Health Wonk Review: ACA Anniversary Edition!

Welcome, fellow Wonks! It's a great honor to be asked to host Health Wonk Review, especially the week of the 6th Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act!

Since this is the first time I've hosted HWR, I'll keep things pretty straightforward:

  • Dr. Jaan Sidorov of The Population Health Blog imagines the future of healthcare...and health "The Personalized Healthcare Ecosystem of the Future: Welcome to the Year 2030"
  • David Williams of Health Business Blog points out new research showing that eating a second breakfast doesn't boost obesity for kids with a Tolkeinesque take: "Second breakfast: The Hobbits were on to something!"

  • Health Affairs has just run a symposium on health law, stemming from a conference held at the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School. Holly Fernandez Lynch wrote an introductory post, "Four Key Issues in Health Law that are as Relevant as Ever in 2016" with assists from Michael Chernew, Jerry Avorn and Wendy Parmet.

  • Something's smoking over at Health Access California's blog, where Anthony Wright notes that the California legislature recently passed some tough tobacco control bills, with a November ballot initiative which could cut tobacco use down further: "Tobacco-Prevention Initiatives: Saving Lives and Money"

  • Louise Norris of Colorado Health Insurance Insider argues that "We should Eliminate Balance Billing at In-Network Hospitals", noting that "Balance billing is fair enough when patients are clearly informed about the network arrangements of their health care providers and choose to go outside of their plan's network. But it starts to fall apart a bit when patients use an in-network hospital and are treated by doctors at that hospital who aren't in the same networks as the hospital."

  • Louise also moonlights over at, where she notes that the recently-announced "Cancer Moonshot" is only the latest of Obama cancer missions: "Before the Affordable Care Act, patients with even a history of cancer were ineligible for individual market health insurance in all but five states. The ACA has been working to reduce cancer’s impact on Americans by providing guaranteed issue coverage in the individual health insurance market in every state, by increasing coverage of preventive care and screenings, capping patients annual out-of-pocket spending and more."

  • Healthcare Economist writer Jason Shafrin asks, "How do pregnant women measure quality?" What factors do pregnant women value in evaluating the quality of care they receive?

  • Peggy Salvatore of Health System Ed coughs up a discussion about the slow pace of change in health technology and the future of tech in patient engagement with "The Healthcare Industry: World's Largest Hairball?"

  • And Finally, the HWR facilitator herself, Julie Ferguson of Workers' Comp Insider, offers up a discussion of how "Healthcare providers struggle with violence-related risk management", noting that "Being a healthcare worker is pretty risky. OSHA says that healthcare accounts for nearly as many serious violent injuries as all other industries combined."