Dr. Dennis Scanlon on submitting papers to the American Journal of Accountable Care

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To The American Review of Accountable Care®publishers welcome different types of articles, including case studies, trends in the field, ideas and content of this nature, explained Dennis P. Scanlon, PhD, professor of health policy and administration at Pennsylvania State University and editor of the publication. chief.

Transcription

What types of content do you hope to see submitted to AJAC?

To AJACwe are trying to create a small niche to differentiate the newspaper not only [The American Journal of Managed Care®] AJMC®— which is obviously a sister journal, if you will, within the organization — but also other journals in the field. I think this niche is really about being both a place for good academic work that can pass peer review, but also for innovative work – speaking of what we’ve been talking about recently – for those who work hard on the ground to improve the health system. So let me talk about each of them in turn.

I think on the academic side, what often differentiates one academic paper from another, or whether or not something gets published through the peer review process, ultimately is certainly the subject matter and if the topic is interesting, but let’s just assume that whatever we get is going to be interesting and important. But then it comes down to the scientific validity of the results, and that’s largely tied to the design of the study. Is this an experimental design? Is it a quasi-experimental design? Are there adequate control groups? What does the data look like? Are there data limits? And what kind of methodology you throw at all that, right? So often we find studies that may be rejected by other reviews because they are not perfect. But to tell the truth, from my point of view, there is never a perfect study. But there are often studies that are good, and they can be informative, that have limitations that won’t be published elsewhere.

We are willing to consider publishing these studies because they can advance the field, they can make contributions, as long as the limitations are clearly recognized, and most importantly, we think about how the field might progress in a particular area, in recognizing these limitations. So that’s part of the niche that we’re trying to achieve, it’s not that we set a lower bar or standards in terms of peer review, but that we’re really willing to acknowledge the fact that the research is very progressive and that science is progressive, and that there is a place for good publishable work even with limitations.

I would say on the other hand, often people in the field doing day-to-day innovation, people in integrated delivery systems, people in pharmaceutical benefit management organizations, or you name it , managed care organizations, they’re trying different things; they have good ideas. They didn’t set them up as studies and they certainly didn’t collect data or design this as a research study. But that doesn’t mean what they try or what they do can’t be informative in the field. So we’ve created a few new types of articles (case studies, trends in the field, ideas and things of that nature) where we try to allow these people to talk about what they do, but to say it in in a way that does not claim that it is a scientific study. I think it’s also very instructive for the field. I hope to see more of these two types of content this year.

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