Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for January, 2016

Canada’s single payer system doesn’t cover drugs?

Yes it is true.  Wang et al. (2015) report: Unlike physician and hospital services, which are universal in Canada, coverage for prescription drugs dispensed outside hospitals falls outside the Canada Health Act and provincial governments only provide public drug programs for some population groups,primarily seniors and social assistance recipients…Canada is still the only country that […]

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Health Work Review celebrates its 10 year anniversary!

Joe Paduda has a freshly posted Health Wonk Review – The Tenth Anniversary Edition! at Managed Care Matters. Health Wonk Review – The Tenth Anniversary Edition!

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Friday Links

Flint explained Are both Democrats and Republicans wrong in the repeal Obamacare debate? The importance of astronaut pee. Urban warrior. Goldilocks chooses a health plan.

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Are home births as safe as hospital births?

The popularity of home births has been rising in recent years. One question is whether they are as safe as in-hospital births. A new study in NEJM found that most home births are safe, but hospital births are safer. As the N.Y. Times reports: The study analyzed nearly 80,000 pregnancies in Oregon, and found that […]

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The cost of allowing kids to remain dependents up to 26 years

Many of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act include provisions requiring health insurers to do certain things.  Variability of premiums are regulated, certain services are mandated (e.g., free annual check-up) and minimum benefits packages are set on the health insurance exchanges.  One seemingly innocuous provision of the ACA is that children are allowed to remain […]

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Efficacy vs. Effectiveness vs. Efficiency

Efficacy describes the technical relationship between the technology and its effects (whether it actually works), whereas effectiveness concerns the extent to which application of an efficacious technology brings about desired effects (changes in diagnoses, altered management plans, improvement in health)…Efficiency is an economic concept which relates efficacy and effectivness to resource use.  Assessment of efficiency is […]

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Mental Health Stigma

In this day and age, does having a mental illness still carry a stigma?  According to research by Prashant Bharadwaj, Mallesh M. Pai, Agne Suziedelyte, the answer is yes. Comparing self-reports to administrative data records on diagnosis and prescription drug use, we find that survey respondents under-report mental health conditions 36% of the time when asked […]

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Physician shortage?

A physician shortage may be a bit much, but it appears that physicians overestimate their availability based on a study by Coffman et al. (2016). The percentage of callers posing as Medicaid patients who could schedule new patient appointments was 18 percentage points lower than the percentage of physicians who self-reported on the survey that […]

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How to cure cancer

Clinical progress against a disease as wily and dimly understood as cancer, DeVita argues, happens when doctors have the freedom to try unorthodox things—and he worries that we have lost sight of that fact. Excerpt from “Tough Medicine: A disturbing report from the front lines of the war on cancer” by Malcolm Gladwell in the New Yorker.

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Healthcare Economist celebrates 10 year anniversary

On January 19, 2006, I started blogging with this post.  You could say that it was my “Hello World!” post. In ten years, a lot has changed. On a personal note, I got a PhD at UC-San Diego, began work at Acumen, and have moved on to Precision Health Economics.  I moved all around California: […]

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