November 2004 RAND Health Newsletter

Contents of November 2004 Health newsletter:

  1. Depression care program helps cut treatment disparities among men and women
    Improving care for depression in primary care medical practices may help narrow the gender gap that now leaves a greater proportion of depressed men untreated compared with women.

    Citation: Do the Effects of Quality Improvement for Depression Care Differ for Men and Women?: Results of a Group-Level Randomized Controlled Trial. Sherbourne CD, Weiss R, Duan N, Bird CE, Wells KB. Medical Care, Vol. 42, No. 12, Dec 2004, pp. 1186-1193, abstract, news release

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    More on depression

  2. Effectiveness of needle-exchange programs varies
    Drug addicts who participate in needle-exchange programs that allow an unlimited number of clean syringes are less likely to reuse needles, reducing chances they will spread infectious disease.

    Citation: Sterile Syringe Access Conditions and Variations in HIV Risk Among Drug Injectors in Three Cities. Bluthenthal RN, Malik MR, Grau LE, Singer M, Marshall P, Heimer R; The Diffusion of Benefit through Syringe Exchange Study Team. Addiction, Vol. 99, No. 9, Sept 1004, pp. 1136-1146, abstract, news release

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    More on HIV

  3. The future of individual health insurance
    More than 20 percent of Americans — mostly the self-employed and those working for small businesses — are ineligible for group or public health insurance, yet few choose to purchase individual insurance. A new study shows that the future of individual insurance depends on interventions that increase affordability and limit risk-sharing and adverse selection.

    Citation: The Role of the Individual Health Insurance Market and Prospects for Change, Buntin MB, Marquis MS, Yeglan JM, Health Affairs, Vol. 23, No. 6, Nov/Dec 2004, pp. 79-90, abstract

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    More about coverage for the uninsured

  4. California should improve treatment guidelines for injured workers
    The treatment guidelines being used to define medically appropriate care for California's injured workers need substantial improvement.

    Citation: Evaluating Medical Treatment Guideline Sets for Injured Workers in California, Teryl K. Nuckols, Barbara O. Wynn, Yee-Wei Lim, Rebecca Shaw, Soeren Mattke, Thomas Wickizer, Philip Harber, Peggy Wallace, Steven M. Asch, Catherine MacLean and Rena Hasenfeld, RAND Corporation, 2004, WR-203, full document

    More on law and health

  5. Care for prostate cancer
    Men in certain parts of the country are more likely to undergo surgery rather than radiation for their prostate cancer.

    Citation: Geographic Variation Across Veterans Affairs Medical Centers in the Treatment of Early Stage Prostate Cancer, Spencer BA, Fung CH, Wang M, Rubenstein LV, Litwin MS, The Journal of Urology, Vol. 172, No. 6, [Part 1 of 2], Dec 2004, pp. 2362-2365, abstract

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    More on prostate cancer

  6. Health benefit company to test RAND-developed software
    To determine whether consumers are receiving appropriate care, Humana has signed an agreement with RAND Health to test software that scans and analyzes health claims data, news release

    More on quality assessment tools

  7. November congressional newsletter
    This month's congressional newsletter (PDF) covers the link between suburban sprawl and chronic health problems, the returns gained from investing in arthritis research, and confronting barriers to high quality health care for children.


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