Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for May, 2010

Homegrown Terror

On 60 Minutes this week, I saw a piece called “Uncovering the Roots of Homegrown Terrorism” which documents the rise in the number of American citizens who are receiving training in Pakistan for Terrorists operations.  Many of these ‘homegrown terrorists’ are ethnically Pakistani, though certainly not all.  The story also documents a similar problem with […]

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When is more less?

Do more intensive medical services improve patient satisfaction?  Not according to Mittler et al. (2010): Overall, higher intensity use was associated (p<.05) with worse (seven measures) or no better care experiences (two measures).  In higher-intensity markets, Medicare FFS and MA beneficiaries reported more problems getting care quickly and less helpful office staff. However, Medicare FFS […]

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Do Economists Support FDA Pre-approval of Drugs?

Conventional wisdom holds that economists advocate for reducing regulation on most policy arenas.  Regulation imposes costs and businesses and is often ineffective.  Further, as technology and market conditions change, regulations which were originally welfare enhancing can now become archane. The public generally views the FDA’s pre-approval as a worthwhile endeavor.  The goal of FDA pre-approval […]

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Explaining Any-willing-provider and Freedom-of-choice laws

Hellinger (1995) defines any-willing-provider (AWP) and freedom-of-choice (FOC) laws.  These laws have been enacted by a number of states. “AWP laws require managed care plans to accept any qualified provider who is willing to accept the terms and conditions of a managed care plan. These laws do not require managed care plans to contract with […]

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Cavalcade of Risk: The Menu

Every time you visit a restaurant you face a risk. No I’m not talking about the risk of E. coli or some other disease.  I’m talking about the risk of whether to try something new on the menu.  If you’re at a Thai restaurant, you might know you like Pad Thai, but do you take […]

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Health Care Reform in Germany

Health care in Germany achieves universal health care by mandating that individuals enroll in a sickness fund.  The German government requires lower and middle class individuals to enroll in the sickness funds, but richer individuals can opt out and choose to purchase their own private health insurance.  Approximated 9% of Germans have supplemental insurance; these […]

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Health Care Reform in Massachusetts

With healthcare reform having passed, how will the health insurance market look a few years from now?  Although Mitt Romney may (or may not) deny it, Massachusetts has been a model for President Obama’s health reform bill.  In 2006, Massachusetts passed its own health reform and when the share of uninsured residents was at 14%.  […]

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Failure and the Problem with Science

“The fact is, we carefully edit our reality, searching for evidence that confirms what we already believe. Although we pretend we’re empiricists — our views dictated by nothing but the facts — we’re actually blinkered, especially when it comes to information that contradicts our theories. The problem with science, then, isn’t that most experiments fail […]

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