Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for February, 2009

Tell me something I don’t know…

The Wall Street Journal reports that the tough economic times has lead to a decline in demand for new Economics Ph.D. students.  As someone who is ‘on the job market’ this year, I certainly agree that it has been a tough year.  Many universities who placed job advertisements to hire new Ph.D. Economists have since […]

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CoR has been posted

The 71st edition of the Cavalcade of Risk has been posted at Julie Ferguson’s Workers’ Comp Insider.

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Health Care Spending

The California HealthCare Foundation has a great document summarizing many useful Health Care Cost Statistics (see full text or fact sheet).  Some of the highlights: Health Care spending as a percentage of GDP is projected to grow 16.0% of GDP in 2006 to 19.5% of GDP in 2017. Average health care spending per capita was […]

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Transportation Brokerage Services Lower Health Care Costs

Transportation issues can create significant barriers to accessing quality health care.  If you do not have a car, physically cannot drive, or do not have public transportation where you live, getting to the doctor’s office can be difficult.  Although the federal government mandates that state Medicaid programs provide nonemergency medical transportation services to vulnerable populations, […]

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California Health Care Market

In her California Healthcare Foundation report, Katherine Wilson does a nice job describing the health insurance market in California.  A little over health of individuals received health care from their employer or themselves (56%), a quarter of individuals receive health insurance through public programs, and 19% of Californians are uninsured (see chart).  The private health […]

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Medical Errors and Ninety-Day Cost and Outcomes

A hospital is a place of healing.  It can also be a place of injury.  In the U.S., 2.9% of people who enter the hospital are actually harmed by the care they receive.  Yet what are the costs of these injuries? A paper by Encinosa and Hellinger (HSR 2008) attempts to estimate the cost of hospitals failing […]

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The Health Wonk Review is up

The latest edition of the Health Wonk Review has been posted at the always informative Health Business Blog.

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Value-Based Cost Sharing

Many policy experts have been proponents of value-based cost sharing.  Under value-based cost sharing, medical care that is seen to provide a higher marginal benefit to the patient will have lower coinsurance rates than medical care with lower marginal benefits.  If value-based cost sharing would be implemented, preventive care should have low coinsurance rates because […]

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Learning and Drug Diffusion

How do doctors know which drugs to give to which patients?  Of course there are clinical trials giving the relative efficacy of each drug.  With less than perfect adherence, however, clinical trials may not accurately predict a drug’s efficacy or the potential side effects. A paper by  Chintadunta, Jiang and Jin (2008) look at two […]

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Uwe Reinhardt on Hospital Prices

Health Economist Uwe Reinhardt supports expanding the DRG system to all payers.   “Under Medicare’s approach, hospitals are paid one price for an entire inpatient episode, rather than piece-rate (fee-for-service) for every single supply and service delivered in that episode…To eliminate the rampant price-discrimination inherent in current hospital pricing, all hospitals under this system would […]

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