Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for September, 2017

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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Understanding The Value Of Innovations In Medicine

Today, there was an excellent briefing put on by Health Affairs at the National Press Club. The topic was “Understanding the Value of Innovations in Medicine” and the briefing contained two panel discussions (see agenda).  The first panel , “Many Stakeholders, Many Values: Measuring Value In A Diverse Healthcare” featured expert economists, epidemiologists, and patient […]

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Health care market concentration

One question is whether more physician concentration is a good thing.  On the one hand, larger practices could lead to more efficient care. On the other hand, larger practices could give providers more market power and could drive up prices. A separate question is whether federal authorities could do anything about increased physician market concentration. […]

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The cost of cancer care: Examining four common cancers

An interesting study by Chen et al. (2017) examines the cost of cancer care among Medicare patients.  Using SEER-Medicare data of people diagnosed with cancer between 2007 and 2011, they found: Over the year of diagnosis, mean per-patient annual Medicare spending varied substantially by cancer type: $35,849 for breast cancer, $26,295 for prostate cancer, $55,597 […]

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The cost of quality measurement

An interesting editorial in JAMA by Schuster, Onorato and Meltzer (2017) makes the following point: So how should quality measures be prioritized? Many factors are currently considered, including a measure’s expected effect on patients and health care, potential for promoting improvement, scientific underpinnings, usability, and feasibility. But there is a major omission from this list: […]

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Friday Links

Hurricane Harvey’s long-term health effects. The benefits of social insurance. The market for sick leave. Useful reference: demand elasticities by type of service. NHS short £350 million?

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Identifying high quality providers in the presence of heterogeneous preferences

Why is it so difficult for health care payers to identify a “best” provider?  A paper by Gutacker and Street (2017) explains: There are two key elements that complicate assessment of how well public sector organisations are doing their job (Besley & Ghatak, 2003; Dixit, 2002). First, they lack a single overarching objective against which […]

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