Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for January, 2013

Book Review: The Pirate Organization

Pirates don’t only troll the seas. According to a book by Durant and Vergne, they download music illegally, they clone living things, and do any number of actions typically banned by authorities. But not individuals who do illegal activities are deemed pirates by these authors. They define pirates as follows as sharing the following features: […]

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CoR #174

Nina Kallen of Insurance Coverage Law in Massachusetts hosts this week’s  collection of risk-related posts, with a twist: she’s nicknamed this edition “the Cavalcade of Risk of Risk.”

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2011 National Health Expenditures

According to research from the CMS Office of the Actuary, healthcare spending growth is decelerating.  As published in Health Affairs:  In 2011 US health care spending grew 3.9 percent to reach $2.7 trillion, marking the third consecutive year of relatively slow growth. Growth in national health spending closely tracked growth in nominal gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010 […]

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Tuesday Links

Managed care backlash. 2012: Year in graphs. 2012: Healthcare year in graphs The diary cliff. China’s Louisiana Purchase?

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HCV and the Cost of Increasing Liver Disease Severity

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection increases total healthcare costs but the effect of the severity of liver disease associated with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) on healthcare costs has not been well studied. A paper by Gordon et al. (2012) answers this question. The authors stratify patients by liver disease severity–noncirrhotic liver disease (NCD), compensated cirrhosis […]

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Quotation of the Day

Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts. – Richard Feynman, The Pleasure of Finding Things Out

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Health Wonk Review: Baby New Year Edition

Brad Wright of Wright on Health hosts this week’s New Year’s themed-edition of the Health Wonk Review.

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The Doc Fix and the Fiscal Cliff

President Barack Obama has signed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which continues current Medicare payment rates for the nation’s physicians through Dec. 31, 2013. This bill nullifies the Sustainable Growth Rate which, if implemented, would have reduced Medicare payments to physicians by 26.5 percent.  The doc fix will cost $10.6 billion in fiscal […]

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Disease Management Programs Don’t Work

That is the conclusion of this study. More information below: Background The ARRA stimulus package included $2.2 billion for health care cost-effectiveness research focusing on chronic disease prevention and disease management initiatives. These programs aim to address increasing health care costs for a number of diseases, such as: cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and smoking-related illnesses. […]

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How Medicare Measures Hospital Quality

There are many ways that Medicare evaluates hospital quality. Medicare conducts patient surveys (i.e,. HCAHPS). Medicare has hospitals report a variety of process of care measures through the Inpatient Quality Report (IQR) Program. Medicare uses data that Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collects via the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) tool to measure […]

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