Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for October, 2015

What is the IHS?

What is the Indian Health Service (IHS)?  The video below gives a nice primer on the history of IHS. The IHS provides health care to American Indians and Alaska Natives at 33 hospitals, 59 health centers and 50 health centers.   You can find the current locations of IHS facilities HERE.  Whereas the IHS annual budget […]

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Quotation of the Day

A man who procrastinates in his choosing will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance. Hunter S. Thompson  

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Over half of federal spending on entitlements

Here’s a graphic from the NIHCM foundation summarizing where federal revenues come in an where they are spent.  As you can see about one quarter of the budget is spent on  Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP and ACA Subsidies and another quarter is spent on Social Security.  This is not news if you have been reading the Healthcare Economist diligently […]

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Wednesday Links

Progress on hospital EHRs. Drugs going off-patent in 2016. Legislation to improve innovation? Marijuana and rent seeking in Ohio. 3D-printed ribs? What are the top 5 health care mergers of 2015?

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NCCN Evidence Blocks

NCCN recently released a new approach to measure the value of cancer medicines. The approach–known as Evidence Blocks–evaluates medications on 5 dimensions: Efficacy of regimens, Safety of regimens, Quality and quantity of evidence for regimens, Consistency of evidence for regimens, and Affordability of regimens. Each criteria is ranked on a 1 to 5 block scale. […]

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The 340B Program: An Overview

What is the 340B program?  A May 2015 MedPAC report has a nice summary: The 340B Drug Pricing Program allows certain hospitals and other health care providers (“covered entities”) to obtain discounted prices on “covered outpatient drugs” (prescription drugs and biologics other than vaccines) from drug manufacturers. Manufacturers must offer 340B discounts to covered entities […]

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Economics Humor

Economist’s aren’t known for having the best sense of humor.  Well, a joke about statistics has to be funny, right?  Here’s one from How I Met Your Mother.  

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Health Wonk Review: Halloween Edition

Halloween is almost upon us.  The week’s edition of the Health Wonk Review reveals some of the most frightful news from around the blog-o-sphere.   In the spirit of the season, Julie Ferguson of Workers Comp Insider has dusted off her  archives to ferret out the blog’s scariest – and most popular – posts. Some are fascinating […]

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How to measure quality

Medicare’s Shared Savings Program (MSSP) contracts with accountable care organizations (ACOs) and provides financial rewards to ACOs that provide high-quality, low-cost care.  One question is whether or not the MSSP program does a good job of defining quality. A paper by Valuck and co-authors examines what constitutes high-quality of care for 20 high-cost and highly prevalent […]

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Tuesday Links

Old boys network? Should pregnant women get temporary disability payments? Do economists need social skills? Payday loans aren’t so bad afterall? Medicare at 50.

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