Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for September, 2014

What share of society’s “raise” should go to healthcare?

Politico.com has an interesting series of articles titled Obamacare 2.0, which examines different perspectives on how to improve the Affordable Care Act.   One common theme in about half the articles is that the ACA does not do enough to cut healthcare spending. The rise in healthcare spending over the past few decades has been significant.  In […]

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Reimbursement Rates and Quality

How do reimbursement rates affect quality?  One school of thought holds that decreased reimbursement decreases quality in the short-run and decreases innovation in the long-run.  Another school of thought believes that there is so  much inefficiency in the health care system, that reducing reimbursement rates will have no affect  on quality.  Which answer is correct? A study […]

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Rankings and Kendall’s W

How can you compare how similar two rankings are.  For instance, US News and Consumer Reports may both rate hospitals.  If they have identical ratings, then they are obviously the same.  However, what if the rankings differ for 2 hospitals?  For 4 hospitals?  How can one quantify the similar of rankings? One method for doing so […]

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End of week links

Diagnosing cancer early. The money duck. Pythagorean wins for soccer. Battle of the billionaires. Talking Trade-offs.

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HWR and Recess

Billy Wynne has posted the  Thank God It’s Recess” edition of Health Wonk Review at Healthcare Lighthouse.  Check it out.  

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Stimulating Health Care Innovation

How do policymakers increase the speed of healthcare innovation in the US? A 2014 report by RAND gives five proposals which I list below with my own commentary. Enable more creativity in funding basic science. Increasing funding for basic science is a clear way to spur innovation. The opportunity cost of additional funding for science […]

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The Angelina Jolie Effect

You may know that Angelina Jolie is an actress but do you know that she also is influencing the health care decisions of millions of women worldwide?  At least that is the findings from a recent article in Breast Cancer Research.  The Guardian reports: Referrals for genetic breast cancer tests more than doubled in the […]

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Longer trials or larger sample size?

Developing drugs is expensive. Some estimates have estimated that the cost of bringing a drug to market is $1 billion. In addition, payers are now reimbursing based on the perceived value of a treatment. That is, treatments that provide more health benefits receive higher reimbursements. In this world of value-based pricing (VBP), pharmaceutical companies have […]

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What can Geographic Variation in Health Care Spending Tell Us About Efficiency?

In a project with the Institute of Medicine (IOM), I examined the sources of regional variation in Medicare and Medicaid spending and spending growth. The IOM wisely concluded that policymakers should target decision-makerss rather than geography when attempting to improve the efficiency of the healthcare system. I recent paper by the Louise Sheniner of the […]

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Links

Here are some links to check out for the end of the week: Roadblocks to telehealth. Economist job market guide. Cell phone ban. EHR = Grief Counselors as Tarot card readers Is your nursing home really 5-star?

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