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To help health care providers battered during the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government has stepped in with funding to help make up for lost revenue, preserve jobs, and ensure access to COVID testing and services for uninsured patients in hot spot regions.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - September 18, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Lovisa Gustafsson, Josh LaRosa Source Type: blogs

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We recently compared low-income adults in Arkansas with adults in three other states to examine the impact of work requirements.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - September 16, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Nia Johnson, Peggah Khorami, Benjamin D. Sommers Source Type: blogs

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COVID-19 reignited a collaboration between American physician Gregg Meyer and British physician James Mountford when both doctors helped launch field hospitals in their respective countries. In this Q&A, they discuss lessons learned and the value of working together.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - September 4, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Sarah Klein, Martha Hostetter Source Type: blogs

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How will the COVID-19 pandemic affect opioid overdose deaths and states’ ability to respond? The Commonwealth Fund’s Jesse Baumgartner, Gabriella Aboulafia, and Sara Collins look at unemployment trends and opioid deaths to determine which states may be battling both an economic downturn and an opioid epidemic.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - August 29, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Jesse C. Baumgartner, Gabriella N. Aboulafia, Sara R. Collins Source Type: blogs

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The Commonwealth Fund’s Gretchen Jacobson, Lovisa Gustafsson, and Aimee Cicchiello use recent U.S. Census survey data to report that elderly adults were less likely than younger adults to postpone needed care after practices reopened during the pandemic.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - August 27, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Gretchen Jacobson, Lovisa Gustafsson, Aimee Cicchiello Source Type: blogs

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The economic recession caused by COVID-19 has hit small businesses especially hard, making it more challenging for them to offer health insurance. But certain regulatory measures can help stabilize the small-group market, such as states restricting self-insured plans and transitional plans to control costs.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - August 25, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Mark A. Hall, Michael J. McCue Source Type: blogs

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Examination of whether the FDA’s regulatory accommodations to the public health emergency are appropriate in a postpandemic world.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - August 20, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Jeremy Sharp, Kahaari Kenyatta Source Type: blogs

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Without a national testing strategy, states have to go it alone in creating COVID-19 testing plans for essential workers.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - August 20, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Kevin Lucia, Sara Rosenbaum, Sabrina Corlette, Madeline O ’Brien Source Type: blogs

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The distribution of the reimbursed cost of COVID-19 hospital care among payment sources varies across states and over time because of variations in policy and the changing epidemiology of the disease.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - August 19, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Sherry A. Glied, Benjamin Zhu, Ougni Chakraborty, Aggie Tang Source Type: blogs

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Timothy Jost looks at recent legal decisions regarding insurers claiming damages after the Trump administration in 2017 stopped making cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - August 19, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Timothy S. Jost Source Type: blogs

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Controlling the pandemic relies on testing. With appropriations beginning to run out, the Medicaid uninsured option presents an important element in state’s approaches to testing and public health.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - August 14, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Sara Rosenbaum, Rebecca Morris, Maria Velasquez Source Type: blogs

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U.S. policymakers and school leaders can take into account what other countries have done as they consider whether and how to reopen schools.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - August 13, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Tyler Barton, Anand Parekh Source Type: blogs

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State, local, and federal policymakers can learn from American Indians responses to the pandemic.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - August 13, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Arnav Shah, Shanoor Seervai, Isabel Paxton, Allison Barlow, Tanya Shah Source Type: blogs

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One thing is certain about the coronavirus pandemic: our health care system will never be the same. The question is, how will it be transformed?         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - July 29, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: David Blumenthal, M.D., Eric C. Schneider, M.D., Shanoor Seervai, Arnav Shah Source Type: blogs

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States face a major challenge to ensure that mental health needs are being met — both for people whose care was disrupted and for people with new mental and behavioral health needs brought on by the pandemic.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - July 29, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: K. Bryant Smalley, Jacob C. Warren Source Type: blogs

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On To the Point, Jeremy Sharp and Kahaari Kenyatta of Waxman Strategies discuss the upcoming FDA user fee reauthorization process.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - July 23, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Jeremy Sharp, Kahaari Kenyatta Source Type: blogs

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The actions states are taking to strengthen managed care during the crisis and the reforms they’re enacting to comply with new federal requirements under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - July 23, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Sara Rosenbaum, Maria Velasquez Source Type: blogs

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Although short-term health plans are designed to insure people for catastrophic medical events, they often lack protections for preexisting conditions and come with high out-of-pocket costs as well.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - July 23, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Dania Palanker, Emily Curran, Arreyellen Salyards Source Type: blogs

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An emerging model of care, accountable communities for health, have the potential to address America’s stark health inequities.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - July 21, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Dora Hughes, M.D., Laurie Zephyrin, M.D. Source Type: blogs

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Earlier this week, the Commonwealth Fund’s Board of Directors approved the creation of a new Health Equity Fund that will expend up to $15 million over three years to advance equity in U.S. health care and combat systemic racism throughout our health system.          (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - July 18, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: blogs

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While the country is reeling from more than 130,000 COVID-19 deaths and the most significant recession since the Great Depression, several Republican-led states and the Justice Department are making the case for invalidating the Affordable Care Act (ACA), taking health insurance away from 27 million Americans and leaving at least 54 million with preexisting health conditions potentially uninsurable.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - July 16, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Sara R. Collins, Elizabeth Fowler Source Type: blogs

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On July 8, the Supreme Court handed down a decision in two cases: Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania v. Trump. The decision is the Court’s latest foray into the most litigated Affordable Care Act (ACA) issue— whether organizations that object to contraceptives for religious or moral reasons can block their employees and students from receiving contraceptive coverage through their group health plans. The Court upheld Trump administration regulations that exempt objecting organizations from having to cooperate in providing such         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - July 10, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Timothy S. Jost Source Type: blogs

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Last week, Oklahoma joined 36 states and D.C. in expanding Medicaid eligibility to people earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level — about $17,000 annually. Oklahoma is the fifth state to use a ballot measure — voted on by state residents — to expand eligibility for Medicaid; 200,000 residents are expected to gain coverage. Missouri residents also will weigh in on whether to adopt Medicaid expansion in August.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - July 9, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Akeiisa Coleman Source Type: blogs

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Telehealth use has surged during the coronavirus pandemic, with the technology spreading far and fast. Doctors and patients alike must be wondering if this is the beginning of a whole new kind of doctor–patient relationship, one that might totally transform our health care system.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - July 1, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: David Blumenthal, M.D. Source Type: blogs

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For many decades, the United States has failed people of color. Poor maternal health outcomes, troubling racial disparities, and the rising costs of maternity care present a call for action. To aid in this effort, the Health Care Transformation Task Force is launching new resources.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - July 1, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Clare Pierce-Wrobel, Katie Green, Laurie Zephyrin, M.D. Source Type: blogs

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The coronavirus pandemic has substantially disrupted the outpatient practices where millions of Americans get their health care.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - June 25, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Eric C. Schneider, M.D., Tanya Shah Source Type: blogs

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Virtual services are safe, effective, and comparable in outcomes to in-person services. However, prior to COVID-19, telemental health was used primarily to provide services in areas that otherwise do not have access — for instance, in rural regions. It is now used throughout the country.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - June 19, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Jacob C. Warren, K. Bryant Smalley Source Type: blogs

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A move towards defining gender as sex at birth could have devastating implications for the health and health care of transgender and gender nonconforming individuals, placing an already vulnerable population at even greater risk. (This post is updated since its original publication on November 8, 2018.)         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - June 19, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Corinne Lewis, Yaphet Getachew, Mekdes Tsega Source Type: blogs

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Once locked up, many people must pay cash bail to be released from detention. The amount of bail is determined by the court. Research suggests racial bias against Black defendants plays a part in the level of bail set by the court. At a time when jails and prisons across the U.S. have seen widespread outbreaks of coronavirus, the cash bail system poses an unnecessary health risk.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - June 19, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Arnav Shah, Shanoor Seervai Source Type: blogs

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The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that most health insurers and employer health plans cover certain preventive services without cost-sharing, including vaccines recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). This requirement has been of enormous importance to families given the high cost of fully immunizing children against vaccine-preventable disease, but health insurance alone is not sufficient for the extraordinary demands on the public health system imposed by a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - June 17, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Sara Rosenbaum, Sabrina Corlette, Alexander Somodevilla Source Type: blogs

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Late last week, the Trump administration issued a final rule amending an Obama-era rule implementing section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. Section 1557 applies to any health program or activity that receives federal financial assistance, any activity or program administered by a federal executive agency, and any entity established under Title I of the ACA, such as the health insurance marketplaces.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - June 16, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Timothy S. Jost Source Type: blogs

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Many states have taken emergency steps requiring insurers to cover COVID-19 testing and related services. Georgetown University researchers argue that states’ efforts to remove financial barriers to COVID-19-related services should be extended once the emergency orders expire.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - June 11, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Sabrina Corlette, Madeline O ’Brien Source Type: blogs

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The 2020 International Profiles of Health Care Systems shed light on why the COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on some countries. Their ability to adapt to the pandemic is partly a result of structures and policies about health care and public health that were in place before the crisis emerged.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - June 11, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Roosa Tikkanen, George A. Wharton, Ana Djordjevic, Elias Mossialos, Reginald D. Williams II Source Type: blogs

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The class of 2020 is graduating during a global pandemic and crippling economic downturn. What health care coverage options do young adults have? The Commonwealth Fund’s Gabriella Aboulafia and Sara Collins examine the choices available to new graduates, a group that is among the most likely in America to be uninsured.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - June 10, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Gabriella N. Aboulafia, Sara R. Collins Source Type: blogs

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In an essay reflecting on the killing of George Floyd and our nation’s 400-year legacy of racial brutality and prejudice, Commonwealth Fund President David Blumenthal, M.D., draws inspiration from the eulogy President Obama delivered for the nine victims of the massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - June 9, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: David Blumenthal, M.D. Source Type: blogs

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        (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - June 5, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: blogs

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The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly affected society’s medically and socially vulnerable populations in various ways: loss of employment, food insecurity, and reduced access to essential medical and social services. Nonprofit community-based organization (CBOs) have been working with the health care sector to address the needs of vulnerable populations. CBOs have an important and unique role in mitigating the economic consequences of COVID-19. However, in a time of deep economic hardship and physical and mental distress — when social services are most needed — many CBOs are facing dwindling resources des...
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - June 2, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Mekdes Tsega, Kristin Giantris, Tanya Shah Source Type: blogs

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Nancy, a single woman with cerebral palsy, experienced a decline in functioning in middle age. By using a personal care aide (PCA) a few hours each day to help her bathe, dress, cook, and clean, Nancy was able to live on her own for many years.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - May 22, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Kristi L. Kirschner, M.D., Lisa I. Iezzoni, M.D., Tanya Shah Source Type: blogs

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Amicus, or “friend of the court,” briefs supporting the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in California v. Texas case were due at the Supreme Court on May 13. Such briefs have become a staple in Supreme Court litigation. Although individual justices pay varying degrees of attention to them, briefs supporting legal arguments made by the parties — demonstrating consensus across individuals or organizations with different perspectives or showing real-world consequences of potential decisions — can help the Court in deciding a case.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - May 21, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Timothy S. Jost Source Type: blogs

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The economic shutdown due to COVID-19 prompted an unprecedented spike in unemployment, with more than 33 million people filing claims since mid-March. Alongside this widespread job loss, the health insurance safety net is being stretched to accommodate the rapid increase in people in need of coverage. The Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) marketplaces, along with Medicaid, are important tools in covering the newly uninsured.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - May 19, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Rachel Schwab, Justin Giovannelli, Kevin Lucia Source Type: blogs

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In the United States, we finance health care with insurance coverage. People with insurance coverage seek needed care, and in caring for them, providers generate operating revenue. What happens when people stop using health care, as in our current situation with COVID-19? The pandemic has created a massive health system paradox.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - May 13, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Sara Rosenbaum, Morgan Handley Source Type: blogs

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We reviewed plan brochures for 12 short-term plans currently being sold in Georgia, Louisiana, and Ohio and found that people enrolled in them have less financial protection if they need treatment for COVID-19 than people enrolled in ACA plans.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - May 13, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Emily Curran, Kevin Lucia, JoAnn Volk, Dania Palanker Source Type: blogs

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COVID-19 is testing our health care system in new ways — raising concerns about equity, surge capacity, the social safety net, and data collection. The drug supply chain is no exception. Drug shortages — particularly for generic drugs — are nothing new. But several factors are now straining our supply chain, leading to an increased chance of shortages and exposing risks.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - May 8, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Lovisa Gustafsson Source Type: blogs

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In March, Congress temporarily raised the share of Medicaid costs that the federal government will pay, in response to COVID-19. This short-term step granted states welcome fiscal relief, but as the depth of the economic crisis becomes clearer, so does the need for additional and more-targeted support.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - May 7, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Cindy Mann, Elizabeth E. Dervan Source Type: blogs

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According to the latest data, states that expanded eligibility for their Medicaid programs have reaped significant savings, both within their Medicaid programs and in other areas of their budgets. This new study complements a growing body of evidence showing that Medicaid expansion has given people greater access to care and made care more affordable for them while also saving states valuable resources.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - May 6, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Akeiisa Coleman Source Type: blogs

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On April 27, the Supreme Court announced in an 8-to-1 decision that the federal government had improperly withheld over $12 billion owed insurers in the individual and small-group markets under the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) risk-corridor program for 2014–2016. The decision sends an important message: the government must honor its obligations. Payments will now be made to those insurers but the effect will be very different from what it would have been had the claims been paid on time.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - May 5, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Timothy S. Jost Source Type: blogs

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As Americans heed the advice of public health and government officials to remain physically distanced from neighbors, friends, and relatives to fight the coronavirus, another epidemic is exacerbated — social isolation. This can result in loneliness, and the negative consequences can be severe: an increased risk of heart disease, depression, dementia, and even death.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - May 1, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Melinda K. Abrams, Reginald D. Williams II, Roosa Tikkanen, Tanya Shah, Matt Pantell Source Type: blogs

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U.S. policymakers and health care leaders are looking for effective strategies to curtail the COVID-19 pandemic; they may well learn from innovative strategies used in other countries. Working this year in the United States as Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellows, we have tracked the response efforts in our home countries of Canada, France, the Netherlands, Norway, and the United Kingdom while watching the pandemic unfold in the U.S. In this post, we share some of these strategies.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - May 1, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Umar Ikram, Christer Mj åset, M.D., Anne-Marie Boxall, Mylaine Breton, Ines Gravey, Holly Krelle, Véronique Raimond, Reginald D. Williams II Source Type: blogs

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The coronavirus pandemic raises the stakes in the debate over surprise medical bills, as it could lead consumers to avoid testing or treatment. New federal laws may provide some protection, but some states are wasting no time in filling the gap.         (Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog)
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - April 30, 2020 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Jack Hoadley, Maanasa Kona, Kevin Lucia Source Type: blogs