Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for April, 2018

Friday Links

Progress on risk-based agreements. ACOs increase cost? P4P fail with gym memberships. The importance of reading. “Super Bowl of lung cancer immunotherapy” Apple Watch health data leads to murder conviction. plus The Spring is Here! HWR.

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How can we keep people out of the hospital?

One idea is to provide additional funding for both formal and informal caregiving services.  For instance, one could subsidize nursing homes or home health agencies on the formal side; for informal caregiving, one could give stipends to individuals to care for their elderly parents.  The question is, does this implementation actually work? This is the […]

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Healthcare Economist reaches 4,000 Posts

This post is my 4,000th blog post here at Healthcare Economist.  The blog started January 19, 2006, when I (not so) cleverly titled my very first blog post “Welcome!!!”  Over the years, we have covered a variety of issues: from health reform and value-based purchasing, to innovation and outcomes-based pricing; from current events and health […]

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Estimated prevalence of undiagnosed atrial fibrillation in the United States

This paper–written with co-authors Mintu P. Turakhia, Katalin Bognar, Jeffrey Trocio, Younos Abdulsattar, Daniel Wiederkehr, and Dana P. Goldman–is now up at PLOS One.  The study abstract is pasted below. Introduction As atrial fibrillation (AF) is often asymptomatic, it may remain undiagnosed until or even after development of complications, such as stroke. Consequently the observed […]

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Which inflation index should I use?

Many studies use data on health care costs from multiple time periods.  To make costs comparable over time, researchers often use an inflation index to translate previous years costs to current dollars.  The first question is, what inflation indices are available to make this adjustment.  A paper by Dunn et al. (2018) reviews the potential […]

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Links

I’m very skeptical of appropriateness modifiers. Computer scientist prefers paper voting. The Florida shuffle. Workers’ Comp managed care. Does culture matter for quality of care in hospitals? Should you give up on preventive care?

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Patient-Centered Formularies: Steps In The Right Direction, But Challenges Remain

That is the title of my latest blog post in Health Affairs with co-author Mark Linthicum.  The premise is as follows: CVS recently announced its new Transform Rheumatoid Arthritis Care initiative, which aims to reshape coverage of rheumatoid arthritis care through “value-based management strategies including outcomes based contracts and a new indication-based formulary for autoimmune […]

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Do does episode bundling improve quality and reduce cost?

This is the question put forth in a paper by Chen et al. (2017).  The authors examine Medicare’s Acute Care Episode (ACE) Demonstration Program, which was a small, voluntary episode-based bundled payment program. According to the CMS website, There were 28 cardiac and 9 orthopedic inpatient surgical services and procedures included in the bundled payment demonstration. These […]

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Can California afford a single payer system?

There have been a number of moves to try to move California towards a single payer system.  A single-payer bill, Senate Bill 562, was offered up last year.  Some Silicon Valley tech workers are trying to move voters towards a single payer system as well. The question is, can we afford it? This is the […]

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EMR progress is too slow

Patients and providers should be able to securely access a patient’s medical record wherever they are.  Not having a patient’s full record could result in poor treatment choices and suboptimal patient outcomes.  The dream of a seamless, cloud-based electronic medical record (EMR), however, is years away.  Consider the example shared by CMS administrator Seema Verma […]

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