Health Affairs’ Most read newspaper articles in 2021


If there’s one thing 2021 has proven, it’s that research related to COVID-19 will continue to remain a priority for our readers. Some of our most popular articles assess the effectiveness of vaccines and the evolution of healthcare services in the age of telemedicine. Millions of COVID-19 vaccines have been rolled out across the country, but new variants have emerged, heightening concerns about health care costs and spending amid a new presidential administration.

Here are the most read Health Affairs 2021 items:

1. Vaccinations against COVID-19 may have prevented up to 140,000 deaths in the United States by Sumedha Gupta et al.

In this article, the authors examined the impact of vaccination against COVID-19 on reducing virus-related deaths. They determined that vaccine-associated reductions in COVID-19 deaths translated into a lifetime statistical benefit value of between $625 billion and $1.4 trillion.

2. Health Costs and Financing: Challenges and Strategies for a New Administration by William Shrank et al.

In early 2021, William Shrank and his co-authors offered recommendations to the Biden administration focused on health costs and financing. Their recommendations centered on policy priorities, including expanding insurance coverage, improving prescription affordability and value-based care.

3. Actualizing Better Health and Health Care for Older Adults by Terry Fulmer et al.

By 2030, one in five Americans is expected to be 65 or older. Fulmer and his co-authors argue that the current health care system is unprepared for the complexity of care that will be required for older adults. In this article, researchers have provided guidance to improve the care and quality of life for all older Americans.

4. National health care expenditure in 2019: steady growth for the fourth consecutive year by Anne Martin et al.

A paper published in 2020 examined a steady growth in healthcare spending, particularly for hospital care, physician and clinical services, and retail purchases of prescription drugs, which all accounted for 61% of total national healthcare spending in 2019.

5. Clinical results of a COVID-19 vaccine: implementation on efficacy by A. David Paltiel et al.

In a paper published in 2020, researchers assessed the relationship between efficacy and implementation of a COVID-19 vaccine and found that factors related to implementation and distribution were more related to success. of a vaccination program. They noted that the benefits of vaccines significantly diminish in the event of manufacturing or deployment delays, significant vaccine hesitancy, or greater epidemic severity.

6. Higher medical education shouldn’t be a commodity by Sharon Griswold

In a personal essay, Sharon Griswold wrote about the abrupt closure of Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia in 2019, which had served the area for more than 170 years. The hospital served as a safety net institution for the underserved and was once the epicenter of higher medical education. Griswold identifies lessons learned from the hospital’s closure. You can also listen to him read the story on the Narrative questions Podcast.

7. High Nursing Turnover in Nursing Homes Offers Important Quality Insights by Ashvin Gandhi et al.

In this article, the authors explored how nursing staff turnover could provide important quality information about nursing homes. They found that turnover rates were correlated with a number of factors, such as location of establishment, for-profit status and chain ownership.

8. Variation in the use of telemedicine and ambulatory care during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States by Sadiq Patel et al

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic gave rise to telemedicine services. In an article published in February 2021, the authors assessed the variation in outpatient visits by demographics, specialties and conditions.

9. Physicians’ perceptions of people with disabilities and their health care by Lisa Iezzoni et al.

More than sixty-one million Americans are disabled, and there is growing evidence that people with disabilities experience health care disparities. Researchers assessed physicians’ perceptions and biases of people with disabilities to determine how potentially biased opinions might contribute to health care disparities.

10. Private Equity Investments in Healthcare: An Overview of Leveraged Hospital and Healthcare System Takeovers, 2003-2017 by Anaeze Offodile II et al.

What is the impact of private equity deals on hospitals? In an analysis of equity-backed hospital acquisitions over the period 2003-2017, researchers examined how acquisitions affected operating margins, staff positions, and other expenses within hospitals.

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