Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for October, 2007

Cure for Cancer: Use an expensive placebo…not a cheap one!

Give a patient a pill and they will feel better. Give the same patient the exact same pill and tell them it was purchased at a wholesale discount, and these same people won’t feel as good. At least that is what a study by Shiv, Carmon and Ariely (2005) found. In three experiments, the authors […]

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Catastrophic Payments for Health Care in Asia

An amazing collection of data has been performed by van Doorslaer et al. in their 2007 Health Economics paper “Catastrophic Payments for Health Care in Asia.” For 14 Asian countries, the authors categorize all charged services, free services, and income-related fee waivers. Further the paper examines the frequency and magnitude of out-of-pocket payments for medical […]

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Quotations of the day

“Un libro abierto es un cerebro que habla; cerrado, un amigo que espera; olvidado, un alma que perdona; destruido, un corazón que llora.” Proverbio Hindú   Nada de lo que el hombre ha sido, es, o será, lo ha sido, lo es ni lo será de una vez para siempre, sino que ha llegado a […]

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A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper

I recently finished reading an interesting book titled A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper by John Allen Paulos. Published in 1995, the book employs simplified mathematical and statistical techniques in order to ascertain the validity of many statements published in the press. There are also numerous examples from the arena of health care reporting. For instance: […]

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Health Wonk Review

This week’s edition of the Health Wonk Review is overflowing with useful information. Can there be too much of a good thing, you ask? Well for those of you who don’t have the time to read every article in this week’s HWR edition, I’ve narrowed the posts into a few, easy-to-use categories. BEST POSTS OF […]

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Prescription Drug Coverage and Elderly Medicare Spending

In 2006, the federal government first began expanding Medicare coverage to include prescription drugs using the Medicare Part D program. According to one report, Part D will cost taxpayers $47 billion in 2007. Yet it is possible that Medicare Part D could actually save taxpayers money. If prescription drugs and other medical care are substitutes, […]

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Midwifery-Promoting Public Policies and Health Outcomes

Many health care policy researchers believe that non-physician clinicians, such as physician assistants, nurse practitioners and midwives can help to reduce cost while maintaining quality. Midwifery has gained in popularity over recent years. Groups such as the American Public Health Association, Public Citizen and the National Organization for Women all support increased access to midwifery […]

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2007 Nobel Prize in Economics

The winners of the 2007 Nobel Prize in Economics are: Leonid Hurwicz, Eric S. Maskin, and Roger B. Myerson.  The trio won the prize for their work on Mechanism Design.  See the Nobel Prize press release as well as the Scientific Background paper detailing exactly what is mechanism design. The Economist’s View website provides a […]

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Procrastination

Here’s an entertaining cartoon posted on Cristina Favreau’s Savvy Entrepreneur website.

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Overtreated

“In its 1999 report To Err is Human, the Institute of Medicine report estimated that as many as ninety-eight thousand Americans are killed each year by medical error. Another ninety thousand to four hundred thousand patients are harmed or killed by the incorrect use of a drug–they received the wrong drug, or the wrong dose […]

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