Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for April, 2007

Against Intellectual Property: Pharmaceuticals

“…in a similar way, the slow growth of the coloring industry in the U.S. before the First World War was largely due to patent protection: most patents were held by the large German companies, such as Bayer, BASF, Hoechst and IG Farben. The chemical industry in the US was so underdeveloped, that during the First […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Health Plan Report Cards

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) is a “not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality.” One of their major initiatives is the Health Plan Employer Data and Information Set (HEDIS) which aims to evaluate the quality of care offered by various health plans. In a 2001 NBER working paper (“Learning…“), researchers Michael Chernew, […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Wal-Clinics

“Can you imagine if a Wal-Mart store operated like America’s health care system? You would walk into the store and there would be a huge array of merchandise. But you would not be able to tell the products apart. You would not know how much they cost. And in the end, you would not know […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Getting Doctors to Compete

There is an interesting post at GoozNews (“Getting Doctors to Compete“) in which Merrill Goozner comments on Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter’s belief that competition and integrated care are the solutions to the nation’s health care woes. “Where we need to go is an integrated practice model,” he said. His model entails patient-focused practice […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Cavalcade of Risk #24

The Cavalcade of Risk is up at The Digerati Life blog.  Not only do I really like the format of this Carnival, but there is a great picture that will make any surfer shake in their wetsuit.

Read the rest of this entry »

Government Expenditures and Health Outcomes

Do increases in government spending affect health outcomes? While this seems like a simple question, proving whether or not spending impacts outcomes is difficult. There are questions of reverse causality: the governments of countries or regions with more serious health problems ceteris paribus may decide to increase their allocation of health spending; thus one may […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Public Health Interventions during the 1918 influenza pandemic

In the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), there is an interesting article about public health interventions to combat influenza epidemics. These nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) include closure of schools, churches, and theaters. The authors find the following results: “…cities in which multiple interventions were implemented at an early phase of the epidemic had […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Explaining U.S. Wage Differentials: 1890 to 2005

America has been characterized as “the best poor man’s country.” In the nineteenth century land was cheap and available and farming provided relatively high living standards. During the twentieth century, however, change has come. By 1920, income equality had risen to all-time highs. Over the next century, income inequality and the returns to skill (i.e.: […]

Read the rest of this entry »

European Science Days

I have recently been selected to attend the European Science Days in Steyr, Austria.  This year, the subject matter to be discussed at this prestigious summer school is Health Economics.  I am greatly looking forward to visiting some of my European colleagues in mid-July.

Read the rest of this entry »

Health Wonk Review

Is Massachusetts’ Universal Coverage plan working? Is it better to compensate physicians on a fee-for-service or capitation basis? What happened to the £72 million the UK intended to use to fund the NHS University and what is the history of capitation payments? Expert answers to all these questions and more are just a few clicks […]

Read the rest of this entry »