Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for March, 2014

Do you live in an area with hospital competition?

Likely not.  At least according to some research by William Vogt.  In an NIHCM Issue Brief, Dr. Vogt states: The inpatient hospital market in the United States was transformed by a wave of hospital consolidation during the 1990s, which witnessed more than 900 mergers and acquisitions. Many cities came to be dominated by two or three large hospital systems, and […]

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Health Insurance Exchange Enrollment: March 2014 Update

Healthcare.gov was seen as a disaster. Some states, however, opted to create their own exchange. California, for instance, created the “Covered California” website and exchange. How many states decided to create their own exchange? A Robert Wood Johnson issue brief notes that: [Sixteen] States (and DC) established their own marketplaces; 27 states chose, or defaulted […]

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Friday Links

The Affordable Care Act is working. The Affordable Care Act is not working. Can a supercomputer treat brain cancer? Can parking be too cheap? Can college football players to unionize?

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Madness at the HWR

Christopher Fleming has posted an excellent edition of the Health Wonk Review (HWR) at Health Affairs Blog: A March Madness Health Wonk Review.

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And the news from Syria gets worse…

Individual health in Syria is not only at risk due to violence, but also due to contagious diseases.  In fact, one disease that had previously been eradicated from the country is now back.  The BBC reports: Syria was declared free of polio in 1999. But the disease re-emerged last year, after two years of conflict. […]

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Comparing Cost-Benefit Analysis and Social Welfare Functions

When evaluating whether a policy or medical treatment approved, policymakers often rely on cost-benefit analysis (CBA).  However, how does one measure costs and benefits?  Costs are often measured in monetary terms and benefits are often measured as decreases in mortality or morbidity. One way to ensure to tradeoff cost and benefits is to monetize health […]

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The importance of genes

…may be smaller than previously thought for many chronic conditions.  A paper by Thompson (2014) uses data from 125,000 parent-child pairs to determine that: children with a parent who has a specific chronic health condition are at least 100% more likely to have the same condition themselves. To assess the role of genetic mechanisms in generating […]

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Obamacare: “The single, biggest untold story of the numbers right now”

How many people will sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA, Obamacare)? There are a number of different projections. WonkBlog reports: The big political focus has been on whether exchange enrollment by March 31 will reach 6 million, the revised estimate provided by the Congressional Budget Office. After the Department of Health […]

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Links

Some people have March Madness. NCAA and a suitcase full of cash (not what you think) UW vs. UW-M. Other people are mad about the U.S. healthcare system. What is a “health insurance ghetto”? Is there a subsidy gap? The absurdity of US healthcare prices. How to define a “cut to Medicare”? And ending on a positive […]

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Inpatient Psychiatric Facilities: Patient Population and Readmissions

The Affordable Care Act has required that CMS begin to address excess readmissions in short term acute care hospitals paid under the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) through the Hospital Readmissions Reduction program.  This program requires CMS to reduce payments to IPPS hospitals with excessive readmissions for a set of three conditions—acute myocardial infarction (AMI), […]

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