Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for March, 2010

Modeling the spread of H1N1 in the Internet age

CNN reports that H1N1 is still a problem, particularly in the Southeastern U.S.  Traditionally, epidmiologists model the spread of a contagious disease based on two factors: the transmission rate between people and the frequency of contact between individuals.  A study by  Yoo, Kasajima and Bhattacharya (2010) incorporates a third factor that will affect the spread […]

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The Cost of Health Insurance Mandates

Health insurance mandates increase health insurance cost.  By compelling insurance companies to cover certain medical treatments, cost inevitably rise.  Of course the people who receive these treatments benefit while those who do not must pay additional premiums.  A recent paper by the Pacific Research Institute summarizes the findings of various studies of the impact of […]

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Links

Media cancer coverage ignores end-of-life hospice care option. Cost of hospital-acquired infections: $8 billion/year. Healthcare around the world. Markets Make People Fairer. To improve life expectancy, don’t focus on expanding insurance coverage. Hospitals, Medicaid Managed-Care Stocks Rise On Health Vote. Explaining Muslim longevity in India.

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An evaluation of MedPAC’s hospital wage index revisions

Some press on a report I worked on at Acumen, LLC. “The hospital wage index used to adjust Medicare inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) payments to reflect the geographic differences in labor costs has created payment problems through its use of metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) and “rest of state” areas to define hospital labor markets. […]

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Proposed Reforms to Medicare’s Hospital Wage Index

A hospital in New York City faces higher labor costs than a hospital in Billings, Montana. To take into account these cost differences, Medicare adjusts hospital payments to reflect these cost differences using a hospital wage index. As currently constructed, however, many hospitals petition to be included in labor markets where they would receive a […]

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World TB Day 2010

Today, March 24th, is World Tuberculosis Day.  According to UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon, there were 9.4 million new TB cases in 2008 and 1.8 million deaths.  The CDC website has more information on what can be done to stop the spread of TB. There is lots of coverage of the TB Day activities from […]

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Cavalace of Risk #101

The latest edition of the Cavalcade of Risk is up at OzRisk.net.

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Barack Obama signs healthcare bill into law

Here’s the full transcript of the signing ceremony.  NPR describes some of the reactions across the U.S.  Below, I have put together some links describing the international coverage of the signing. BBC: “Landmark” health care bill. El País: “La victoria de Obama” Times of London: Republicans begin fight for repeal. Le Monde: “une victoire historique” […]

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Do Hospitals “Cost Shift” to the Privately Insured when Medicare Reduces Prices?

Many health policy experts believe that when Medicare or Medicaid decrease prices, hospitals will increase the prices they charge to the privately insured. Does this make sense?  Ginsburg (2003) summarizes the debate: Most executives in hospitals, physician organizations, health plans, and businesses have long been convinced that reductions in rates paid to Medicare and Medicaid […]

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HOUSE PASSES HEALTH CARE BILL

Today, Sunday, March 21, 2010, the House passed the health care bill.  This is a historic day…whether for good or for bad depends on your point of view. Some of my previous posts on health reform can be found here, here, here, here and many other places.  My basic opinion was that health reform is […]

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