Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for January, 2013

HWR is up

On the HealthInsurance.org Blog, Maggie Mahar hosts the latest edition of Health Wonk Review, subtitled “Waste, Warnings and the Future.”

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Nursing Home Quality

Typically, Nursing Home quality is measured using metrics from Nursing Home Compare. These metrics are calculated based on survey and certification processes and resident assessments from from the Minimum Data Set (MDS). These, however, are not the only quality metrics one can use. For instance, one can use consumer complaints as a measure of quality […]

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Los Angeles and San Diego Health Care Markets

The California Healthcare Foundation has produced two market studies of the Los Angeles and San Diego health care markets. Key findings from the Los Angeles study include: The area’s dense urban environment has given rise to a large, fragmented health care market. Health care reform and a drop in private insurance enrollment have led to […]

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Medicare Spending Growth Slows

Rick Kronick and Rosa Po report that per capita Medicare spending levels have slowed in recent years. Expenditures per Medicare beneficiary increased by only 0.4% in fiscal year 2012, substantially below the 3.4% increase in per capita GDP (Exhibit 1). The very slow growth in Medicare spending in fiscal year 2012 follows slow growth in […]

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Unintended Consequences of Reduced Mortality Rates

As the security situation in Somalia improves, certain occupations are now facing hard times. He became a gravedigger at the height of the civil war, when he used to dig at least 30 graves a day. “I became a gravedigger in 1991, when burying dead bodies was the best business in Somalia.” People who want […]

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Increasing Demand for Liver Transplants

The Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) is the most common blood-borne infection and cause of liver disease requiring transplantation in the U.S. More than one percent of Americans has a chronic HCV infection. As I describe in a series of posts, individuals with HCV are much more likely to develop cirrhosis and up to 5% will […]

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Free Money for Amgen

The language buried in Section 632 of the [American Taxpayer Relief] law delays a set of Medicare price restraints on a class of drugs that includes Sensipar, a lucrative Amgen pill used by kidney dialysis patients. The provision gives Amgen an additional two years to sell Sensipar without government controls. The news was so welcome […]

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Friday Links

Does Medicaid pay doctors to perform abortions? The trouble with due dates. Changing Med Ed. Efficiency or fraud? Vaccine mandate. What the health?  

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Are U.S. Drug Prices Really Too High?

Cabrales and Jiménez-Martín (2013) answer this question using the IMS MIDAS international database between 1998 and 2003.  They find that: …there is a systematic and quantitatively large division between a group of less regulated countries whose average prices are higher and a group of more regulated ones where the average price level is lower. This difference […]

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Cavalcade of Risk #175: A Lighter Side of Risk

Julie Ferguson of Workers Comp Insider hosts a light-hearted edition of this bi-weekly collection of risky posts.  Drop by for a laugh, and stay for an insight (or three).

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