Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for April, 2011

CoR + More

The latest edition of the Cavalcade of Risk has been posted on Christian Personal Finance. Plus here are my own mid-week must-read links: Americans give U.S. Health Care Low Grades. Do report cards hurt bad surgeons more than they help good ones? Blocks grants vs. matching funds. End health care tax deductibility. Medicare and adverse […]

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Upcoding

Would Congressman Ryan’s proposal solve this problem? Medicare Part B pays outpatient physicians according to the billed Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes, which differ in procedure and intensity….Using nationally representative data from the 2001 to 2003 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey, this paper…finds strong evidence that these fee differentials influence physician’s coding choice for billing purposes […]

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Question to States: How to Design a Health Insurance Exchange?

Section 1311 of the ACA requires a state to establish an Health Insurance Exchanges for the individual and small group market.  How will states actually implement these Exchanges?  A brief from the National Academy of Social Insurance reviews some of the program parameters which States will have to establish. What type of entity will the […]

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Much Ado about Nothing

The government will shut down…the government won’t shut down…Compromise!  Finally, the Federal government has came to a compromise to reduce our swelling national debt.  Or have they?  The chart below shows that cutting the deficit has a lot about rhetoric and little about substance. Congress did save $78.5 billion in their latest agreement. Since the […]

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Friday Links

If you’re reading this at work… Pay your credit card bill…or else! Which company owes $70m penalty for corruption? Opening the files on failed drug to company rivals. RUC defenders are getting worried. Are school nurses illegal?

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Health Wonk Review is up

The latest edition of the Health Wonk Review is up at the Health Business Blog.

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Medicare Spending by Program Service Categories, 2010

Medicare is the largest payer in the $2.5 trillion dollar health care sector.  Medicare made up one-fifth of that amount.  Where does this money go?  In a previous post I examined where Medicare payments went in 2008, and today I update those figures for 2010. Source: MedPAC. Report to The Congress: Medicare Payment Policy, March 2011.

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Evaluating the Congressman Ryan’s Budget Proposal

Congressman Paul Ryan’s budget proposal has made significant waves. Many will fear that the Ryan proposal means the end of Medicare and Medicaid. Although these programs will not end, there will be significant changes. One can think of many of these changes as a transfer of risk. Consider the Medicare program. Although Medicare will not […]

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The Purple Health Plan

The Purple Health Plan is supposed to be a “moderate” plan for health reform–purple is after all a mix of red and blue.  The plan is endorsed by five Nobel laureates.  So what is the Purple Health Plan? Key provisions of the plan include the following: All Americans receive a voucher each year to purchase a […]

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Regional Variation in Elective Surgery

A recent report by the Dartmouth Atlas team finds significant geographic  variation elective surgery. “…if you have heart disease and live in St. Cloud, Minnesota, you are half as likely to undergo cardiac bypass surgery than if you live in Detroit Lakes, and more than twice as likely to undergo back surgery than if you […]

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