Press Releases

  • Do Consumers Want Expanded Access to Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing?

    June 7, 2017

    In mid-April, the direct-to-consumer genetic testing firm 23andMe received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorization to sell tests for 10 genetic health risk reports directly to consumers. As the New York Times reported on May 12, the tests pose potential programs for long-term care insurers who may not have access to results. While policymakers have been debating the appropriateness of these tests for more than a decade, little is known about past consumers’ views regarding the regulation of these products or whether personal experience with testing is related to these views.  A new study in the June issue of The Milbank Quarterly by Sarah E. Gollust of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and colleagues has found that a majority of consumers support expanded access to direct-to-consumer personal genomic testing (DTC-PGT) services and oppose additional government regulation, while those who have had a negative experience with the tests were less supportive of expanded availability without a medical professional.

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  • How Well Do Americans Understand Low-Value Tests and Treatments?

    March 7, 2017

    When it comes to medical care, patients and the public often think that more is better.  Yet, it’s well-documented that as much as 30% of US health care may be unnecessary, including tests that are used too often and treatments that are prescribed too quickly, like unnecessary antibiotics. A new study in the March 2017 issue of The Milbank Quarterly by Mark Schlesinger of the Yale University School of Public Health and Rachel Grob of the University of Wisconsin (Madison) Center for Patient Partnerships and Medical School offers fresh insight into how Americans think about “value” in health care.

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  • Stark Race- and Income-Based Health Care Disparities Persist Post-ACA

    March 7, 2017

    While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) 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.  A new study in the March 2017 issue of The Milbank Quarterly found that lack of health insurance only explains a small to moderate portion of the disparities in health care access, affordability, and quality.

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  • The Evolving Dynamics of Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance

    December 19, 2016

    Although employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) is the predominant form of health insurance coverage in the United States, little is known about the frequency at which people with ESI change plans, lose their insurance, and whether turnover in the ESI system has increased over time.  A new study in the Milbank Quarterly by John A. Graves and Pranita Mishra of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine found that, between 2005 and 2013, the roughly one-third of US adults who transition from an ESI plan over a two-year period were more likely to rely on coverage through a spouse or family member than to maintain continuous insurance once their own plan ended.  Those who had no other family coverage option were twice as likely to become uninsured.

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  • Spanish-Speaking Immigrants’ Access to Safety Net Providers and Translation Services

    December 19, 2016

    Recent demographic trends show that Latino immigrants are moving to “emerging destinations” outside traditional Latino enclaves, especially in the Southeast and Midwest.  Many of these immigrants have limited English proficiency (LEP)—and this can challenge the health care system as translation services may not be readily available, according to a new study in The Milbank Quarterly. Trained auditors posed as family members of LEP patients seeking primary care in a safety net setting. Study authors—Robert A. Nathenson, The Wharton School, Brendan Saloner, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Michael R. Richards, Vanderbilt University, and Karin V. Rhodes, Northwell Health/Hofstra School of Medicine—found lower primary care appointments for LEP adults in emerging destinations compared to traditional destinations.

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