Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for February, 2016

Did Medicare Part D reduce emergency room visits?

In 2006, the Medicare program was expanded to include prescription drug coverage through the Part D program. Previous studies have found that Medicare Part D improved prescription drug coverage rates among seniors (Levy and Weir,2010), increased medication utilization (Duggan and Morton, 2010), decreased out-of-pocket spending (Engelhardt and Gruber, 2011; Ketcham and Simon, 2008), and reduced medication […]

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Healthcare for all in Latin America?

The Economist has an interesting article surveying some of the efforts in Latin America to expand health insurance coverage.  Below is an excerpt: One model is that of a tax-financed system with government as sole payer (as in Britain’s National Health Service). That applies, of course, to the famed health service in communist Cuba, as well […]

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Monday Links

Cost to operate the health insurance exchange. “Bernie’s single payer plan is…a pipe dream.” A country breaking down? How did the NFL get to LA? Legacy code.

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President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget

How does President Obama propose to change the budget in the coming year?  Here are his key proposals. $500m for mental health. The budget includes $500 million in new mandatory funding to for individuals with serious mental illness.  The funding would be used to support”…additional states in the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic demonstration; increases access to […]

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Health Wonk Review is up

Steve Anderson has a freshly posted Money Changes Everything Edition of Health Wonk Review at medicareresources.org blog.

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Changes in the MSSP program

Medicare’s ACO program–the Medicare Shared Savings Plan (MSSP)–has recently been revised.  AJMC reports that Patrick Conway, MD, MSc, deputy administrator for innovation and quality and chief medical officer at CMS, describes the proposed changes to the Medicare Shared Savings Program and how they will assist accountable care organizations transitioning to tracks with more risks.

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Does more spending improve patient outcomes?

The answer to this question is not so clear cut.  Comparing outcome for patients living in Beverly Hills and those in South Los Angeles may be different not only due to health care spending but also due to the patient socioeconomic factors that affect health outcomes.  To get around this econometric challenge, an interesting paper […]

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What is the FDA doing about opioids?

The FDA is planning to put additional scrutiny on the use and approval of opioids in order to prevent opioid abuse and addiction.  Here is their plan: Re-examine the risk-benefit paradigm for opioids and ensure that the agency considers their wider public health effects Convene an expert advisory committee before approving any new drug application for an […]

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The value of surrogate endpoints for predicting real-world survival across five cancer types

You can find one of my recent papers measuring how well survival measures from clinical trials (i.e., overall survival, progression free survival, time to progression) translate into real-world survival outcomes in Current Medical Research and Opinion here.  The abstract is below.   Objective It is unclear how well different outcome measures in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) perform in […]

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Friday Links

Rural maternity care. Personalized medicine. War. Pharmaceutical use and price discrimination. Iran, sanctions, and Pharma. Mardi gras beads and capitalism.

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