In this issue of Health Services Research, we are pleased to introduce a new featured section, “The Best of the 2012 AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting (ARM)”. As the title suggests, we anticipate publishing annually a set of articles based on abstracts submitted to the ARM and selected to be outstanding by both reviewers from the ARM themes and HSR's own editorial staff and reviewers.

HSR has been an official journal of AcademyHealth for many years, and this new feature is the latest in a string of successful collaborative efforts intended to showcase significant work in the field of health services research in a timely manner. Early in 2012, we requested from AcademyHealth staff members the top three abstracts from each of the ARM themes plus an additional two to three abstracts from those themes most reflective of HSR's mission and audience interests. From approximately 50 abstracts, the editors of HSR selected 15 and their authors were invited to submit a full manuscript for consideration for publication. The submitted manuscripts went through expedited review, culminating in the four articles appearing in this issue, with several more scheduled to appear in the December 2012 issue.

As a group, these articles span a variety of patient populations and providers, reflecting the diversity of health services research. However, all address policy relevant questions with regard to health services access, cost and/or quality. Cantor et al. (2012), found that the Accountable Care Act (ACA) had an early and substantial impact on non-spousal dependent coverage, although the future cost impact remains to be determined. Using an instrumental variable technique, Mukamel et al. (2012) found evidence of improved quality in response to greater regulatory stringency in some, but not all nursing home quality measures, as well as some evidence of nursing staff substitution. With respect to cost, the use of high technology may be less a factor than overall treatment practices, a finding that may inform best practice efforts and offer a roadmap for curbing the rate of rise in costs (Lane et al., 2012). Finally, Matone et al. (2012) describe the rising use of antipsychotics among child Medicaid recipients, raising questions regarding efficacy and appropriateness. We are pleased to recognize their contributions.

We would like to thank AcademyHealth staff, particularly Anna Lafayette and Jennifer Muldoon, for their assistance in enabling this special feature, as well as our own editorial staff and reviewers in expediting the review process for these manuscripts. Authors planning on submitting an abstract to the 2013 AcademyHealth ARM who would like to be considered for HSR Best of ARM publication should consult the instructions provided with the 2013 ARM abstract solicitation. We hope that our readers find value in this new feature and look forward to future contributions.


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