Did Serrano Cause Prop 13?

Passed in 1978, Proposition 13 was a ballot initiative to amend the state constitution to limit property taxes to a 1% of a homes value. The amendment also capped the annual growth rate in property value assessment at 2% per year until the house is resold.   William Fischel (1989) argues in “Did Serrano Cause…

Difference in Difference Estimation

Difference in Difference (DD) is a commonly used empirical estimation technique in economics. Let us take a hypothetical example where a state (Wisconsin) passes a bill which makes employer-provided health insurance tax deductible. Let us also assume that in the year after the bill passed (year 2) the percentage of firms offering health insurance increased…

Profile of Medicaid participants

As of 2002, approximately 41 million people were on Medicaid. That is approximately 14% of the population of the United States. Who are the people on Medicaid? We can generally divide the people who receive Medicaid into four categories: 1) poor adults, 2) elderly who can not afford Medicare co-payments or deductibles 3) children and…

My former employer to give physicians incentives to use IT.

General Electric (my employer between 2002-2004) unveiled an interesting program named ‘Bridges to Excellence.’  This program will compensate participating physicians up to $50 per patient in exchanged for instituting IT systemts for patient records, electronic prescription writing, etc.  GE estimtates that the $50/patient figure will be about half of the projected savings from the project. …

Can varying co-payment rates by risk reduce cost and improve health outcomes?

A RAND study published in the American Journal of Managed Care (“Varying Pharmacy Benefits With Clinical Status: The Case of Cholesterol-lowering Therapy“) claims that managed care administrators may be able to vary pharmaceutical co-payment amounts by risk group in order to reduce cost and improve health outcomes.  Thus study looks at Cholesterol-Lowering pharmaceuticals.  Co-payments are…