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Policy Snapshots
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Policy Snapshots

For nearly a decade, The Center for Health Affairs produced Policy Snapshots to provide an overview of healthcare and policy topics of interest to the Northeast Ohio healthcare and hospital industry. These two-page summaries covered more than 50 topics ranging from medical marijuana legalization to community health needs assessment. While we are no longer producing these pieces in favor of a more modern platform with our healthcare blog, many of our Policy Snapshots remain relevant today. An archive of these publications has been made available for your reference.

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December 2016

Policy Snapshot Addresses Impact of Election on Health Policy Landscape in Ohio

One thing is certain following the Nov. 8 elections, the health policy landscape in Ohio is about to shift. How drastic that shift will ultimately be is unknown with many in health policy circles using the term ... read more


November 2016

Marijuana Legalization the Focus of December’s Policy Snapshot

Support for marijuana legalization has been growing over time across the United States, with a recent poll suggesting that 54 percent of registered voters support legalizing the use of marijuana and 41 percent ... read more


September 2016

Policy Snapshot Highlights Emergency Operations Plans

For the last 15 years, hospitals in the region have been working with one another, as well as with other agencies, to put in place the equipment and emergency operations plans necessary to respond to a wide-sca ... read more


August 2016

Policy Snapshot Highlights Emergency Preparedness Consulting Work

The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 set in motion a series of activities, large and small, that shifted the United States to a new trajectory. That day, of course, precipitated great change in the activities of this ... read more


June 2016

Latest Policy Snapshot Examines Health Exchanges’ Impact on the Uninsured Rate

There is no disputing the fact that the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as the ACA or Obamacare, has had a significant impact on the uninsured rate in Ohio and elsewhere across the country. Estimates ... read more


May 2016

Organ Donation the Focus of Latest Publication

The ability to donate an organ to save another person’s life is among the most incredible medical advances in recent history. Today organ donation seems relatively commonplace, yet it was only in 1954 tha ... read more


March 2016

Antibiotic-Resistant Infections the Focus of Latest Publication

When you or your child is sick, a visit to the doctor to get the care you need quickly becomes a priority. Sometimes the doctor determines that the infection is caused by a virus and sends you home without a pr ... read more


February 2016

Vaccination Basics the Focus of Latest Publication

Immunizations are among the most critical public health advances. The protection that vaccines provide for individual patients and the public can often be taken for granted until serious disease outbreaks draw ... read more


December 2015

CHNA Implementation Strategy Requirements the Focus of Latest Publication

The Center for Health Affairs has released its January 2016 Policy Snapshot, Community Health Planning Part 2: Implementation Strategy Requirements, which examines the many requirements hospitals must fulfill r ... read more


November 2015

Health Needs Assessment Requirements Topic of Latest Publication

The Center for Health Affairs’ has released its December 2015 Policy Snapshot, which examines the many requirements hospitals must fulfill related to community health needs assessments. Passage of the Aff ... read more


October 2015

Policy Snapshot Assesses State Budget Committees within the Ohio Legislature

Every two years, lawmakers in the state of Ohio from the Ohio Legislature engage in the herculean task of crafting a budget bill that will fund state programs for the coming biennium. Often, the process of comp ... read more


September 2015

September Policy Snapshot Evaluates Efforts to Reduce Hospital Readmissions

Unplanned hospital readmissions are a problem from several perspectives. Not only does additional hospitalization result in added healthcare treatment costs, it also suggests that patients are remaining sick &n ... read more


June 2015

Human Trafficking the Focus of July's Policy Snapshot

It is both shocking and disheartening that if human trafficking were a legitimate industry rather than the criminal activity that it is, it would be the fastest growing industry in the world. Commonly referred ... read more


May 2015

Policy Snapshot Examines Impacts of Living in Food Deserts

For too many people, access to healthy and affordable food options is limited, at best, or not an option at all. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, food deserts are defined as “urban neighbo ... read more


March 2015

Policy Snapshot Examines the Need for Continued CHIP Funding

The Center for Health Affairs' latest Policy Snapshot, Chipping Away at the Uninsured Rate among Children: Why Continued CHIP Funding is Essential, examines this critical children’s health program. Most c ... read more


February 2015

Access Works: Seven Reasons Why Continued Support of Medicaid is Critical

When Medicaid expansion became a reality in Ohio – and childless adults earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level gained access to health insurance – Ohio healthcare advocates celebrate ... read more


December 2014

Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace Coverage Highlighted in January’s Policy Snapshot

Recognizing the challenging health insurance market that small businesses face, one of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) provisions mandated the creation of a Small Business Health Options (SHOP) program in ... read more


November 2014

Health Insurance Marketplace Enrollment the Focus of December’s Policy Snapshot

Health Insurance Marketplace Enrollment efforts are in full swing in Ohio. The open enrollment period for coverage purchased through the federally-facilitated Health Insurance Marketplace begins Nov. 15, 2014 a ... read more


October 2014

Policy Snapshot Provides Key Questions for Candidates as November Elections Approach

The November elections are fast approaching and political candidates hoping to represent Northeast Ohioans are busy meeting with potential constituents and sharing their positions on key issues. For Northeast O ... read more


August 2014

Policy Snapshot Examines Skin Cancer Facts

Even after the last days of summer weather are just a memory, it’s important to pay attention to our skin to ensure that any cause for concern does not go unnoticed. A basic understanding of skin cancer f ... read more


June 2014

Policy Snapshot Covers Impact of Food Insecurity on Health

Most often, an assessment of the American diet leads to the conclusion that the problem is excess: too much sugar, too much fat, too much snacking and overly large portion sizes. But it’s not just excess ... read more


May 2014

Hospital Observation Status the Focus of May’s Policy Snapshot

Hospital observation status regularly gets a bad rap. This label’s less-than-glowing reputation results for many legitimate reasons but also because the rules and reasons behind it are generally not well ... read more


March 2014

Curbing Drug Abuse the Focus of March 2014 Policy Snapshot

While medications provide essential relief to many in need – including cancer patients, mothers in labor, and children with fractured bones – the downside is that they can also be abused. Curbing dr ... read more


February 2014

Medication Safety Tips Highlighted in February’s Policy Snapshot

Medications play an essential role in combating diseases and improving the lives of people around the world and right here in Northeast Ohio. For all of the benefits medications can provide, many people have un ... read more


December 2013

December’s Policy Snapshot Examines Medicaid Expansion Moving Forward in Ohio

To say that Medicaid expansion moving forward in Ohio was at the top of healthcare advocates’ holiday wish lists would be an understatement. From the moment the U.S. Supreme Court voted in June 2012 to up ... read more


October 2013

October’s Policy Snapshot Examines Whether Health Courts are The Next Frontier in Medical Liability Reform

The medical liability system in the U.S. has long been targeted as an area ripe for reform. What is fueling the recent push for medical liability reform? Current complaints with the system range from frustratio ... read more


August 2013

The Center’s August 2013 Policy Snapshot Clarifies the Various Navigator Roles

As medical care has grown more complex, and rates of chronic illness have risen, patients increasingly need someone to help guide them along the healthcare continuum to ensure they receive timely, high-quality ... read more


July 2013

The Center's July 2013 Policy Snapshot Focuses on Gun Violence as a Public Health Issue

Columbine. Virginia Tech. Chardon. Sandy Hook. What comes to mind at the mention of these schools? For most people the mere mention of these schools doesn’t evoke thoughts of education, but of horrific cr ... read more


May 2013

The Center’s May 2013 Policy Snapshot Focuses on Immigrants’ Access to Healthcare

Since the founding of our nation, people have been coming to the Unite ... read more


April 2013

Medicare Wage Index Explained in April Policy Snapshot

In Northeast Ohio, close to 40 percent of payments hospitals receive come from the Medicare program, making Medicare reimbursement a key component of hospitals’ bottom lines. A crucial factor in determini ... read more


February 2013

Dear Lawmaker Part II: Top Considerations from the Northeast Ohio Healthcare Community for 2013

Part two of this two-part series describes how the region’s hospitals are improving healthcare quality, zeroing in on the patient experience, ensuring a sufficient supply of providers and improving the le ... read more


January 2013

Dear Lawmaker: Top Considerations from the Northeast Ohio Healthcare Community for 2013

As we draw closer to full implementation of the healthcare reform, uncertainty and skepticism remain about unanswered questions and the changes to come. Dear Lawmaker: Top Considerations from the Northeast Ohio ... read more


November 2012

Medicaid: Why Expanding Coverage Makes Sense

Medicaid: Why Expanding Coverage Makes Sense, provides context for the issues surrounding the state’s potential Medicaid expansion and why the state’s decision is so important. While the Supreme Cou ... read more


October 2012

Patient Experience: Spotlight on Communication Skills

When you think of great communicators, which names come to mind first? Is it someone famous, such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Ronald Reagan or Oprah? Maybe it’s a colleague who always seems to say the rig ... read more


September 2012

The Growing Importance of Health Literacy

The healthcare field is filled with complex medical terms. Beyond understanding the terminology, navigating the healthcare system can be incredibly complicated, especially for anyone with a chronic medical cond ... read more


July 2012

Federal Healthcare Reform: The Decision is In

By now the dust has started to settle on the Supreme Court’s highly anticipated ruling on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While it can be hard to navigate the legal jargon, the rul ... read more


June 2012

Drug Shortages: Seeking a Remedy to a Growing Problem

We have probably all witnessed the healing properties of an antibiotic that cures a pesky infection at some point in our lives. But what happens to a patient when the medicine that has been successfully holding ... read more


April 2012

Oral Health: Drilling Down to the Root of Access Problems

Does the thought of an upcoming trip to the dentist strike fear in your heart? While many people fear dental work, the consequences of not visiting the dentist are actually scarier. Almost half of Ohio adults h ... read more


February 2012

2012 Presidential Candidates: Health Policy Platforms

The election season is in full swing and unless you’ve joined the bears in hibernation you’ve probably caught some coverage of the Republican candidates vying for their party’s nomination. Tea ... read more


January 2012

Top 10 Issues Facing Hospitals: 2012

Looking for a story laced with mystery, intrigue and suspense? Look no further than this year’s highly anticipated U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the legality of the federal healthcare reform law. With the ... read more


November 2011

Federal Health Reform and the Individual Mandate Part II: Policy Alternatives

Of all the provisions in the recently enacted federal healthcare reform law, none has evoked as much controversy as the law’s minimum coverage requirement, which requires most individuals to maintain minimu ... read more


October 2011

Federal Health Reform and the Individual Mandate Part I: Legal Challenges

Escaping the media storm surrounding the federal healthcare reform law would be difficult even for those who rarely open a newspaper, surf the Web, or turn on the radio. Intense partisan battles that were waged ... read more


August 2011

Nurse Practitioners’ Role in Addressing Primary Care Shortages

Primary care doctors are a cornerstone of the healthcare system. They are the first line of defense when we get sick, and they’re who we rely on to manage and coordinate our care when we have more complex healt ... read more


July 2011

How Patient-Centered Medical Homes Aim to Strengthen Primary Care

Primary care is often described as the backbone of the U.S. healthcare system. With policymakers, business leaders and consumer groups all agreeing on the importance of improving healthcare ... read more


May 2011

Taking a Regional Approach to Trauma Care

None of us likes to think about the scenarios that could cause us or a loved one to require trauma care, but if that care is needed for life-threatening injuries, we all want to be assured that the appropri ... read more


February 2011

From Uncompensated Care to Government Shortfall: Clarifying Key Terms

Charity care. Bad debt. Government shortfall. Uncompensated care. These are all terms used to describe a portion of the care hospitals provide as part of their mission to their communities, but many of us h ... read more


January 2011

Dear Lawmaker: Considerations from the Northeast Ohio Hospital Community

The start of the new year and legislative session have brought many new faces to Washington’s Capitol Hill and Columbus’ Capitol Square. Newly elected officials and their veteran colleagues face a considera ... read more


November 2010

Performance Measurement: A Pivotal Piece of the Quality Puzzle

A variety of forces are converging to vastly transform U.S. healthcare as we know it. The passage of historic health reform legislation has a host of implications for the system, many which are still unknow ... read more


October 2010

Vaccines: Narrowing Disparities and Recent Advances Offer Reason to Celebrate

With the return of children and teachers to school and the dropping autumn temperatures comes flu season, and vaccines are once again on peoples’ minds. Last year’s H1N1 pandemic served as a disquieting rem ... read more


August 2010

Accountable Care Organizations At-a-Glance

A lot has been said lately regarding the success of the U.S. healthcare system, and, in particular, the bang Americans get for their healthcare buck. Many experts, policymakers and others believe we could d ... read more


July 2010

Post-Acute and Long-Term Care: Key Federal Healthcare Reform Provisions

The initial media storm surrounding the recently passed federal healthcare reform bills focused, to a large extent, on the individual mandate to purchase insurance and other consumer implications. More rece ... read more


May 2010

Buying Green: How Purchasing Programs Can Help Heal the Planet

Each year, often coinciding with Earth Day on April 22, many individuals and businesses take a renewed look at how their daily lives and business practices are affecting the environment. When the impact of ... read more


April 2010

Going Green: Start-Up Steps to a Sustainability Initiative

From simply remembering to grab reusable bags before heading to the store to as complex as constructing eco-friendly buildings, consumers and employers are increasingly considering the impact their choices ... read more


March 2010

Health 2.0: How Social Media are Transforming Healthcare

As the quantity of information accessible on the Web has grown, the public has increasingly turned to the Internet to find answers to health-related questions. A recent survey found that 61 percent of Ameri ... read more


January 2010

Art versus Science: The Complexities of Evidence-Based Medicine

Hospitals and other healthcare providers strive to provide patients with the highest quality of care. As the practice of medicine has evolved, innovations and technological advances have allowed the profess ... read more


December 2009

What’s Behind Geographic Variations in Healthcare Spending?

Concerns about rising healthcare spending have dominated healthcare reform conversations in the United States. Policymakers have been seeking explanations and solutions to reign in ever-rising healthcare sp ... read more


October 2009

The Strengths & Shortcomings of Government-Administered Health Insurance Programs

As healthcare reform conversations continue on Capitol Hill, the tone and energy associated with them have escalated. While most agree the current system is flawed, there are widely differing opinions on ho ... read more


September 2009

Hospital Trustees Navigate An Evolving Healthcare Environment

Organizations across the country have been working to improve their governance practices.  As a result, trustees have become increasingly aware of their importance in the effective management of the institu ... read more


July 2009

Some Surprises Can Be Found in the Effects of the Recession

The nationwide recession has sparked new habits for many of us, from paying more attention to prices at the grocery store to cutting back on non-essentials. And it seems that behaviors related to healthcare ... read more


May 2009

Creating a Workplace Wellness Program That Works

Workplace wellness programs have been gaining in popularity in recent years, and it’s not hard to understand why.  An investment in a wellness program can pay off in lower health insurance costs over the lo ... read more


April 2009

Healthier Employees = Healthier Bottom Lines: Why Worksite Wellness Programs Are Gaining Popularity

Research has shown that seven out of every 10 deaths in the United States today are attributable to largely preventable chronic illnesses such as heart disease. In fact, they account for 75 percent of Ameri ... read more


February 2009

Stormy Waters: The Effects of the Economic Downturn on Hospitals

One might think economic slowdowns have little effect on hospitals. After all, the economy has no bearing on whether people get sick, right? But in truth, economic trends have a significant impact on hospit ... read more


January 2009

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down and Everything in Between: The Healthcare Year in Review

Many exciting healthcare developments have arisen in the last year that might have been eclipsed by the historic election and drastic downturn in the economy. While not all has been cause to rejoice, this s ... read more


November 2008

Key Issues to Consider When Evaluating Healthcare Reform Model

Part 3: Quality Quality is one of the buzzwords in healthcare today. With healthcare spending on the rise, everyone from consumers to payers to employers wants more information about the return they ar ... read more


October 2008

Key Issues to Consider When Evaluating Healthcare Reform Model

Part 2: Cost A day rarely passes without newspaper headlines bemoaning the fact that a growing portion of family, corporate and government budgets is being directed at healthcare. The development of ne ... read more


September 2008

Key Issues to Consider When Evaluating Healthcare Reform Models

Part 1: Access Recent estimates show that both the percentage and the number of people without health insurance remain high. A staggering 45.7 million people in the United States are uninsured, includi ... read more


July 2008

An Increasingly Complex Healthcare Field Demands the Best Leadership

In recent years, Congressional committees have been calling for increased scrutiny of the nonprofit sector, and nonprofit hospitals in particular, citing the importance of keeping up with the rapidly changi ... read more


March 2008

Treating Behavioral Health Illness in a Patchwork System

More than 20 percent of Americans aged 18 and over live with a diagnosable mental illness. Complicating treatment for these individuals is the fact that up to 50 percent of the mentally ill population also ... read more


February 2008

Preparing for An Emergency: Northeast Ohio Builds a Collaborative Approach

Since 9/11, the issue of emergency preparedness has been near the forefront of politicians’ minds and in the public eye. That day brought the realization that the response systems in place at the time could ... read more


December 2007

A Healthcare Holiday Wish List

With healthcare topping voters' list of concerns heading into the primaries, news article after news article lamenting the problems with the current state of healthcare, and analysts continuing to offer dir ... read more


August 2007

State Budget a Dose of the Right Medicine

With the recently signed biennial state budget, Ohio has made significant progress in expanding access to care for vulnerable populations and protecting hospitals and other health care entities that provide ... read more


July 2007

America's Healthcare System: Under Strain and Under Scrutiny

It’s no secret that the American healthcare system is under strain. The 2008 presidential candidates are talking out it. Polls show the American public thinks the system needs change. The topic has even fou ... read more


April 2007

Healthcare: The Heartbeat of Northeast Ohio

The economy is evolving in Northeast Ohio. Healthcare has become an increasingly larger source of economic activity, generating billions of dollars, employing thousands, and creating jobs even for those not ... read more


March 2007

The Importance of Reauthorizing the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)

This edition is on SCHIP, which is in its 10th year of providing health coverage for children in low-income families in Ohio and nationwide. SCHIP is credited with dramatically reducing the number of childr ... read more


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