Press Releases

  • Participatory Workplace Wellness Programs: Reward, Penalty, and Regulatory Conflict

    June 4, 2015

    Workplace wellness programs have the potential to improve workers’ health and reduce health care costs. Providing incentives for participating workers to complete a health risk assessment is a common feature of these programs. But legal and ethical concerns emerge when employers use incentives that raise questions about the voluntariness of such programs, according to a new study in the June 2015 issue of The Milbank Quarterly.

    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently published draft rules to address some of these concerns by setting a limit on the financial penalties that may be assessed for participatory programs. However, other legal options are available and additional ethical issues remain, argues study author Jennifer Pomeranz of the College of Public Health, Temple University. This article is particularly timely in light of the commission’s new draft rules.

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  • Pursuing the Triple Aim: The First Seven Years

    June 4, 2015

    In 2008, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) proposed the Triple Aim, a strategic framework to achieve better health and system performance based on the simultaneous pursuit of improved care for individuals, better health for populations, and reduced per capita health care costs. The concept became an important part of the Affordable Care Act of 2010.

    In a new study in the June 2015 issue of The Milbank Quarterly, an IHI team that has played a leading role helping organizations pursue the Triple Aim looks at how this work has progressed in the last seven years—specifically, why some organizations have made progress implementing the Triple Aim and others have not.

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  • Does Blaming Parents for Childhood Obesity Interfere with Policies to Address the Problem?

    March 5, 2015

    The American public holds parents highly responsible and largely to blame for childhood obesity, according to a new study published in The Milbank Quarterly. How do these publicly held views influence efforts to reverse obesity rates? While much of the literature suggests that negative public attitudes towards obese individuals could have a detrimental effect on efforts to reduce obesity, this study found that even among those believing that parents were mostly to blame for childhood obesity, there was support for broad policy actions, particularly school-based obesity prevention policies. The study, “The Role of Parents in Public Views of Strategies to Address Childhood Obesity in the United States,” focuses on how public attitudes toward the role of parents in the obesity epidemic might influence support for a range of obesity reduction strategies. The authors are Julia A. Wolfson, MPP, and Colleen L. Barry, PhD, MPP (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health), Sarah E. Gollust, PhD (University of Minnesota), and Jeff Niederdeppe, PhD (Cornell University).

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  • Baby Boomers: Not As Healthy as Previously Believed

    March 5, 2015

    We hear all the time that “50 is the new 40” or “60 is the new 40″—claims that make it sound as though today’s baby boomers are healthier than their counterparts in other generations. But are they? A new study published in the The Milbank Quarterly suggests that baby boomers are not likely to be healthier than other generations. The impetus for the study, “Benefits Gained, Benefits Lost: Comparing Baby Boomers to Other Generations in a Longitudinal Cohort Study of Self-Rated Health,” written by Elizabeth M. Badley, professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, and colleagues, was the tension between popular notions and scientific research regarding the health of aging baby boomers. To date, there is little scientific evidence addressing how the health of baby boomers compares with that of earlier generations.

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  • New Analysis Quantifies the Benefits and Savings of Family Planning

    October 14, 2014

    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 rate 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.

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