Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for March, 2009

Free Academic Articles Online: A Good Idea?

The Wilson Quarterly looks at whether or not putting academic journals online is a good idea.  Although getting access to academic articles is easier than ever, scholars are concentrating their reading on a less diverse range of articles. “As journals go online, researchers actually see less of their contents.  For every additional year of archives […]

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Patents vs. Markets

Markets win. Meloso D,  Copic J, and Bossaerts P. (2009) “Promoting Intellectual Discovery: Patents Versus Markets” Science” Vol. 323. no. 5919, pp. 1335 – 1339.

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In Support of Corporate Medicine

Arnold Kling and Michael Cannon believe that the idea of the physician as a lone independent craftsment is out-of-date.  The authors contend that healthcare quality would improve and costs would drop if physicians adopted a more corporate environment.  Larger organizations, such as the Mayo Clinic, Kaiser Permanente and Veterans Affairs all benefit from economies of […]

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Correlation and Causation

This comic may cause you to laugh.

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The Intensive and Extensive Margins of Teenage Sex

HIV is a huge health issue around the world and especially in sub-Saharan Africa.  Many American NGOs have promoted abstinence programs as a way to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.  However, most evidence finds that this approach has been ineffective. An NBER working paper by Dupas (2009) adds more support that abstinence programs do not […]

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Cavalcade of Risk

SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Reading this edition of the Cavalcade of Risk puts you at risk of certain side effects such as: a sudden increase in intelligence; gaining a basic understanding of how health care and health insurance works in the UK and at General Mills; nausea from recent economic news.  This news includes investigating the parallels […]

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$1.1 billion for Comparative Effectiveness Research

Regarding my post on Monday, Obama’s stimulus package–a.k.a. the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)–includes 1.1 billion dollars for clinical comparative effectiveness research. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), ARRA “allocates $1.1 billion for comparative clinical effectiveness research, including $300 million for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and $400 million each […]

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Mandatory Nurse Staffing Ratios and Hospital Quality

At the turn of the century, California passed laws mandating minimum nurse-to-patient ratios.  These laws went into effect in 2004.   Initially, the nurse patient ratio was 1:6, but those ratios were decreased to 1:5 in 2005.  Do minimum nurse staffing laws increase the quality of medical care or do they simply increase costs and […]

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Are juries too stupid to judge technical drug safety cases?

Yes,  Dr. Peter Schuck (Professor, Yale Law School): “…juries in different states make different decisions on the same drug–hardly a recipe for the uniformity and predictability to which manufacturers should be entitled. A jury’s flaws are inherent in its design. In contrast, the FDA’s flaws–and they are many–can at least be remedied by Congress, to […]

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Should the U.S. get NICE?

All health services researches know that comparative-effectiveness research is a vital link towards improving quality and decreasing cost.  Comparative effectiveness examines different medical treatments and evaluates which are the most cost effective.  The UK’s NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) publishes clinical appraisals regarding which treatments the NHS should cover. Should the U.S. create a […]

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