Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for June, 2013

Health Wonk Review: Jeopardy Edition

Do you watch Jeopardy?  Have you ever played the game 20 questions?  Or Trival Pursuit?  Either way, if you like questions, this is the perfect Health Wonk Review for you. Can you summarize the U.S. health care debate into five bullet points?  Disease Management Care Blog can. Will Obamacare increase or decrease entrepreneurship?  The Health […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Why is Obamacare Unpopular?

Views on the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare, a.k.a. Health Reform) are mixed. Despite the fact that many people support individual provisions, overall, the measure is unpopular. Why would that be the case? A revealing Health Affairs interview with Cythnia Morgan, may reveal the answer. Morgan is a fifty-eight-year-old former hotel manager, has been out […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Wisconsin is not Oregon

Recently in the news, a psuedo-randomized trial of Oregon’s Medicaid expansion found that people with Medicaid used more healthcare services.  They use more doctor visits, more medications and even a few more ER visits and hospitalizations (though these last two were not statistically significant).  Some policymakers believed that insurance will decrease ER visits and hosptializations […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Does Competition Improve Quality?

For the most part, the answer is “Yes” according to a recent study by Jung and Polsky.  The authors use a Herfindahl index to measure competition and examine how outcomes for home health patients vary based on the level of competition.  The (unadjusted) figures–based on data from OASIS— show that quality increases as competitions increases […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Nurse Practitioner Popularity Grows

Patients generally prefer physicians to nurse practitioners (NP) or physicians assistants (PA) assuming a visit to either costs the same.  However, what happens when one takes into account waiting times? A paper by Dill et al. (2013) reveals the following: Respondents were given a choice between seeing a physician assistant or nurse practitioner today or a physician […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Effect of Physician Reimbursement Rates on Medicaid Take-up

Only about 50% to 60% of individuals eligible for Medicaid actually take-up the coverage.  Why is this case?  Many people claim that individuals only take up Medicaid insurance when they get sick.  Others claim that state outreach efforts have been subpar.  Youjin Hahn, however, offers another explanation rates: Medicaid insurance is just not that valuable. The […]

Read the rest of this entry »