Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for December, 2011

Will the Doc Fix happen this year?

The Healthcare Economist is going on vacation for the next week. In the meantime, I pose to you, my reader, a bet.  Do you think the ‘doc fix’ gets passed?  Before you read on, make your predictions in the comments section below. Healthcare Economist’s Prediction

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Is ‘Loser Pays’ the solution for frivolous Medical Malpractice Lawsuits?

Frivolous lawsuits may increase medical spending in two ways: i) they increase the cost for physicians to practice medicine by raising malpractice insurance premiums, and ii) they increase utilization of unnecessary services when physicians practice ‘defensive medicine’. Creating a ‘loser pays’ tort system may be the best way to stop frivolous lawsuits. Loser-pays in the U.S. […]

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California Health Care Almanac

The California Health Care Foundation (CHCF)’s Health Care Almanac provides some unique insights on trends in health care quality in California and for the United States as a whole.  Many of the national figures for the Almanac come from the CDC (BRFSS and Vital Stats) and AHRQ’s National Healthcare Quality Report.  California quality figures come […]

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Consumer Satisfaction with Healthcare Websites

ForeSee released a study showing which kinds of healthcare-oriented websites do the best job satisfying customers. Their results show health insurance websites have dismal customer satisfaction compared to other kinds of healthcare sites (such as pharmaceutical sites, hospital websites, health information sites, etc.). A summary of the overall customer satisfaction rates are below. Health Information […]

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Wednesdsay Links

Some college athletes will be paid. Patient Safety: A 10-year review. Health Reform Kid Glitch? How can a hospital make better use of EHR? Does mental health insurance decrease suicide? Oh Baby! Lifetime costs of dementia.

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MEPS vs. NHEA

Many researchers use household data sources to examine a variety of hypothesis.  The use of household data has many benefits including allowing for more detailed socioeconomic information (e.g., education, income) beyond what is contained in administrative claims files.  One drawback of household data is that extrapolations made from household survey data may not match national […]

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Effect of delayed reimbursement on utilization of medical services

A recent paper by Hai Zhong (2011) finds that health insurance that provides immediate reimbursement for health care services significantly increases the likelihood of patients seeking outpatient treatment in China compared to reimbursement beneficiaries with a delay. China isn’t the only country where insurance companies provide delayed reimbursement. In fact, in France patients pay the full cost […]

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Bring Market Prices to Medicare

Medicare is a government-run insurance program.  Can policy changes be made to add competition to Medicare, maintain quality and reduce cost?  A book titled Bring Market Prices to Medicare argues that it can through a competitive bidding process. This book makes a number of sensible arguments which I review today. The main proposal of the […]

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What’s a ‘dual’?

Nine million individuals qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid health insurance.  These individuals, known as dual-eligibles, rank among the most expensive Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.  Duals are frequently hospitalized and often need long-term care.  In fact, most state spending for dual eligibles focuses on long-term care supports and services. The federal government pays the bulk […]

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Your Wednesday Must-Reads

Russell Hutchinson hosts a delightful and eclectic edition of the Cavalcade of Risk at moneyblog. Plus, here’s some more vital reading: Doping…not so bad? PPS vs. FFS: Effect on Nursing Home care. The secretto a good marriage? Do Chinese physicians use the internet? Is the U.S. working> Patient Safety Trends: 1998–2007. Merger of two of […]

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