Impact Factor: 3.383 
ISI Journal Citation Reports® 2014 Rankings: 1/70 (Health Care Sciences & Services); 2/85 (Health Policy & Services)
Howard Markel, Editor-in-Chief          Christopher F. Koller, Publisher
Tara Strome, Assistant Managing Editor

From The Current Issue

From the Editor-in-Chief / December 2015
Last Call
 
By Howard Markel

Each year more than 1,800 college students—that means five kids every day—die from alcohol-related causes. More than 600,000 more are injured while drunk, an estimated 400,000 have unprotected sex, and at least 100,000 are victims of alcohol-fueled sex assaults. And yet there is a simple and effective solution to help prevent such tragedies: Ban alcohol (and illicit drugs) from college campuses.

December 2015
The Op-Eds

Our op-ed section features some of the best minds currently working to improve the public’s health. In addition to our regular op-ed writers, guest contributors include Donald Berwick, the president emeritus of the Institute for Health Innovation and former director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, writing about the contributions of health services research. And former Senator Dave Durenberger (R-MN) discusses the importance of bipartisanship as we move forward in developing health care policies that benefit all Americans.

Original Investigation / December 2015
Potential Policies and Laws to Prohibit Weight Discrimination: Public Views from Four Countries
 
By Rebecca M. Puhl, Janet D. Latner, Kerry S. O’Brien, Joerg Luedicke, Sigrun Danielsdottir, and Ximena Ramos Salas

People who are viewed as overweight or obese are subject to weight-based discrimination, which creates social inequities and adverse health outcomes. This is the first study to provide a multi-national examination of public support for policies and legislation to prohibit weight discrimination. Two-thirds of adults surveyed in the United States, Canada, Iceland, and Australia expressed support for policies and legal protections that would make it illegal for employers to refuse to hire, assign lower wages, or deny promotion because of body weight.

Original Investigation / December 2015
Walking the Line: Navigating Market and Gift Economies of Care in a Consumer-Directed Home-Based Care Program for Older Adults
 
By Jacqueline M. Torres, Kathryn G. Kietzman, and Steven P. Wallace

Paid caregivers of low-income older adults must navigate their role between services exchanged for monetary compensation and uncompensated “gift” services motivated by emotional attachment. In this longitudinal qualitative study, researchers found that increased pressure to provide uncompensated care to older adults in the aftermath of cuts can have negative economic and health consequences for caregivers. Policies that cut or restrict formal long-term services and supports for older adults can leave the needs of both caregivers and older adults unmet.

Original Investigation / December 2015
Composite Measures of Health Care Provider Performance: A Description of Approaches
 
By Michael Shwartz, Joseph D. Restuccia, and Amy Rosen

Composite measures of health care provider performance aggregate individual performance measures into an overall score, providing a useful summary of information. Numerous federal, state, and private organizations are adopting composite measures for hospital-profiling and pay-for-performance. Because provider rankings and rewards under pay-for-performance programs may be sensitive to both context and data, careful analysis is warranted before deciding to implement a particular method.