Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for December, 2017

The Big Five

UnitedHealthcare, Anthem, Aetna, Cigna and Humana are the five largest health insurers in America. To learn more about them, check out a recent paper by Schoen and Collins (2017) in Health Affairs. The five largest US commercial health insurance companies together enroll 125 million members, or 43 percent of the country’s insured population…In 2016 Medicare and Medicaid […]

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Friday Links

The cost-effectiveness of CAR-T. Cancer gene testing breakthrough. Uninsured vs. Insured: ER use. Doulas for death. What’s the problem with digital DNA? Plus, please check out the Happy Holiday Health Wonk Review at Workers’ Comp Insider.

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Does the value-modifier improve quality and reduce health disparities?

In short, no.  That is the answer Roberts, Zaslavsky and McWilliams reach in their 2017 paper in Annals. Some background on the value modifier program.  In 2013, practices with 100 or more eligible clinicians were rewarded just from reporting quality measures. By 2014, however: Practices with 100 or more clinicians were subject to upward, downward, […]

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How one project will change the way value is measured in healthcare

That is the title of a recent article in Managed Healthcare Executive on the Innovation and Value Initiative’s new Open-Source Value Project.  The magazine interviewed Mark Linthicum, IVI’s Director of Scientific Communication.  An excerpt is below: Linthicum: Many healthcare stakeholders are now being asked to make decisions based on value, but few are also given […]

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U.S. Healthcare Spending

The CMS Office of the Actuary released their 2016 estimates for U.S. health care spending.  We’re getting close to health care taking up 18% of the economy. Total nominal US health care spending increased 4.3 percent and reached $3.3 trillion in 2016. Per capita spending on health care increased by $354, reaching $10,348. The share of gross […]

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Will MIPS work?

CMS in the past was on a value-based binge. They aimed to reward physicians based on quality of care (PQRS), based on cost (a component in the value modifier), based on use of EHR (meaningful use bonuses).  However, this imposed a large reporting bonus on physicians, pulling them away from patient care.  To solve the […]

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Webinars for IVI’s Open-Source Value Project

On November 8th, the Innovation and Value Initiative (IVI) launched a new effort to help redefine the way we measure value in health care: the Open-Source Value Project (OSVP). A first-of-its-kind effort that engages all health care stakeholders in an open process to advance the way we measure value in health care treatments and services, […]

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Health insurance expansion and physician supply

When new bills pass in Congress or state legislatures that expand health insurance coverage, most researcher look at the demand side effect.  How does the insurance expansion affect the number uninsured?  How does it affect access to care?  How does it affect out of pocket cost? What is less frequently studied is the supply side […]

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CVS-Aetna merger

Many of you have already heard the news: CVS is buying Aetna for $69 billion.  As the New York Times reports: Together, the companies touch most of the basic health services that people regularly use, providing an opportunity to benefit consumers. CVS operates a chain of pharmacies and retail clinics that could be used by […]

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Inequality in mortality is not as bad as you think

There have been numerous articles (e.g., Krugman in the NY Times) stating that disparities in life expectancy is growing.  It is known that income inequality has grown in recent decades but some claim that health inequality is also growing.  Janet Currie argues that the truth is not as bad as you think in a forthcoming article […]

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