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The Future of Home Health Care: Workshop Summary (2015)

March 26, 2015 Comments off

The Future of Home Health Care: Workshop Summary (2015)
Source: Institute of Medicine/National Research Council

Individuals with disabilities, chronic conditions, and functional impairments need a range of services and supports to keep living independently. However, there often is not a strong link between medical care provided in the home and the necessary social services and supports for independent living. Home health agencies and others are rising to the challenges of meeting the needs and demands of these populations to stay at home by exploring alternative models of care and payment approaches, the best use of their workforces, and technologies that can enhance independent living. All of these challenges and opportunities lead to the consideration of how home health care fits into the future health care system overall.

On September 30 and October 1, 2014, the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council convened a public workshop on the future of home health care. The workshop brought together a spectrum of public and private stakeholders and thought leaders to improve understanding of the current role of Medicare home health care in supporting aging in place and in helping high-risk, chronically ill, and disabled Americans receive health care in their communities. Through presentations and discussion, participants explored the evolving role of Medicare home health care in caring for Americans in the future, including how to integrate Medicare home health care into new models for the delivery of care and the future health care marketplace. The workshop also considered the key policy reforms and investments in workforces, technologies, and research needed to leverage the value of home health care to support older Americans, and research priorities that can help clarify the value of home health care. This summary captures important points raised by the individual speakers and workshop participants.

Measuring Research and Development Expenditures in the U.S. Nonprofit Sector: Conceptual and Design Issues: Summary of a Workshop (2015)

March 24, 2015 Comments off

Measuring Research and Development Expenditures in the U.S. Nonprofit Sector: Conceptual and Design Issues: Summary of a Workshop (2015)
Source: National Research Council

National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) of the National Science Foundation is responsible for national reporting of the research and development (R&D) activities that occur in all sectors of the United States economy. For most sectors, including the business and higher education sectors, NCSES collects data on these activities on a regular basis. However, data on R&D within the nonprofit sector have not been collected in 18 years, a time period which has seen dynamic and rapid growth of the sector. NCSES decided to design and implement a new survey of nonprofits, and commissioned this workshop to provide a forum to discuss conceptual and design issues and methods.

Measuring Research and Development Expenditures in the U.S. Nonprofit Sector: Conceptual and Design Issues summarizes the presentations and discussion of the workshop. This report identifies concepts and issues for the design of a survey of R&D expenditures made by nonprofit organizations, considering the goals, content, statistical methodology, data quality, and data products associated with this data collection. The report also considers the broader usefulness of the data for understanding the nature of the nonprofit sector and their R&D activities. Measuring Research and Development Expenditures in the U. S. Nonprofit Sector will help readers understand the role of nonprofit sector given its enormous size and scope as well as its contribution to identifying new forms of R&D beyond production processes and new technology.

Review of WIC Food Packages: An Evaluation of White Potatoes in the Cash Value Voucher: Letter Report (2015)

March 24, 2015 Comments off

Review of WIC Food Packages: An Evaluation of White Potatoes in the Cash Value Voucher: Letter Report (2015)
Source: Institute of Medicine

Review of WIC Food Packages: An Evaluation of White Potatoes in the Cash Value Voucher assesses the impact of 2009 regulation to allow the purchase of vegetables and fruits, excluding white potatoes, with a cash value voucher on food and nutrient intakes of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) population and to consider whether white potatoes should be permitted for purchase with the voucher. This report considers the effects on diet quality, the health and cultural needs of the WIC population, and allows for effective and efficient administration nationwide in a cost-effective manner. Review of WIC Food Packages: An Evaluation of White Potatoes in the Cash Value Voucher recommends that the U.S. Department of Agriculture should allow white potatoes as a WIC-eligible vegetable, in forms currently permitted for other vegetables, in the cash value voucher pending changes to starchy vegetable intake recommendations in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Making Value for America: Embracing the Future of Manufacturing, Technology, and Work (2015)

March 12, 2015 Comments off

Making Value for America: Embracing the Future of Manufacturing, Technology, and Work (2015)
Source: National Academy of Engineering

Globalization, developments in technology, and new business models are transforming the way products and services are conceived, designed, made, and distributed in the U.S. and around the world. These forces present challenges – lower wages and fewer jobs for a growing fraction of middle-class workers – as well as opportunities for “makers” and aspiring entrepreneurs to create entirely new types of businesses and jobs. Making Value for America examines these challenges and opportunities and offers recommendations for collaborative actions between government, industry, and education institutions to help ensure that the U.S. thrives amid global economic changes and remains a leading environment for innovation.

Filled with real-life examples, Making Value for America presents a roadmap to enhance the nation’s capacity to pursue opportunities and adapt to transforming value chains by widespread adoption of best practices, a well-prepared and innovative workforce, local innovation networks to support startups and new products, improved flow of capital investments, and infrastructure upgrades.

Improving Transit Integration Among Multiple Providers (Vol. 1 – Transit Integration Manual)

March 11, 2015 Comments off

Improving Transit Integration Among Multiple Providers (Vol. 1 – Transit Integration Manual)
Source: Transportation Research Board

TCRP Report 173: Improving Transit Integration Among Multiple Providers presents a comprehensive set of guidelines and procedures to assist transit agencies in evaluating, planning, and implementing steps to integrate transit services in areas with multiple transit providers. The report comprises two volumes: the Transit Integration Manual and the Research Report. Together, these documents can help guide the process of transit service integration by (1) showing the benefits of integration; (2) illustrating the range of potential types of integration activities; and (3) describing procedures necessary to carry out integration efforts, including tips for success.

This report will be of interest to transit operators, metropolitan planning organizations, and others interested in the coordination and integration of transit services to improve customer service in areas with multiple transit providers.

Data and Research to Improve the U.S. Food Availability System and Estimates of Food Loss: A Workshop Report (2015)

February 14, 2015 Comments off

Data and Research to Improve the U.S. Food Availability System and Estimates of Food Loss: A Workshop Report (2015)
Source: National Research Council

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Economic Research Service’s (ERS) Food Availability Data System includes three distinct but related data series on food and nutrient availability for consumption. The data serve as popular proxies for actual consumption at the national level for over 200 commodities (e.g., fresh spinach, beef, and eggs). The core Food Availability (FA) data series provides data on the amount of food available, per capita, for human consumption in the United States with data back to 1909 for many commodities. The Loss-Adjusted Food Availability (LAFA) data series is derived from the FA data series by adjusting for food spoilage, plate waste, and other losses to more closely approximate 4 actual intake. The LAFA data provide daily estimates of the per capita availability amounts adjusted for loss (e.g., in pounds, ounces, grams, and gallons as appropriate), calories, and food pattern equivalents (i.e., “servings”) of the five major food groups (fruit, vegetables, grains, meat, and dairy) available for consumption plus the amounts of added sugars and sweeteners and added fats and oils available for consumption. This fiscal year, as part of its initiative to systematically review all of its major data series, ERS decided to review the FADS data system. One of the goals of this review is to advance the knowledge and understanding of the measurement and technical aspects of the data supporting FADS so the data can be maintained and improved.

Data and Research to Improve the U.S. Food Availability System and Estimates of Food Loss is the summary of a workshop convened by the Committee on National Statistics of the National Research Council and the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine to advance knowledge and understanding of the measurement and technical aspects of the data supporting the LAFA data series so that these data series and subsequent food availability and food loss estimates can be maintained and improved. The workshop considered such issues as the effects of termination of selected Census Bureau and USDA data series on estimates for affected food groups and commodities; the potential for using other data sources, such as scanner data, to improve estimates of food availability; and possible ways to improve the data on food loss at the farm and retail levels and at restaurants. This report considers knowledge gaps, data sources that may be available or could be generated to fill gaps, what can be learned from other countries and international organizations, ways to ensure consistency of treatment of commodities across series, and the most promising opportunities for new data for the various food availability series.

Beyond Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Redefining an Illness

February 12, 2015 Comments off

Beyond Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Redefining an Illness
Source: Institute of Medicine

Between 836,000 and 2.5 million Americans suffer from myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome—commonly referred to as ME/ CFS. This disease is characterized by profound fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, sleep abnormalities, autonomic manifestations, pain, and other symptoms that are made worse by exertion of any sort. ME/CFS can severely impair patients’ ability to conduct their normal lives.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the National Insti­tutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Social Security Administration asked the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to convene an expert committee to examine the evidence base for ME/CFS. In Beyond Myal­gic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Redefining an Illness, the com­mittee proposes new diagnostic criteria that will facilitate timely diagnosis and care and enhance understanding among health care providers and the public.

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