Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for October, 2007

When can IT improve medical quality and cut costs

Many people believe that better information technology (IT) can help improve the quality of medical care in the U.S. and around the world. For instance, if a doctor prescribes a drug which interacts harmfully with a drug the patient is already taking, a computer program could notify the doctor of this problem. If a patient […]

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Medical Tourism: Good or Bad?

According to the Telegraph (‘Record numbers go abroad for health‘), “More than 70,000 Britons will have treatment abroad this year – a figure that is forecast to rise to almost 200,000 by the end of the decade.”  Many of these individuals are seeking treatment in countries such as India, Hungary, Turkey, Germany, Malaysia, Poland and […]

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Therapeutic non-adherence: a rational behavior revealing patient preferences?

Many studies have revealed patient non-compliance with medical prescriptions (e.g.: not taking prescribed drugs, not visiting the doctor) at around 50%. Most medical researchers believe that non-adherence is either due to 1) irrationality or 2) misinformation. Yet a Health Economics article by Lamiraud and Geoffard (2007) tests the hypothesis of whether or not this behavior […]

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Friday afternoon Comic

Here’s an entertaining comic from PhD Comics.

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‘For the first time I found myself truly caught between my own needs and those of my patient.’

This is how a very interesting article (“P4P is changing me“) in Medical Economics begins. The essay won an award in the 2006 Doctors’ Writing Contest. The author of the story is a physician who has been under much financial pressure of late; a divorce, med school loans, a mortgage, alimony and child support were […]

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Social Networks and Access to Care

On the news yesterday that Microsoft purchased a 1.5% stake in Facebook for $240 million, social networking appears to  highly valued commodity. “…[T]he strength of social networks among Mexican-Americans is positively related to access to care.” Is this true? That is hypothesis that a recent NBER working paper by Roan Gresenz, Escarce and Rogowski attempt […]

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Cavalcade of Risk #37

The latest edition of the Cavalcade of Risk has been posted at Hill’s Personal Finance blog.

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Lifetime Benefits of Medical Technology

Revascularization (bypass surgery or angioplasty) have been frequently used procedures to treat patients who have experienced a myocardial infarction (MI). These procedure are expensive, but are supposed to enhance longevity. Do they? This is the question analyzed by David Cutler in his NBER working paper titled “The Lifetime Benefits of Medical Technology.” The problem with […]

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King of all media

The Healthcare Economist has expanded to radio.  For those in the Pensacola, Florida area, you may have heard my appearance at 1:15pm Central time on Rick Outzen‘s “IN Your Head Radio” on 1620 WNRP.  During the interview, Rick and I discussed the pros and cons of S-CHIP as well as the Dutch health care system […]

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San Diego Wildfires from a San Diego Resident

As most of you know who have been reading the news, the wildfires in San Diego, my home, have been causing much devastation. According to San Diego’s NPR station KPBS, an “estimated 245,000 acres burned and 1200 homes destroyed in San Diego County” (reported as of 10:09am Pacific time). Over 250,000 individuals have been evacuated […]

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