Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for February, 2015

Friday Links

£300m for dementia research. Drug-resistant malaria on the rise? Pregnancy tester + nanotechnology. Dentists lose a monopoly. The end of p-values. Time bombs under the streets.

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HWR is up

David Williams has posted Health Wonk Review: Happy 10th anniversary edition at Health Business Blog. It’s Health Business Blog’s 10 year anniversary so be sure to stop by to read David’s post and wish him well – 10 years Internet time is a veritable eon!  

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The end of wearables?

Wearable technology is all the rage.  There was even a recent paper in JAMA about wearable technology.  However, will wearables soon to be old news?  What is the future?  Joe Kvedar gives his thoughts on the topic: Thus, we have plentiful pedometer apps…We’ve also solved how to run these apps in the background without disrupting the […]

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Narrow Networks

One of the ways health plans in the health insurance exchanges have been able to keep premiums down is through offering beneficiaries very narrow networks. By steering patients towards “efficient” doctors, premiums stay low. However, patients may worry that these “low cost” doctors are lower quality than those outside of the network. The tradeoff between […]

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Do Weight Loss Wellness Programs work?

In short, ‘no’.  At least that is the conclusion reached by a recent AJMC paper that looks at the evidence available for employer-sponsored wellness programs.  The authors write: American corporations continue to expand wellness programs, which now reach an estimated 90% of workers in large organizations, yet no study has demonstrated that the main focus […]

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Friday Links

Good intentions. Taxes around the world. Big bucks for dementia research. Are providers ready for value-based purchasing? An interview with Mark Smith. Uninsured and tax penalties.

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Coordinating Federal Efforts for Patients with Serious Mental Illness

Following up a December 2014 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, testimony last week Linda T. Kohn, Director of Health Care at the GAO describes how fragmented the federal government provides very fragmented support services care for individuals with serious mental illness.  Coordinate across agencies is lacking and few agencies have conducted evaluations of their programs. Agencies identified 112 federal programs […]

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Regional Growth in Medicare Spending, 1992–2010

Below is an abstract from a paper I co-wrote with Camille Chicklis, Thomas MaCurdy, Jay Bhattacharya, and Dan Rodgers.  The title of the paper is Regional Growth in Medicare Spending, 1992–2010. Objective: To determine if regions with high Medicare expenditures in a given setting remain high cost over time. Data Sources/Study Setting: One hundred percent of national Medicare Parts […]

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The Republican Response to Obamacare

For years, Republicans have campaigned to repeal Obamacare. The biggest question in their campaign is what to replace it with. One year ago, Republicans unveiled the Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility, and Empowerment Act (Patient CARE).  Now, the Republicans have a new plan.   What’s in the new plan?  The Healthcare Economist reviews the highlights. No […]

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Government IT

Information technology without a doubt is helping to restructure the very fabric of society, business and government.  However, these changes do not come without challenges.  For instance electronic health records (EHR) may harm the patient-physician interaction and are susceptible to hacker attacks. A recent Fiscal Times article demonstrates how government programs often do not invest in IT infrastructure efficiently. Meanwhile, […]

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