Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for July, 2014

Friday Links

People seeing what they want to see. Several Nobelists would be wrong about it. Medical technology and health expenditures. Obamacare and Medicare. Are narrow networks a good thing?

Read the rest of this entry »

How did Medicare pay for chemotherapy pre-2006?

A working paper by Jacobson et al. (2014) not only provides the answer, but describes how reimbursement policy change over the past decade. Although Medicare did not offer a drug benefit for oral drugs (pills) until 2006, Medicare Part B, which covers physician services, has from inception covered physician-administered drugs such as IV chemotherapy, anti-nausea, […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Disparities in Schizophrenia Care

Do African Americans and Latinos receive the same quality care as Caucasians?  This is the question asked by Horvitz-Lennon et al. (2014). Quality of Care Before one can answer this question, one first has to define what “quality care” means.  The authors use the following definition for pharmacological indicators: Any use of antipsychotic drugs, Conditional on […]

Read the rest of this entry »

What is Reference Pricing?

To reduce utilization of pharmaceutical products, many countries have opted to use reference pricing. Reference pricing is a system where patient coinsurance payments depend not only on the price of the drug but also the price of alternatives therapies.  As the name indicates, reference pricing sets patient coinsurance rates as the difference between the drug’s […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Did Hospital VBP work?

How can Medicare improve quality and reduce cost? One idea is to introduce value-based purchasing (VBP). For instance, Medicare’s hospital value-based purchasing (HVBP) system increases payment rates for hospitals that demonstrate high quality. A paper by Ryan et al. (2014) explains the program in more detail. Under HVBP, acute care hospitals—those paid under Medicare’s Inpatient […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Weekend Links

Can wireless technology replace nurses? Social media and physician complaints. Oligopoly that is academia. Inappropriate uses of HIPAA. A Dearth in Innovation.

Read the rest of this entry »

First biosimilar hits the market

Making a generic version of a single molecule drug is fairly straightforward.  Making a replica of a biologic treatment, however, is not.  Nevertheless, Congress signed into law the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 (BPCI Act) to create a fast-track approval process for biological products that are demonstrated to be highly similar an FDA-approved biological product.  These products […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Cavalcade of Risk #213

There are many types of risk. There are health risks and financial risks, systematic risk and idiosyncratic risk. And some risks are riskier than others: In this week’s edition of the Cavalcade of Risk, the best of the blog-o-sphere give their opinions on a handful of risky issues. Why do your health insurance rates increase […]

Read the rest of this entry »

CBO presents ominous debt projections

Like most years, in recent history, the Congressional Budget Office’s 2014 Long-term Budget Outlook is not rosy. Between 2009 and 2012, the federal government recorded the largest budget deficits relative to the size of the economy since 1946, causing its debt to soar. The total amount of federal debt held by the public is now […]

Read the rest of this entry »

HIV Developments: The Good and the Bad

The World Health Organization estimates 35 million people and more than 1 million people in the US have AIDS. Further, 18% of Americans with HIV are unaware of their infections. Nevertheless, over the last decade, the US has made major strides in reducing HIV incidence. The BBC reports that a new JAMA study found that: […]

Read the rest of this entry »