Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for June, 2012

International Approaches to Comparative Effectiveness Research

Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) aims to determine whether a drug or medical procedure’s are more cost-effective than alternative treatments and/or none at all.  Although the U.S. is not known as a leader in CER research (in part because public health insurance bodies such as Medicare do not take CER evidence into account when making coverage […]

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Game Theory and the Talmud

Today is Friday.  Every Friday at sundown, the Sabbath (the day of rest) begins for the Jews.  Observant Jews spent most of Friday night and Saturday praying, reading the Torah and other scholarly works, socializing, and of course eating. Although the Talmud might seem to deal only with other-worldly matters, that is not always the […]

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Do I need an Annual Wellness Visit?

The Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Health Reform, Obamacare) mandates that Medicare provide an annual wellness visit (AWV) to all beneficiaries free of charge.  Today, I answer some questions related to CMS’s implementation of the mandated annual wellness visit requirement. What is included in an annual wellness visit?  The AWV includes “the establishment of, or update […]

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Wednesday Links and the Cavalcade of Risk

Here are some links to add to your reading list: Kelly Blue Book for Everything? What preventive test got a ‘D’ grade from USPSTF. Chocolate is good for you? Reasons your state should not create an exchange. HIV and the media. Plus don’t forget about this week’s edition of the Cavalcade or Risk at My […]

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Physicians, Patients, and Medical Care in Russia

Russian patients rarely visit a general practitioner and generally do not  believe that they should see a medical professional when they feel unwell, according to new findings from the National Health and Wellness Survey (NHWS), conducted by Kantar Health.  The NHWS is a large, international self-reported annual patient survey with responses from patients in the U.S., Europe, […]

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How to Measure Physician Efficiency

Many payers are moving towards value-based purchasing programs that reward efficient physicians with additional payments and punish inefficient physicians with decreased payments.  Medicare’s Quality and Resource Use Reports (QRUR) are a step in this direction. However, summarizing overall physician quality is a difficult prospect.  First, the types of cases each physician treats is not homogeneous, […]

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Friday Links

Gold mine for health consultants and IT vendors. Expensive end of life care. Decentralized government in prison. Spurrier: Pay college players. Madison Men.

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Health Wonk Review: ‘Voices from the Blogosphere’

The latest edition of the Health Wonk Review is up at healthinsurance.org.

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Healthcare Costs to Rise by over 7 percent in 2013

Reuters reports on a PwC study evaluating health care premium growth. “The cost of healthcare services is expected to rise 7.5 percent in 2013, more than three times the projected rates for inflation and economic growth, according to an industry research report released on Thursday. But premiums for large employer-sponsored health plans could increase by […]

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Quality Rankings and Choice of Hospital

Today I review some of the evidence regarding whether quality rankings affect hospital choice. In particular, I focus on a recent article on choice of hospitals in the Netherlands for angioplasties. Literature Review I first review some of the previous literature on how quality affects patient choice of hospitals. Tay (2003) found changes in hospital quality […]

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