Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for September, 2012

Football Edition of the Health Wonk Review

Louise Norris hosts an excellent Football Edition of Health Wonk Review at Colorado Health Insurance Insider.

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Drugs in Emerging Markets

Governments in emerging markets want their citizens to have better drugs. The big pharmaceutical firms are keen to sell to them. But they are fighting bitterly over the terms. – The Economist. Should emerging markets compel companies to sell drugs to them?  As an economist, I am by nature averse to government coercion.  When people […]

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Medicare Payments to Hospitals to Rise 2.8 Percent in 2013

Medicare will increase payments to hospitals by 2.8 percent in 2013.  This net change is due to five major adjustments. Hospital market basket Adjustment: 2.6 percentage points Multi-factor productivity adjustment: 0.7 percentage points Affordable Care Act Provisions: -0.1 percentage points Remaining FY 2008 and FY 2009 Prospective Documentation and Coding Adjustment: -1.9 percentage points Restoration […]

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Romney: ‘I’m not getting rid of all of healthcare reform’

Republican and Democratic Presidential candidates may be more similar than they at fist appear.  Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney stated the following on Meet the Press: “I’m not getting rid of all of healthcare reform.” What types of things would Romney keep? “Of course there are a number of things that I like in healthcare reform […]

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How much money does Medicare waste?

The answer depends on who you ask. According to the GAO, Medicare spent $48 billion in “improper payments,” which include fraud but also waste, eligibility errors, miscoded claims and insufficient documentation. GAO determined that Medicare’s traditional fee-for-service plan had a 10.5 percent error rate. Attorney General Eric Holder, suggest there may be $60 billion in […]

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Friday Links

Our last best hope? Health Reform’s Effect on uninsured young adults. Are you better off? Bayesians of Wins. Yet another workers’ comp deal. As I have been in Washington DC this week for meetings with the Institute of Medicine, I feel a travel-based quotation and link is appropriate: “He wants us to trust that a […]

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History Repeating Itself.

“First, you push on your territories, where you have no business to be, and where you had promised not to go; secondly, your intrusion provokes resentment, and resentment means resistance.  Thirdly, you instantly cry out that the people are rebellious and their act is rebellion…Fourthly, you send out a force to stamp out rebellion; and […]

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Cavalcade of Risk #165: Vegas-Style NFL Kickoff Edition

The College Football season has started and the NFL season begins today.  For those interested in taking a risk and picking the next Super Bowl Champions, the odds-on favorite is the New England Patriots at 5:1.  My team, the Green Bay Packers, is the second most-likely team to win it all at 6:1. Risk doesn’t […]

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Economic Stimulus in the U.S. and China

“There is no such thing as shovel-ready projects.” – President Obama. Although some experts believe that President Obama’s stimulus package (i.e., the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) helped stave off a recession, others believe it was mostly wasteful. What many people do not realize is that China too had its own economic stimulus […]

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Medicare Advantage Plan’s Response to Risk Adjustment

Medicare beneficiaries have the option to enroll in private plans to have them operate their benefits rather than use the tradiational Medicare Fee-for-services (FFS) program.  Medicare pays these private plans, known as Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, premiums based on the health status of their enrollees.   Medicare uses a risk score to measure beneficiary health status. […]

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