Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for February, 2016

Who are the high-cost patients?

Accountable care organizations are responsible for managing the quality and cost of patients.  However, a small share of patients make up a large share of health care cost.  How can ACOs improve the care and reduce the cost of these patients? First, ACOs need to understand the needs of high-cost patients.  A perspective by Powers and […]

Read the rest of this entry »

P4P in Medicaid

Does Medicaid use pay-for-performance (P4P) for providers?  If so, how does it work?  And does it affect quality and cost? These are the questions of interest to Rosenthal et al. (2015) in their study of P4P programs in Alabama, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania.  Although all three focus on physicians, the Alabama program is a “medical home ” […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Friday Links

How economists would fight the war on drugs. Are drug prices falling? Incentivizing off label drug use. Type I and Type II errors in psychiatry. Readmission reduction program worked?

Read the rest of this entry »

HWR is up

Louise Norris has a freshly posted Healthcare Reform: The Path Forward Edition of Health Wonk Review at Colorado Health Insurance Insider. She notes that it’s been nearly six years since the ACA was signed into law – and particularly in this election year, it’s all about the path forward.

Read the rest of this entry »

Health insurance in China

Although China has the world’s largest economy, the average individual is actually fairly poor.  Average incomes in the country are less than $15,000 per year, ranking #121 in the world.  However, a vast majority of Chinese have health insurance due to some recent reforms. A paper by Zhang et al. (2016) uses data from the 2011-2012 China […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Managing post-acute care cost

Medicare’s move towards bundling payment for acute and post-acute care means that hospitals have an incentive to carefully monitor care received after discharge.  But what are the key drivers of post-acute care cost: hospital readmissions? use of any post-acute care? type of post-acute care used? A paper by Huckfeldt et al. (2016) examines Medicare claims data […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Health care spending a key driver of future budget deficets

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its 2016 10-year budget projections last month and the numbers do not look good.  CBO estimates that the 2016 federal budget deficit will be more than half a trillion dollars ($544 billion), which will cause the total level of federal government debt to increase to 76% of GDP. How […]

Read the rest of this entry »

How does England’s NHS pay for hospital stays?

They use a system similar to the American DRG system.  A paper by Pananicolas and McGuire (2015) report: …the English NHS introduced case-based payment system in 2003/4, where they linked individual case groupings – or Health Related Groups (HRGs)4– to specific reimbursement rates derived from treatment costs. This case-based payment system is essentially a form […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Friday Links

The Moonshot metaphor Worse outcomes for warfarin. I agree with Apple. Health data is: (i) big business or (ii) in big trouble. “The amount of energy necessary to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it.”

Read the rest of this entry »

FFS vs. Capitation Reimbursement: Responses by Physicians and Medical Students

How do people respond to financial incentives?  In the medical world, physicians often are paid fee-for-service (FFS) or capitation.  Physicians receiving FFS reimbursement receive additional compensation for each additional service they do.  For instance, physicians under FFS receive twice as much compensation for 2 office visits as they would for 1 office visit.  On the other hand, […]

Read the rest of this entry »