Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for January, 2018

2018 State of the Union: Healthcare Recap

What did you think of the State of the Union address?  I won’t get into all the policies and positions put forth by President Trump, but I will review his statements related to health care. And we are serving our brave veterans, including giving our veterans choice in their healthcare decisions. Last year, the Congress […]

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What if Amazon ran hospitals?

Interesting thought experiment, especially in light of the recent Amazon+JP Morgan+Berkshire Hathaway collaboration.   The N.Y. Times states that: Planning for the new company is being led by Marvelle Sullivan Berchtold, a JPMorgan managing director who was previously head of the Swiss drugmaker Novartis’s mergers and acquisitions strategy; Todd Combs, an investment officer at Berkshire […]

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Does preventive care save money?

Aaron Carroll argues ‘no’ and–in most but not all cases–I agree with him.  Here is the evidence he cites: More health insurance does not reduce emergency department (ED) visits.  States that expanded Medicaid eligibility with ACA funding saw an increase in ED visits relative to non-expansion states.  In Oregon, individuals who won an eligibility ‘lottery’ to […]

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The key to happiness

Today we are going to figure out the key to happiness.  As our guide, we won’t use the Dalai Lama or self-help guru.  Instead, we will look at the research of economists Richard Easterlin and Onnicha Sawangfa (what did you expect…this is an economics blog after all). Their study is unique as it not only measures […]

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Links

P4P in the NFL. Cancer screening blood test. Some progress towards sharing clinical trial data Separating conjoined twins. Kicking the can down the road is very bipartisan

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Are e-cigarettes healthy?

Clearly, the answer is no.  It is best not to smoke at all.  From a policy perspective, however, there is a question of whether e-cigarettes should be regulated and taxed heavily–like regular cigarettes–or more lightly.  If e-cigarettes are relatively healthier than standard cigarettes, less taxes/regulation would be merited.  If, however, e-cigarettes induce more individuals to […]

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To get our money’s worth in healthcare, we need to collaborate

This is the title of an interesting commentary in Modern Healthcare by my colleague Mark Linthicum. An excerpt is below. In healthcare, different stakeholders have vastly different perceptions of value, with important implications for decisionmaking. An employer paying for healthcare may want to find solutions that decrease employee absences and prevent lengthy hospitalizations. A health […]

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Medicaid and paperwork

When you buy a typical product, the vendor does its best to make the purchasing process as easy as possible.  There is a reason for this, clearly; they want your business.  State and federal governments, however, have no such incentive.  In fact, oftentimes reducing the number of people using government services saves money. Thus, it […]

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This month’s Health Wonk Review

Joe Paduda gets the year started with his  fresh edition of Health Wonk Review: Ring in the New year with the latest and greatest…posted at Managed Care Matters.  Check it out!  

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What is evidence-based health policy?

Many people have heard of evidence-based medicine (EBM).  A perspective piece in the New England Journal of Medicine by Katherine Baicker and Amitabh Chandra, however, tries to define what evidence-based health policy (EBHP) is.  They list three key criteria: Policies need to be well-specified.  For instance, “expand Medicaid coverage” is too general, whereas specifying that benefit package A […]

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