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Welcome to the blog for Health & Medicine. Founded in 1981, we’re a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that operates as an independent, freestanding center driven by a singular mission: formulating health policy, advocacy and health systems to enhance the health of the public.


Measuring Structural Racism in Chicago

December 21, 2016 Written By: Health & Medicine Policy Research Group (HMPRG)

On September 7, 2016, Health & Medicine Policy Research Group staff attended a meeting jointly hosted by the Center for Community Health Equity (a joint DePaul-Rush center) and Health & Medicine’s Health Equity Initiative, to help advise the Chicago Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) Department of Epidemiology on how to both accurately and reliably measure experiences of racism in Chicago. The recommendations and notes in this report are intended to help advance CDPH’s work toward accurately measuring racism, and ultimately aiding in the process of confronting structural racism and advancing toward achievement of health equity in Chicago—both monumental undertakings.

Center for Long-Term Care Reform Backs Enhanced Home- and Community-Based Services for People with Dementia

December 14, 2016 Written By: Sharon Post

Medicaid pays for both institutional and home- and community-based long-term services and supports (LTSS). In 2014, the federal government issued new rules setting standards for what kind of LTSS setting qualifies as “community-based” rather than institutional. Some services are provided in settings that have characteristics of both institutions and community-based sites, and the new rules establish criteria for distinguishing a truly community-based setting that allows independence for program participants from those that restrict participants’ freedom to interact with the broader community.

Quality Matters: A Managed Care Approach to Disparity Reduction

July 27, 2016 Written By: Sharon Post

The Center for Long-Term Care Reform has been monitoring and responding to the roll out of managed care in Illinois Medicaid since the launch of the managed long-term services and supports in 2010. Early in the process of transitioning to managed care, we advocated for transparency, consumer protections, and quality assurance. As managed care has matured and expanded to new areas and populations, notably to include newly eligible ACA enrollees, we have turned our attention to the capacity of managed care to reduce disparities and achieve health equity.

Getting Readmissions Penalties Right: Comparing Medicare and Medicaid Hospital Readmission Reduction Programs

June 27, 2016 Written By: Sharon Post

The Medicare Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program began four years ago, and has attracted both support for its overall efficacy and criticism for its impact on safety net hospitals. Meanwhile, state Medicaid programs are using readmissions as a performance measure for hospitals and for managed care plans. This paper compares the federal HRRP with Illinois Medicaid’s Potentially Preventable Readmissions Program, and asks what Illinois can learn from the successes and shortcomings of the federal program.

The Long-Term Care System for Older Individuals: From the 1930’s to Today

Written By: Martha Holstein

We're pleased to share the opening presentation from our recent forum, Caregiving: The Politics, Ethics, and Realities of Long-Term Care, part of our Chicago Forum for Justice in Health Policy series. Martha Holstein is a former Health & Medicine Board Member and currently serves as a consultant for our Center for Long-Term Care Reform.

Health & Medicine Supports Paid Sick Leave for All Chicago Workers

June 22, 2016 Written By: Wesley Epplin

Health & Medicine Policy Research Group supports the policy of paid sick leave for all workers in Chicago. The proposed City ordinance passed the Committee on Workforce Development last week and is being considered by the full City Council this week.

Health & Medicine Supports “Health in All Policies”

May 25, 2016 Written By: Wesley Epplin

Over the last year, Health & Medicine has assisted the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) develop Healthy Chicago 2.0, the recently released community health improvement plan for the city. The plan includes pursuit of a “Health In All Policies” approach, a model for ensuring that all parts of policy, programs, and governmental agencies consider health impacts in decision-making.

Laura Porter Shares National Perspective on Using ACEs to Shift Policy and Practice

May 12, 2016 Written By: Maggie Litgen

In a talk titled “The Magnitude of the Solution: Building Self-Healing Communities,” Laura Porter, a national expert on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), addressed an audience of over 200 clinicians, researchers, teachers, service providers and other community members on April 27, 2016 about the importance of understanding the impact of trauma on health. The talk was hosted by the Illinois ACEs Response Collaborative at Northwestern University’s Chicago Campus through generous support of the Health Federation of Philadelphia.

Legislative Brief: Health and Healthcare Workforce-Related Bills

April 26, 2016 Written By: Wesley Epplin

An important part of health reform is health workforce policy reform which can help clinicians safely provide care at the top of their license and that new health workforce categories are integrated into health and healthcare systems. As part of our Health Workforce Initiative, Health & Medicine tracks state legislation that is related to health workforce reform.

A Global Perspective: A Look at Japan’s Health Care System

April 1, 2016 Written By: Guest Author

Bonnie Ewald, former Program Coordinator with Health & Medicine’s Center for Long-term Care Reform and the Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellowship, left Health & Medicine in August 2015 and has been traveling around the U.S. and abroad since. In this guest post, she shares some public health-related insights from Japan.

The Health & Medicine Community Remembers Quentin D. Young

March 11, 2016 Written By: Board and Community

As we honor our founder Quentin D. Young and his extraordinary legacy working for social justice, single-payer healthcare, and progressive causes, we invite you to share your pictures, memories, and reflections. We will continue to update this page with remembrances from Health & Medicine Board Members, the community, and all those touched by Quentin.

Remembering the extraordinary intellect and moral compass of Quentin Young

March 10, 2016 Written By: Margie Schaps

Health & Medicine's Executive Director Margie Schaps shared the following statement on the passing of our founder, Dr. Quentin D. Young.

Lessons from Quentin Young: Bring equity into every decision

March 8, 2016 Written By: Michael Gelder, Founding Board Member of Health & Medicine

We're pleased to share a eulogy for our founder Quentin D. Young from founding Board Member Mike Gelder.

Key Lessons from Health & Medicine’s Budget Forum

February 17, 2016 Written By: Wesley Epplin

On January 15, 2016, Health & Medicine hosted a meeting of The Chicago Forum for Justice in Health Policy: Creating a New Vision for Illinois’ Budget. Health & Medicine has put together forum proceedings notes as a reference guide for the forum’s content.

A Rebuttal: What Conservatives Get Wrong About Social Security

January 22, 2016 Written By: Martha Holstein

If you watched the recent, Republican debate, you heard New Jersey Governor Chris Christie tell it “like it is” about Social Security. Reforming, that is weakening, entitlements but especially Social Security, has become a centerpiece of the governor’s platform and a demonstration of his fearlessness.

Health & Medicine at CBHA

January 8, 2016 Written By: Sharon Post

In December I attended my first Community Behavioral Healthcare Association (CBHA) conference. I saw a few old allies, a handful of new partners from our Learning Collaborative, and made some new contacts. As the Center for Long-Term Care Reform continues to wade into the choppy waters of behavioral health policy, I wanted to share a few of my reflections from the 2015 CBHA conference.