Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for February, 2008

Doctors are very empathetic…until they start seeing patients

According to InsideHigherEd.com (“Tomorrow’s Doctors…“) medical students are very altruistic, empathetic people…until the start medical school.  The article describes the findings of a study titled “Is There Hardening of the Heart During Medical School?” in March’s Academic Medicine.  The longitudinal study finds significant decreases in “vicarious,” or emotionally driven, empathy, during the course of medical […]

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Should all children get flu shots?

According to Reuters (“All U.S. kids…“), the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is recommending that all kids should receive an influenza vaccination. Previously, the CDC recommended that all children 0-6 receive a flu shot. Now, all children 18 and under should get the shot. In addition to the direct health benefits the children […]

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Cross-border health insurance

The San Diego Union Tribune has an article (“Cross-border coverage“) profiling entreprenuer Jim Arriola and his low cost health insurance plan covering medical care in both the U.S. and Mexico. His company, Sekure Healthcare, provides a limited-benefit insurance program through employers along with a discount health card program. Both can be used by Sekure members […]

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Google Health preview

Google’s blog gives a preview of its Google Health application.  TechCrunch provides some analysis.

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Doctors, Patients, and the Racial Mortality Gap

Differences in the health outcomes between white and minority patients has been well documented in the medical and economics literature. Reasons for this difference could be: Unequal access to treatment. Minorities are poorer and less likely to be covered by insurance than whites. Unequal treatment – Minorities are less likely to have a regular doc, […]

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Cavalcade of Risk #46

The latest edition of the Cavalcade of Risk is up at the uniquely titled “Wisdom from Wenchypoo’s Mental Wastebasket” blog. Particularly interesting is the Colorado Health Insider‘s finding that “Those with Medicaid were 80% more likely to have advanced-stage cancer when diagnosed [than those with private insurance].”  The blog supports universal healthcare but notes the […]

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Choice, Price Competition and Complexity in Markets for Health Insurance

Yesterday, I spoke about the Swiss health care system. One of the main attributes of this system is that patients are allowed to choose from any health care plan and the health insurers can not refuse to cover them. Further, since the insurance benefit is mandated by law, there is very little quality difference between […]

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Swiss Healthcare System: Part II

In November, I wrote a post about the Swiss healthcare system. Today, I am giving you a bullet-point summary, offering more detail concerning healthcare in Switzerland. Most of this information comes from Frank and Lamiraud’s working paper. In the Swiss healthcare system: there is an insurance mandate for all individuals, the government defines a what […]

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Markets and Medicare

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article (“Markets and Medicare“) by John Goodman, President of the National Center for Policy Analysis. The article has some innovative suggestions regarding how to improve the health care system. Medicare should allow alternative payment mechanisms, such as compensating doctors for e-mail and telephone communication with the patient (I […]

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Economist health care articles

This week’s edition of The Economist magazine has some great articles on health care. Mayo with Everything: World-famous hospitals are becoming the hub of economic activity for many cities. For instance, Rochester, Minnesota’s economy is heavily dependent on the Mayo Clinic and Cleveland relies heavily on the Cleveland Clinic to attract high quality health care […]

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