Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for September, 2011

The History of Medicine: A Very Short Introduction

I recently finished reading a great book by William Bynum called The History of Medicine: A Very Short Introduction. The book does just what it says: provides a great introduction to the history of medicine.  It is concise and interesting throughout.  The contents are divided into six chapters: Medicine at the bedside Medicine in the […]

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Health Wonk Review with Muppets

Last week would have been Jim Henson’s 75th birthday.  In his honor, the New America Foundation blog has created a Muppets edition of the Health Wonk Review.  Check it out.

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The President’s Proposal to “Live Within Our Means”

President Obama released a proposal last week to jump start the economy and reduce the deficit.  The proposal includes many cuts to Medicare and increased cost sharing.  Senators Coburn and Lieberman are supporting these cuts. Increased cost sharing is a common theme in Medicare, Medicaid, but also for other programs as well.  For instance, the […]

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Mid-week Links

Premiums for family coverage top $15,000/year. Women being disruptive. Elective procedure rates: all over the map in Cali. Neat presentation software. Spare the knife, keep the rod.

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Do we need less democracy?

In The New Republic, Peter Orzag argues that to fix our budget mess, we need less democracy.  Specifically, he argues that implementing the following four recommendations more consistently would improve the budget situation. Progressive tax code Permanently link taxes to the unemployment rate Backstop rules Independent institutions I have my doubts…

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Usual Source of Care Increases Spending

Does having a specialist as your usual source of care (USOC) increase costs? “Among high-cost beneficiaries, the 27.8 percent attributed to a medical specialist as their USOCphysician had U.S.$1,839 greater costs than those attributed to primary care physicians, representing roughly 4 percent of the mean cost of care. Although this may reflect unmeasured patient preferences […]

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Meet a Genius

Are you a genius? Probably not. But I know some people who are…

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Is International Healthcare Spending Converging?

It is a well known fact that the U.S. spends more on health care per person than any other country.  But maybe healthcare spending is converging between countries? At least for the years 2000-2008, there is mixed evidence.  U.S. healthcare spending per person grew by 3.4%.  This is slower than Spain (4.7%), the U.K. (4.6%), the […]

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Polio Outbreak and more

Big news today is that China has experienced a polio outbreak.  The disease apparently made its way to China via Pakistan. This is the first polio outbreak in China since 1999.  A disease that was once thought completely eradicated has now reared its ugly head. Here are some other news of note: A $20 million […]

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Why do doctors adopt an innovation?

You’re a researcher.  You just came up with a new medical treatment that is far superior to the previous treatment.  How do you get physicians to adopt your method/technology? Most researchers believe that providing the physician with evidence of the new treatment superiority is the number one factor driving adoption.  In a presentation at this […]

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