Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for December, 2007

How much uncompensated care do doctors provide? Less than zero.

Doctors are often perceived as benevolent professionals. They are hard-working individuals who extend their largesse by giving away free medical care to those in need. Studies by Cunningham and May (2006) and the American Hospital Association find that doctors provide uncompensated care equal to 6.3% or 5.6% of their cots annually respectively. A recent Journal […]

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The Economics of Alcohol Control

I recently finished reading a very through, level-headed book analyzing the Economics of Alcohol Policy. The book is titled Paying the Tab: The costs and benefits of Alcohol Control by Philip Cook. The book focuses mostly on the costs of alcohol consumption. This is due to the fact that it is much easier to estimate […]

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Quotation of the day

“Getting old ain’t for sissies.” Lillian Paley, my 95 year-old grandmother  

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Importation and Innovation

Would drug importation from countries such as Canada be welfare improving for the U.S.? In the short run, the answer is yes. Lower prices will made pharmaceuticals more affordable and more pharmaceutical consumption closer to the static equilibrium level. In the long run, however, lower drug company profits may lead to less innovation in terms […]

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Health Wonk Review

The Health Wonk Review is up at David Harlow’s HealthBlawg. Of particular interest is the Sentinel Effect’s conversation with Harvard health economist David Cutler.

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Subprime Lending

One of the biggest news stories this year is the collapse of the subprime mortgage lending market. Why did this happen? How much do we really know about subprime lending? A working paper by William Adams, Liran Einav and Jonathan Levin examines the subprime market for automobile loans. The authors find that liquidity constraints are […]

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Doctors figure out what house movers, wedding planners, and tax accountats figured out ages ago

A New Yorker article (“The Checklist“) recounts Peter Pronovost’s efforts to improve the delivery of medical care. One of his simplest ideas was to invent a 5 step checklist to reduce line infections: Doctors are supposed to (1) wash their hands with soap, (2) clean the patient’s skin with chlorhexidine antiseptic, (3) put sterile drapes […]

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Medicare Part D and Switching Costs

It’s decision time for Medicare Part D purchasers. Seniors have until December 31st to make their Part D choice and this decision is not a painless one. The Marketplace Money radio program recently reported (‘Deciphering Part D‘) that “the most popular policies have increased their prices substantially, especially Humana and United Healthcare, the ones that […]

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N.Y. Times 10 Best Books of 2007

The New York Times came out with its list of the Ten Best Books of 2007 on Sunday.  Here’s the list.

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Quality Improvement Tools & Techniques

For those of you in the operations research side of the medical care world, you may recognize an interesting textbook by Peter Mears title Quality Improvement Tools and Techniques. The book is a good reference tool, but is a little difficult to slug through. It has so many graphs, outlines, quotations, that there is little […]

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