Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for September, 2017

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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Quotation of the Day

Always tell the truth. It’s the easiest thing to remember David Mamet

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The news you didn’t notice when reading about the $475,000 treamtent

David Augus and and Dana Goldman weigh in on Novartis’ decision to price their new chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy known as Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel).  The treatment represents ground-breaking technology, but is priced at $475,000 per treatment.  But the authors note that there is something else novel about this technology: There was another announcement from […]

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Should employers provide health insurance to their workers?

On this Labor Day, I want to address a fundamental question in the U.S. health care system: should employers provide health insurance to their workers?  I won’t take a stand on the issue but I will just list some pros and cons.  Wherever you stand on the issue, I recommend you carefully consider the arguments […]

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