Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for June, 2014

SCOTUS Obamacare Ruling

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) recently ruled that family owned and other closely held companies can opt out of the Affordable Care Act’s provisions for no-cost prescription contraception in most health insurance if they have religious objections.  Is this a blow to Obamacare?  Yes and No.  The practical implications may be small but […]

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ACA, Uninsurance and American Cities

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) increased the likelihood individuals have insurance by: (i) offering states money to expand Medicaid eligibility, and (ii) offering individuals subsidies to purchase insurance through newly created health insurance exchanges.  Did it work?  A Robert Wood Johnson report examines at the effect of the ACA on uninsurance rates in 14 large […]

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Friday Links

Vaccinate your kids. Antibiotic resistance hot spots? Scope bias. The cause of unexplained strokes? USA! USA!  

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Regional Variation in Medical Spending: A Texas Case Study

A large body of research (including my own) indicates that there exists significant regional variation in medical spending. What is the source of these differences: differences in the prices paid per service or differenes in the amount of healthcare services used? The conventional wisdom is that Medicare does a better job of controlling prices, and […]

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CoR #211

Julie Ferguson of Workers Comp Insider hosts this week’s electrifying round-up of risky posts.

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Long-Term Care Hospitals

What are Long-Term Care Hospitals (LTCH)?  These facilities are different from nursing homes.  The New York Times explains the type of care they provide: These are no ordinary hospitals: Critically ill patients, sometimes unresponsive or in comas, may live here for months, even years, sustained by respirators and feeding tubes. Some, especially those recovering from accidents, […]

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A new Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze

Currently, patients entering the health insurance exchanges can choose from platinum, gold, silver and bronze plans.  What is the difference between them?  As the names indicate, platinum has the highest premium and bronze the lowest.  However, bronze plans may be more expensive.  Why is this?  In essence, all the plans cover the same items.  The […]

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Medicare Pricing Distortions and Patient Satisfaction

The cost of operating a physician practices differs across states.  For instance, rent is much higher in New York City than Nebraska.  Labor costs are much higher in Los Angeles than in La Crosse, Wisconsin.  To account for differences in the cost of operating a practice, Medicare adjusts reimbursement rates in their standard physician fee […]

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Friday Links: World Cup Edition

Get your Friday health care fix… How to fix the VA? Cost to fix Obamacare. Obamacare ‘sticker shock’ not shocking. Sanofi + Medtronic vs. Diabetes. Exchange premiums rise by 8%. Black box warning backfires? …and in the spirit of the World Cup, here are two sports-related posts… USMNT! Athletes = company-town employees? The U.S. plays […]

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HWR: World Cup Edition

Julie Ferguson has posted a fresh Health Wonk Review: The “Undeterred by World Cup Fever” Issue at Workers’ Comp Insider.  Check it out!

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