Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for April, 2015

Quotation of the Day

“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.” -Kurt Vonnegut

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Medicare Advantage vs. FFS

Austin Frakt summarizes some recent research presented at AcademyHealth. There are three principle MA plan types: HMOs, PPOs, and private fee for service (PFFS) plans. It’s HMOs that are lowest in cost, because they tend to offer the most restrictive networks. As Biles et al. report, based on 2012 data, HMOs have costs 7 percent […]

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Health in Baltimore

Baltimore is in the news, and not for the best reasons.  The arrest and eventual death of Freddie Gray have unleashed a series of protests and riots.  One conference where the Healthcare Economist had a poster presentation–the American Heart Association (AHA) Quality of Care and Outcomes Research (QCOR) Scientific Sessions (conference) was cancelled this week due […]

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FDA’s Breakthrough Therapy Designation

Many of you may have heard of the FDA’s Fast Track Development program. For drugs that treat a serious medical condition and address an unmet medical need, the FDA will provide expedited review. In fact, the FDA has 4 different accelerated review processes: Breakthrough Therapy Priority Review Accelerated Approval Fast Track These other 3 programs, […]

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Does home health care reduce long-term care costs?

It has long been posited that increased used of home health care will decrease the use of long-term care.  Clearly, there are some patients who need assistance, but for whom long-term care is not needed.  If most of these people who would use home health care would otherwise be in long-term care, home health care […]

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Everything PPACA HWR

Joe Paduda has posted The Everything-PPACA edition of Health Wonk Review at Managed Care Matters.  The ongoing rollout of the Affordable Care Act is the primary subject of this edition, but check it out – there is much more to be found!

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Standard Gamble, Time Trade-off and Visual Analog Scale

Would you rather live for 5 years in perfect health or 10 years with some debilitating disease?  How much do you value living for a year with this debilitating disease compared to a year in full health?  These questions may seem like ones from philosophy, but they are ones that health economics ask all the time.  The […]

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EMRs and the Medical Alphabet

Here at the Healthcare Economist, I have noted that electronic medical records (EMR) are not the cure-all for healthcare delivery.   EMRs have a number of problems in and of themselves.  However, I do certainly acknowledge that going from a medical alphabet (see below) to a regular old English alphabet is a huge advance.   […]

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Medicare starts using prior authorization

Included within the many changes to physician payment in HR2, is one provision that may surprise people; a subset of Medicare physicians will be required to receive prior authorization to conduct imaging services. Beginning with 2017, and in consultation with stakeholders, the Secretary will identify ordering professionals with low adherence to applicable [appropriate use criteria] […]

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Precision for Medicine Acquires Precision Health Economics

Big news in the world of Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR).  The press release is below. Precision for Medicine Acquires Precision Health Economics Extends Leadership in Health Economics and Outcomes Research With a Focus on Evidence Generation in an Era of Precision Medicine Bethesda, MD, and Los Angeles, April 16, 2015 – Precision for […]

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