top 10 Snippets In New Snapshot Of State’s Health Care Reform

“I live here. I already know all this. I feel it in my own medical care and insurance bills.”

That was my first reaction when I saw that the Center for Studying Health Systems Change had just put out a new report on how health care reform has affected Massachusetts, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

I was wrong. I found a motherlode of interesting nuggets in the overview, some little reported before, others the kinds of things that everybody knows but nobody much says. They come from a team of health care researchers who visited the Boston area in March and spoke with more than 50 health care leaders across the board, from doctors to benefits consultants to state officials, then followed up through the summer. Sometimes, I’m thinking, people say things when they’re speaking anonymously to a researcher that they might never say in public…Herewith some excerpts:

1.Doctors who own imaging centers are trying to sell them to hospitals, which can charge more Continue reading

The Last Of The Uninsured; Prescriptions For Dummies; Tracking Runners’ Breasts

A just-released research brief found that “non-elderly adults” age 19-64 are the last holdouts with no health insurance in Massachusetts. The report by the State Health Access Reform Evaluation, a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and The Urban Institute, found that 4.1 percent of Massachusetts residents were uninsured in 2008 — the lowest among all states and well below the national average. (State health authorities have said that number is now down to about 3 percent).

So who still lacks insurance? According to the report the uninsured tend to be:

–Male, young, and single
–Racial/ethnic minorities and non-citizens Unable to speak English well or very well
–Living in a household in which there was no adult able to speak English well or very well

News from NPR this morning that the FDA plans to simplify prescription drug inserts so they can actually be of some use to patients. This problem isn’t new. According to reporter April Fulton, the FDA has been trying to fix this since the 1960s. But things have only gotten worse. A University of Florida study recently found that:

…while 94 percent of patients are getting written information with their prescriptions, only 75 percent of them are getting information that’s considered useful.

And I don’t know about anyone else out there, but I wore two running bras this morning after reading Gretchen Reynolds, writing for The New York Times Well blog on the first study to examine how breast jiggle impacts running:

What the researchers found was that breast sway did, in fact, have a significant effect on the women’s running. When the runners were braless, their strides changed; they landed more heavily, with more of the impact force moving through the inside of their feet.

The bottom line: “Jiggle may make running both more difficult and injurious than it needs to be.”