Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for April, 2013

Quotation of the Day

“When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”   Picture hat tip to Wages of Wins.

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Cavalcade of Risk #181: The ‘What If’ Edition

The news of the bombing at the Boston Marthathon has shaken many Americans.  How could such a thing happen?  What are the odds that such a thing happens to me? Let’s try to quantify the risk.  According to FindMyMarathon.com, in 2012, there were 658 marathons in the U.S. and Canada.  Thus, the probability of a […]

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Our Monopoly Economy

Via The Atlantic: Four airlines control 69% of domestic air travel Amazon sells 27% of consumer books in the U.S.; Barnes & Noble sells 16% Walmart sells 57% of Americans’ groceries Universal Music Group controls 38% of the global market for recorded music Anheuser-Busch InBev sells 39% of beer in the U.S.; Miller-Coors sells 26% […]

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Do hospitals cost shift?

Many health policy experts claim that hospitals engage in cost shifting. Cost shifting assumes that hospitals have some target profitability level and can demand is fairly inelastic.  Thus, if public programs (i.e., Medicare or Medicaid) cut prices, hospitals ‘cost shift’ by raising prices to the privately insured in order to reach their target profitability level. […]

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Health Insurance Exchanges: Lessons from Switzerland and the Netherlands

Health reforms in Switzerland and the Netherlands in 1996 and 2006, respectively, created managed competition in the countries’ health insurance markets.  These insurance markets are somewhat similar to what is being proposed through the ACA’s health insurance exchnages.  Ewout van Ginneken, Katherine Swartz, and Philip Van der Wees (2013) suggest that these implemenations offer 5 key lessons […]

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HWR Tackles Healthcare Reform

The latest edition of the Health Wonk Review is up at Colorado Health Insurance Insider.  The best of the blog-o-sphere tackle new questions in healthcare reform.

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State and Local Healthcare Spending On the Rise

Although health spending at the national level grew by only 3.9 percent in 2011, state and local health care spending grew by 10 percent. Between 2008 and 2010, state and local health care spending grew by only 3 percent; According to a Pew report, however, the prior trend of decelerating healthcare spending at the state […]

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Regional Variation in Medicare Spending and Utilization: 1974-2003

A paper by Cutler and Sheiner claim that if all areas in the United States had the level of spending prevailing at the 10th percentile from a ranking of 315 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) by Medicare spending, Medicare spending would fall by almost 30%. However, this may only be true in a static sense. If the high-cost […]

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Long Term Care in the 13th Century

There have been a number of recent efforts to finance long-term care for the elderly. The health reform law, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, created a national, voluntary insurance program for purchasing community living services and supports known as the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports program (CLASS […]

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Weekend Reading

America’s health-care prices are ludicrous. Who will enroll in Medicaid after the ACA expansion? ACA leads to 32% rise in premiums. How doctors die. Infographic. Financial implications of Medicaid expansion. How to improve your golf game.

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