Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for September, 2017

Health Wonk Review is up

Brad Wright captures the feeling of many after another bruising ACA battle: fatigue.  He’s posted the Health Wonk Review: Repeal Fatigue Edition at Wright on Health. While the repeal saga is under discussion, wonks bring many more topics to the table, too, and Brad does a nice job encapsulating them.

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When do you value money more: when you’re healthy or sick?

How does your health affect how much you value an extra dollar of income?  You could think that if you are sick, you have a low marginal utility of income perhaps because your illness does not allow you to leave the house or you are focused on the simple things in life.  On the other […]

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Does patient demand respond to physician quality?

The answer to this question must be ‘yes’.  Everyone wants to see a good doctor compared to a bad doctor.  However, what defines a “good” doctor?  Patients perception of what makes a doctor good (e.g., bedside manner, clinic amenities) may not correspond to what technocrats or policmakers think (e.g., process of care measures).  Even if […]

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Quotation of the Day: Economists are Useless

“So now you know why economists are useless: when they actually do understand something, people don’t want to hear about it” Paul Krugman, on economists’ consensus view of rent control

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Does calorie labeling work?

I am generally skeptical of broad, top-down approaches to improve health. For instance, soda taxes are one example.  While soda is clearly not got for you, should unhealthy drinks like Red Bull be taxed?  Why single out soda?  What about cheesecake?  Thus, these efforts–while well intentioned–can seem arbitrary and paternalistic. On the other hand, posting […]

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What is Graham Cassidy?

The Republican’s latest health care bill is the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson (GCHJ) proposal or Graham Cassidy for short. Below is my super short summary of the bill. What does it propose? The Washington Post has a nice summary which shows that the bill would: Not force you to buy insurance (repeal the individual mandate) Not force employers to […]

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Why “value” is central to true health care reform

Morning Consult has an interesting piece from Mark Linthicum, the Director of Scientific Communication at the Innovation and Value Initiative (IVI) titled “Why Understanding Value Is Central to True Health Care Reform“.  In the piece he argues: The true problem is that dollars are poured into a system without any clear understanding of how worthwhile […]

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Tuesday Links

What happened to IBM Watson and cancer care? Cancer detection pen. Narrow networks and premiums. Medicaid and dental health. Outcomes based payment for PCSK9.

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How doctor’s die

Although this Saturday Evening Post article comparing how physicians and patients prefer end of life treatment is from 2013, it is interesting throughout. Years ago, Charlie, a highly respected orthopedist and a mentor of mine, found a lump in his stomach. He had a surgeon explore the area, and the diagnosis was pancreatic cancer. This […]

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HWR is up

Yesterday was an eventful day in health policy world with Medicare for All bill and Graham-Cassidy both being introduced almost simultaneously and a Health Affairs event on Understanding the Value of Medical Innovations … but despite this,Louise Norris was still managed to compile The Neverending Summer of Healthcare Legislation Edition of the Health Wonk Review at Colorado Health Insurance […]

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