Ask the Experts Video Series - Making Cancer Care Patient-Centered

(Posted March 2017)

Dennis Scanlon speaks with Ray Hohl, MD, Director, Penn State Cancer Institute to discuss cancer care, including progress made in the field, making care “patient-centered,” and coordinating research efforts.


Repeal of Affordable Care Act Facing Complex Challenge

(Posted January 2017)

The Altoona Mirror recently published an article about the Trump Administration's plan to quickly "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act. The article includes comments from Rep. Bill Shuster, R-9th District, Dr. Dennis Scanlon, and others. Scanlon spoke to the immediate larger problem of separating rumors from facts and determining realistic alternatives because the proclamation is short on details. More specifically he said that lifting the individual mandate would cause insurance premiums to continue to increase.


Care Affordability and Out-of-Pocket Spending for Adults With Chronic Disease: What's the Difference between Low and High Deductible Plans?

(Posted January 2017)

Health Insurance Deductibles and Their Associations With Out-of-Pocket Spending and Affordability Barriers Among US Adults With Chronic Conditions
Authors: Joel Segel, PhD & Jeffrey Kullgren MD, MS, MPH

Using 2011-2013 data from the nationally representative Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, we compared associations between private health plan deductibles and out-of-pocket (OOP) spending, high medical cost burdens, and cost-related access barriers among nonelderly US adults with chronic conditions. We found higher deductibles were associated with significantly higher financial burden among the chronically ill. However, in contrast with prior findings, we did not find evidence that deductibles were associated with more reports of cost-related access barriers for individuals with chronic conditions. One reason may be that since cost-sharing has risen for all plan types, detecting differences between deductible levels could be more difficult. Nonetheless, as more privately insured Americans with chronic conditions face deductibles in employer sponsored and Marketplace health plans, it will be important to track their OOP spending, ability to afford care, and their health and financial outcomes.