(1/2618) Making Medicaid managed care research relevant.

OBJECTIVE: To help researchers better understand Medicaid managed care and the kinds of research studies that will be both feasible and of value to policymakers and program staff. The article builds on our experience researching Medicaid managed care to provide insight for researchers who want to be policy relevant. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We draw four lessons from our work on Medicaid managed care in seven states. First, these are complex programs that differ substantially across states. Second, each program faces common challenges and issues. The need to address common design elements involving program eligibility, managed care and provider contracting, beneficiary enrollment, education, marketing, and administration and oversight provides a vehicle that researchers can use to help understand states and to provide them with relevant insight. Third, well-designed case studies can provide invaluable descriptive insights. Such case studies suggest that providing effective descriptions of state programs and experience, monitoring information on program performance and tradeoffs, and insight on implementation and design are all valuable products of such studies that have considerable potential to be converted into policy-actionable advice. And fourth, some questions demand impact studies but the structure of Medicaid managed care poses major barriers to such studies. CONCLUSIONS: Many challenges confront researchers seeking to develop policy-relevant research on managed care. Researchers need to confront these challenges in turn by developing second-best approaches that will provide timely insight into important questions in a relatively defensible and rigorous way in the face of many constraints. If researchers do not, others will, and researchers may find their contributions limited in important areas for policy debate.  (+info)

(2/2618) Scientists try new strategy to eradicate dengue fever.


(3/2618) Health insurance in developing countries: lessons from experience.

Many developing countries are currently considering the possibility of introducing compulsory health insurance schemes. One reason is to attract more resources to the health sector. If those who, together with their employers, can pay for their health services and are made to do so by insurance, the limited tax funds can be concentrated on providing services for fewer people and thus improve coverage and raise standards. A second reason is dissatisfaction with existing services in which staff motivation is poor, resources are not used to best advantage and patients are not treated with sufficient courtesy and respect. This article describes the historical experience of the developed countries in introducing and steadily expanding the coverage of health insurance, sets out the consensus which has developed about health insurance (at least in Western European countries) and describes the different forms which health insurance can take. The aim is to bring out the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches from this experience, to set out the options for developing countries and to give warnings about the dangers of some approaches.  (+info)

(4/2618) Paediatric home care in Tower Hamlets: a working partnership with parents.

OBJECTIVES: To describe the first two years of a paediatric home care service. DESIGN: Observational cross sectional study, 1989-91. SETTING: One inner London health district. PATIENTS: 611 children referred to the service; 50 children selected from those referred during the first year, whose parents were interviewed and whose general practitioners were invited to complete a questionnaire. MAIN MEASURES: Description and costs of service; views of parents and general practitioners of selected sample of children. RESULTS: In its second year the team received 303 referrals and made 4004 visits at a salary cost of 98000 pounds, an average of 323 pounds/referral and 24 pounds/visit. This represented a referral rate of 3.2% (258/7939) of inpatient episodes from the main referring hospital between 1 December 1989 and 30 November 1990. Of all referrals to the service, 343(56%) came from hospital inpatient wards. The service was used by disadvantaged and ethnic minority families. The children's parents (in 28(61%) families) and the home care team did a wide range of nursing tasks in the home. Parents of 47(94%) children sampled agreed to be interviewed, and those of 43(91%) found the service useful; guidance and support were most commonly appreciated (33, 70%). Parents of 25(53%) children said that hospital stay or attendance had been reduced or avoided. Parents and general practitioners disagreed on clinical responsibility in 10 children, and communication was a problem for some general practitioners. CONCLUSIONS: The service enabled children to receive advanced nursing care at home. Clinical responsibility should be agreed between parents and professionals at referral.  (+info)

(5/2618) Assessing and planning home-based care for persons with AIDS.

The HIV/AIDS pandemic continues to gather momentum in many developing countries, increasing the already heavy burden on health care facilities. As a result, donors, implementing partners and communities are beginning to create home-based care programmes to provide care for persons with HIV/AIDS. This paper recommends reorienting this home care provision as a service founded in, and coming from, the community rather than the health system. A methodology, in the form of an assessment matrix, is provided to facilitate the assessment of a community's capacity to provide care for people with AIDS. The focus is on rapid assessment methods using, where possible, readily available information to clearly and systematically define current circumstances. The matrix created for a specific community is then used in the development of an action plan with interventions prioritized and tailored to local needs. A case study from a hypothetical developing country, where HIV/AIDS is a significant problem, is used to illustrate the process.  (+info)

(6/2618) Breastfeeding promotion and priority setting in health.

An increase in exclusive breastfeeding prevalence can substantially reduce mortality and morbidity among infants. In this paper, estimates of the costs and impacts of three breastfeeding promotion programmes, implemented through maternity services in Brazil, Honduras and Mexico, are used to develop cost-effectiveness measures and these are compared with other health interventions. The results show that breastfeeding promotion can be one of the most cost-effective health interventions for preventing cases of diarrhoea, preventing deaths from diarrhoea, and gaining disability-adjusted life years (DALYs). The benefits are substantial over a broad range of programme types. Programmes starting with the removal of formula and medications during delivery are likely to derive a high level of impact per unit of net incremental cost. Cost-effectiveness is lower (but still attractive relative to other interventions) if hospitals already have rooming-in and no bottle-feeds; and the cost-effectiveness improves as programmes become well-established. At an annual cost of about 30 to 40 US cents per birth, programmes starting with formula feeding in nurseries and maternity wards can reduce diarrhoea cases for approximately $0.65 to $1.10 per case prevented, diarrhoea deaths for $100 to $200 per death averted, and reduce the burden of disease for approximately $2 to $4 per DALY. Maternity services that have already eliminated formula can, by investing from $2 to $3 per birth, prevent diarrhoea cases and deaths for $3.50 to $6.75 per case, and $550 to $800 per death respectively, with DALYs gained at $12 to $19 each.  (+info)

(7/2618) AIDS-related policies, legislation and programme implementation in India.

This paper traces the evolution of AIDS-related policy and legislation in India from an initial response characterized by conservatism and discrimination to the development of a coherent national programme which aims to prevent the transmission of HIV and to develop support structures for people with HIV and AIDS. Examining the strategies, achievements and problems of specific components of the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP), the paper finds that the very progressive approach of national-level policy makers has been countered by conservative forces at the state and local levels. Little progress has been made, moreover, in incorporating HIV/AIDS prevention efforts into broader development and empowerment strategies. The paper concludes by considering the wider social context of AIDS in India and the role of more far-reaching policy measures.  (+info)

(8/2618) Implementing a nationwide insecticide-impregnated bednet programme in The Gambia.

Earlier studies in The Gambia suggested that the use of impregnated bednets might prove to be a useful malaria control strategy. Based on the results of these studies, in 1992 the Government of The Gambia was encouraged to initiate a National Impregnated Bednet Programme (NIBP) as part of the National Malaria Control Programme Strategy. This paper describes the implementation process/procedure of the NIBP. Evaluation results showed that, overall, 83% of the bednets surveyed has been impregnated, and 77% of children under the age of five years and 78% of women of childbearing age were reported to be sleeping under impregnated bednets.  (+info)