Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for January, 2012

Does Obamacare Limit Profits for Health Insurance Companies in Your State?

One of the provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (a.k.a ACA, a.k.a. Health Reform, a.k.a. Obamacare) is that it limits the profits of health insurance companies.  The ACA imposes a minimum medical loss ratio (MLR) on all insurers.  The MLR is the amount of money spent on covered person medical care divided […]

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Who are the 1%?

Although executives and managers lead the way, in large part, the answer is doctors.  See the chart below. Sources: John Bakija, Williams College “Jobs and Income Growth of Top Earners and the Causes of Changing Income Inequality: Evidence from U.S. Tax Return Data.” November 2010, Working Paper. Hat tip: Mother Jones.  

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Friday Links

Here are a few of this week’s most interesting articles to take you into the weekend: Would you pay for a test that tells you if you have a disease with no cure? Have we “broken the back of the health care inflation monster” Foreclosures literally drive us crazy? New cancer treatment: $10,000/month. “I can’t […]

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Add to Your Skills Toolkit: The Oaxaca Decomposition

Suppose you look at health care spending in two different regions and observe a significant difference.  You may want to know what the cause of this difference is.  Is it because one region has a mix of people who are sicker; or is because the reason treat patients with a given disease more intensively? One […]

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Cavalcade of Risk is up

The latest edition of the Cavalcade of Risk is up at The Notwithstanding Blog.   The creative format will test your intelligence.

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2012 State of the Union: Healthcare Edition

The full text of the State of the Union is here.  Lots of blogs are analyzing at the State of the Union address, but the Healthcare Economist will examine the President’s health-related remarks. Healthcare-Related Comments Medical R&D:“We’ll invest in biomedical research, information technology, and especially clean energy technology -– (applause) — an investment that will strengthen […]

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How to Ask for Help via Email

“A problem clearly stated is a problem half solved.” Dorothea Brande For more tips on getting answers to the questions you need, see this Lifehacker article.  

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Employer Health Benefits in California in 2011

Each year, the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) examines trends in employer health benefits in the state of California.  Last year, I reported on the 2010 CHCF report and now I will examine the 2011 report. Between 2010 and 2011, some things have remained the same.  Healthcare premiums are far outpacing inflation over the medium […]

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Medicare Payments for Hospitals in Under-served Areas

One of the goals of Medicare is to provide its beneficiaries access to quality care regardless of where they live.  Thus, the Medicare program provides financial incentives to providers located in these remote areas. Whereas most Medicare pays most hospitals through the inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS), it pays certain rural hospitals based on their […]

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Friday Links

Some informative reading to take you into the weekend. Romney and Medicare Fraud. Will the health exchanges be ready in time? Wisconsin Governor says ‘No thanks’ to Obamacare Funds. Does dentistry need a ‘nurse practitioners.’ Does physician dispensing of drugs increase cost? Sweetheart wage index deal for Massachusetts?

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