Health Policy

As a Proton Therapy Center Closes, Some See it as a Sign

As a Proton Therapy Center Closes, Some See it as a Sign

September 18, 2014

By Jaimy Lee - Modern Healthcare

... “I look at this closure as a sign that insurers are finally empowered to say this is a dubious medical technology” in the treatment of patients with prostate cancer, said Amitabh Chandra, director of health policy research at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. “The 'build it and they will come' philosophy around these centers is being questioned.”

Massachusetts health spending hits below target

Massachusetts health spending hits below target

September 2, 2014

By Melanie Evans - Modern Healthcare 

...Still, the report shows the tepid growth benefited consumers. Premiums for commercial insurance in Massachusetts did not change last year, nor did the benefits included in health plans, the report said. In previous years, consumers paid more and received less than they did the year before. The amount paid by commercially insured patients from their own pockets in form of co-pays, deductibles, and coinsurance, also remained unchanged from 2012.

8 facts that explain what’s wrong with American health care

8 facts that explain what’s wrong with American health care

September 2, 2014

By Sarah Kliff - Vox

"I'm always amazed at these conversations I have with physicians," says Amitabh Chandra, a health economist at Harvard. "They'll openly say that about 50 percent of what happens in medicine is waste, but it's hard to always know which care was wasteful and which wasn't."

The Youngest are Hungriest

The Youngest are Hungriest

August 8, 2014

By Rohini Pande - The New York Times

WHY are Indian children so short?
Over 40 percent of those 5 and under are stunted — meaning they are in the bottom 2 to 3 percent of the worldwide height distribution for their age and sex — and this rate has improved only modestly since the 1990s. Childhood malnutrition, which causes stunting, blights lives; millions will be permanently affected by poor health and cognitive deficits.

The Fight Against Fake Drugs

The Fight Against Fake Drugs

June 4, 2014

By Tina Rosenberg - The New York Times

In November 2008, children in Nigeria taking a medicine called My Pikin Baby Teething Mixture began to die. The syrup was counterfeit, the standard glycerin replaced with cheaper diethylene glycol, which looks, smells and tastes the same. But diethylene glycol is an industrial solvent, which attacks the central nervous system, kidneys and liver. The medicine killed 84 children before it was pulled from pharmacy shelves.

Acceleration is forecast for spending on health

Acceleration is forecast for spending on health

April 23, 2014

By Eduardo Porter - The New York Times

WASHINGTON — Standing before a roomful of economists, policy makers and health care experts earlier this month, Amitabh Chandra, director of Health Policy Research at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, closed a presentation about the slowdown in health care spending over the last decade by citing an article in The New York Times.

Q & A: Air quality linked to productivity

Q & A: Air quality linked to productivity

December 1, 2013

HKS Magazine
By Sarah Abrams
Two years ago, Rema Hanna, associate professor of public policy, and Paulina Oliva of the University of California, Santa Barbara, began a study looking at the relationship between air quality and worker absenteeism in Mexico City. The results of their study, Hanna believes, will help inform discussions around the world concerning air quality regulation. She talks about her research below.

Q What made you decide to look at this particular issue?

Coping with alzheimer's

Coping with alzheimer's

September 30, 2013

Harvard Magazine
By Nell Porter Brown
In the summer of 2006 Harvard professor emerita Barbara Gutmann Rosenkrantz ’44, RI ’69—long revered for her work on the history of public health and for promoting women at Harvard (she was among the earliest full female professors and the first female House master)—called her daughter, baffled. “She was having trouble making a salad,” recalls Debby Rosenkrantz. Was it a case of low blood sugar, or maybe related to a recent arm rash? “I came over with some orange juice and helped her finish making the dinner.”