Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for November, 2010

Veteran’s Day HWR

The INQRI (Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative) Blog hosts a Veteran’s Day edition of the Health Wonk Review.  Check it out.

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Investigative Journalism: Medicare’s ESRD Program

Today, I will review an excellent piece of investigative journalism on Medicare’s end-stage renal disease (ESRD) program.  The program provides free access to medical care for patients with kidney disease.  Some highlights of these ProPublica report include the following: Program Inception “…the new program would help about 11,000 Americans, just for starters. For a modest […]

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Child Development Accounts

Some policymakers have called for the creation of Child Development Account (CDAs).  CDAs are basically savings accounts to which parents and/or the government to contribute.  Children turning 18 can use the funds for various uses such as college tuition, purchasing a home, or starting a businesses. The SEED for Oklahoma Kids (SEED OK) project aims […]

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VBP Design Choices

“Pay-for-performance (P4P) is one of the primary tools used to support healthcare delivery reform. Substantial heterogeneity exists in the development and implementation of P4P in health care and its effects.” Today, I review a paper which summarizes evidence, obtained from studies published between 1990-2009, concerning P4P effects. Measure Effectiveness Which types of measures produce the […]

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Benefits: Employers’ greatest pricing pressure

A survey conducted by Grant Thornton reveals that employee benefits rank at the top of employer cost control concerns.  According to the survey, “A vast majority (84%) cited employee benefits (e.g., health care, pensions) as their greatest pricing pressure — up from 68% six months earlier.” In response, about one-third of employers plan to cut […]

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Physician Performance in Ambulatory Practice

A paper by Holmboe et al. (2010) evaluates physician performance on quality measure.  The authors use a sampled the medical records of an average of 95 patients per general internist.  They found that “performance on the individual and composite measures varied substantially within and between physicians…Higher certification exam scores were associated with better performance on […]

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CoR #117 + More Links

The latest edition of the Cavalcade of Risk is up at Political Calculations.  My blog post on incentives for hospitalization in long-term settings even got an Aa1 rating, the highest available! If you don’t get enough good stuff there, here are some more links. Cancer stem cells? Vouchers instead of Medicare. Stool testing vs. colonoscopy. […]

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Risk Adjustment: Predicting Future Expenditures

Many states rely on managed care organizations (MCOs) to provide medical services for their Medicaid beneficiaries.  Contracting out medical services to private providers relies on the government’s capacity to accurately predict expected cost of care for each beneficiary.  This is typically done through risk-adjusted capitation rates. Which risk adjustment strategy works best?  The answer of […]

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Local Labor Markets and Agglomeration Economies

If there is a boost in demand for a certain product, how will that affect wages?  This seems like a straightforward question.  However, a working paper by Enrico Moretti (2010) takes this analysis a step further by examining how labor market shocks affect the spatial component of the labor markets. “In general equilibrium, a shock […]

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