Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for September, 2006

The Perilous State of the UK’s NHS

The Health Care Renewal blog cites an editorial in the British Medical Journal describing how the spirit of medical professionalism is dying due to top-down administrative decision making.  “And although medicine has embraced the need for evidence based medicine, policy making remains largely an evidence-free zone. [Richard Lehman wrote,] ‘the personal responsibility of our professional […]

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Water Problems in India

The New York Times (“In India, Water Crisis Means Foul Sludge“) gives a detailed look into the disastrous state of New Delhi’s water supply. 

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Measuring adverse selection in managed health care

Introduction  Much of health care today is paid for by managed care plans.  If the managed care plans are profit maximizers–which I assume them to be–then they face a tradeoff.  By offering a lower quality of care, they will make more money; but lowering the quality of care reduces the demand for their insurance product.  […]

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Around the Blog-o-sphere

Some interesting bits I found on the Health Wonk blog-o-sphere: Joe Paduda looks at why Kaiser Permanente is starting to offer PPOs and high deductible plans.  Fard Johnmar at Envisioning 2.0 discusses Walmart’s plan to offer generic drugs for as low as $4. A Wall Street Journal/Harris poll shows that the vast majority of healthcare […]

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Prizes or patents

Josesph Stiglitz’s recent article (“Give prizes not patents“) in the New Scientist voices a valid concern that patents may be stifling–not enhancing–innovation.  He worries that IP (Intellectual Property) attorneys are involved in an “enclosure movement” by which a firm tries to patent a new idea as well as many complimentary or peripheral ideas which surround the […]

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430 times wealthier

What is economic growth?  How can it be understood?  One concise explanatino is given by Brad DeLong in an article for Wired (“The Real Shopping Cart Revolution“).  In the article, DeLong compares the relative price of flour now to the relative price in the fifteenth to seventeenth and concludes that modern man is 430 times richer […]

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Global Competitiveness Report 2006-2007

The 2006-2007 Global Competitiveness Report has been released by World Economic Forum.  The rankings can be found at the World Economic Forum website (PDF). “The rankings are drawn from a combination of publicly available hard data and the results of the Executive Opinion Survey, a comprehensive annual survey conducted by the World Economic Forum, together […]

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The Nursing Home as a public good

Medicaid currently accounts for roughly 50% of all nursing home expenditures and 70% of all bed days.  The government mandates that nursing homes provide a uniform level of quality to all residents, regardless of the payer type.  Yet one may ask: does this mandate hold in reality?  Nursing homes may have an incentive to segregate private insurance […]

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Live long or prosper

A common assumption is that longer life expectancy leads to economic growth. If longevity is a proxy for health and we expect healthier workers to be more productive, longevity should lead to more economic productivity. Further, if individuals live longer, they will have a longer payback period for their investments in human capital (i.e.: education). […]

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Hospitalists emerging role

Generalists can give holistic, cost-effective care to patients, but may be limited in their ability to treat complex diseases.  Specialist may offer a superior quality of medical services and advance knowledge in their field, but this premium medicine comes at a high cost.  Generalist or specialist…Specialist or generalist…which to chose?   A 1996 New England Journal of […]

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