Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for September, 2007

CureHunter

A new website is available to help patients and physicians find information regarding various diseases.  The site is called CureHunter.  The site not only has a ton of information on different diseases, therapies, drugs, and bio-agents, but shows the relationship between each of these in a very appealing visual interface.  Since I am not a […]

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Big Pharma May Have Bet Wrong in Flu-Shot Race

“GlaxoSmithKline Plc and Novartis AG, two of the world’s biggest vaccine makers, may have bet on the wrong technology in the race to develop a better flu shot.” This is how a recent article (“…Bet Wrong…“) by John Lauerman of Bloomberg News begins. Helped by a $221 million grant from the U.S. government, Novartis is […]

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Rx: Cut U.S. medical spending in half!?!?!

A pair of interesting essays are available at Cato-Unbound. Robin Hanson argues that the best way to help patients is to cut U.S. medical spending in half. He argues that there has been little evidence that increasing medical spending increases health outcomes. The best evidence comes from the RAND Health Insurance Experiment. The RAND HIE […]

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Search Frictions in Employer-Based Insurance Markets

Despite much public rhetoric, why is preventative and chronic care so poor in the U.S.? The easy answer is that patients switch plans so frequently that insurance companies who invest in preventative care will incur the cost, but not reap the benefits. The harder question is why patients are switching health plans. According to a […]

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Cavalcade of Risk #34 is up

The latest edition of the Cavalcade of Risk has been posted at David Williams’ Health Business Blog.

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Accounting for quality in the measurement of hospital performance in Costa Rica

Many papers have attempted to calculate hospital efficiency before and after a policy change. Most research, however, does not take into account quality levels when analyzing these changes in efficiency. For instance, a doctor may increase the number of patients per hour that they visit by 50%, but if this is accomplished simply by lowering […]

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Amgen CEO on Marketplace

Kai Ryssdal interviews Amgen CEO Kevin Sharer on Monday’s edition of NPR’s Marketplace. Below are some excerpts from the interview. The full transcript is available here. Ryssdal: Do you consider Amgen to be part of what is commonly referred to as “Big Pharma”? Sharer: We have characteristics financially that look like “Big Pharma.” I’m the […]

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Estimates of Number Uninsured Too High

A paper in Health Services Research by Davern et al. (2007) claims that the Current Population Survey (CPS) estimates overstate the true number of people uninsured.  The authors claims that the “…uninsured rate is approximately one percentage point higher than it should be for people under 65 (i.e., approximately 2.5 million more people are counted […]

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Are Protective Labor Market Institutions at the Root of Unemployment?

Most studies have found a strong correlation between a country’s unemployment benefit generosity–in terms of either duration, wage replacement rate, or eligibility–and the unemployment rate. Many economists contend that one reason why Europeans have higher unemployment rates is due to their more generous unemployment benefit package. Yet a paper in Capitalism and Society by Howell, […]

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Why not shop around?

In a blog post (“Sicko Sticko Shock“), Marc Cooper discusses his recent hospital bill for a heart procedure of “moderate complexity.” He finds that the amount billed was $116,749. However, the procedure was much cheaper for Mr. Cooper since he had Blue Cross insurance. “In a column lateral to the “amount billed” I then find […]

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