Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for August, 2014

Health Benefits of a Vacation

The Healthcare Economist will be off through Labor Day, taking a vacation to San Diego.  Inspired by this trip, below is a study that finds that people who take vacations are healthier.  Although not a randomized trial, this evidence is suggestive.  The Huffington Post paraphrases:   In a study of 13,000 middle-aged men at risk for heart disease, those who […]

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Mid-week links

Workers’ Comp trends. LA storeys. Who ordered that? P4P skepticism. This paper is about nothing.  

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Why don’t payers adopt my technology?

Why don’t payers adopt innovative approaches to treat mental illness? For instance, crisis intervention programs, recovery-focused consumer education programs, telehealth programs, and on-line treatment programs have sometimes have had problems receiving reimbursement from payers. Monica Oss of OpenMinds takes the payers’ perspective: Often, the organization proposing the new program comes to the table with an […]

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A biologic by any other name would smell as sweet?

How important is a name?  In the case of biologics and biosimilars, billions of dollars depends on whether biosimilars can share the same name as branded biologics.  WonkBlog explains the biologic vs. biosimilar debate: Biologics, which treat serious diseases like cancer and multiple sclerosis, are usually more expensive than conventional drugs, and they’re also harder to […]

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Friday Links

Do voters now like Obamacare? The deadliest drug. Evidence for digital medicine. X-ray goggles. CDC Ebola guidance.

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Medicare Advantage Plans: Thumbs Up or Down?

Austin Frakt says although Medicare Advantage plans used to be considered high cost, low-quality options, in recent years, these Medicare Advantage plans have vastly increased quality of care and have become less focused on cream-skimming healthier patients.   Medicare Advantage plans — private plans that serve as alternatives to the traditional, public program for those […]

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CoR #215 is up

Paul Dzielinski of The DEC page makes his CavRisk debut with an excellent round-up of interesting posts, and his own helpful insights on each one. 

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How much are you willing to pay to live an extra year?

Health Economists often use the cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) metric to answer this question.  QALYs are used to measure not only the additional years of life from a treatment, but also the quality of life.  For instance, you may prefer to live 1 year in perfect health to two years in a coma. […]

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Does poor mental health decrease your job prospects?

Conventional wisdom holds that individuals with serious mental illenesses will have more difficulty acquiring and retaining a job.  Measuring the magnitude of the effect of any mental illness on employment empirically is difficult because of a dual-causality problem.  People with mental illnesses may have difficulty gaining employment, but losing employment also has an adverse effect on […]

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Friday Links

FDA and device regulation. Ebola cards. Drugs and workers comp. Mentorship vs. MOOC. Automate vs. Innovate.  

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