Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for May, 2013

Friday Links

Hooters and Healthcare. Will Increased Longevity Bring Down Medicare? Effect of your neighborhood on your happiness. Kickbacks are alive and well. Routine HIV Testing on the way? Healthcare slowdown: Can it continue? Who decides access to drugs: FDA or the courts? Free National Medicaid Drug Database.

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Managed Care Matters hosts the Health Wonk Review

Joe Paduda of Managed Care Matters has posted an excellent edition of Health Wonk Review on health care cost trends, reform implementation, and motivations.

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Is my distribution normal?

How can you tell if you have a normal distribution?  For instance, assume you have data on the results of a drug relative to a placebo.  You know the mean and standard deviation of the data, but that does not necessarily imply that the data is distributed in a normal fashion. How can you do […]

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The Most Important Health Policy Study of Our Generation

Perhaps the most important paper on the effect of health insurance on health, spending, and access to care was released this week. Although randomized controlled trials are rare for measuring the effect of insurance, the design of the Oregon Medicaid program introduced random variation into who received Medicaid coverage.  The authors write: In 2008, Oregon […]

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150% Rate Hike?

Robert Laszewski reports on the premium increases projected in Maryland’s health insurance exchange. …Maryland Blue Cross has filed for an average increase of 25% for individual coverage warning young people could pay as much as 150% more…

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What are we weighting for?

Weighting has a number of uses.  For instance, one can use weighting to estimate population sample statistics.  The Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) for instance oversamples households with low income.  To get nationally mean values, one must reweight the PSID values, either using survey weights or matching to a nationally representative sample such as […]

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How Missing Data affects Physicians’ P4P Bonuses

Pay-for-performance programs often offer bonuses (or penalties) for physicians, hospitals and other providers based on the quality of care patients receive.  Measuring quality of care, however, is often difficult.  For chronic conditions, for instance, many patients eligible for outcome measures may be lost to follow-up.  This issue can potentially affect provider evaluations and bonus payments. […]

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Stimulus Money Doesn’t Reach those Most in Need

…according to political scientists James G. Gimpel and Frances E. Lee of the University of Maryland, College Park, and Rebecca U. Thorpe, of the University of Washington, the areas of the country hit hardest by the downturn actually got a smaller share of the discretionary portion of the federal goodies than more fortunate regions. How […]

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Friday Links

Where to dispose of unused drugs. Tetris as medicine. A doctor’s letter to his IT department. Stockholm Syndrome and Epic EHR? A matter of survival? A tale of two births. Is ACA still law?

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Option Theory and Foul Trouble

Some non-healthcare reading from Wages of Wins as the NBA playoffs are upon us.  Should a coach bench a starter in foul trouble?  Doesn’t reducing a high-quality player’s aggregate minutes adverse affect a team and thus coaches should let players play regardless of the number of fouls they have? It turns out that the optimal […]

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