Health Affairs Blog – Vital Signs: A Call To Action On Core Metrics (featuring APHA’s Executive Director Georges Benjamin, MD)
In April 2015, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released Vital Signs, a consensus committee report which identifies 15 core measures for assessing the nation’s health. The streamlined core measure set is a critical tool for mitigating measurement burden, sharpening focus on priorities that matter most, and aligning measurement activities around shared goals for health and health care. The application of the core measure set, standardized and harmonized at every level, holds the potential not only to substantially improve performance in the multiple systems in play, but to yield data of the reliability and comparability necessary to accelerate the continuous production of new knowledge on what works best.

The Wall Street Journal – Health Law Enrollment Periods to Be Tightened
The Obama administration will tighten the rules for people who enroll in insurance through HealthCare.gov outside of official enrollment periods, hoping to hold down costs that insurers blamed on late sign-ups.
A top federal health official said Monday that the administration will eliminate some criteria for late sign-ups and make other criteria language clearer. Andy Slavitt, acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, who made his comments during a J.P. Morgan health-care conference, didn’t provide further details.

Associated Press via ABC News – Medicare Expands Coordinated Care for 8.9M Beneficiaries
Medicare is expanding a major experiment that strives to keep seniors healthier by coordinating basic medical care to prevent common problems that often lead to hospitalization, the agency said on Monday.
Officials announced 121 new “accountable care organizations,” networks of doctors and hospitals that collaborate to better serve patients with chronic medical conditions. A limited number will be able to directly recruit patients.

MedPage Today – USPSTF Stands By Biennial Breast Cancer Screening at 50
Women with an average risk of breast cancer should begin biennial screening mammography at age 50 and continue through age 74, according to a finalized recommendation from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).
The decision to begin screening before age 50 should be individualized after a woman has discussed with her physician the potential benefits and harms associated with screening mammography, according to the USPSTF. The task force found insufficient evidence to assess the harms and benefits of screening mammography for women 75 or older.