Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for October, 2010

Wednesday Links

Marijuana use: causes or only correlated with dropping out of school. Elasticity of health spending in India on mortality: 0.2. Reference Pricing in Medicare? Crowdsourcing your medical problems. The impact of medical insurance for the poor in Georgia (the country). Resolving scientific disputes with “fisticuffs.” Licensing pharmacies in Greece.

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Episode-Based Payment Bundling in Medicare

Bundled payment has been gaining popularity in the minds of policymakers.  In essence, a bundled payment structure gives providers a single lump sum payment to cover all related services for an episode of care.  In the private sector, the Texas Heart Institute and Geisinger Health System both charge a single lump sum for certain procedures. […]

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Vaccines=Big Business?

In 2005, the market for pediatric vaccines was about $5 billion and the market for adult vaccines was about $4 billion.  Yet these figures could be small potatoes.  The Economist predicts that pediatric vaccine market will reach $20 billion by 2014; the adult vaccine market won’t be far behind. What innovations may be on the […]

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Quotation of the Day

“Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.” Michael Crichton, Caltech Michelin Lecture, January 17, 2003.

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Health Wonk Review to the “Rescue”

Over the past few days, the rescue of the Chilean miners has captivated the world.  The men had been locked underground since August 5, 2010, when the San José copper-gold mine, near Copiapó, Chile, collapsed, leaving 33 men trapped deep below ground.  After so much waiting, the look of unadulterated joy on the miners’ family […]

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Why providers love ACOs

“The good thing about the systems not being highly integrated and coordinated is that premiums are lower. Why are those hospitals and physicians [integrating]?  It wasn’t for increased coordination of care, disease management, blah, blah, blah—that was not the primary reason. They wanted more money and market share.” A Fresno, California medical group physician Using […]

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Finite Population Correction

Asymptotic theory has played a large role in the development of many recent econometric methods. For instance, the central limit theorem states that distribution of the mean drawn from any large samples is approximately normally distributed. Asymptotic theory, however, generally assumes that sampling occurs infinitely and with replacement. In the real world, populations are not […]

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The Nobel Prize in Economics goes to…

Peter A. Diamond, Dale T. Mortensen, and Christopher A. Pissarides. From the Nobel press release: On many markets, buyers and sellers do not always make contact with one another immediately. This concerns, for example, employers who are looking for employees and workers who are trying to find jobs. Since the search process requires time and […]

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Republicans supported health insurance mandates?

Although Democrats favor an individual mandate as part of health reform, Merrill Goozner notes that a Republican Congress passed a “voluntary” Medicare Part D drug program with its own mandate.  The program charges one percentage point increase in the premium for every year the senior stays out of the program.  This lead Goozner to conclude […]

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Friday Links

Vouchers and lobbying. Marketplace’s guide to health reform. iStethoscope. Hospitals stay costs: workers comp vs. other private insurance. Consolidation in Part D plan market.

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