Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for April, 2017

Will the UK become a “desert for healthcare innovation”?

That is the claim made by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI).  Lisa Anson, who took over as ABPI president last week, told The Times that the financial squeeze on the NHS threatened the whole of Britain’s £30 billion life sciences sector as firms would reconsider working in the UK.  ABPI asked for the […]

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Measuring the effect of multiple comorbidities on health care costs: Q&A Style

Q: What is the effect of the number of patient comorbidities on health care spending? A: This is a simple analysis to do. One could just run a regression with cost as the dependent variable and the number of comorbidities as an independent.   Q: What if the effect of the number of comorbitiides is […]

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Pay caps on nurses in the UK

I’m finishing my time in the UK today and head back home tomorrow.  The British Society for Rheumatology 2017 conference was interesting, on the news the key headlines were pay for National Health Service employees, nurses in particular. Due to budget shortfalls, the NHS froze nurse pay between 2010 and 2012.  Beginning in 2012, pay raises resumed […]

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The Voice of the Patient

Did you ever wonder what is is like having lung cancer?  Or narcolepsy?    What factors are most important to patients when receiving treatment for these diseases? The FDA is working to collect these answers to help guide their drug approval process.  The FDA’s “Voice of the Patient” aims to “…more systematically gather patients’ perspectives […]

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Presentation at 2017 British Society for Rheumatology

For those attending the British Society for Rheumatology Annual Meeting in Birmingham, England, I will be giving a podium presentation on Wednesday, April 26 at 12pm BST titled “Economic Burden of Rheumatoid Arthritis is Higher for Anti-Citrullinated Protein Antibody-Positive Patients.”  Come by Hall 6 to check it out along with other presentations in the Clinical and […]

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How does payment reform affect providers in competitive vs. non-competitive markets?

How does payment reform affect access to care?  And what does payment reform mean? Payment reform can mean manythings but in this context we will mean substituting fee-for-service or cost-plus reimbursement schemes for fixed reimbursement for a fixed episodes of care or fixed bundles of services during a specific time frame. One example of how payment reform worked, […]

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Who’s on First Health Wonk Review + Links

Brad Wright has posted the  Health Wonk Review: Who’s On First? Edition at Wright on Health.   Check it out along with some other interesting links from the week. Consultants and policymakers. Superbabies. Blocks grants: Case study in Canada. A pact. Standards-based grading. Brand penalty.

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FDA Hedges

Pharmaceutical companies face major risk.  There is risk that the drugs they are researching don’t work (e.g., lack of efficacy) or are not safe.  There is risk that health insurers or government payers will not cover their treatment.  And there is risk that the FDA will not approve a drug after a Phase III clinical trial. […]

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Access to cancer care in the UK

Being sick in the United Kingdom has advantages and disadvantages.  Supporters will cite that out-of-pocket costs are generally low, coverage is universal, and the price of health care to the government is lower. One question is, what is the quality of care received?  Critics cite that access to cutting edge, innovative treatments is often restricted or […]

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How do patients and physicians make good treatment decisions?

The answer seems to be just find the “best” treatment.  In theory this sounds easy, but in practice it is difficult.  What does best mean?  What if one treatment has better outcomes on average but is riskier?  What if one treatment is more effective than another but requires injections rather than pills?  What if patients have […]

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