March 2014 Newsletter


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     The March 2014 issue of The Milbank Quarterly explores a number of topics:
  • "Social Media and Internet-Based Data in Global Systems for Public Health Surveillance: A Systematic Review" and accompanying commentary examine the challenges facing public health practitioners and policy makers who want to integrate emerging surveillance systems, including social media and the Internet, into existing surveillance systems used for infectious disease epidemiology (Edward Velasco, Tumacha Agheneza, Kerstin Denecke, Göran Kirchner,Tim Eckmanns; David M. Hartley)
  • "What Can Health Communication Science Offer for ACA Implementation? Five Evidence-Informed Strategies for Expanding Medicaid Enrollment" explains how health communication science can inform the development and execution of strategies to increase the public's understanding of the Affordable Care Act and to support the enrollment of eligible individuals into Medicaid or the Health Insurance Marketplace. (Matthew W. Kreuter, Timothy D. McBride, Charlene A. Caburnay, Timothy Poor, Vetta L. Sanders Thompson, Kassandra I. Alcaraz, Katherine S. Eddens, Suchitra Rath, Hannah Perkins, Christopher Casey)
  • "How Might the Affordable Care Act's Coverage Expansion Provisions Influence Demand for Medical Care?" provides a comprehensive picture of the demographics, health status, and medical care utilization of the population targeted for the ACA's expansion of coverage, contrasted with that of other nonelderly, insured populations. (Jean Marie Abraham)
  • "Trends in Health Care Financial Burdens, 2001 to 2009" examines trends in health care affordability over the past decade, measuring the financial burdens associated with health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs, and highlighting implications of the Affordable Care Act for future financial burdens for different subgroups of American populations. (Linda J. Blumberg, Timothy A. Waidmann, Fredric Blavin, Jeremy Roth)
  • "Improving Medical Device Regulation: The United States and Europe in Perspective" and accompanying commentary provide a comparative analysis of medical device regulation in the United States and Europe, current reforms to improve the existing systems and additional actions that should be considered. (Corinna Sorenson, Michael Drummond; Daniel M. Fox, Diana M. Zuckerman)

The Editor's introduction, the issue's featured articles, and the abstracts for the other articles are available without charge on the Fund's website.


Several articles in the March issue of the Quarterly were covered in the media:


In January, the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative with support from the Milbank Memorial Fund (the Fund) published a report that demonstrates that the patient-centered medical home model is having a significant impact on reducing costs of care and unnecessary emergency department and hospital visits, while increasing the provision of preventive services and improving population health. Download the full report here.


Private Market Options for Medicaid: In December, the Fund held a one-day meeting for Reforming States Group members and colleagues interested in learning about state-designed and controlled approaches to expanding insurance coverage using federal funds with a private market component. Innovators from three states presented their coverage strategies—and spoke about how they maintain program sustainability and build stakeholder support. A reflection on the proceedings by Fund President Christopher F. Koller can be found here.

Reforming States Group: In January, the Fund hosted a meeting of the Steering Committee of its Reforming States Group. Twenty-four state health officials from executive and legislative branches and guests from Canada and Australia reviewed the work of the RSG and selected seven projects for the coming year.

Global Budgeting: In January, the Fund also convened a meeting of four states committed to measuring total medical expenses across all payers over time and using the results to guide future budgeting and rate-setting decisions.


The Fund's Board of Directors at their February meeting approved a revised Mission-Vision-Values statement for the Fund. The statement captures what makes the Fund's role unique and important for the work of population health improvement in the US. It will guide staff activities as well as future plans for the Fund.

The Milbank Memorial Fund improves the health of populations by connecting leaders and decision makers with the best available evidence and experience.

We envision communities made healthier using the best evidence and experience.

Objectivity and Non-partisanship

  • We base all our work on the best possible evidence and experience—gathered, evaluated and synthesized—regardless of affiliation or ideology.

Collaboration and Community

  • We believe effective policies and programs emerge when individuals and groups with diverse views and backgrounds work together in a fashion marked by civil discourse and integrity that promotes trust. Improving population health must take into account the needs of entire populations, not just those with access to resources.

Sustainability and Accountability

  • We are stewards of resources, always mindful of the effect of our programs, our investments and our conduct on future generations and the intent of our founder, Elizabeth Milbank Anderson. We work on important issues with achievable goals—where the evidence is strong and the practice is not.

Leadership and Excellence

  • We believe leadership that is future-oriented, aware of the needs of many, inquisitive, principled, and pragmatic, is essential to improving population health.

Judith Zimmer has joined the Milbank Memorial Fund as communications director. She comes to the Fund with more than 20 years of experience in health care communications. Previously, she worked for a New York City-based cancer research foundation and at several medical centers, including Mount Sinai. A journalist by training, Ms. Zimmer has written about health for magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times. She is the author or co-author of several books, including The Cardiovascular Cure (Broadway) and Labor of Love, Women Share the Joy of Childbirth (John Wiley). Ms. Zimmer has a bachelor's degree from Bowdoin College.