Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for September, 2007

Health Wonk Review

The latest edition of the Health Wonk Review is available at Joe Paduda’s Managed Care Matters.

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Pharma News

Fentora Deaths In “The killer drug,” Joe Paduda of Managed Care Matters discusses how four deaths caused by the off-label use of Fentora have had Fentora-manufacturer Cephalon in crisis control. Mr. Paduda claims that Cephalon is known for aggressive marketing to physicians regarding the of off-label uses of their pharmaceuticals. Why would Nigerians boycott a […]

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Utility Function

Sean Carroll, a physicist at California Institute of Technology, has some interesting comments regarding how economists use the utility function in a post titled “So what have you been maximizing lately?“  For instance, here are his musings on ‘rational choice’: If the job of science is to describe what happens in the world, then there […]

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What makes us healthy?

There is an interesting article from Sunday’s N. Y. Times magazine (“…what makes us healthy?“) about the problems in epidemiology of using non-randomized data to draw conclusions.   For instance, there is much uncertainty as to whether hormone-replacement-therapy increases, decreases or has no effect on the probability a woman will have heart disease. The article talks […]

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Washington Monthly Articles

Recently I came across two Washington Monthly articles in their Health Care Issue which are both very interesting. The first (“Newtered“) by Shannon Brownlee talks of the lack of evidenced based medicine in the U.S. In the mid-1990s, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) panel concluded that there was little evidence to […]

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Presidential Hopefuls’ stance on Health Care

What is your favorite presidential candidate’s solution to the “health care crisis?”  The Kaiser Family Foundation has a great resource on its health08.org website.  The site offers links to each candidate’s website where they discuss their health care policy.  Unfortunately, there is no analysis of the candidates’ plans, but the site is an unbiased source […]

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UK Doctors refuse to fix builder’s broken ankle unless he quits smoking

In a follow-up to my “No hip replacement for you, fatso!” post, the Daily Mail reports that in Britain”Doctors refuse to fix builder’s broken ankle unless he quits smoking.” John Nuttall, 57, needs surgery to set the ankle which he broke in three places two years ago because it did not mend naturally with a […]

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Wal-mart health plan

Wal-mart recently released the details of its new health plan for 2008 (see company press release or the Houston Chronicle article).  Here are some highlights of the plan. Employees now have “50 ways of customizing their health care coverage options…a substantial increase from last year, when most associates had only nine choices.”  However, it seems […]

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Drug Rx on chartreuse-colored paper only…not lavender!

While a single payer universal health care system will likely increase equality in the U.S., it will also likely lead to gross inefficiencies. For example, see Monday’s USA Today (“Medicaid Drug Rule“). A new rule was enacted which attempts to reduces the amount of fraud in physician prescribed drugs. The law–whose backers claim will save […]

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Medicaid Market and Pediatric Patient Safety

How do market forces affect the safety of children in hospitals? A paper by Smith, et al. (HSR 2007) looks at data from Florida, New York and Wisconsin and they see if Medicaid market concentration affects quality of care for children aged 0-17.  It is important to examine Medicaid’s affect on patient safety since about […]

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