Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for November, 2007

The Nanny State: Clean your room!

Libertarians often complain that the government intrudes too much in our lives.  Nanny State, a book by Denver Post columnist David Harsanyi, claims that the government is regulating what we do to an extent that it is becoming a surrogate parent.  “Why are we allowing politicians, bureaucrats, and social activists to dictate what we eat, […]

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Rating the “demi-gods in white”

GigaOM reports on some new Health 2.0 developments in Germany in its article “Health 2.0 Gaining Traction in Germany.”  Websites such as Helpster and Imedo are among a number of website which are now rating German physicians.  In order to take into account established medical institutions, Imedo is including the physician certification status as part […]

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Commentary on P4P

I recently read a Health Affairs article analyzing a pay-for-performance (P4P) demonstration. The Local Initiative Rewarding Results (LIRR) demonstration in California involved seven Medicaid-focused health plans in California between 2003 and 2005. Here are some of my most recent thoughts on P4P: The article seemed to show that P4P worked best when there was much […]

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The truth about the RAND HIE

Recently, there has been much controversy regarding whether or not the RAND Health Insurance Experiment (HIE) results are truly robust. Many blogs have been questioning the results (see here, here and here). One of the major conclusions of the HIE are that higher co-insurance rates lead to lower levels of medical utilization and lower medical […]

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China Health News

Here is some of the latest health news concerning China: The Gates Foundation donated $50m to fight HIV in China (Houston Chronicle). Diabetes rates in China are increasing (ChinaView). China’s use of coal plants is creating pollution problems in Japan, South Korea, and even the U.S. (CNN)

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Wednesday Reading

Here’s some interesting reading to cure your mid-week blues: Joe Paduda in “Dumber than a box of rocks” references a FierceHealthcare article which finds that HealthNet actually paid bonuses to staff based on how many claimant policies they could terminate. This cost-saving may backfire since one patient is suing HealthNet for $6 million. The L.A. […]

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Is the FDA Safe and Effective?

The Food and Drug Administration is one of the most important government agencies. The FDA has an interesting history and below I will review some important dates. 1938 Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. This law was enacted after the drug Elixer Sulfanilamide killed over 100 people. Firms were required to submit new drugs to […]

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Resources for Health Economists

Where does an aspiring health economist look for journals relevant to the interdisciplinary field of health economics?  Which data sets are relevant for the empirical word a health economist would conduct? If you’re looking for answers to these questions, check out the Resources page of my personal website.  The Resources page has a list of […]

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EconLog on P4P

Arnold Kling of the EconLog site has some commentary on P4P when discussing Tim Hartford’s latest book (“The Logic of Life“). I have a very different approach to compensation. I think that the key is to change compensation schemes frequently. The reason is that any scheme can be gamed, and the longer you wait to […]

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Does the American health care system give good value for the dollar?

This is the question asked to undergraduate economics students a public health students by Atheendar of ‘Dar he Blogs.  One third of the economics student said yes, but all the MPH students said no.  Atheender concludes the following: I think there are two things to take from this. First, there is a great deal of […]

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