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July 16, 2014
CBO Report Indicates Medicare Spending Growth Continues to Slow
A report published by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that projected Medicare spending has dropped from last year’s estimate, although economists are uncertain what has caused the slowdown and how long it will last. According to the report, Medicare is now expected to make up 4.6 percent of the Gross Domestic Product in 25 years, down from 4.9 percent in last year’s estimate. The CBO points out that it can’t pinpoint the cause of the recent slowdown or its durability, which is why it’s not changing its fundam
ental view of where Medicare spending is heading over the very long term.
Award Enables HPIO to Further its Health Measurement Work
The National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI) announced that the Health Policy Institute of Ohio (HPIO) was one of four organizations nationally to be awarded a grant through NNPHI’s State Forums to Advance Health System Transformation initiative. This grant will fund a project called “Getting to health value: Building consensus on accountability and population health in Ohio.” HPIO’s proposal builds upon the success of HPIO’s Health Measurement Initiative to identify opportunities for collective impact and alignment between public health and the healthcare system in Ohio. HPIO is currently developing a concise and comprehensive dashboard of health outcome and cost measures to track Ohio’s progress in improving health value. Click here for an overview of the project and a full list of metrics used in the dashboard.
Law Enforcement Perspectives on the Drug Epidemic & Its Impact on Families Study Committee
The Ohio House of Representatives has announced the creation of a travelling study committee that will take testimony on law enforcement's perspectives on the drug epidemic. The Law Enforcement Perspectives on the Drug Epidemic & Its Impact on Families Study Committee will be chaired and vice chaired by Representatives Dorothy Pelanda and Jim Buchy. Hearings are slated to begin on August 19th in Wilmington and there will be 4 total meetings held throughout the state (Wilmington, Marion, Cleveland and Cincinnati) through mid-September. Specific dates and places will be available at a later time.
NIMH Releases Studies on Autism, Schizophrenia, Neuroscience
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has released a number of studies related to behavioral health. In one the largest study on genetic heritability in autism to date, called Most Genetic Risk for Autism Resides with Common Variation, researchers found that the genetic risk for autism comes from genetic variants common to the population rather than rare or spontaneous variants. Due to the size of this study, researchers were able to gain a firm understanding of the genetic architecture related to risk for autism. To read more on this study, click here. Another study called Biological Insights from 108 Schizophrenia-Associated Genetic Loci reveals a large number of inherited genetic variations that contribute to the risk for schizophrenia. Many of these variations are linked to dysfunctional processes related to the disorder. For further information on this study, click here.
State Lawmakers Move against Snortable Crystalline Alcohol
State lawmakers have introduced bipartisan legislation to ban "powdered" alcohol in Ohio, also known as Crystalline Alcohol and Palcohol, which they fear could be snorted or consumed in high concentrations by those wishing to abuse the substance. To read the full story from the Cincinnati Enquirer, click here.