Feb 15, 2013 • 22M

Discussion with Dr. Steven Woolf on the IOM's Recent Report, "US Health in International Perspective: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health" (February 15, 2013)

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David Introcaso, Ph.D.
Podcast interviews with health policy experts on timely subjects. The Healthcare Policy Podcast website features audio interviews with healthcare policy experts on timely topics. An online public forum routinely presenting expert healthcare policy analysis and comment is lacking. While other healthcare policy website programming exists, these typically present vested interest viewpoints or do not combine informed policy analysis with political insight or acumen. Since healthcare policy issues are typically complex, clear, reasoned, dispassionate discussion is required. These podcasts will attempt to fill this void. Among other topics this podcast will address: Implementation of the Affordable Care Act Other federal Medicare and state Medicaid health care issues Federal health care regulatory oversight, moreover CMS and the FDA Healthcare research Private sector healthcare delivery reforms including access, reimbursement and quality issues Public health issues including the social determinants of health Listeners are welcomed to share their program comments and suggest programming ideas. Comments made by the interviewees are strictly their own and do not represent those of their affiliated organization/s.
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In January 2013 the Institute of Medicine released "Shorter Lives, Poorer Health" a 404-page report that found Americans die sooner, experience higher rates of disease and injury than people in 16 other like high-income countries and that these health disadvantages exist at all ages from birth to age 75. 

During this 22 minute podcast Dr. Steven Woolf, the chair of the IOM panel that authored the report, discusses the pervasiveness of problem or the diversity of health problems that exist across our entire lifespan, how social factors contribute to poorer health and the fact that higher educated and higher income Americans are also too in poorer health compared to their peer group overseas.  Dr. Woolf discusses worse birth outcomes in this country, the importance of antecedents for good health and possibly why the only subpopulation of Americans, those over 80, do comparatively well.  Finally, Dr. Woolf outlines the report's three policy recommendations and identifies a few foreign health care policies, that if adopted, might prove effective in the US.  

Dr. Woolf is Professor at the Departments of Family Medicine, Epidemiology and Community Health at  Virginia Commonwealth University.  In 2001 he was elected to the Institute of Medicine.  He has published more than 100 articles that have focused on evidence-based medicine with a special focus on preventive medicine, cancer screening, quality improvement and social justice.  He is the associate editor of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine and served as North American editor of the British Medical Journal.  He received his MD from Emory and his MPH from Johns Hopkins.