Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for March, 2011

Quotations: Popularity and Success

“I can’t give you a surefire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.” Herbert Bayard Swope, editor and journalist; first recipient of the Pulitzer Prize “Everything popular is wrong.” Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest.

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Did MassHealth’s P4P Program improve outcomes

The MassHealth P4P program was implemented in 2008.  The program began with a P4P incentive for pneumonia treatment and a pay-for-reporting incentive for surgical infection prevention.  In 2009, hospitals were eligible for P4P payments for both measures. Nevertheless, the effect of the MassHealth on P4P was practically non-existent. What happened? Today we review an article by […]

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Wednesday Links

Markets in everything: marriage edition. Secret to improving health outcomes? Reducing health disparities: What can Israel teach us? The best school in Spain? Fiction vs. Non-fiction. $300 copayment and physician choice. Prescribing placebos in Germany.  

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Cavalcade of Risk is up

The 126th edition of the Cavalcade of Risk is up at Colorado Life Insurance Insider.

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Cited in Monocle Magazine

An excerpt from Monocle Magazine‘s February Issue, p. 58 in which I am quoted: “Syracuse is a healthcare hub.  A state teaching hospital and a non-profit community hospital, two of the city’s four largest employers, for a stable base of high-paying jobs in hard times.  But  having a hospital as a leading employer can often […]

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Estimating Health Reform’s Effect on State Medicaid Expenditure Growth

Health Reform will of course increase Medicaid spending as more people become eligible for this entitlement.  Yet this is not the only reason Medicaid costs will rise due to Health Reform.  From a working paper by Jagadeesh Gokhale. “Once ObamaCare becomes fully effective in 2014, the cost of newly eligible Medicaid enrollees will be almost fully covered […]

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Medicaid P4P

As part of health reform, Medicare is looking to institute value-based purchasing or pay-for-performance programs in a number of settings.   In fact, in my work for Acumen, I have worked on a number of these initiatives (e.g., P4P for physician efficiency profiling, implementing a VBP system in home health).  Medicare, however, isn’t the only […]

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Wisconsin Protests and Physician Integrity

Doctors have been giving out sick notes for teachers protesting Wisconsin’s threat to disband their union.  Not only is this wrong, but Dr. Rich of Covert Rationing argues that it isn’t even a form of civil disobedience.  Physicians are often put on a pedestal as the models of professional integrity.  Previous studies, however, have found that doctors […]

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Eligible FSA expenses

Which expenses are eligible for you flexible spending account (FSA)?  Find out here. Some changes for 2011: “Beginning January 1, 2011, OTC medicines and drugs will no longer be eligible for reimbursement under your health flexible spending account (FSA) unless prescribed by a doctor (or other individual who is legally authorized to issue a prescription) in […]

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Largest one-year jump in health spending

According to a recent Health Affairs paper, health care spending as a share of GDP grew by the largest percentage point increase since the U.S. government has tracked national health expenditure.  Not only did the numerator (health spending) increase–especially for public spending–but the denominator also decreased (i.e., GDP).  The article begins as follows: “National health […]

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