Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for November, 2011

The End of Health Reform Starts in Ohio?

One of the key tenets of health reform is that insurers cannot charge different premiums to individuals based on their pre-existing conditions.  Under this type of system, the optimal strategy for many individuals is to not buy any health insurance until one gets sick.  Since insurers cannot charge these sicker people higher premiums based on […]

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Wal-mart to be the biggest health retailer in the nation?

Hot off the press: Walmart announced it would stop offering health insurance benefits to new part-time employees, the retailer sent out a request for information seeking partners to help it “dramatically … lower the cost of healthcare … by becoming the largest provider of primary healthcare services in the nation.” Why would Wal-mart want to […]

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Does getting cancer incentivize individuals to switch from Medicare managed care to FFS?

Medicare beneficiaries have a choice: pick the standard Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) benefit or rely on managed care plans to supply their healthcare through the Medicare Advantage (MA) program.  Many Medicare beneficiaries prefer MA because it offers them lower out-of-pocket costs and provide benefits not available in the traditional FFS Medicare program. Other beneficiaries prefer the […]

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Decisions States Face When Implementing Health Exchanges

States face a number of decisions regarding how to establish an Health Insurance Exchange as part of the Health Reform Bill.  The State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) describes in detail these policy choices.  The decisions include: Creating separate exchanges for individuals and small businesses or combining the nongroup and small group markets into […]

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The Demand for Policy Interventions

“Authors of economics books, essays, articles, and political platforms demand interventionist measures before they are taken, but once they have been imposed no one likes them. Then everyone—usually even the authorities responsible for them—call them insufficient and unsatisfactory. Generally the demand then arises for the replacement of unsatisfactory interventions by other, more suitable measures. And […]

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Early November Links

Social networks and prostate cancer treatment norms. Drug pulled off market after $1 billion in sales. Cato on med mal. The customer is always right. Pfizer earnings vs. Counterfeit drugs.

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CoR

Check out the latest edition of the Cavalcade of Risk (CoR for those in the know) at Workers’ Comp Insider.

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Kappa Statistic

Many research studies aim to figure out if a physicians did a good job.  Many studies use administrative claims data to evaluate performance.  Other times, researchers use medical record review. One problem with medical record review is that oftentimes experts will come up with differing opinions from reviewing the same medical record.  Thus, researchers often […]

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Optimal Choices of Medicare Part D Plans

Are elderly Medicare beneficiaries able to choose Part D health plans optimally?  Many researchers may believe the answer is no.  Certain elderly individuals  (e.g., those with Alzheimer’s) may be cognitively impaired.  Inertia is also a problem; switching plans is mentally taxing and involves a spending a significant amount of time researching plan alternatives. Nevertheless, a […]

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