The Commonwealth Fund Connection is a roundup of recent Fund publications, charts, multimedia, and other timely content.
Premiums for employer-sponsored family health insurance policies increased by 50 percent from 2003 to 2010, and the annual amount that employees pay toward their insurance increased by 63 percent, as businesses required employees to contribute a greater share, a new Commonwealth Fund analysis finds.
The report, which examines trends in health insurance costs state-by-state, finds that coverage costs in each state are outpacing income growth. At the same time, premiums are buying less protective coverage: per-person deductibles doubled for employees working for large and small firms over the same period. The analysis was prepared by Senior Vice President Cathy Schoen and colleagues at The Commonwealth Fund.
Visit commonwealthfund.org to view an interactive map and infographic and download the complete report. You can also listen to a podcast on Affordable Care Act provisions that should help reverse the trends.
Karen Davis, who since 1995 has led The Commonwealth Fund in its drive to improve the performance of the nation’s health care system, plans to step down as the Fund's president on December 31, 2012.
"Karen Davis is one of the outstanding thinkers and leaders on health care reform," said James R. Tallon, Jr., chair of the Commonwealth Fund Board of Directors. "A distinguished health policy researcher, university department chair, and federal health agency executive, she positioned The Commonwealth Fund to make a major contribution to the recent health care reform debate and to the implementation of those reforms. The foundation is extremely fortunate to have had Karen at its helm at a time of great opportunity for improving the performance of our health system."
We invite you to visit a redesigned WhyNotTheBest.org to access new types of hospital performance data, including:
In addition, there are two new benchmarks: the average performance of U.S. hospitals that are part of health systems, and the average performance of all non–health system hospitals.
You will also notice several improvements that make it easier than ever to create custom reports comparing and benchmarking hospitals on more than 100 measures of health care quality and safety, patient experiences, and outcomes. New tools let registered users share their saved reports via e-mail, Twitter, or a direct link.
Coming soon: enhancements to the WhyNotTheBest.org interactive map will enable explorations of health system performance at the national, state, county, and regional levels. Using new map overlays, users will be able to zoom in on communities involved in key delivery system reform efforts, such as Beacon Communities, as well as flag providers who have been recognized for delivering high-quality care.
Applications for the 2012–13 Harkness Fellowships remain open to individuals from Germany, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Canada. The Commonwealth Fund's Harkness Fellowships in Health Care Policy and Practice provide a unique opportunity for mid-career professionals—academic researchers, government policymakers, clinicians, managers, and journalists—to spend up to 12 months in the United States conducting a policy-oriented research study.
Deadlines for receipt of applications are as follows:
Note that the application process for Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom is now closed.