Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for October, 2014

Cancer Care Myths

Below are excerpts from a recent Health Affairs paper by Goldman and Philipson (2014): Myth #1: The War on Cancer has been a failure.  Survival rates for all cancers increased by almost four years during the period 1988–2000. Myth 2: Detection, Not Treatment, Accounts For Most Of The Survival Gains.  During 1988–2000 almost 80 percent of […]

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CoR #219

Russell Hutchinson hosts the latest edition of the Cavalcade of Risk.  You can find a terrific collection of risk-related posts including topics such as how to measure nurse value added, worker’s comp premiums, and the commercialization of drones. I would like to call out in particular Hank Stern’s article examining whether or not your health […]

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Leadership Rules

From a book on economics, complexity theory and economics, below are some good guidelines for managers and leaders developed by the Prussian army: A commanding officer should always give an order for an outcome, never for an action.  This leads the person receiving the order to reflect on and interpret it with all his prior knowledge and in its […]

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The 2014 Nobel Prize in Economics goes to…

Jean Tirole. The full scientific background is here.  Marginal Revolution has a number of posts or you can check out Wonk Blog.  Digitopoly discusses how Tirole is like Louis Pasteur.  Vox has a nice overview of Tirole’s work as well and an example from newspapers… Newspapers, for example, are one area the Nobel Committee points to […]

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Residency Hour Restrictions and Patient Outcomes

Residency has been a right of passage for physicians. Long 36-hour shifts mix with the excitement of new learning. However, recent regulations have now capped residency weekly hours at 80. Although patient medical care in the short-run may improve (because physicians are less tired), in the long run, are physicians exposed to as wide a […]

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HWR

Joe Paduda has posted this week’s Health Wonk Review and keeping with the overall mission, he says that there’s “lots of health policy stuff, all right here!”

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How important is having a good nurse?

Perhaps unfairly, doctors get all the credit. When patients have better health outcomes, physicians are rewarded; when they have worse health outcomes, the physician is blamed. However, the quality of nurses also likely affects the quality of care that patients receive. A recent paper by Yakusheva, Lindrooth and Weiss (2014) finds that nurse quality does […]

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Do specialty drugs provide good value?

Specialty drugs have greatly improved quality and duration of life for many patients.  Specialty drugs have been developed for a variety of illnesses, such as cancer, hepatitis C, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis.  However, these drugs are typically very expensive.  Are they worth the cost? A paper by Chambers et al. (2014) find the following: …specialty drugs offered […]

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Pharmaceutical Cost Offsets

Does increasing use of prescription drugs decrease cost?  There is evidence on both sides of the aisle.  However, a recnet paper by Deb, Trevedi and Zimmer (2014) does find evidence of cost offsets using a sophisticated copula-based bivariated dynamic hurdle model.  This model, models drug and non-drugs spending and for each dimensions models the probability […]

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What does an ACO look like?

ACOs are all the rage, but what does a typical ACO look like ? A study by Shortell et al. (2014) attempts to answer this question using data from the National Survey of ACOs. This survey includes ACOs participating in Medicare, Medicaid, or commercial payer programs.  The authors consider eight attributes for creating an ACO taxonomy […]

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