Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for May, 2010

Will CVS Caremark split up?

CVS is the second largest pharmacy in the U.S. with over 7000 stores.  Caremark Pharmacy Services is a pharmacy benefit management (PBM) company, providing benefit management services to health plans.  In March of 2007 the two firms merged.  The combined firm not only has $99 billion in sales, CVS Caremark also has the ability not to […]

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Cavalacade of Risk

The latest edition (#105) of the Cavalcade of Risk is up at Insurance Copywriter.

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Regional Variation in Diagnosis Frequency

For many years, the Dartmouth Atlas has chronicled how variation in medical resource use across the country.  Despite glaring differences in the cost and volume of care across the nation, regions with higher health care costs do not necessarily have better health outcomes. However, medical treatment is a two step process.  First, the physician must […]

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California Task Force on Affordable Care’s Top 10 Recommendations

How can we improve health care?  The California Task Force on Affordable Care gives its top 10 recommendations in this report.  The report’s slogan is “ten ways Californians can save over $300 billion.”  These recommendations include: Implement bundled payments Hold hospitals accountable for progress in reducing utilization in targeted areas such as imaging Directly act […]

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The cost of being unusual

“Overall the more mixed the crowd, and the greater the number of dimensions of status and achievement, the greater the chance that unusual people will find a means of excelling or just surviving or fitting in.  To put it another way, the mixing of populations lowers the cost of being unusual.  That’s why gay people […]

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Latvian ‘Robin Hood’

On Thursday I blogged that fiscal stimulus and bail outs may improve economic performance in the short run, but rarely in the long run.  Often these bailouts are accompanied by mandatory salary decreases for key company leadership.  It turns out that these bailouts may not even help in the short run…unless you are a company […]

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Anti-depressants and Fiscal Stimulus

Conventional wisdom holds that physicians can use anti-depressants to treat long term depression.  Many patients, however, spend years or even decades taking these drugs.  Is this how the inventors of anti-depressants believe they would be used? Author Robert Whitaker believes not: You find that even with major depression, in the pre-antidepressant era – and this […]

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The Health Wonk Review is up

The latest edition of the Health Wonk Review is up at Hank Stern’s InsureBlog.

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Links

Does debt cause depression? Ghostwriting and hormone replacement therapy. Dendreon CEO cashes in at $28 million. AIDS treatment and infection rates. Easy access, less generous disability insurance.

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End of the War on Drugs?

According to Businessweek: President Barack Obama’s plan to fight drug abuse and trafficking proposes spending $15.5 billion next year and shifting the emphasis from fighting a war on drugs to treating the problem as a national health issue, the administration’s top drug-policy adviser said in an interview. “It’s a disease, it’s diagnosable and it’s certainly […]

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