Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for November, 2006

Weekend Reading

Some interesting readings for your weekend… The Health Affairs blog gives a succinct explanation comparing the U.S. health care system to the typical European model. (“U.S. Pluralism vs. International ‘Systemness‘”) On Wednesday, the Health Business Blog reported that Toyota is starting its own medical clinic to provide primary and outpatient care for its employees at […]

Read the rest of this entry »

How good is your PCP?

In an interesting article, the Gooznews website asks “How good is your primary care physician?” The answer, at least for the U.S., is not so good. Referencing a 2006 Health Affairs survey of primary care physicians in Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States, Gooznews cites the slow […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Getting water to China’s north

Having a safe and reliable water supply is a prerequisite for longevity. In China’s arid northern region, procuring water has always been a problem. In this week’s Economist, the magazine reports (“A modest proposal“) on some of China’s latest efforts to bring water to this region. The Chinese have already been hard at work diverting […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Medicare prescription drug co-author loses race

Nancy Johnson, a co-author of the Medicare prescription drug, has lost in her bid for re-election.  According to Fox News (“GOP Rep. Johnson loses…“), the 12-term Republican representative has lost to Democrat Chris Murphy in the Connecticut house race.  The Boston Herald (“Johnson loses…“) reports: “Murphy, 33, has slammed Johnson for her support of the […]

Read the rest of this entry »

2006 Corruption Perceptions Index

Every year Transparency International puts out a Corruption Perceptions Index ranking each country’s corruption level. The index is constructed from a survey of various resident and non-resident country experts as well as business leaders (see methodology here). The 2006 Corruption Perceptions Index gives us one clear conclusion: there is a lot of corruption in the […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Payer type and the returns to bypass surgery: evidence from hospital entry behavior

It is often very difficult to determine price data for various medical procedures. With the exception of Medicare or Medicaid data, hospitals often do not publish their prices for each service and even when the prices are provided they rarely correspond to the true prices paid. Published prices often do not take into account different […]

Read the rest of this entry »

The next epidemic

Health professionals are worried about the growing number of people with tuberculosis. The Health Protection Agency (HPA) website states that “in 1993 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared tuberculosis to be a global emergency.” The HPA reports the following TB statistics. TB cases (thousands) TB infection rate per 100,000 Africa 2573 356 The Americas 363 […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Health Wonk Review – 2 Nov 2006 edition

 “Economic depression cannot be cured by legislative action or executive pronouncement. Economic wounds must be healed by the action of the cells of the economic body – the producers and consumers themselvesâ€? – Herbert Hoover When economists analyze any industry, their first step is to look at the incentives facing the producers and the consumers. […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Do financial incentives affect the type of breast cancer surgery a patient receives?

There are two treatment options for patients with breast cancer.  The first is a breast conserving surgery (BCS) which removes the cancerous lump (lumpectomy) followed by irradiation treatment.  The second option is a mastectomy which removes the entire breast.  Lecia Apantaku claims in the American Family Physician journal in 2002, that “survival rates following breast conservation […]

Read the rest of this entry »