Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for July, 2010

Health dangers for active couch potatoes

In my job, I spend nearly my entire day staring at a computer screen.  Whether this is writing computer code, compiling a report, reading papers, or checking my email, I am constantly in a seated position.  I do, however, exercise six mornings per week.  Does this mean that I am an active, healthy person since […]

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Optimization and Coffee Brewing

While at work last week, I began to spoon coffee grounds to make coffee.  How many coffee grounds should I scoop?  Too few and the coffee will be watery.  To many and the coffee will taste like mud.  Then it hit me, coffee making is a perfect example of a number of economic concepts.  So […]

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Links

What works in wellness. Top 10 Public Health Disasters. Controlling Surgical Implant Costs. Defining Meaningful Use of HIT. Hospital CEO vs. Insurer CEO.

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Health Care Spending Distribution in 2008

National Health Expenditures reached $2.3 trillion, or $7,681 per person. This means that health care services made up 16.2% of the economy. Where did these dollars go? The CBO summarizes where America spends these funds. Source: CBO Long Term Budget Outlook, June 2010.

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CoR #109

The 109th edition of the Cavalcade of Risk is up at Disease Management Care Blog (DMCB).

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Does Medicare use CPT codes for payment?

For Part B services, Medicare pays physicians based on the services they provide.  The American Medical Association (AMA) developed Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes to create a taxonomy of procedures that physicians perform.  Does the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) use these codes for payment? The answer is yes and no.  Officially, CMS […]

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Pure Joy

Spain won the World Cup championship on Sunday with an overtime goal from Andrés Iniesta.  Were the Spanish announcers of Canal + excited at the prospect of their country winning the world cup?  Listen to this. More coverage: Iniesta de nuestras vidas. A bit too much celebration? Who is Dani Jarque? La pasión roja.

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Medicaid’s humble beginings

Although Medicaid is currently one of the largest programs in any state’s budget, Congress enacted this welfare health insurance scheme as almost an afterthought. Consider the news coverage for Medicaid at the time.  According to the chart below, the New York Times didn’t even mention Medicaid an any article in 1965 and Medicaid was mentioned […]

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Physicians as Engineers

“This can no longer be a profession of craftsmen individually brewing plans for whatever patient comes through the door. We have to be more like engineers building a mechanism whose parts actually fit together, whose workings are ever more finely tuned and tweaked for ever better performance in providing aid and comfort to human beings.” […]

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Thursday Links

Economics is really, really, really, really, really, really, really hard. Births via c-section: ~1/3. FQBHCs. Gaming the system in Massachusetts. Why Big Pharma should buy your doctor lunch sometimes. Mass. health reform increases ER utilization? “MedPAC on steroids” weakening

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