Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for December, 2010

Bon Voyage

The Healthcare Economist will be taking a break from blogging.  I’ll be on vacation in Israel (Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv) and Egypt (Cairo) for two weeks.  Blogging will return in the new year. Here is some information on each country: Egypt Hello: as-salam alaykum Language: Arabic Population: 80.5 million GDP: $469 billion GDP per capita: $5,900. […]

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The History of Home Health Quality Measurement

Today I will discuss the evolution of home health care measures over the past 15 years. The majority of the content comes from an article by Robert Rosati (2009). Timeline Here is a link to a TIMELINE that briefly summarizes the key developments in home health care quality measurements. Risk Adjustment From the early development […]

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How to divide up the U.S.

I like maps.  Here’s different versions of how different federal agencies create regions which aggregate U.S. states into regions.  These include: Census Regions, Standard Federal Regions, and Federal Reserve Districts

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Home Health Case Mix

In 2006, 2.9 million Medicare beneficiaries received home health services.  The home health benefits provides Medicare enrollees to access to services such as: skilled nursing care;  physical, occupational, and speech therapy;  medical social work, and home health aide services. Medicare pays home health agencies (HHA) based on 60-day episodes of care.  Each HHA receives a flat payment for all […]

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Tuesday Links

Drunken Ultimatum Game. Massively Collaborative Mathematics. Thirdhand Smoke. Do faculty members accept money to promote drugs? South Texan use of Mexican medical services: 49% bought pharmaceticals, 41% visited a dentist. Who failed the Activia Challenge? Will the Google Price Index replace CPI? Greinke!!!

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The Benefits Package is up

The second edition of the Benefits Package carnival is up at See First Blog.  Swing by to see the best posts on employee benefits.

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Kaiser Permanente’s EHR System

As of 2009, only 9 percent of America’s hospitals were using even a basic form of electronic medical records (EHR) and as of 2008 only 13 percent of practicing doctors were doing so.  Yet one private health insurer has integrated EHR for hospitals, physicians, outpatient and other services.  I am of course talking about Kaiser Permanente. Today […]

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Profitability and Corporation Size

“As the number of employees grows, the amount of profit per employee shrinks…The graph reflects the bleak reality of corporate growth, in which efficiencies of scale are almost always outweighed by the burdens of bureaucracy.” from “A Physicist Solves the City,” New York Times, 17 Dec 2010.

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Employer Health Benefits in California

California is in the midst of a fiscal crisis.  The New York Times reports that the state now faces a $28.1 billion shortfall in revenue over the next 18 months.  For California workers, things are also bleak.  Unemployment has reached 12% and the cost of health insurance premiums increased by 8.1%. The California Health Care […]

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Friday Links

Is Medicare controlling costs too well? More money for docs, less for exchange subsidies. Are illegal drug users more likely to user the ER? The AMA’s powerful Specialty Society Relative Value Scale Update Committee. What I like about Scrooge. One-third of the uninsured have family incomes of more than $50,000 per year. Hip implants fail.

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