We focus on a number of topic areas identified by state health policy leaders as important to population health.
Keep up with news and updates from the Milbank Memorial Fund. Get the latest from thought leaders, including Christopher F. Koller, president of the Fund.
We publish The Milbank Quarterly, as well as reports, issues briefs, and case studies on topics important to population health.
The Center for Evidence-based Policy at Oregon Health & Science University is a national leader in evidence-based decision making and policy design.
The Milbank Memorial Fund is an endowed operating foundation that publishes The Milbank Quarterly, commissions projects, and convenes state health policy decision makers on issues they identify as important to population health.
The articles listed below have been chosen by the editor-in-chief as featured articles.
March 2019 | Patrick M. Kreuger, Ilham A. Dehry, Virginia W. Chang
Although it is well established that educational attainment improves health and longevity, the economic value of this benefit is unknown. Researchers estimate that the economic value of education for longer, healthier lives is comparable to or greater than the value of education for lifetime earnings. A template that assigns an economic value to the health benefits associated with education or other social determinants can allow policymakers to prioritize those interventions that yield the greatest value for the population. Read more
September 2018 | Arijit Nandi, Deepa Jahagirdar, Michelle C. Dimitris, Jeremy A. Labrecque, Erin Strumpf, Jay S. Kaufman, Ilona Vincent, Efe Atabay, Sam Harper, Alison Earle, S. Jody Heymann
This systematic review looks at the potential impacts of national paid leave policies in OECD countries on economic, social, and health outcomes. Researchers found that access to paid parental leave around the time of childbirth reduces rates of infant mortality. More generous paid leave in countries that offer unpaid or short duration of paid leave could help families strike a balance between the demands of earning income and attending to personal and family well-being. Read more
June 2018 | Kayte Spector-Bagdady, Paul A. Lombardo
This study sheds light on the US Public Health Service’s Guatemala STD experiments of the 1940s. The 1,300 people who had been intentionally exposed to pathogens in the experiments also played a role as unknowing secondary research subjects in biospeciman experiments that continued until at least 1957, write study authors Kayte Spector-Bagdady and Paul A. Lombardo from the University of Michigan and Georgia State University College of Law, who analyzed historical documents from that period. Read more
March 2018 | Katherine Baicker, Heidi L. Allen, Bill J. Wright, Sarah L. Taubman, Amy N. Finkelstein
This study takes advantage of Oregon’s 2008 Medicaid lottery to gauge the causal effects of Medicaid coverage on mental health care using a randomized-controlled design and drawing on primary and administrative data sources. Medicaid coverage was found to reduce the prevalence of undiagnosed depression by almost 50% and untreated depression by more than 60%. Read more
December 2017 | Gilbert Gonzales, Carrie Henning-Smith
Using data from a large multistate sample to compare barriers to care between cisgender, transgender, and gender nonconforming adults, researchers found that transgender and gender nonconforming adults experience barriers to health care for a variety of reasons, including discrimination, health insurance policies, employment, and public policy, or lack of awareness among health care providers on transgender-related health issues. Read more
September 2017 | Erin Hobin, Bryan Bollinger, Jocelyn Sacco, Eli Liebman, Lana Vanderlee, Fei Zuo, Laura Rosella, Mary L'Abbé, Heather Manson, David Hammond
Does nutrition labelling on the grocery store shelf help consumers make healthier food choices? Researchers looked at aggregated supermarket transaction data in three supermarket chains in Ontario and conducted exit interviews with shoppers from both intervention and control supermarkets to assess shoppers’ attitudes toward labelling. They found shoppers made small but significant shifts toward purchasing food with higher nutritional ratings, including foods with slightly less trans fat and sugar and more fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Read more
June 2017 | Huseyin Naci, Olivier J. Wouters, Radhika Gupta, John P.A. Ioannidis
What is the clinical evidence on therapeutic agents that treat serious conditions and are eligible for Food and Drug Administration accelerated approval? This study is the first to provide a systematic evaluation of the evidence on drugs receiving this type of approval between 2000 and 2013. These drugs often quickly become part of standard treatment, despite shortcomings in their evidence base. Read more
March 2017 | Benjamin D. Sommers, Caitlin L. McMurtry, Robert J. Blendon, John M. Benson, Justin M. Sayde
While the Affordable Care Act reduced the number of uninsured Americans to historic lows and has particularly benefited lower-income families and minorities, insurance expansion on its own was not enough to bring about health care equity. Researchers found that lack of health insurance only explains a small to moderate portion of the disparities in health care access, affordability, and quality. Read more
December 2016 | John A. Graves, Pranita Mishra
Employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) is the predominant form of health insurance coverage in the United States, but little is known about transitions into and out of ESI or whether turnover has increased over time. The authors found that, between 2005 and 2013, adults who transitioned off ESI became likely to enroll in a non-group plan and were twice as likely to become uninsured. Read more
September 2016 | John P.A. Ioannidis
This article investigates the mass production of systematic reviews and meta-analyses, many of which are suboptimal and can be harmful given the prestige and influence these types of studies have acquired. The author proposes several ways to realign biases and vested interests and to better integrate these publications with the primary production of evidence. Read more