Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for July, 2012

Hospitals as Hotels

More evidence: “One patient who gave the hospital low satisfaction scores, particularly on room cleanliness, was contacted to explain why, [Jim] McManus [vice president of finance at St. Joseph’s Health system in Southern California] said. It wasn’t that the room was dirty, the patient replied. He wanted the cleaning schedule to mirror a hotel experience—cleaned […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Medicaid’s Effect on Mortality

Does Medicaid coverage decrease mortality?  According to a recent study in NEJM, the answer is yes. “Mortality declined significantly (by 19.6 deaths per 100,000, for a relative reduction of 6.1%; P=0.001). Reductions were greatest among nonwhites and older adults, with smaller but significant reductions among whites and no effect among persons under the age of […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Medical Billing: Taiwan vs. U.S.

How long do you think it takes for physicians and hospitals to bill an insurer for a service?  Uwe Reinhardt notes that the answer depends on where you live.   If you are in the U.S.: In the United States, claims settlement for medical procedures under private health insurance can take up to three months; […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Friday Links

“The next million dollar app” Does your oncologist care about your quality of life? Intelligence. Cavalcade of Risk – Insurance Regulatory Law Newest Packer from my alma mater.

Read the rest of this entry »

Does Health Insurance Matter?

In this case, the answer is yes: “[Dr. David] Dupree said she sought medical help on June 4, just days after her 65th birthday, when she would qualify for Medicare, the U.S. healthcare program for seniors. ‘The reason she didn’t go earlier was because she had no insurance,’ he said. By now, she weighed more […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Shrinkage Estimators and Composite Quality Scores

Shrinkage estimators (such as the James-Stein estimator) are well-known in the economics literature and have a number of applications. A recent paper by Shwartz et al. 2012 demonstrates how one could apply shrinkage estimators to measure nursing home quality. “A challenge when examining individual QIs across a range of facilities is that sample sizes are […]

Read the rest of this entry »

American Views on HIV/AIDS

A survey by the Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation revealed the following regarding Americans opinions on HIV and AIDS: 45 percent say they would be “very comfortable” in having their child having an HIV+ teacher, up from 36 percent in 2011. 79 percent say that everyone with HIV in the U.S. should get treatment […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Hepatitis C Around the World

The global burden of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) is distressing. “[A]n estimated 130–170 million persons (2%–3% of the world’s population) are living with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection [1]. This infection, particularly in its chronic form, is associated with sizable morbidity and mortality. More than 350 000 deaths are attributed to HCV infection each […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Friday Links

A set of five interesting links for you to read as you head into the weekend. Is individualized medicine our last, best hope? Firefighters don’t fight fires. Effects of cannabis use on health. Medicaid, health outcomes, and crowd-out. The most interesting man in the world.

Read the rest of this entry »

Is Hepatitis C a more significant killer than HIV?

According to a study in the Annals of Internal Medicine, in the U.S. the answer is yes. “National serum surveys indicate that approximately 3.2 million persons in the United States are living with chronic hepatitis C (10), 66% of whom were born between 1945 and 1964 and are now entering a period of risk for […]

Read the rest of this entry »