Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for June, 2011

MRIs, Back Surgery and Primary Care

Do MRIs increase the liklihood a patient receives back surgery? “Orthopedists and primary care physicians who begin billing for the performance of MRI procedures, rather than referring patients outside of their practice for MRI, appear to change their practice patterns such that they use more MRI for their patients with low back pain. These increases […]

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CoR + Wednesday Links

Compliance, Copayments, and Comorbidities. The hard sell. 49ers in Charlotte? Love Wins in New York. How the FDA Impedes Innovation. Horror. …and of course this week’s Cavalcade of Risk is up at Workers’ Comp Insider.

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Biases

All economists are familiar with the problem of selection bias.  In non-randomized samples, patients may choose to be in either the treatment or control group based on factors which are also related to the outcome of interest.  Even if researchers can design a study that fully controls for selection bias, robust studies must also account […]

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Access to health insurance ≠ Access to health care.

Is the Massachusetts health reform a success?  Yes and no. In terms of increasing access to health care, it has been an unqualified success.  According to the Economist, only1.9% of Massachusetts residents were uninsured in 2010. Massachusetts’ health reform has not been able to offer universal access to health care or to constrain costs. ” One […]

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Medicare Dashboards

For which drugs does Medicare spend the most money?  For which inpatient hospital treatments does Medicare have the highest expenses.  CMS’s new Dashboards provide an easy to use source to access these high level summary statistics.  You can find this information here: Medicare Inpatient Hospital Dashboard (website, description) Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Dashboard (website, description) […]

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Stanley Cup HWR

Boston Health News has posted the latest Health Wonk Review, subtitled Hockey, hoodlums and hot rod angels.  Check it out!

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Health Reform in the UK

Health Reform in the U.S. means more government involvement in health care.  More public insurance (expanding Medicaid), more government intervention in the insurance market (health exchanges), and government being a driving force for innovation (the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation). In the UK on the other hand, “Health Reform” means more privatization, not less.  As […]

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Wednesday Links

Virgin does health care? “Reeking shrimp mountain” Kids can’t get appointments with their dentist. Long-term care cost in 20101: $159,000. Is preventive care free?

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Egypt: Six Months Later

A lot has changed since I last visited Egypt in early January and since the protests in Midan Tahrir in mid-January.  According to Marketplace, one thing that hasn’t changed is the incredible amount of bureaucracy which still exists in the country. So here’s the crux, according to Ragui Assaad, a fellow at the Economic Research […]

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Maximizing utility for end-of-life care

Hospitals in Sacramento were concerned about the large number of nusring home transfers to its facility.  Were many of these tranfers unnecessary? Did patients with little chance of recovery benefit from these hospital stays? To reduce end-of-life tranfers to hospitals from nursing homes, 3 Sacramento-area hospital systems and 18 nursing homes instuted the Preparing Residents […]

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