Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for July, 2013

YouToons and Obamacare

The Kaiser Family Foundation describes how Obamacare will affect your health insurance coverage in a simple cartoon featuring the “YouToons”.  Vastly simplified, and a bit slanted towards a positive view of the legislation, but overall a good summary to health wonk novices of how the Affordable Care Act will affect your health insurance options and […]

Read the rest of this entry »

HWR is up

Louise Norris has posted an excellent  “Midsummer Wonk’s Dream” edition of Health Wonk Review at Colorado Health Insurance Insider.

Read the rest of this entry »

Test for equality of categorical varibles

In the standard statistics case, when you compare two continuous variables, you can use a t-test to determine equality of means.  For instance, you may want to know if LeBron James scores more points on average than Kevin Durant. However, what if you want to instead compare two categorical variables.  For instance, assume you are […]

Read the rest of this entry »

How to implement propensity score matching

What options are available for propensity score matching algorithms?  Baser (2006) describes a number of popular options. Stratified Matching.  In this method, the range of variation of the propensity score is divided into intervals such that within each interval, treated and control units have, on average, the same propensity score. Differences in outcome measures between […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Do doctors make mistakes?

The answer, unsurprisingly, is yes.  However, you may be surprised at the frequency with which doctors make mistakes according to a recent article in JAMA. The study reports that more than 2 in 5 patients receives at least one misdiagnosis. In 190 cases, a total of 68 unique diagnoses were missed. Most missed diagnoses were […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Weekend Reading

30 Day Readmission Rates. ORYX and Inpatient Quality Measures. Jews and Economics. Higher coinsurance rates decrease adherence. Any progress on hospital EHR adoption?

Read the rest of this entry »

International Strategies for Skilled Nursing Facility Reimbursement

In the past, I have written about how Medicare pays for Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF).  Medicare uses a case-mix adjusted per diem rate.  This approach, however, isn’t the only manner payers can use to reimburse nursing facilities.  Consider how Australia pays for nursing care under their Australian National Sub-Acute and Non-Acute Patient Classification System (AN-SNAP): […]

Read the rest of this entry »

CoR #187

Bob Wilson of Workers Compensation makes his CavRisk hosting debut with a knockout effort, featuring risk-releated posts on “hunger, health care, health care delayed, obesity and everything in between.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Berkson’s Paradox Explained

What is Berkson’s paradox? Assume that there are two independent events, A and B.  These events are not correlated when observed in nature.  However, what if one conditions on the fact that either A or B occurs.  By conditioning on the fact that one of the two events occurred, these events are now correlated. If […]

Read the rest of this entry »

The Trade-offs of Healthcare Regulation

When a problem appears, politicians often call for more regulation. Wall Street collapses? Frank-Dodd. Health insurance doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions? PPACA. Need to protect patient privacy? HIPAA. But are there downsides to increased regulation? A paper by Cotet and Benjamin (2013) examines just this question. In particular, they examine the welfare implications of regulations that […]

Read the rest of this entry »