Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for March, 2013

Medicare pays $5.1 billion for Poor Quality Skilled Nursing Facility Care

The Office of the Inspector General found substandard care at a number of skilled nursing facilities. Their investigation found the following: For 37 percent of stays, SNFs did not develop care plans that met requirements or did not provide services in accordance with care plans. For 31 percent of stays, SNFs did not meet discharge […]

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Medicare Reimbursement for Ambulance Servcies

In 2011, Medicare spent $5.3 billion on ambulance services. According to MedPAC, In 2011, 5.2 million Medicare beneficiaries (15 percent of fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare used an ambulance service. Medicare Part B covers 80 percent of the Medicare-approved amount of the ambulance trip. How does Medicare reimburse ambulance services?  A 2007 GAO report describes services for ambulance Medicare ambulance […]

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NYC Soda Ban: Good Policy or Good Intentions Gone Awry?

New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg enacted a law that would limit New York City resident’s ability to purchase certain drinks.  No, not alcohol.  Soda.  NPR reports that the “ban would have limited the size of sugary drinks at restaurants, theaters and food carts to 16 ounces.”  Small businesses did not like the idea because large sugary […]

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Friday Links

Does cannabis lead to suicide? Rate shock? How will the sequester affect nursing homes? Ruling out the wrong diagnosis. Faking pregnancy. La Gran Obra (video). Light vs. Dark.

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The Health Wonk Review means Business

On the eighth anniversary of the founding of his blog, David Williams of the Health Business Blog hosts the Health Wonk Review: A lot to chew on edition.

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Measuring Convergence

Is regional variation in healthcare spending converging or diverging over time?  How would you know?   How would you measure convergence? A paper by Panopoulou and Pantelidis (2013) answers just such a question.  They define 3 types of convergence.  These include beta convergence, sigma convergence, and stochastic convergence.   I explain each one below.

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The Sequester hits Medicare

If you are a physician, hospital, or other provider that treats Medicare patients, how will the sequester effect you?  In March 2013, not at all.  Starting April 1, 2013, however, get ready for a bit of a haircut. A Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) memorandum states the following: Medicare FFS claims with dates-of-service […]

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Medi-Cal expansion contentious in California

Health reform has expanded Medicaid access to millions of Americans.  The question is, will the poor even want Medicaid insurance?  As finances are tightening, many states are attempting to reduce the generosity of their current Medicaid benefits. In California, (where Medicaid is known as Medi-Cal), Governor Jerry Brown wants to reduce Medicaid’s benefit generosity.  He […]

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Friday Links

Cancer care at MD and MSKCC. Top 100 hospitals. Fee for health model? Good bacteria. “People who work at home are significantly more productive but less innovative” Google, you know where to find me. Healthcare ‘s “Moneyball” FDA and the meningitis outbreak.

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The end of the FDA?

When Alfred Caronia worked for a drug company, he promoted some drug’s off-label use. The Department of Justice did not take kindly to Caronia’s behavior and sued him for violating the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA). He was convicted, but appealed the conviction. Caronia argued that this commercial speech is protected by the first […]

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