Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for July, 2012

A ‘Hot’ HWR

The latest edition of the Health Wonk Review is up at Workers Comp Insider.

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New Blog: Hacking Healthcare

Hacking Health is a new a blog that looks at the intersections between big data, life science and healthcare.  What questions does it intend to address? “Improving healthcare is a big data problem.  The volume and kinds of data that are created over the course of a patient’s journey through the healthcare system are so large and […]

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Health Care Quality in Cuba

Many people who claim the U.S. healthcare system is broken point to Cuba as a country that spends little on health but gets high returns.  Michael Moore’s documentary Sicko even visited Cuba and claimed that it could be a model for a single payer system in the U.S.  As the Economist reports: “Until recently, Cubans […]

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Generalizing the Results of Randomized Controlled Trials

The benefit of randomized controlled trials is that one can identify the causal effect of a certain treatment in the absence of selection effects (assuming the randomization is properly done).  However, RCT results often do not generalize to the larger population.  Reasons for this include: The RCT population may not be representative of the population […]

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Paying for Quality

The Wall Street Journal reports: “…research showing that the majority of U.S. spending also highly concentrated on a small group of high-cost patients. These typically include people with one or more chronic conditions, such as diabetes, high cholesterol, arthritis and cancer, said Steven B. Cohen, a director at the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and […]

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Red de Protección Social: CCTs in Nicaragua

Oportunidades (formlerly known as Progresa) is a well known initiative in Mexico that provides cash payments to families in exchange for regular school attendance, health clinic visits, and nutritional support.  The program started in 1997 as a program known as Progresa; Oportunidades in its current form began in in 2002. Oportunidades, however, is not the […]

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Cavalcade of Risk #161 is up

David Williams presents this week’s cool round-up of risk-related posts in a Summer Fun Time edition of the Cavalcade of Risk.

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The problem with a single payer system is…

setting accurate prices.  A single payer does not have a market against which to measure prices; instead, single payers often pay based on provider’s reported cost or a multiplier related to the prices charged years ago when there was a market. Fortunately, the U.S. does not have this problem…or do we? The Relative Value Update […]

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Primary Care Docs are no longer the primary point of contact for patients

According to a LifeBot study: “Historically, general practitioners provided first-contact care in the United States. Today, however, only 42 percent of the 354 million annual visits for acute care—treatment for newly arising health problems—are made to patients’ personal physicians. The rest are made to emergency departments (28 percent), specialists (20 percent), or outpatient departments (7 […]

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Healthcare Economist Off

The Healthcare Economist is taking a one week vacation to Maui.  Posting will resume Monday July 9.

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