The Commonwealth Fund Connection is a roundup of recent Fund publications, charts, multimedia, and other timely content.
There is a growing health care divide in the United States, where vulnerable populations—those lacking health insurance, low-income families, and racial and ethnic minorities—are at higher risk for poor health and poor health outcomes than the rest of society. The Affordable Care Act will expand insurance coverage and bolster the parts of the health system that serve vulnerable Americans, yet much work remains.
A new report from The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System offers a framework for moving forward, including three overarching strategies: 1) ensure that health coverage provides adequate access and financial protection; 2) strengthen the care delivery systems serving vulnerable populations; and 3) coordinate care delivery with other community resources, including public health services.
In this blog post, The Commonwealth Fund's Caryn Marks, Megan Keenan, and Mary Jane Koren, M.D., discuss an Alliance for Health Reform/Commonwealth Fund briefing on opportunities and challenges in the long-term care system. The briefing highlighted findings from the State Scorecard on Long-Term Services and Supports, published last month by The Commonwealth Fund in partnership with AARP's Public Policy Institute and The SCAN Foundation. Noting the increased demand for services, the authors say that "it is increasingly important not only to improve these services but also to facilitate independence for patients who would rather stay in their own homes than live in nursing homes or other facilities."
Also see the video and additional resources from an October 3 briefing, held by the Alliance for Health Reform and The Commonwealth Fund, for 200 congressional staff and other stakeholders on the scorecard and ways to strengthen the long-term services and support system for elderly and disabled Americans.
WhyNotTheBest.org has updated and expanded its data on the incidence of central line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs), one of the most lethal hospital-acquired complications. The site now includes standardized infection ratios for some 1,570 U.S. hospitals across nearly all states—showing wide variation in CLABSI incidence, despite strong evidence on how to prevent these infections.
In addition, we have updated WhyNotTheBest.org with the most recently available data for the following:
Follow us on Twitter @whynothebest to learn about data updates, new sources of data, new functionality, and other developments.