August 2014 Newsletter


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Early View: New Milbank Quarterly Study Quantifies the Benefits and Savings of Family Planning

We've known for a while that public investment in family planning pays off. But now a new study published in The Milbank Quarterly reveals just how cost effective it really is.

The paper, "Return on Investment: A Fuller Assessment of the Benefits and Cost Savings of the US Publicly Funded Family Planning Program," written by Jennifer Frost and colleagues at the Guttmacher Institute, demonstrates that public investment in family planning programs and providers not only helps women and couples avoid unintended pregnancy and abortion, but also helps reduce the incidence of cervical cancer, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), infertility, and preterm and low birth weight births.

The impact on health and cost savings of many of these preventive services has been studied independently, but no study has looked at these services together in the context of the care delivered to publically supported individuals. The researchers estimate that the investments made in 2010 alone resulted in a net government savings of $13.6 billion, or $7.09 for every public dollar spent.


The Milbank Quarterly's Impact Factor Score Goes Up Again—to 5.391

The 2013 Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) recently adjusted The Milbank Quarterly's 2013 Impact Factor score—and The Milbank Quarterly now has an impact factor of 5.391. In August, the Quarterly's impact factor had gone up to 5.061.

The ISI impact factor is the gold standard for measuring the impact of scholarly work. It calculates the number of citations a journal receives in a given year to research and review articles published in the previous two years. The Quarterly remains... READ MORE

THE VIEW FROM HERE: Sovaldi Redux—The States Muddle Through

Christopher F. Koller, President of the Milbank Memorial Fund


What kind of coverage decisions are states making about Sovaldi, the new Hepatitis C drug that costs $1,000 a pill or up to $168,000 a treatment? The drug presents new hope for patients, but grave risks to Medicaid and state corrections budgets, both of which must pay for care for a disproportionate number of people with Hepatitis C.

Drugs like Sovaldi—and there are more like it on the way—create the prospect of significant returns for investors at the expense of taxpayers and those who purchase insurance. The stakes are high. A rough estimate indicates that Sovaldi, if dispensed to all Medicaid enrollees and prisoners with Hepatitis C, could result in a 3% to 5% increase in total state government expenditures.

At the nub of the issue is how the value of drugs like these is determined. Should pharmaceutical companies be free to name their price while their drug is protected by patent? Or should public interest be taken into account?


Preview of New RSG-Supported Publications

The Reforming States Group (RSG) is a bipartisan, voluntary group of state health policy leaders that has been supported by the Milbank Memorial Fund (MMF) since 1992. With members from both the executive and legislative branches, the RSG works on practical solutions to pressing problems in health care by sharing information, developing professional networks, and commissioning joint projects. Each year, the RSG identifies topics of interest to states and commissions reports from the MMF. Here is a preview of two recent RSG projects that will result in a new report and issue brief to be published next month.

New Report: Behavioral Health Integration: What Works for Individuals with Serious Mental Illness

About one-fifth of adults with mental illness have a severe or serious mental illness which interferes with their ability to function normally. While there is much research on behavioral health integration for patients with depression or anxiety disorders, less is known about behavioral health integration for those with serious mental illness. Recognizing that there was a gap in the research, the RSG commissioned this report so that policymakers can better understand the evidence concerning behavioral health integration for those with serious mental illness.

New Issue Brief: Population Health in Medicaid Delivery System Reforms

Medicaid accountable care organizations (ACOs) provide unique opportunities to transform medical care delivery and improve population health—at the same time. But how? This issue brief looks at strategies that states involved in this work have used—and provides an overview for state leaders on the challenges and opportunities to expect when incorporating population health into Medicaid ACOs.

READ MORE about the Reforming States Group

October Webinar: Transforming Primary Care through Payment Reform

Later this month, the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC) will host a webinar focused on the Milbank Memorial Fund's latest report, "Aligning Payers and Practices to Transform Primary Care: A Report from the Multi-State Collaborative."

Lisa Dulsky Watkins, author of the report, will join the PCPCC to discuss state efforts to transform primary care through payment reform.

Thursday, October 30, 2014
1 pm to 2 pm EDT




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About the Milbank Memorial Fund

The Milbank Memorial Fund is an endowed operating foundation that works to improve the health of populations by connecting leaders and decision makers with the best available evidence and experience. Founded in 1905, the Fund engages in nonpartisan analysis, collaboration, and communication on significant issues in health policy. It does this work in three ways: publishing high-quality, evidence-based reports, books, and The Milbank Quarterly, a peer-reviewed journal of population health and health policy; convening state health policy decision makers on issues they identify as important; and building communities of health policymakers to enhance their effectiveness.

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