Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for January, 2014

This HWR means business

David Williams has posted Health Wonk Review: Half glass edition at Health Business Blog 

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Thursday Links

Elasticity for beer. 16 and Pregnant’s role in public health Do Hospitals with HIT give better quality care? Pediatric marijuana patients. Increasing cancer cases in the UK.

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Why a national EMR may never happen in the U.S.

Technophiles pine for the data when any hospital or clinic can access all your health information from a single source.  Due to competitive pressures, however, it is unlikely that a national EMR will emerge in the near future.  Miller and Tucker (JHE 2014) explain: We find empirically that larger hospital systems are more likely to […]

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Has the cost curve bent?

The answer may be ‘yes’ according to recent figures from the CMS Office of the Actuary (OACT). For the fourth consecutive year, growth in health care spending remained low, increasing by 3.7 percent in 2012 to $2.8 trillion. At the same time, the share of the economy devoted to health fell slightly (from 17.3 percent to 17.2 percent) as […]

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PwC Top Healthcare Trends for 2014

PwC predicts the top trends in Healthcare for 2014. Rethinking roles. Fiscal pressures, sweeping regulatory changes under the Affordable Care Act, and an industry-wide shift to consumerism have given rise to a new health economy. To succeed, some healthcare organizations are reinventing themselves. Insurers are acquiring provider groups. Providers are entering the insurance business. Retailers […]

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The End of Hospital Cost Shifting?

Medicare is cutting reimbursement to hospitals.  Austin Frakt (HSR 2013) gives some highlights findings from a CMS report: [The ACA] will permanently reduce the Medicare payments hospitals would otherwise receive. Its ‘productivity adjustment’ will scale payments downward by the average rate at which private nonfarm businesses’ productivity increases. That rate has been estimated to be […]

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First Cavalcade of Risk of 2014

Michael Stack presents this year’s very first Cav, with posts from risky places for cancer treatment to medical child abuse (a term that’s new to me).

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Midweek Links

Does Medicaid decrease ER visits? Why use flow restrictors? Effect of competition on price and quality? January is Glaucoma awareness month. Big Healthcare.

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Does acupuncture work?

The answer is likely yes, but the result may be simply due to a placebo effect, albeit a strong one. A new analysis has found that both real and sham acupuncture treatments may help alleviate side effects of drugs commonly used to treat breast cancer. Breast cancer patients who take a type of drug called […]

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Trends in Cancer Care Near the End of Life

The Dartmouth Atlas released a new report describing how end-of-life cancer care is changing over time. Their analysis uses data from a 20 percent sample of all Medicare beneficiaries who died between the ages of 66 and 99 years during 2010, who had cancer diagnosis with a poor prognosis. The authors find that: Deaths in […]

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