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Newsletter Article


Recent Commonwealth Fund reports and Fund-supported studies in the professional literature.

Patients' Attitudes Toward Health Care Providers Collecting Information About Their Race and Ethnicity
D. W. Baker, K. A. Cameron, J. Feinglass et al. Journal of General Internal Medicine, October 2005. While most patients agree it is important for health care providers to collect and track data on race, ethnicity, and language, many are uncomfortable when asked for this information themselves. According to this study, patients become more at ease when they know exactly why this information is being asked of them.

Evaluation National Guidelines for Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Primary Care
T. Marshall. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, October 2005. This five-nation study of national physician guidelines used for the prevention of cardiovascular disease finds that even slight differences can produce large differences in health consequences and overall costs.

Variation in Use of Medicare Services Among Regions and Selected Academic Medical Centers: Is More Better?
J. E. Wennberg. December 2005. Some of the most highly regarded hospitals in the nation differ sharply in the way they manage severely ill Medicare patients, this Fund report finds. This is often true even among hospitals in the same state or city.

Quality Matters
December 2005. The December issue of this e-newsletter on quality improvement focuses on the challenge of measuring and defining performance in health care.

States in Action: A Quarterly Look at Innovations in Health Policy
Winter 2005. Profiles of Louisiana's success in enrolling children in public health insurance; a post-Katrina update; South Dakota's plan to give children access to dental care; and more.

On the Fringe: The Substandard Benefits of Workers in Part-Time, Temporary, and Contract Jobs
E. Ditsler, P. Fisher, and C. Gordon. December 2005. "Nonstandard" workers—those employed on a part-time, temporary, or contractual basis—are far more likely than regular, full-time employees to lack health care coverage, experience gaps in their coverage, or depend on public insurance programs, according to this Fund report.

Early Experience With High-Deductible and Consumer-Driven Health Plans: Findings From the EBRI/Commonwealth Fund Consumerism in Health Care Survey
P. Fronstin and S. R. Collins. December 2005. This joint EBRI/Fund report says that Americans enrolled in a type of health insurance designed to make them more cost-conscious are less satisfied with their coverage than those with comprehensive health insurance.

State Approaches to Promoting Young Children's Healthy Mental Development: A Survey of Medicaid, Maternal and Child Health, and Mental Health Agencies J. Rosenthal and N. Kaye. December 2005. A look at how states are promoting the healthy mental development of young children, and what obstacles must be overcome to help at-risk kids. Published jointly by the Fund and the National Academy for State Health Policy.

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