Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for January, 2017

Can we explain the growth in health care spending with growth in pet care spending?

A blog post by Austin Frakt of the Incidental Economist says the answer is yes. In almost every year since the 1960s, health care spending has grown at least as fast as the overall economy, and often much faster. Health economists have long debated why. Strange as it may sound, how we care for our […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Single Payer vs. 300 million payer

Drug prices are in the spotlight of late.  From Pharma bro to EpiPen price hikes to Trump’s most recent press conference high drug prices are getting a lot of attention.  One solution is to have a single payer system whereby the government negotiates drug prices directly with pharmaceutical firms.  Michael Cannon proposes an alternative, the 300 […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Good News-Bad News in Covered California

First the good news, it appears that the Covered California marketplace is working.  People are selecting lower cost options and forcing insurers to compete.  Gabel et al. (2017) state that …the average purchased price for all plans was 11.6 percent less than the average offered price in 2014, 13.2 percent less in 2015, and 15.2 percent less in […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Friday Links

Why your city has no money. The “words matter” HWR The AI poker player? Should anti-vaccine MDs lose their license? The dental-medical divide.

Read the rest of this entry »

Trump Press Conference: Healthcare related comments

Below is a summary of Donald’s Trump’s press conference today with all his comments related to health care (HT NYT). On keeping preventing foreign firms from acquiring U.S. pharma firms for tax purposes We’ve got to get our drug industry back. Our drug industry has been disastrous. They’re leaving left and right. They supply our […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Health Care Spending is Complicated

Healthcare Triage reviews a recent publication in JAMA that describes health care spending in detail.  A nice summary.

Read the rest of this entry »

Some good news on cancer

In the long-run, death rates from cancer are falling.  The L.A. Times reports: In the year to come, an estimated 1,688,780 people in the United States are expected to get a cancer diagnosis, and cancer will claim the lives of a projected 600,920. That death toll, however grim, represents a death rate from cancer that […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Stratified Covariate Balancing

When selection bias is an issue, many researchers use propensity score matching to insure that observable differences in patient characteristics are balanced between individuals who receive a given treatment and those who do not.  If unobservable characteristics are correlated with observable characteristics, propensity score matching generally works well. Cases where propensity score matching does not work well include […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Friday Links

Wine and breast cancer. The promise of molecular imaging. The world’s most expensive drug? Who will be the binding constraint for drug access? 7 stages of robot replacement.

Read the rest of this entry »

Figuring out how to measure value

Unlike some other organizations, [the Innovation and Value Initiative (IVI)] is not interested in a top-down, bureaucratic process for setting prices or measuring value, says Shafrin. Rather, IVI aims to disseminate best practices for measuring value and reimbursing treatments based on this value. “We are looking at balancing innovation and value,” he says. “Some people are […]

Read the rest of this entry »