Schaeffer Initiative Health Policy Solutions

Schaeffer Initiative Health Policy Solutions Series

Suggestions for the New Administration and Congress

The Schaeffer Initiative for Innovation in Health Policy—a partnership between the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics and the Center for Health Policy at Brookings—offers the new administration and Congress solutions on reforming the Affordable Care Act and the individual health insurance market; improving competition among providers and insurers; making drug pricing more rational; modernizing the Medicare program; and addressing pressing public health challenges.

A new policy proposal will be presented each week, beginning on January 17, 2017.

Tackling the Opioid Crisis with Compassion, New Ways to Reduce Use and Treatment

by: Jason Doctor and Michael Menchine
Opioids provide immediate comfort to a person in pain, but result in other miseries when prescribed on a long-term basis.  Our policy towards opioids over the past two decades has had disastrous results—leading to the worst drug epidemic in U.S. history.  Enough opioids are prescribed in the United States each year to keep every man, woman and child on them around the clock for one month. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CMS) report that for chronic non-cancer pain, opioid dependence occurs in 26 percent of patients using them.  One out of every 550 patients started on opioid therapy has died of opioid-related causes a median of 2.6 years after their first opioid prescription. More>

Making Health Care Markets Work: Competition Policy for Health Care

by: Martin Gaynor, Farzad Mostashari, Paul B. Ginsburg
Many studies have examined trends toward increasing consolidation of physician practices and hospitals in the US health care system and the negative effects of decreased competition on the quality of patient care and health care costs. More>

Re-Balancing Medical and Social Spending to Promote Health: Increasing State Flexibility to Improve Health Through Housing

by: Stuart M Butler, Dayna Bowen Matthew, and Marcela Cabello
Although the United States spends considerably more of our GDP on medical services than other developed nations, our health outcomes are no better, and in many areas, much worse. More>

Stopping Surprise Medical Bills: Federal Action is Needed

by: Loren Adler, Mark Hall, Caitlin Brandt, Paul Ginsburg, and Steven M. Lieberman
More than a dozen states have enacted various protective measures to protect patients from surprise medical bills. This post outlines why federal action is needed and recommendations on how to move forward. More>

What Medicare Advantage’s Success in Delivering Post-Acute Care Means for Medicare Reform

by: Neeraj Sood, Loren Adler, Paul Ginsburg, and Margaret Darling
A recent study found Medicare Fee-for-Service and Medicare Advantage patients have hospitalization and post-hospitalization costs and outcomes that are generally different. How do these outcomes translate to policy recommendations? More>

Why Risk Adjustment is a Crucial Component of Individual Market Reform

By: Erin Trish
In order to mitigate incentives for insurance companies to avoid sicker patients, policymakers will need to include a risk adjustment program in any replacement reforms that require insurers to issue insurance to any applicant and set limits on adjusting premiums to fully reflect an enrollee’s health status. More>

Health Insurance as Assurance: The Importance of Keeping the ACA’s Limits on Enrollee Health Costs

By: Loren Adler and Paul Ginsburg
The GOP replacement plans are split over or unclear about whether to keep the ACA’s requirement that plans include an annual out-of-pocket expense limit and no lifetime limit on how much health coverage the plan will cover. They shouldn’t be. More>

More from the Schaeffer Initiative:
See the complete list of work conducted by the Schaeffer Initiative here.