Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for August, 2013

HWR Means Business

David Williams has posted Health Wonk Review: Dog Daze 2013 at Health Business Blog.  Check it out!

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Best of Both Worlds

Leading health economists Jay Bhattacharya, Amitabh Chandra, Michael Chernew, Dana Goldman, Anupam Jena, Darius Lakdawalla, Anup Malani and Tomas Philipson claim the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a Obamacare) has its problem. Although it expands health insurance coverage to more individuals, it will cause tax rates to rise in order to cover the estimated $1 trillion of […]

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Should we trust difference-in-difference estimators?

Difference-in-difference (DD) estimators are appropriate when the interventions are as good as random, conditional on time and group fixed effects.  Although much of the debate in the economic literature regarding DD estimators focuses on the possible endogeneity of the interventions, there is another problem with DD: underestimated standard errors. A paper by Bertrand, Duflo and […]

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Behavioral Hazard

Moral hazard says that people use too much care when prices are subsidized.  Behavioral hazard, on the other hand, says that even when the price of care is subsidized by insurance, patient utilization of some healthcare services may be suboptimal.  Why is this the case?  A paper by Baicker, Mullainathan and Schwartzstein (2012) offers four […]

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How UnitedHealth Sets Premiums for its own Employees

While the Affordable Care Act aims to reduce insurer ability to differentiate premiums based on pre-existing conditions, UnitedHealth is using patient behavior to adjust premiums for its own employees. …the company implemented its Rewards for Health program, which gives all adult participants the opportunity to earn points for specific health actions, such as having a screening. These points […]

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Oxymoron of the Day

Can a secret court be transparent? Charlie Rose: But has FISA court turned down any request? Barack Obama: The — because — the — first of all, Charlie, the number of requests are surprisingly small… number one. Number two, folks don’t go with a query unless they’ve got a pretty good suspicion. Charlie Rose: Should […]

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Friday Links

“I was wrong about weed” Health tourism to europe. Is Obamacare increasing the share of employees working part-time? Is war on PEDs futile? 25 best blogs. MLS > Premier League? NCAA’s ideas on fairness.

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Hospital Adoption of EHR

Rising, but penetration is still far below 100%. Courtesy of Health Affairs. Source: Catherine M. DesRoches, Dustin Charles, Michael F. Furukawa, Maulik S. Joshi, Peter Kralovec, Farzad Mostashari, Chantal Worzala and Ashish K. Jha. Adoption Of Electronic Health Records Grows Rapidly, But Fewer Than Half Of US Hospitals Had At Least A Basic System In […]

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Cavalcade of Risk #189: What in the world edition

R J Weiss makes his hosting debut today with this outstanding collection of risk-related posts. From Worker’s Comp to Morningstar Reports, R J’s got ya covered.

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Trends in Drug Approvals: 1987–2011

Many individuals have claimed that new drug approvals are declining over time.  A recent article by Lanthier et al. (2013) finds the following trends. Courtesy of Health Affairs. Drug approvals seem to be fairly steady over time, except for a decline in addition-to-class drugs. Why is this? The authors hypothesize as follows: Today we see […]

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