Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for May, 2008

Medical CPI

For many years price increases in the medical sector has outpaced overall inflation by a significant amount. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here is the increase in consumer prices over the last few years. Year Medical CPI CPI Δ 2001 4.7 1.6 3.1 2002 5.0 2.4 2.6 2003 3.7 1.9 1.8 2004 4.2 […]

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HRAs vs. HSAs

On Friday I posted on Consumer Driven Health Care.  These consumer driven health plans (CDHPs) involve individuals having direct discretion about how health care dollars are spent.  If you are interested in CDHP, there may still be some confusion over which H?A you prefer.  Is a HRA (Health Reimbursement Account or Health Reimbursement Arrangement) or […]

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Medicare Part D lowers Pharmaceutical prices?

What is Medicare Part D? Medicare Part D began in 2006 and provides insurance coverage for pharmaceuticals for the elderly. The program is set up so that the government does not purchase the drugs directly, but subsidizes private prescription drug plans, which then negotiate prices with the pharmaceutical companies. There are two types of Part […]

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DC Conference

I will be in Washington D.C. from today until Sunday night attending the Institute for Humane Studies Research Colloquium.  Blogging will resume on Monday.

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Cavalcade of Risk #51

The latest edition of the Cavalcade of Risk is up at Hill’s Personal Finance.

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CDHPs and Small Business

Consumer directed health plans (CDHP) seem like an attractive option for small businesses. CDHPs utilize high deductible health plans (HDHP) making patients pay more money out of pocket. Because of this, insurance premiums are lower. These HDHPs can be linked to Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) or Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Since small businesses do not […]

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Health Insurance keeps us from getting sick?

John Tierney writes in The New York Times (“Appeasing the Gods…“) that “”We buy insurance not just for peace of mind or to protect ourselves financially, but because…we think buying health insurance will keep us from getting sick.” A rational person would believe that buying insurance against an event will not alter the probability that […]

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Why California Health Reform failed

The Health Affairs blog has an interesting article on why Arnold Schwarzenegger’s health care reform plan for California has been shelved. Hat tip to Joe Paduda of Managed Care Matters. As General Eric Shinseki, former Chief of Staff, U. S. Army, said “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.”

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Rate your doctor

Rating websites are all the rage on the internet. From RateMyTeachers.com to RateMyCop.com, you can rate practically anything nowadays. A new website called Vitals.com allows you now to rate your doctor as well. In addition to being able to read reviews from other patients, there are also other physician statistics. For instance, Vitals.com informs you […]

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Wal-mart: $10 for 90-day supply of generic drugs

Is the free market working?  Looks like.  Wal-mart just dropped its prices on pharmaceuticals.  According to a Marketwatch article (“Wal-mart…“) : Wal-mart will fill prescriptions for as many as 350 generic drugs costing $10 for a 90-day supply Over 1000 over-the-counter drugs are priced at $4 or less.  Many of these include Wal-mart own private […]

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