Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for June, 2010

Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation

Medicare and Innovation in the same sentence?  Yes indeed. As part of Health Reform [i.e, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)], the government mandated the creation of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMI). What does CMI do?  “The stated purpose of the CMI is to test innovative payment and service delivery models […]

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CoR #108

The latest edition of the Cavalcade of Risk is up at Wenchypoo’s Mental Wastebasket.

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Getting Poor/Old People Drug Coverage: Part II

Yesterday, I mentioned that low-income individuals on Medicare can also qualify for Medicaid and, as full-beneift dual eligible beneficiaries, they have significantly lower cost sharing than the typical Part D beneficiary.  How does CMS identify these individuals? For currently beneficiaries on Medicaid who ‘age’ into Medicare, this process is fairly easy.  CMS can auto-enroll these […]

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Getting Poor/Old People Drug Coverage: Part I

Health insurers face a conundrum.  Increased cost sharing helps to reduce patient utilization of medical resources and–at least inititally–lowers the cost of care.  Too much cost sharing, however, can lead to decreased patient adherence.  In this case, the patients may get sick and require hospitalization,  which will actually increase cost.  Cost sharing’s affect on adherence […]

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Can paying for caregiver vacations save money?

As the baby boomers age, the responsibility for the care of many of these individuals will fall to their children.  For the elderly who have trouble running errands, dressing themselves, or even bathing themselves, having a family member as a caregiver can significantly improve the elderly’s quality of life. Many of these caregivers get burnt […]

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Health Wonk Review

The latest edition of the Health Wonk Review is up at Wright on Health.

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More Expensive Placebos Bring More Pain Relief

Why do placebo’s work?  They work because the patient’s mind believes they offer relief and thus patient perception of pain decreases after taking a placebo.  A study by Dan Ariely finds that the more expensive the placebo, the more pain relief it offers.  In particular, a $2.50 placebo works better one that costs 10 cents. Medical […]

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Red White and Blue Links

With a magical goal scored in penalty time time, the U.S. advances outside of the group stage of the World Cup.  In honor of this emotional victory, today’s links are themed red, white and blue. Cash to take your medicine. Will health reform control costs? Tax rates by quintile graphic. The effect of mandates for […]

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International Healthcare Models: Sweden, Norway and Finland

Here is my earlier review on Norway.  The information below on Sweden and Finland has not yet been presented before in my blog. SWEDEN Hospitals There are 4 types of medical facilities: local health centers, county level hospitals, district level hospitals, and regional teaching hospitals. Local health centers are staffed by GPs, nurses, midwives, occupational therapists, […]

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International Healthcare Models: Japan

Here is my earlier review of the Japanese healthcare system.  Additional information on medical care in Japan is below. Funding The system is largely funded through payroll taxes.  Employees pay a larger share of the payroll tax than employers.     Insurance is bought from public sector sources. There is no private sector insurance companies. Co-pays […]

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