Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for November, 2008

Do drug companies suppress unfavorable results from academic journals?

In short: yes.  A study by Rising, Bacchetti, Bero (2008) compares mandatory trial submissions to the FDA with information on trials which appear in academic journals.  The authors find that “Discrepancies between the trial information reviewed by the FDA and information found in published trials tended to lead to more favorable presentations of the NDA drugs […]

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Happy Thanksgiving

I will be on vacation for a few days for the Thanksgiving holiday.  Blogging will resume on Monday.   For each new morning with its light, For rest and shelter of the night, For health and food, for love and friends, For everything Thy goodness sends. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Financial Risk and Medical care: U.S. vs. Canada

In the U.S. a much higher percentage of medical is paid for out of pocket.  Further, there are about 45 million uninsured.  In Canada, the government pays for almost all health care.  The benefits and costs of a centralized, universal health care system have been discussed previously on this blog (see Oct 2, 2007 and […]

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What makes patients choose your hospital?

Patients choose hospitals based on the quality of the medical care they receive and the hospital’s distance from their home.  But what nonclinical criteria do patients value most?  The Salud y Gestión blog reviews the findings of a study in The McKinsey Quarterly.  The study found that patients rank the following as the most important […]

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An Overview of the Great Depression

Randall Parker of East Carolina University has a detailed overview of how the Great Depression unfolded. HT: Marginal Revolution.

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The Underuse of Overuse Research

Health economics, physicians and health services researchers have found that overuse, not underuse, is the major problem for many medical services.  Yet you rarely here a campaign to reduce that quantity of medical care provided.  Why is this? An editorial in Health Services Research gives two important explanations for this.  First, measuring overuse is difficult. […]

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Effective Healthcare Policymaking in Europe

Health economists and policymakers have lots of ideas of how to improve the health care system.  Yet few of these reforms are implemented.  Why? Max Hotopf of Healthcare Europa tries to answer this question in the context of Europe’s attempts at healthcare reform.  Below are some of his arguments and my comments. Decentralization. “In most […]

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Physician Compensation and Productive Efficiency

How do financial arrangement between physicians within a medical group affect efficiency levels?  This is the question Gaynor and Pauly (JPE 1990) attempt to answer. Theory  The authors assume that the quantity of medical services is produced by the following production function: qi = f(hi, ti, ki, ei, θi) h: physician hours, t: non-physician hours, […]

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The Hiring of An Economist

I am currently on the “Job Market.”  I will receive my Ph.D from UC-San Diego this spring and hope to have a job for next fall.  There are lots of advice papers on what graduate students should do to maximize their chances of getting a job.  Yet few graduate students ever learn what the labor […]

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Flushed

I just finished reading an interesting book on plumbing.  I can just see that I lost half my readers with that last sentence.  How can plumbing be interesting? It turns out that if you are interested in health, you must be interested in plumbing.  Disposing of human waste is one of the biggest health problems, […]

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