Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for November, 2015

Does tying payment to quality improve quality?

Although the typical economist answer would be yes, in the case of one Medicare Advantage program, the answer is ‘no’. A paper by Layton and Ryan (2015) [earlier draft] examine the Medicare Advantage Quality Bonus Payment Demonstration (MA QBP) which began in 2012.  In this program: …plans receive bonus payments based on an overall plan quality […]

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Music therapy

When we think of medicine we think of pharmaceutical medications, surgery and other interventions.  But can music also be used to heal.  According to the American Music Therapy Association, the answer is yes.  A paper by Gold et al. (2006) finds this is the case for patients with schizophrenia: In people hospitalised with schizophrenia, adding […]

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Thursday Links

Too much cancer data? L.A. cancer sleuths. Who owns a corporation? Being graded. Medicare won’t let researchers study substance abuse?

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How much are you willing to pay to live an extra year? (Part II)

In a previous post in 2014, I examined a systematic literature review of individual willingness to pay for an extra life year.  That study found that individuals were willing to pay 118,839 EUR 2010 on average (equivalent to $142,762.92 USD in 2015 USD). The median WTP however, is only 24,226 EUR (or $29,100 in 2015 USD). […]

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HDHP on the rise

High deductible health plans (HDHP) are on the rise. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation 2015 Employer Health Benefits Survey, 25 percent of all covered workers have an HDHP in 2015, up from just 8% in 2009. For small firms, 69% of workers have a deductible of $1,000 or more compared to only 39% of […]

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Synthetic Control Method

A common method for measuring the effect of policy interventions is the difference in difference (DiD) approach.  In essence, one examines the change in outcomes among observations subject to the policy intervention and compare them agains observations that were not eligible for the policy intervention. A key assumption for this approach to be valid is […]

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Friday Links

Who’s to blame: patients or physicians? Doctors as subcontractors. A “miracle” cure for cancer? Extreme study abroad. Cost of obesity: $8 billion. The original Luddite.

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The Health Wonk Review is up

David Williams kicks off the start of the Affordable Care Act’s third annual open enrollment period with Health Wonk Review: Open season on open enrollment edition at Health Business Blog.   Go check it out!

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Risk Sharing Agreements video

Previously, I described a paper on risk sharing agreements in the US.  The National Pharmaceutical Council has a nice video from one of the authors that also summarizes the findings.  

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Is reducing disparity enough?

A recent paper in by Martin et al. (2015) finds that Medicaid Managed Care programs in Kentucky reduced monthly professional visits. Further, the decrease in the number of professional visits was larger for whites than for non-whites. The authors conclude: We find evidence that MMC [Medicaid Managed Care] has the possibility to reduce racial/ethnic disparities […]

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