Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for April, 2013

Why the internet is free…

Because 20 years ago today, a decision with significant ramifications occured.  The CERN website relates: On 30 April 1993, CERN made the source code of WorldWideWeb available on a royalty-free basis, making it free software. And how the world has changed (for the better?) because of it.

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Reichenbach’s Common Cause Principle

How can you tell whether one event causes another?  For instance, assume that you observe that when one event happens, another event is more likely to happen.  For instance, when it rains the ground gets wet.  Generally, rain will cause the ground to get wet.  Use of umbrellas is also highly correlated with the ground […]

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A glitch in ACO beneficiary assignement?

For most managed care plans, beneficiaries elect to participate in the plan. In exchange, beneficaries often have lower premiums, but often restricted access to providers (e.g., referral requirements, copayment differentials for out-of-network physicians). Medicare’s Accountable Care Organizations (known as Shared Savings Plans (SSP)) also assign beneficaries to organizations. The SSPs are groups of providers that […]

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Friday Reading

“Did You Take Care of Tsarnaev?“ Does cutting Medicare increase mortality? Effect of Medicare payment reform on supply. PCI vs. CABG. Should the government pay extra for hospital care during epidemics? An indecent proposal. Facebook is bad for you. Patient dumping.

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Health Wonk Review

The always insightful Hank Stern host this week’s edition of the Health Wonk Review.

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Should the CDC warn Americans about a ‘potential’ epidemic?

Although at first glance, the answer would be ‘yes’, the answer is not so straight-forward.  Consider the case of the recent H7N9 influenza outbreak in China.  Although the media gave some coverage to this issue, the risk of a pandemic was not emphasized. The reason may be Bayesian updating.  Previous influenza threats in recent years […]

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P4P in Australia

Pay for performance (P4P) is the latest rage in healthcare quality monitoring. Paying physicians more who provide high quality care makes sense intituitvely. The U.S. isn’t the only country to hop on the P4P bandwagon. In 2001, the Australian government initiated a financial incentive program for “improved management of diseases such as asthma and diabetes […]

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Baskets of Care

What are the best practices for providing care for a specific condition?  This question is not easy to answer.  Further, the best practices for treating the average patient may differ from the best practice for treating certain other types of patients; particularly when a patient suffers from multiple conditions simultaneously. Despite these challenges, this information […]

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Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Enrollment Trends in 2013

According to research from Avalere, Medicare beneficiaries are overwhelmingly choosing low-cost Part D prescription drug plans . In 2013, more than 500,000 beneficiaries enrolled in the brand new AARP Saver Plus plan—catapulting it to a position in the top 10 list of plans in its first year. With the addition of Humana/Walmart and First Health Part D Value Plus, nearly 3 million beneficiaries are choosing low-premium plans with preferred […]

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Weekend Links

Some reading for your weekend: Why Boston hospitals were ready. Australia to compensate organ donors. Who pays for Obesity? Obamacare raises demand for PT workers. Fraudulent drugs still on the market? (More evidence)

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