Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for March, 2008

Health Wonk Review

The latest edition of the Health Wonk Review is up at Workers Comp Insider.

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Six cutting edge Health 2.0 ideas

VentureBeat (“…Health 2.0…“) profiles six innovative Health 2.0 firms which were at the 2008 Health 2.0 Conference in San Diego.  Each firm on the list aims to reinvent the doctor patient relationship. Included on the list is Carol.com which allows patients to do medical shopping.  PharmaSurveyor allows users to enter the medications they are on […]

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Lenin as the first development economist

William Easterly is a famous development economist at NYU. Yet in a 2007 paper in the American Economic Review, Easterly asks “Was Development Assistance a Mistake?” Easterly first recounts how development economics conventional wisdom on how to end poverty has changed over time. 1950-1970s: Raising investment is the key to reducing poverty. “…[d]evelopment (i.e. economic […]

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Fidelity: A quarter of a million dollars needed to cover retirement health costs

How much money do you need to save for retirement?  $100,000?  $500,000?  $1,000,000?   $5,000,000? Well whatever your figure is, you need to tack on an extra quarter of a million dollars in order to cover your health care costs in retirement.  The Boston Globe (“Fidelity…“) reports that Fidelity now estimates that a couple will […]

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Risk Aversion, Impatience and Cognitive Ability

Are smart people risk averse? Are dumb people impatient? This is what Thomas Dohmen, Armin Falk, David Huffman, Uwe Sunde explore in their 2007 Discussion paper. Using data from a choice experiment of 1000 German adults, the authors tested for risk aversion using a Holt & Laury framework, and for impatience by varying the annual […]

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Healthcare Economist wins blog of the week award

The Regulating Health Insurance (RHI) blog today named Healthcare Economist as their Blog of the Week for my post on “Doctors, Patients, and the Racial Mortality Gap.” The RHI Health Blog of the Week is awarded to an exceptional health-related post appearing during the previous week. Other RHI Blog of the Week winners can be […]

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Are seat belts a safety hazard?

Seat belts save lives. At least conventional wisdom says so. But is this really the case? Seat belts are useful because the reduce the chance that–given that you are in an accident–you will die or sustain a serious injury. But wearing a seat belt may give drivers an incentive to drive more recklessly since the […]

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Waste in Healthcare

Joe Paduda has a great post (“Wasted Dollars“) reviewing a study by Alex Swedlow. The study focuses on waste in the health care sector with a focus on Workers Compensation. Mr. Paduda concludes the following: There’s a lesson here for the non-workers comp world, and policy wonks in particular. It is this – providers overtreat, […]

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Are Family Physicians Good for you?

Most public health officials believe that increasing the supply of primary care doctors is almost always a good thing, while increasing the number of specialists can have mixed results. One problem is that physician supply is endogenous. One may believe that physicians prefer to locate in wealthier areas. If wealthier people are also healthier, then […]

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An EMR that protects your privacy?

Electronic medical records (EMR) hold the promise of vastly improving the quality of medical care received in the U.S. today. One of the major issues with EMR is privacy however. Patients generally want their doctors to know as much about their health as possible in order to make the best possible medical diagnoses and treatment […]

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