Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for November, 2009

Universal Laws of Health Care Systems

Economist Tsung-Mei Cheng has developed three Universal Laws of Health Care Systems.  These are: No matter how good the health care in a particular country, people will complain about it. No matter how much money is spent on health care, the doctors and hospitals will argue it is not enough. The last reform always failed. Source: The […]

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Cavalcade of Risk #92: Q&A Edition

Life is full of questions: What is the meaning of life? Which company will become the next Google? Is getting rid of medical underwriting the right thing to do? Should you risk choosing a business name that can be confused with a cuss word? This blog carnival answers some of these questions [3, 4] and […]

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The Least Healthy States

America’s Health Ratings 2009 report ranks states according to overall healthiness.  Mississippi is the least healthy state and Vermont is the healthiest state.  The ranking methodology is available here. The following states are the least healthy (starting with the least healthy): Mississippi Oklahoma Alabama Louisiana South Carolina Nevada Tennessee Georgia West Virginia Kentucky The following […]

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How to give physician feedback that alters behavior

According to Eisenberg (Medical Care 2002): “Although physicians’ professional fees represent only one fifth of health care expenditures, they are responsible far decisions that govern the way that as much as 90% of each health care dollar is used.” One way to change behavior is to give physician feedback. Here’s how to do it right: […]

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Links

Campaign to reduce hospital-acquired infections. Malpractice litigation accounts for roughly 2-10% of medical expenditures. In Australia: Private hospitals persistently outperform public hospitals. New anti-discrimination law: Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. “The surgical research establishment has told patients what…best suits the surgeons’ economic interests, but not what those patients want and need to know.”

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“Somehow, this time will be different”

“Despite the spectacular failure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, some economists insist that Fannie and Freddie need to be kept in place but somehow, just made safer. This optimistic advocacy—which assumes that Fannie and Freddie are like airplanes that need better landing gear—is in spite of the fact that between 1992 and 2008 Fannie […]

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The key to reducing moral hazard in France: Hyperbolic Discounting?!?!

T.R. Reid’s book The Healing of America looks at the best parts of health care systems around the world.  In France, one of the most interesting aspects of their health care system is the pricing mechanism.  Prices are regulated by the government and almost every doctor charges the same price for a given service.  While […]

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Friday Links

“For most of human history, doctors have done more harm than good.” Swine flu news from around the world. What having the H1N1 flu feels like. Quality is a priority for only half of hospital boards. Device companies prohibit hospitals from disclosing prices.

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Risk Adjustment Tools for Measuring Physician Quality

A paper by Thomas, Grazier, and Ward (2004) analyzes a variety of risk adjustment software products. Using these six risk adjustment products to calculate physician efficiency scores, they found “moderate to high levels of agreement were observed among the six risk-adjusted measures of practice efficiency.” However: “And even though our analyses suggest that 50 percent […]

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CBO Medicare Forecast Accuracy

According to a N.Y. Times editorial, the Congressional Budget Office has consistently underestimated costs savings from a variety of institutional changes to Medicare.  For instance: Medicare enacts the prospective payments system (PPS) for reimbursing inpatient hospital stays. The CBO projected total Medicare spending will rise to $60 billion in 1986. Actual Medicare spending in 1986 […]

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