Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for January, 2013

CMS Chronic Conditions Dashboard

CMS has just released a new interactive tool that allows users to examine chronic conditions among Medicare beneficiaries. The CMS Chronic Conditions Dashboard presents statistical views of information on the prevalence, utilization and Medicare spending for Medicare beneficiaries with chronic conditions. The Dashboard displays information on a set of predefined chronic conditions available in the […]

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Cases where the HBV Vaccine is Not Always Effective

My daughter was just born just over three months ago and she is in the process of receiving the recommended series of vaccines.  This series includes vaccines to protect children against the Hepatitis B Virus (HBV).  But does the vaccine work?  Generally, the answer is yes, but maybe not as universally as once thought.  Heptology […]

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Effect of P4P on Hospital Profits

How do value-based purchasing programs affect hospitals’ bottom lines? This is a particularly important question as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandates that CMS reward high-quality, low-cost hospitals with bonuses and give financial penalties to low-quality, high-cost hospitals. In 2003, CMS began a pay-for-performance (P4P) demonstration. Using this demonstration as a natural experiment, Kruse et […]

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Friday Links

James Buchanan. Does having after-hours primary care docs on call improve outcomes? Learning by doing? No email. f(n,t)=log(n)+t/45000.

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Health Wonk Review: The Inauguration Edition

Christopher Fleming has posted an excellent and substantive Inauguration edition of the Health Wonk Review at the Health Affairs Blog.  Check it out.

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On the importance of Networking

Networking has been found to be very important in many aspects of life, particularly job prospects and salary.  Having a larger social network may even improve on-the-job performance.  Networking has even been found to be important for on-the-job performance of drug dealers. A well-known finding of research on illegal markets is that drug-dealing organisations operate […]

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Who gets hurt when Americans buy drugs in Canada?

A few years ago, changing federal laws to lower drug prices was a key political issue. Some proposed allowing Medicare to negotiate lower prices from drug manufacturers and others recommended allowing U.S. citizens to import drugs from lower-priced developed countries such as Canada. These policies would certainly reduce drug prices, however, lower prices could also […]

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Healthcare for Hospitals

Benefits are taking up a continually greater share of employee compensation. This trend is as true for hospitals as any other industry. Keenan Health Care summarizes some recent trends for California hospitals. According to a survey of 83 California health care organizations (representing 219 hospitals): Benefits represent 28% of the employee compensation for the average […]

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Medicare Reimbursement for Outpatient Therapy

Today I review Medicare’s approach for paying for outpatient therapy visits. The content draws largely from CMS and MedPAC sources. What is outpatient therapy Outpatient therapy includes physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT), and speech-language pathology (SLP) services. Who can provide outpatient therapy? Institutional Facilities Hospitals Skilled nursing facilities (SNF) Comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facilities (CORF) […]

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Friday Links

Increased cost sharing decreases adherence. Effect of EITC on health. Is staffing a clinic with nurse practitioners a good idea? Healthy San Francisco and crowd out. The end of B&N?

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