Category Archives: Health Policy

Leadership Opportunities Available Now for Hartford Change AGEnts!

TS_150878885ChangeAGEntsMany of our grantees have heard about two new and exciting opportunities now available to Hartford Change AGEnts. In case you missed prior announcements, here are the details about the Hartford Change AGEnts Policy Institute and the Hartford Interdisciplinary Communications Conference, both taking place this summer.

Anyone who has ever been connected in any way to a Hartford-funded project (as a scholar, grantee, mentor, advisor, etc.) can be a Change AGEnt and is eligible to apply. And please help us spread the word by sharing these opportunities with anyone connected to Hartford who you think could benefit from them.

Hartford Change AGEnts Policy Institute
June 22-24, Washington, DC
Application due: April 25, 2014

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Fellowship Offers Opportunity to Hone Policymaking Skills

Health-and-Aging-Policy_300“The Health and Aging Policy Fellowship gave me access to national health policy leaders that I continue to work with to make a greater impact in promoting the health of vulnerable older adults.”

This is what Adriana Perez, one of the 2012 Health and Aging Policy Fellows (HAPF), recently told me regarding her Fellowship at the Centers for Disease Control.

Adriana, an alumna of our Hartford geriatric nursing post-doc fellowship, told me that among the numerous benefits she derived from the program, “I also had the opportunity to build my own interprofessional network with diverse fellows at all stages of career trajectories—who are all passionate about gerontological health.”

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A Little Bit Louder Now: How The John A. Hartford Foundation Is Learning to Speak Up for (and with) Older Adults

GIH_AM_2014_WEBWe know that to some people, foundations simply seem like large ATM machines. If you have the right card and the right code, then voila, the money for a project or organization is dispensed and you’re done. But we, and many of our funder colleagues, strive to be more than this. We hope that we can add value to the work of grantees, supporting them in ways that go beyond the grant check.

I was invited to write an essay for the annual meeting of Grantmakers in Health, a membership organization for foundations like ours working to improve health and health care. The theme was “The Power of Voice,” and we were asked to share how we use the Foundation’s position and influence to advance our mission and how we amplify the voices of our grantees and stakeholders (for us, older adults). We wanted to share this essay about the Foundation’s communications and “noise-making” efforts and you can read other health foundations’ perspectives here.

We hope this provides some insight into our thinking and motivation for you to join us in raising your voice for better health of older adults.

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New CMS Code Offers Hope for Radical Transformation of Primary Care for Older Adults

While still shrouded in mist, the path to transforming our health care system is becoming more clear.

While still shrouded in mist, the path to transforming our health care system is becoming more clear.

While the view is still hazy, last week the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) took a major step to clarify how it will address the major challenge facing Medicare (and therefore our health care system): transforming an episodic, acute-care dominated, fee-for-service system into one that can meet the challenge of complex chronic care, improving the health of older people while reducing spending.

This is the challenge our new “downstream” grantmaking strategy is designed to address, making CMS’s proposal both very welcome and a high-stakes opportunity to advance our hopes.

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Raise Your Voices for Better Health

Click photo to watch the Community Catalyst video.

Click photo to watch the Community Catalyst video.

You would think having both Medicare and Medicaid would mean getting more of the benefits and services you need.

But for the 10 million people who receive health care coverage under both systems—who are poor and mostly older adults with complex health and social needs—it’s far too easy to fall between the cracks of these good programs. They are structured differently, have different rules, and often lead to a complicated maze of services and providers.

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Beyond the Boardroom: Interview with Dr. Amy S. Kelley

Dr. Amy S. Kelley

Dr. Amy S. Kelley

In recent weeks on Health AGEnda, we have presented our five new program strategies: Leadership in Action, Linking Education to Practice, Developing and Disseminating Models of Care, Tools and Measures for Quality Care, and—last but not least—Public Policy and Communications. Paired with each strategy description, we have also presented an interview with a John A. Hartford Foundation grantee who is already doing the work, showing the potential value of the strategy.

If our shift in strategy moves our focus from “upstream” academic capacity building to a “downstream” emphasis on the determinants of practice, these vanguard leaders are shooting the rapids and teaching us what can be done with geriatric expertise.

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What the Heck Are Hartford’s New Funding Areas? Part Five: Public Policy and Communications

TS_76744668_umbrella300What is the best way to sell umbrellas? We have tons of street vendors in New York who know the secret. Is it to have the best-made, reasonably priced umbrella on the block? That’s a good starting point.

Do you need an attractive sign or an attention-getting catchphrase? Good advertising certainly helps. But if you really want to sell your umbrellas, there is one sure-fire way to have them fly off your cart. You guessed it.

Make it rain.

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Stunning New IOM Report Reframes How We View Cancer

IOM_Report250The Institute of Medicine (IOM) is swinging for the fences with the release of a new report, Delivering High-Quality Cancer Care: Charting a New Course for a System in Crisis.

The report makes recommendations in six areas critical to the delivery of quality cancer care:

  1. Engaged patients
  2. An adequately staffed, trained, and coordinated workforce
  3. Evidence-based care
  4. Learning health care information technology (IT)
  5. Translation of evidence into clinical practice, quality measurement, and performance improvement
  6. Accessible and affordable care.

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The Question of Long-Term Care: How Do You Eat An Elephant?

Dr. Tracy Lustig testified in August before the Commission on Long-Term Care.

One of my biggest surprises in the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was the inclusion of title VIII, the CLASS ACT, which created the possibility of a national, voluntary, premium-financed, and federally administered long-term care insurance program.

While the benefits might have been small and delivered through our only marginally adequate long-term care system, at least it was a start and a step toward recognizing the serious long-term care needs of our aging population.

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What If Health Care Has It All Wrong?

BermanHCLDR_400On June 4, I was fortunate enough to be the special guest on a record-breaking Health Care Leadership Twitter Chat (#HCLDR ) that reached more than 2 million people on Twitter and was the number one trending topic in the twittersphere.

As the guest, I was charged with designing the chat, choosing the topic and questions, and contributing a blog to be referenced on the Health Care Leadership homepage. What was the topic that had the social media hive buzzing? We explored the issues surrounding person-centered care and patient activation, and talked about the role of people supporting their health within the context of health care delivery.

BermanTweet1_350So many of us spend our lives dedicated to improving health care. As a senior program officer working for The John A. Hartford Foundation in NYC, I peruse endless data quantifying the problems, poor quality care, and needless harm to our nation’s frail and vulnerable older adults. For example, 20 percent of our nations’ older adults return to the hospital within 30 days after being discharged. The cost for this debacle is estimated at more than $17 billion dollars per year in avoidable readmissions. If this were a car dealership—and the rate of repaired cars returning needlessly to the shop—they would go out of business.

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