Decline in cigarette consumption following implementation of a comprehensive tobacco prevention and education program--Oregon, 1996-1998. (1/368)

In November 1996, residents of Oregon approved a ballot measure increasing the cigarette tax by 30 cents (to 68 cents per pack). The measure stipulated that 10% of the additional tax revenue be allocated to the Oregon Health Division (OHD) to develop and implement a tobacco-use prevention program. In 1997, OHD created Oregon's Tobacco Prevention and Education Program (TPEP), a comprehensive, community-based program modeled on the successful tobacco-use prevention programs in California and Massachusetts. To assess the effects of the tax increase and TPEP in Oregon, OHD evaluated data on the number of packs of cigarettes taxed before (1993-1996) and after (1997-1998) the ballot initiative and implementation of the program. Oregon's results also were compared with national data. This report summarizes the results of the analysis, which indicate that consumption of cigarettes in Oregon declined substantially after implementation of the excise tax and TPEP and exceeded the national rate of decline.  (+info)

The impact of alternative cost recovery schemes on access and equity in Niger. (2/368)

The authors examine accessibility and the sustainability of quality health care in a rural setting under two alternative cost recovery methods, a fee-for-service method and a type of social financing (risk-sharing) strategy based on an annual tax+fee-for-service. Both methods were accompanied by similar interventions aimed at improving the quality of primary health services. Based on pilot tests of cost recovery in the non-hospital sector in Niger, the article presents results from baseline and final survey data, as well as from facility utilization, cost, and revenue data collected in two test districts and a control district. Cost recovery accompanied by quality improvements increases equity and access to health care and the type of cost recovery method used can make a difference. In Niger, higher access for women, children, and the poor resulted from the tax+fee method, than from the pure fee-for-service method. Moreover, revenue generation per capita under the tax+fee method was two times higher than under the fee-for-service method, suggesting that the prospects of sustainability were better under the social financing strategy. However, sustainability under cost recovery and improved quality depends as much on policy measures aimed at cost containment, particularly for drugs, as on specific cost recovery methods.  (+info)

Financial and organizational determinants of hospital diversification into subacute care. (3/368)

OBJECTIVE: To examine the financial, market, and organizational determinants of hospital diversification into subacute inpatient care by acute care hospitals in order to guide hospital managers in undertaking such diversification efforts. STUDY SETTING: All nongovernment, general, acute care, community hospitals that were operating during the years 1985 through 1991 (3,986 hospitals in total). DATA SOURCES: Cross-sectional, time-series data were drawn from the American Hospital Association's (AHA) Annual Survey of Hospitals, the Health Care Financing Administration's (HCFA) Medicare Cost Reports, a latitude and longitude listing for all community hospital addresses, and the Area Resource File (ARF) published in 1992, which provides county level environmental variables. STUDY DESIGN: The study is longitudinal, enabling the specification of temporal patterns in conversion, causal inferences, and the treatment of right-censoring problems. The unit of analysis is the individual hospital. KEY FINDINGS: Significant differences were found in the average level of subacute care offered by investor-owned versus tax-exempt hospitals. After controlling for selection bias, financial performance, risk, size, occupancy, and other variables, IO hospitals offered 31.3 percent less subacute care than did NFP hospitals. Financial performance and risk are predictors of IO hospitals' diversification into subacute care, but not of NFP hospitals' activities in this market. Resource availability appears to expedite expansion into subacute care for both types of hospitals. CONCLUSIONS: Investment criteria and strategy differ between investor-owned and tax-exempt hospitals.  (+info)

State and federal revenues from tobacco consumed by minors. (4/368)

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to estimate the value of cigarettes consumed in 1997 by youths younger than 18 years. METHODS: Price, population, and consumption data were used to compute conservative and comprehensive estimates, which were then averaged. RESULTS: An estimated 3.76 million daily smokers aged 12 through 17 years consume an estimated 924 million packs of cigarettes per year, generating $222 million in federal tax revenues, $293 million in state tax revenues, and $480 million in tobacco company profits, and producing a retail value of $1.86 billion. CONCLUSIONS: The revenues from cigarettes smoked by youths could be used to enforce laws prohibiting the sale of tobacco to minors.  (+info)

Arizona's tobacco control initiative illustrates the need for continuing oversight by tobacco control advocates. (5/368)

BACKGROUND: In 1994, Arizona voters approved Proposition 200 which increased the tobacco tax and earmarked 23% of the new revenues for tobacco education programmes. OBJECTIVE: To describe the campaign to pass Proposition 200, the legislative debate that followed the passage of the initiative, and the development and implementation of the tobacco control programme. DESIGN: This is a case study. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with key players in the initiative campaign and in the tobacco education programme, and written records (campaign material, newspapers, memoranda, public records). RESULTS: Despite opposition from the tobacco industry, Arizonans approved an increase in the tobacco tax. At the legislature, health advocates in Arizona successfully fought the tobacco industry attempts to divert the health education funds and pass preemptive legislation. The executive branch limited the scope of the programme to adolescents and pregnant women. It also prevented the programme from attacking the tobacco industry or focusing on secondhand smoke. Health advocates did not put enough pressure at the executive branch to force it to develop a comprehensive tobacco education programme. CONCLUSIONS: It is not enough for health advocates to campaign for an increase in tobacco tax and to protect the funds at the legislature. Tobacco control advocates must closely monitor the development and implementation of tax-funded tobacco education programmes at the administrative level and be willing to press the executive to implement effective programmes.  (+info)

Capital finance and ownership conversions in health care. (6/368)

This paper analyzes the for-profit transformation of health care, with emphasis on Internet start-ups, physician practice management firms, insurance plans, and hospitals at various stages in the industry life cycle. Venture capital, conglomerate diversification, publicly traded equity, convertible bonds, retained earnings, and taxable corporate debt come with forms of financial accountability that are distinct from those inherent in the capital sources available to nonprofit organizations. The pattern of for-profit conversions varies across health sectors, parallel with the relative advantages and disadvantages of for-profit and nonprofit capital sources in those sectors.  (+info)

Tax subsidies for health insurance: costs and benefits. (7/368)

The continued rise in the uninsured population has lead to considerable interest in tax-based policies to raise the level of insurance coverage. Using a detailed microsimulation model for evaluating these policies, we find that while tax subsidies could significantly increase insurance coverage, even very generous tax policies could not cover more than a sizable minority of the uninsured population. For example, a generous refundable credit that costs $13 billion per year would reduce the ranks of the uninsured by only four million persons. We also find that the efficiency of tax policies, in terms of the cost per newly insured, inevitably would fall as more of the uninsured were covered.  (+info)

The effect of marginal tax rate on the probability of employment-based insurance by risk group. (8/368)

RESEARCH OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of the tax subsidy on participation in employment-based health insurance for high- and low-risk individuals. The total exclusion of employer-paid health insurance premiums from taxable income has frequently been seen as contributing to excess insurance and hence welfare loss. However, less attention has been paid to quantifying the extent to which the tax subsidy mitigates the deleterious effects of adverse selection on the health insurance market. Adverse selection reduces pooling in an insurance market, so that high-risk individuals are either unable to obtain coverage or are forced to pay premiums that are unaffordable to all but the wealthiest. If there is an external benefit to society of an individual's purchase of medical care, then the presence of adverse selection may reduce the purchase of health care below the socially optimal level. Therefore, a mechanism for enhancing access to insurance and ultimately to medical care for high-risk individuals may be socially desirable. STUDY DESIGN: Data from the March 1996-March 1998 Current Population Survey (CPS). For each observation in the sample, state and federal income tax liability is calculated using code based on the ACIR Significant Features of Fiscal Federalism. The probability of having employment-based coverage in either one's own name or as a dependent is evaluated as a function of demographic variables such as age, education, marital status and family size, family income, type of employment, employer size, occupation, location, marginal tax rate, risk group (determined by self-assessed health status), and an interaction between risk group and tax rate. CPS data do not identify individuals who have declined offered coverage. Under alternative models of employer group decision making, the tax subsidy will have an important influence on the employer's decision to offer coverage. If offered, high-risk individuals accept coverage, while some low-risk individuals may decline coverage. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: For all individuals, the probability of having coverage is an increasing function of the marginal tax rate. Those classified as high-risk because their own or a family member's self-assessed health status is fair or poor are less likely to have coverage than those considered low-risk. The effect of the tax subsidy on insurance coverage is greater for high-risk individuals than for individuals classified as low-risk. CONCLUSIONS: These preliminary results indicate that high-risk individuals benefit from the tax subsidy by increased access to employment-based coverage. Therefore, welfare loss from excess levels of health insurance may be mitigated by welfare gain through expanded access to health insurance and hence to health care for high-risk individuals. IMPLICATIONS FOR POLICY, DELIVERY, OR PRACTICE: Elimination or reduction of the tax exclusion of health insurance premiums may have the unintended consequences of disproportionately reducing the probability of obtaining coverage in the employment-based market for high-risk individuals.  (+info)