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JAMA Health Forum Editors' Summary

JAMA Health Forum is a peer-reviewed, open-access JAMA Network journal focused on health policy. The journal publishes original research, evidence-based reports, and opinion about national and global health policy; innovative approaches to health care delivery; and health care economics, access, quality, safety, equity, and reform. The podcast highlights new articles and their authors as well as the latest news in health policy for a broad audience interested in improving health and health care in the United States and globally.

Tracks

Comparing Home Health Services in Traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage
JAMA Health Forum Editor John Ayanian, MD, MPP, and Deputy Editor Melinda Buntin, PhD, speak with Rachel A. Prusynski, DPT, PhD, of the University of Washington about differences in the use and outcomes of home health services provided to beneficiaries in traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage. Related Content: Differences in Home Health Services and Outcomes Between Traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage
16:16 3/1/24
Changes in Access to Care and Preventive Services by Race and Ethnicity During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused major disruptions in ambulatory care. In this interview with JAMA Health Forum Editor John Ayanian, MD, MPP, and Deputy Editor Melinda Buntin, PhD, Rishi K. Wadhera, MD, MPP, MPhil, of Harvard Medical School discusses how access to care and preventive services changed for different racial and ethnic groups in the US from 2019 to 2022. Related Content: Changes in Health Care Access and Preventive Health Screenings by Race and Ethnicity
13:48 2/2/24
Opioid Prescription Duration Limits
JAMA Health Forum Editor John Ayanian, MD, MPP, and Deputy Editor Melinda Buntin, PhD, speak with Lindsay D. Allen, PhD, about how setting-specific opioid prescription duration limits helped reduce opioid overuse in West Virginia. Related Content: Opioid Prescribing Patterns After Imposition of Setting-Specific Limits on Prescription Duration
13:40 1/19/24
Trends in Smoking Among US Adults From 2011 to 2022
Smoking remains a leading cause of preventable morbidity and mortality in the US. Rafael Meza, PhD, of the British Columbia Cancer Research Institute, discusses recent trends in smoking by US adults across different age and income groups in this interview with JAMA Health Forum Editor John Ayanian, MD, MPP, and Deputy Editor Melinda Buntin, PhD. Related Content: Trends in US Adult Smoking Prevalence, 2011 to 2022
14:40 12/1/23
The History, Economics, and Policy Context of Pharmacy Benefit Managers
JAMA Health Forum Editor John Ayanian, MD, MPP, and Deputy Editor Melinda Buntin, PhD, speak with Ge Bai, PhD, CPA, author of Pharmacy Benefit Managers: History, Business Practices, Economics, and Policy, about how pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) have evolved in recent decades to play a central role in the US prescription drug market, including the benefits and policy challenges that PBMs present in this market. Related Content: Pharmacy Benefit Managers
14:03 11/3/23
Economic Burden of Untreated Mental Illness in Indiana
JAMA Health Forum Editor John Ayanian, MD, MPP, and Deputy Editor Melinda Buntin, PhD, spoke with Heather Taylor, MD, from Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, about the costs of untreated mental illness in the state of Indiana. Considering a wide set of direct and indirect costs, her team estimated the cost to Indiana is over $4 Billon per year. Related Content: Economic Burden Associated With Untreated Mental Illness in Indiana
15:22 10/13/23
Innovative Approach to Promote Equitable Access to COVID-19 Preventive Therapy
In this interview, JAMA Health Forum Editor John Ayanian, MD, MPP, and Deputy Editor Melinda Buntin, PhD, explore with Erin K. McCreary, PharmD, and Atheendar S. Venkataramani, MD, PhD, how a large regional health system used a weighted lottery and intensive outreach to provide high-risk individuals in disadvantaged communities more equitable access to scarce monoclonal antibodies for preventing COVID-19. Related Content: Weighted Lottery to Equitably Allocate Scarce Supply of COVID-19 Monoclonal Antibody Moving Beyond Intent and Realizing Health Equity
21:45 9/1/23
How Safe Were Kids in School During Phases of the Pandemic?
JAMA Health Forum Editor John Ayanian, MD, and Deputy Editor Melinda Buntin, PhD, discuss with Sandra B. Nelson, MD (Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston), her JAMA Health Forum study of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in schools in Massachusetts during 2 different phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. She found transmission rates were very low but varied by district and the availability of vaccines. Related Content: Prevalence and Risk Factors for School-Associated Transmission of SARS-CoV-2
17:13 8/4/23
FDA Advisory Committees for New Prescription Drugs
JAMA Health Forum Editor John Ayanian, MD, MPP, and Associate Editor Julie Donohue, PhD, speak with Aaron S. Kesselheim, MD, JD, MPH, and Genevieve P. Kanter, PhD, about the role of advisory committees convened by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to guide its decisions on whether to approve new prescription drugs. They also consider how the FDA has responded to recommendations from these advisory committees over the past decade. Related Content: Association of Advisory Committee Votes With US Food and Drug Administration Decision-Making on Prescription Drugs, 2010-2021 The Real Question the FDA Is Asking Its Advisory Committees
20:00 7/7/23
Challenges of Addressing Food and Housing Insecurity in a Medicaid Context
JAMA Health Forum Editor John Ayanian, MD, MPP, and Deputy Editor Melinda Buntin, PhD, talk with Anne N. Thorndike, MD, MPH, about the challenge of connecting Medicaid Accountable Care Organization (ACO) members with flexible benefits to address food and housing insecurity issues. Dr Thorndike and colleagues used a mixed-methods approach to conduct this evaluation of the implementation of a novel program in an ACO in Massachusetts. Related Content: Assessment of the Massachusetts Flexible Services Program to Address Food and Housing Insecurity in a Medicaid Accountable Care Organization
13:33 6/2/23
Health Care Use and Spending Among Dual-Eligible Medicare and Medicaid Beneficiaries
JAMA Health Forum Editor John Ayanian, MD, MPP, and Deputy Editor Melinda Buntin, PhD, discuss with Brystana G. Kaufman, PhD, Duke Margolis Center for Health Policy, how health care use and spending differ for individuals residing in the community or nursing homes who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. They also explore the potential value of more tailored approaches to integrating benefits covered by these 2 public insurance programs. Related Content: Health Care Use and Spending Among Need-Based Subgroups of Medicare Beneficiaries With Full Medicaid Benefits
16:06 5/12/23
Quality of Care and Visit Volume in Federally Qualified Health Centers During COVID-19
In this interview, JAMA Health Forum Editor John Ayanian, MD, MPP, and Deputy Editor Melinda Buntin, PhD, speak with Megan B. Cole, PhD, MPH, about changes in performance measures and use of ambulatory services provided by federally qualified health centers in the US during the first 2 years of the COVID-19 pandemic. Related Content: Changes in Performance Measures and Service Volume at US Federally Qualified Health Centers During the COVID-19 Pandemic
18:44 4/7/23
Best Practice in Adjusting For Social Risk
Adjusting quality measurements and payments for health care services to reflect the social as well as clinical risk factors of patients is controversial. JAMA Health Forum Editor John Z. Ayanian, MD, MPP, and Deputy Editor Melinda B. Buntin, PhD, discuss a structured approach that can be used to make decisions about social risk factor adjustment in Medicare with Yale’s Kasia J. Lipska, MD. Related Content: Adjustment for Social Risk Factors in a Measure of Clinician Quality Assessing Acute Admissions for Patients With Multiple Chronic Conditions
11:57 3/10/23
Predicting Future Malpractice Claims
In this interview, JAMA Health Forum Editor John Ayanian, MD, MPP, and Deputy Editor Melinda Buntin, PhD, speak with David A. Hyman, JD, MD, about the role of paid malpractice claims in the past as a predictor of future paid malpractice claims, including how this link applies to lower-risk and higher-risk medical specialties. Related Content: Association of Past and Future Paid Medical Malpractice Claims
15:12 2/10/23
Use of Mental Health Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted health care in many domains, including mental health services. JAMA Health Forum Editor John Ayanian, MD, MPP, and Deputy Editor Melinda Buntin, PhD, discuss with Ryan K. McBain, PhD, MPH, of RAND Corporation how the use of mental health care—both in-person and telehealth visits—changed for commercially insured adults during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Related Content: Mental Health Service Utilization Rates Among Commercially Insured Adults in the US During the First Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic
15:16 1/6/23
Factors Contributing to the Slowdown in Medicare Spending Growth
Medicare spending growth per beneficiary has been historically low since the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010. JAMA Health Forum Deputy Editor Melinda B. Buntin, PhD, of Vanderbilt University, speaks with JAMA Health Forum Editor John Ayanian, MD, MPP, and Associate Editor Zirui Song, MD, PhD, about the factors that explain this slowdown in Medicare spending and the implications for policy makers, physicians, and Medicare beneficiaries. Related Content: Trends in and Factors Contributing to the Slowdown in Medicare Spending Growth, 2007-2018
15:33 12/2/22
Increased Food Insufficiency in Households With Children
In this conversation with Zoe Bouchelle, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania, JAMA Health Forum Editor John Ayanian, MD, MPP, and Deputy Editor Melinda Buntin, PhD, discuss the magnitude of the increase in food insufficiency among US households following the discontinuation of the COVID-19 pandemic–related monthly child tax credit payments. Related Content: Food Insufficiency Following Discontinuation of Monthly Child Tax Credit Payments Among Lower-Income US Households
16:40 11/11/22
Helping People Enroll in Marketplace Plans
Authors Andrew Feher, PhD, of Covered California, and Adrianna McIntyre, PhD, MPP, MPH, of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, speak with JAMA Health Forum Editor John Ayanian, MD, MPP, and Deputy Editor Melinda Buntin, PhD, about research on the best ways to help people losing Medicaid coverage to enroll in health insurance Marketplace plans so they do not become uninsured. Related Content: Effect of Personalized Outreach on Medicaid to Marketplace Coverage Transitions Evidence-Based Outreach Strategies for Minimizing Coverage Loss During Unwinding
16:39 10/14/22
Receipt of Out-of-State Telemedicine Visits Among Medicare Beneficiaries During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, most states approved temporary regulatory changes so out-of-state physicians could provide telemedicine services to residents. Ateev Mehrotra, MD, of Harvard Medical School, and Chad Ellimoottil, MD, MS, of the University of Michigan, speak with JAMA Health Forum Editor John Ayanian, MD, and Deputy Editor Melinda Buntin, PhD, about the features of telemedicine visits provided for Medicare beneficiaries across state borders during the first year of the pandemic and potential policy changes that would enable such visits to continue.   Related Content: Receipt of Out-of-State Telemedicine Visits Among Medicare Beneficiaries During the COVID-19 Pandemic Takeaways From 2 Key Studies on Interstate Telehealth Use Among Medicare Fee-for-Service Beneficiaries
14:28 9/16/22
Prescription Drug Cost Provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act
President Biden has signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act containing important provisions related to prescription drug costs. JAMA Health Forum Editor John Z. Ayanian, MD, MPP, and Deputy Editor Melinda B. Buntin, PhD, discuss the effects of these provisions on patients with Aaron S. Kesselheim, MD, JD, MPH, of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Related Content: New Reforms to Prescription Drug Pricing in the US Estimating Rebates and Other Discounts Received by Medicare Part D Estimation of the Share of Net Expenditures on Insulin Captured by US Manufacturers, Wholesalers, Pharmacy Benefit Managers, Pharmacies, and Health Plans From 2014 to 2018 Spending by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Before and After Confirmation of Benefit for Drugs Granted US Food and Drug Administration Accelerated Approval, 2012 to 2017 Improving Prescription Drug Affordability Through Regulatory Action
15:33 8/19/22
Migration and Mortality Among Patients With Kidney Failure After Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico
Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico in 2017 was one of the most costly and catastrophic storms in US history. In this podcast, Maricruz Rivera-Hernandez, PhD, of Brown University speaks about her study of migration and mortality among patients with kidney failure requiring dialysis in Puerto Rico before and after Hurricane Maria with JAMA Health Forum Editor John Z. Ayanian, MD, MPP, and Deputy Editor Melinda B. Buntin, PhD. Related Content: Changes in Migration and Mortality Among Patients With Kidney Failure in Puerto Rico After Hurricane Maria
12:43 8/12/22
Does Rewarding Better Patient Care Experience Punish Safety-net Hospitals?
Rishi K. Wadhera, MD, MPP, MPhil, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, discusses his article investigating the association of the Medicare Hospital Value-Based Purchasing program with changes in patient care experience at safety-net vs non–safety-net hospitals with JAMA Health Forum editors John Z. Ayanian, MD, MPP, and Melinda B. Buntin, PhD. Related Content: Association of the Medicare Value-Based Purchasing Program With Changes in Patient Care Experience at Safety-net vs Non–Safety-net Hospitals
12:40 7/8/22
A Conversation With Dr Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, JAMA’s New Editor in Chief
In July 2022, Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, PhD, MD, MAS, took on a new role as the 17th editor in chief of JAMA and the JAMA Network. In conversation with Nobel laureate Harold Varmus, MD, Bibbins-Domingo discusses her research background, approaches to leadership in health care, and the critical role that journals play in communication about public health and science. Related Content: The Urgency of Now and the Responsibility to Do More—My Commitment for JAMA and the JAMA Network A Conversation With Dr Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, JAMA’s New Editor in Chief (video) A Conversation With Dr Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, JAMA’s New Editor in Chief (audio)
22:07 7/5/22
Spillover Benefits of Medicaid Expansion for Older Adults
Through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Medicaid expansion has yielded clear improvements in insurance coverage and access to care for low-income adults younger than 65, but has Medicaid expansion also had spillover benefits for adults 65 and older? In this interview with JAMA Health Forum Editor John Ayanian, MD, MPP, and Deputy Editor Melinda Buntin, PhD, Melissa McInerney, PhD, describes how older adults with low incomes and limitations related to chronic conditions were more likely to have Medicaid coverage and recent visits with physicians in states that have expanded Medicaid for younger adults than those in nonexpansion states. Related Content: Spillover Benefits of Medicaid Expansion for Older Adults With Low Incomes Medicaid Expansion and Health Care in Older Adults With Low Income and Chronic Condition Limitations
13:14 6/3/22
Advancing COVID-19 Research in a Learning Health Care System
The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented need for accelerated collaborative research in health care systems. In a conversation with JAMA Health Forum Editor John Ayanian, MD, MPP, and Deputy Editor Melinda Buntin, PhD, Jonathan Perlin, MD, PhD, of the Joint Commission (and formerly of HCA Healthcare) discusses lessons learned from a novel COVID-19 research consortium developed through a collaboration of HCA Healthcare, the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and numerous academic partners. Related Content: Harnessing COVID-19 Data Through Collaboration—The Consortium of HCA Healthcare and Academia for Research Generation
17:45 5/6/22
Health Care Job Loss During the Pandemic
The health care workforce has yet to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, and there is a concerning trend of increasing numbers of physicians leaving the workforce. JAMA Health Forum Editor John Ayanian, MD, MPP, and Deputy Editor Melinda Buntin, PhD, discuss with Bianca Frogner, PhD, of the University of Washington new findings that show how all segments of the health care workforce have struggled, with more pronounced effects among long-term care workers, aides, assistants, workers with young children, and workers of color. Related Content: Tracking Turnover Among Health Care Workers During the COVID-19 Pandemic US Health Care Workforce Changes During the COVID-19 Pandemic Changes in Material Hardship During the First Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic
13:36 4/8/22
COVID-19 Vaccinations for California Prison Staff
Prison staff and residents have faced increased risks of COVID-19 infections. JAMA Health Forum Editor John Ayanian, MD, MPP, and Deputy Editor Melinda Buntin, PhD, speak with Jeremy Goldhaber-Fiebert, PhD of Stanford University about patterns of COVID-19 vaccinations among staff in California state prisons. They also speak with Jaimie Meyer, MD, MS of Yale University about efforts to promote COVID-19 vaccinations among prison staff and residents in California and other states. Related Content: Uptake of COVID-19 Vaccination Among Frontline Workers in California State Prisons
26:34 3/11/22
Medicaid Policy Associated With Increased Enrollment During the Pandemic
For the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic public health emergency, state Medicaid programs elected to maintain eligibility for Medicaid recipients in exchange for increased federal funding. In this podcast, Dr Laura Dague of the Bush School of Government & Public Service at Texas A&M University discusses her JAMA Health Forum article finding that this policy was associated with the higher Medicaid enrollment seen during the pandemic. JAMA Health Forum Editor John Ayanian and Deputy Editor Melinda Buntin discuss the policy implications of this work with Dr Dague and other recent articles touching on Medicaid enrollment. Related Content: Trends in Medicaid Enrollment and Disenrollment Early in the COVID-19 Pandemic in Wisconsin Medicaid Disenrollment After the COVID-19 Pandemic Medicaid Coverage Disruptions Among Children Enrolled in North Carolina Medicaid, 2016-2018 Association of Medicaid Expansion in Arkansas With Postpartum Coverage, Outpatient Care, and Racial Disparities
19:52 2/4/22
Health System Factors Related to Overuse of Health Services in Medicare
Overuse of health care, or providing services of low value or no value, is wasteful, potentially harmful to patients, and a contributor to high US health care costs. Jodi Segal, MD, of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine joins JAMA Health Forum Editor John Ayanian and Deputy Editor Melinda Buntin to discuss characteristics of health systems associated with overuse of health care services for Medicare beneficiaries and the implications for health systems, hospitals, and clinicians seeking to reduce such overuse. Related Content: Factors Associated With Overuse of Health Care Within US Health Systems
13:20 1/14/22
Unequal Burdens of Cost Sharing for Medicare Beneficiaries
Cost sharing is particularly burdensome for some Medicare beneficiaries, particularly those with incomes just above the poverty level, those with disabilities, or those who have multiple chronic health conditions. Jeanne Madden, PhD, of the Northeastern University School of Pharmacy, and Eric Roberts, PhD, of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, speak with JAMA Health Forum Editor John Ayanian and Deputy Editor Melinda Buntin about the implications of high cost-sharing burdens in Medicare and options for policy makers to limit these burdens for Medicare beneficiaries who are at greatest risk. Related Content: Affordability of Medical Care Among Medicare Enrollees Unequal Burdens of Cost Sharing for Medicare Beneficiaries
23:46 12/10/21