Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for February, 2017

Friday Links

Outcomes-based contracting. Off the shelf CAR-T? Physician opioid prescribing. Regional variation in back surgery. Free health care?

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The end of “the pill”?

For years, sexually active women and men that have wanted to avoid pregnancy have used a variety of contraceptives.  From pills to condoms, there are a lot of options out there.  Now add one more to the list, and its not what you might think. Natural Cycles is an app that helps people identify the time […]

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Did the ACA cause industry consolidation?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA)–among other things–mandated a number of reforms to the Medicare reimbursement system.  For instance, the ACA created Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and bundled payment initiatives were initiatives.  If Medicare started paying providers more based on quality and total cost of care across all provider settings, one would hypothesize that industry consolidation would accelerate. […]

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Need health care data?

The International Society For Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) has put together a database of databases from around the world. The ISPOR International Digest of Databases has goal is to organize global health care databases into searchable models.  Their working group on this topic is chaired by Carl Asche and Elisabeth Oehrlein.  If you have […]

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Smarter deductibles?

Are high deductible health plans a good thing?  Republicans typically argue yes as they say that increased cost sharing reduces moral hazard.  That is, when people have to pay for medical care out of pocket, they don’t ask for unnecessary care or use care more frugally.  Democrats typically argue that increased cost sharing reduces demand […]

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Friday Links

New hope for cancer treatment? Strategic drug filling around Medicare eligibility date. Unlearning descriptive statistics. Fighting antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Cost disease.

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The Price of Everything and the Value of Nothing

That is the title of an article in Eye for Pharma which interviews me about measuring value in health care.  The article highlights a number of issues related to value measurement, health policy and the healthcare marketplace. The article also describes the launch of the Innovation and Value Initiative, a broad coalition of providers, payers, patient advocates, […]

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How do payers use patient reported outcomes?

This is the question asked by a study conducted by Brogen et al. (2017).  To see how payers use patient reported outcomes (PRO) in oncology, the authors conducted a literatures search, and searched the websites of the following health technology assessment bodies: Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) in Australia, Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies […]

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The Changing US Health Insurance Market

An interesting paper by Graves and Nikpay (2017) look at the evoluation of the health insurance market before and after Obamacare.  The authors find We found that the ACA’s unprecedented coverage changes increased transitions to Medicaid and nongroup coverage among the uninsured, while strengthening the existing employer-sponsored insurance system and improving retention of public coverage. […]

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Medicare Advantage and Upcoding

Medicare’s cost are growing due to an aging population, technological advances, and other factors.  One of those factors may be upcoding that is occurring among Medicare Advantage plans.  Rick Kronick writes in Health Affairs that: Over the past decade, the average risk score for Medicare Advantage (MA) enrollees has risen steadily relative to that for fee-for-service […]

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