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Editor's Comment
January 23, 2020

Welcome to JAMA Health Forum

Author Affiliations
  • 1Editor, JAMA Health Forum
  • 2Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • 3Deputy Editor, JAMA Health Forum
  • 4Department of Health Policy, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee
JAMA Health Forum. 2020;1(1):e200001. doi:10.1001/jamahealthforum.2020.0001

Welcome to JAMA Health Forum! As the editors, we are excited to introduce this new web-based channel for health policy content to the JAMA Network audience around the world. This audience includes health care professionals who care for patients, public health professionals who strive to improve community health, health policy researchers who study health systems, policymakers who govern how care is funded and organized, health system engineers who advance the safety and efficiency of care, leaders who oversee organizations delivering care, and patients and the public, who have crucial stakes in all of these efforts.

View our introductory video.

Last month, the JAMA Editor in Chief, Howard Bauchner, MD, and publisher, Thomas Easley, announced JAMA Health Forum as a novel digital platform for health policy, health economics, and health systems innovation.1 With fresh content appearing each weekday, the JAMA Health Forum website will feature original research, opinion, and audio and video content from JAMA and the JAMA Network specialty journals. In our weekly Editor’s Comments, we will highlight JAMA Network articles that we view as particularly innovative or important. In addition, the website will host the established JAMA Forum, which provides weekly commentaries from prominent health care experts. JAMA Health Forum will also present timely news stories related to health policy, health care delivery, and public health.

JAMA Health Forum is launching a new Insights section for a wide range of authors to publish timely blog commentaries on important topics in national and global health care policy and public health. We welcome commentaries—with up to 3 authors and 500 to 1000 words—that 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. Submissions will be reviewed internally by our editorial team and occasionally by outside experts. Time-sensitive commentaries can be posted within days, and other commentaries will be posted within weeks of acceptance. Authors may inquire about potential submissions via jamahealthforum@jamanetwork.org.

As JAMA Health Forum launches, the United States is embarking on presidential and congressional election campaigns in which Republicans and Democrats will present divergent views of how health care should be financed and delivered, ranging from repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), to bolstering the ACA, to replacing the current mix of private and public insurance with a government-financed single-payer system. The election campaign will occur after several consecutive years of declining US life expectancy associated with rising rates of economic inequality, suicide, substance use disorders, obesity, and cardiovascular disease.2 Whichever political party prevails in the 2020 election, voters will expect leaders in the public and private sectors to take more effective action to control health care costs while preserving access to effective care and improving health outcomes.

Low- and middle-income countries are similarly struggling to achieve universal health coverage and address a rising burden of noncommunicable disease and the social and environmental determinants of health, including poverty, water and air pollution, and the consequences of climate change. In contrast with the United States, most other countries, regardless of income, are gaining life expectancy,3 while all countries are seeking sustainable ways to pay for the rising costs of more effective and accessible health care.

In this context, our goal is for JAMA Health Forum to serve as a timely, engaging, and influential venue for authors and readers to connect on the most important issues facing health care systems in the United States and other countries. Readers may follow JAMA Health Forum at our website and on Twitter (@JAMAHealthForum). We look forward to working with prospective authors to engage and communicate widely with the JAMA Network audience on vital topics to improve health care and health outcomes.

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Article Information

Open Access: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CC-BY License.

Corresponding Author: John Z. Ayanian, MD, MPP, Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, University of Michigan, 2800 Plymouth Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (jamahealthforum@jamanetwork.org).

Bauchner  H, Easley  TJ.  JAMA Health Forum—a new channel for information  [published online December 12, 2019].  JAMA. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.19691Google Scholar
Woolf  SH, Schoomaker  H.  Life expectancy and mortality rates in the United States, 1959-2017.   JAMA. 2019;322(20):1996-2016. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.16932PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
GBD 2017 Mortality Collaborators.  Global, regional, and national age-sex-specific mortality and life expectancy, 1950-2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017.   Lancet. 2018;392(10159):1684-1735. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31891-9PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref