Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for April, 2016

Links

Ambulances in China. MACRA. MIPS. APM. Confessions of a Health Plan CEO. What causes variation in physician practice patterns? Chernobyl, not so bad after all?

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Impact of Medicare Advantage on Hospital Admissions

Do patients who enroll in Medicare Advantage go to the hospital less frequently? The answer is yes. However, this fact may not be causal. Patients who enroll in Medicare Advantage are generally younger and healthier than patients who enroll in Medicare’s fee-for-service (FFS) program. A paper by Duggan, Gruber and Vabson (2016) uses a novel […]

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Books to read

Andrew Soloman has an outstanding article the Guardian discussing the intersection of literature and medicine.  He his article about literature on medicine saying saying: Medicine can contribute to literature; narrative practice can strengthen medicine. It behoves writers and doctors to learn each other’s fluencies, because their disparate approaches can add up to singular truths. Of particular […]

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How do consumers perceive low priced health care?

Is it a bargain?  Or do low prices represent low quality?  Or is cost independent of quality?  To try to answer this question Phillips, Schleifer, and Hagelskamp (2016) conducted a nationally representative survey to investigate whether consumers believe that price and quality are associated.  They found that: Most Americans (58–71 percent, depending on question framing) did not think that […]

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Will a robot conduct your next cancer screening?

Machine learning programs have made dramatic steps in recent years.  For instance, AlphaGo beat a world champion Go player recently.  Playing games is great, but can machine learning improve health care?  Science Daily reports that machine learning algorithms may help improve cancer screening accuracy. Every state in the United States requires cancer cases to be […]

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Friday Links

Check out this week’s Health Wonk Review at Peggy Salvatore’s Health System Ed Blog. If that’s not enough for you, here are some other links for you to read as you head towards the weekend. Is I-O a cure? How will Sean Parker’s $250m be used? Is Part B drug reform a good idea? FDA expedited […]

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Infectious Disease: Themes

An interesting post by Nicolas Bagley at the Incidental Economist provides a brief overview of a class he taught on infectious diseases and the law.  Looking at diseases ranging from cholera, Spanish flu, polio, AIDS, SARS, and Ebola, Bagley claims that ten key themes emerged: Governments are typically unprepared, disorganized, and resistant to taking steps […]

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Avoiding Lead poisoning

Lead poisoning, perhaps surprisingly, is still a major problem in the U.S. Lead poisoning in the water supply in Flint, Michigan is grabbing all the headlines, but other sources of lead poisoning are also problematic. John Oliver has even dedicated an entire show to the problem of lead poisoning in the U.S. How do you […]

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Part B drug reimbursement

In the past Medicare has reimbursed physicians that administer Part B drugs–typically injectable medications administered in a physician’s office–at 6% of the drug’s cost.  The 6% aims to cover the cost of purchasing and storing the drug as well as administering it.  Because physician reimbursement is proportional to the cost of the drug, physicians have […]

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Is P4P doomed to fail?

There have been many pay-for-performance (P4P) programs that have been implemented to attempt to improve quality and reduce cost. The vast majority of these programs have not been able to demonstrate large or even any improvement in quality or cost. Some researchers claim that these programs have not worked due to the size of the […]

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