Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for September, 2009

Skewed Medicare Cost Distribution

The healthiest 76% of Medicare beneficiaries consume only 14% of program expenditures. The sickest 15% consume 75% of Medicare expenditures. Hughes et al. (2004).

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Movement Across Health Plans

Why do people change health plans? Of course, the most obvious reasons are moving, changing jobs, or qualifying for Medicare. However, some people change health plans even when they remain in the same job. Why is this? A working paper by Cutler, Lincoln and Zeckhauser (2009) give the following explanations: Adverse selection, the movement of […]

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Best Practice Insurance

Problems: Malpractice Insurance is expensive. Medical errors are associated with 98,000 deaths every year [more than twice the deaths from car accidents by some estimates.] About two-thirds of the guidelines developed by AHPR between 1990 and 1996 were out of date with current research by 2001. Solutions: One solution is to enact damage caps.  These […]

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Quotation of the Day

“…being president of the University of California is like being manager of a cemetery: there are many people under you, but no one is listening. I listen to them.” Mark Yudof, President of the University of California , N.Y. Times 24 Sept. 2009.

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Forecasting the Cost of U.S. Healthcare

Robert Fogel has a very well-written, well thought-out piece in The American on the topic of Forecasting the Cost of U.S. Healthcare. The article breaks down the forces affecting the future cost of medicine into five categories. The section below list each category which Dr. Fogel’s arguments and my comments mixed in. A likely continued […]

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Non linearities and the Black Swan

The book Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb is an interesting book about probability outside of the traditional Gaussian framework and how paradigm changing often arise.  The highlight of the book is its philosophy of the black swan, and its unknown unknown.  The book also includes discussion of behavioral economics and tries to discredit Gaussian […]

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Thursday Links

Can architectural design improve primary care?   What is the difference between an individual mandate and a tax increase? Health care lessons from Israel. Factors that influence the adoption of electronic health records.  Is the creation of an “independent” cost-effectiveness agency possible?

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Marriage makes you fat

Researches at UNC found that marriage may make you happy and healthy but fat as well.  If you’ve been a loyal reader of the Healthcare Economist, however, you knew that already. Jason Shafrin’s research on marriage and weight gain already showed that marriage leads to increased weight gain.  In fact, the research demonstrated that one […]

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Cavalcade of Risk #88

The latest edition of the Cavalcade of Risk has been posted at Wisdom from Wenchypoo’s Mental Wastebasket.

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MacArthur ‘Genius’ Fellowship Winners

Yesterday, the winners of the prestigious MacArthur ‘Genius’ Fellowships were unveiled.  Twenty winners received $500,000 of funding over 5 years with no strings attached.  Some of the winers include: Esther Duflo is a development economist exploring the social and economic forces perpetuating the cycle of poverty for the poorest peoples in South Asia and Africa.. […]

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