What’s the news: With voting for the 2020 presidential race officially underway, health care will again take center stage in the political and policy discussion. To meet the need for “high-quality content to inform the debate about the future of health care in the United States and globally,” JAMA Network™ has launched JAMA Health Forum, a new way “to assemble and highlight health policy content from the JAMA Network with interpretive commentary and analysis.”

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So explains Howard Bauchner, MD, and Thomas J. Easley, in a recent edtorial published in JAMA. Easley is publisher of periodical publications for JAMA Network, and Dr. Bauchner is editor-in-chief of JAMA and JAMA Network. To learn more about Dr. Bauchner and his leadership of JAMA and JAMA Network, read this AMA Moving Medicine Magazine profile, “Digital designs for the age of evidence.” 

Entries on the site so far have covered topics such as state-level opioid policies, the 2019 novel coronavirus global health emergency, and survey data on measles vaccination.

Why it matters for patients and physicians: Health care accounts for about one-fifth of the U.S. economy, with $3.5 trillion spent annually, and the issue “will again figure prominently in the U.S. presidential election,” says the JAMA editorial.

Prescription-drug costs, health insurance, out-of-network billing, surprise billing and high-deductible health plans are all key issues that receive lots of news media coverage, Easley and Dr. Bauchner wrote, noting a recent Kaiser Family Foundation study showing a 25% rise in premiums since 2014 for employer-sponsored family health insurance coverage

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The JAMA Health Forum will publish expert analysis and opinion daily and serve as “an authoritative source of information on timely and important topics related to health care policies, strategies and systems,” says the JAMA editorial. That will include articles, podcasts, videos and more.

The new channel’s editor is John Z. Ayanian, MD, MPP, Alice Hamilton Distinguished University Professor of Medicine and Healthcare Policy and director of the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation at the University of Michigan. The deputy editor is Melinda B. Buntin, PhD, Mike Curb Professor and chair, Department of Health Policy at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

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What’s next: Easley and Dr. Bauchner wrote they expect the channel to “ultimately become a stand-alone, authoritative and influential journal” similar to its other journals, such as JAMA Internal Medicine or JAMA Oncology.

If you’re interested in contributing to JAMA Health Forum, send your inquiry about a potential submission to [email protected].

Commentaries should include no more than three authors, range from 500 to 1,000 words, and “present concise perspectives on health policy and strategy, innovative public-sector and private-sector approaches to health care delivery, health care financing and economics, quality of care, patient safety, health equity and health reform,” Drs. Ayanian and Buntin wrote in their inaugural JAMA Health Forum “Editor’s Comment” column.

Visit the JAMA Health Forum website to sign up for updates by email, RSS or on social media.

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