Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for January, 2017

The last Obamacare sign up?

Today is the last day to sign up for Obamacare for 2017.  If President Trump has his way, it could be the last day to sign up for Obamacare ever.  In fact, Marketplace reports that Trump administration decided to pull ads promoting last-minute sign-ups, although it reversed that decision shortly after. The media put forth mixed estimates […]

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Will federal government spending be captured by the elderly?

According to a January 2017 report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), spending on entitlement programs for the elderly is the primary factor driving increased budget deficets over the next 10 years.  The CBO states: Outlays rise faster than revenues—by about 5 percent a year, on average—increasing from 20.7 percent of GDP in 2017 to […]

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Which cancer treatment is best?

This seems like a straightforward question, but clearly depends on what you mean by “best”.  Some drugs will be more efficacious and have more adverse events; other drugs may be less efficacious but have fewer adverse events.  What if a one drug shows an 80% improvement in progression free survival (PFS), but a 50% improvement in overall […]

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Friday Links

Superbugs. Pharma execs on Trump. US gov’t should buy Gilead? Artificial skin. Low cost private schools? Trump = Marxist? Plus check out the Health Wonk Review’s Inauguration Edition at Managed Care Matters.

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How much money do drug companies get for their drugs?

Let’s say a you fill a 30-day prescription and the list price of the drug is $100.  Let’s say that you pay a $10 copay and your insurer pays $90.  What share of this $100, does the drug company receive. Most people would guess pretty close to $100, but a recent report by Aaron Vandervelde and […]

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Judge blocks Aetna-Humana merger

A judge blocked a potential $37 billion deal for the merger of large U.S. health insurers Aetna and Humana.  The Washington Post provides some explanation behind the judge’s logic: Bates wrote in his opinion that the proposed merger would have decreased competition substantially in the Medicare Advantage market in 364 counties. Aetna and Humana had argued […]

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Dismantling Obamacare: A How to Guide

President Trump today released an Executive Order that asked the secretary of HHS to: “…exercise all authority and discretion available to them to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay” parts of the law that would place a fiscal burden on states, individuals or health-care providers. Most of the provisions in the ACA can’t just be […]

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ISPOR Paper of the year

The ISPOR paper of the year award for best publication in Value in Health was given to Basch et al. (2016) for their study titled Methods for Developing Patient-Reported Outcome-Based Performance Measures (PRO-PMs).  The abstract is below. Objective: To recommend methods for assessing quality of care via patient-reported outcome-based performance measures (PRO-PMs) of symptoms, functional status, […]

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Trump Links

In honor of inauguration day, some Trump-relevant links: “Art of the Deal” in health care Trump and speculative markets. On “repeal and replace” (with Wile E. Coyote graphic) Will Trump cut public health funding? Trump’s HHS appointee.

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Cost-Effectiveness Analysis 2.0

High drug prices are in the spotlight. While expensive, many of these treatments improve patients quality of life and even extend patient’s life expectancy. How do you balance treatment cost and benefits? Peter Neumann and Gillian Sanders have a perspective piece in NEJM describing the findings of the Second Panel on Cost-Effectiveness in Health and […]

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