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Farmers Become Health-Care Monitors

In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal (“In China…“), there is an interesting article about health care in rural China. The article gets at the heart of a number of health care issues: Physicians paid on a fee-for-service basis treat their patients more intensely compared to physicians paid on a salaried or capitation basis. In rural China, […]

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2014 State of the Union: A Healthcare Review

As is an annual tradition, below is the Healthcare Economist’s blow-by-blow commentary of all healthcare-related statements made by the President in his State of the Union address. Michelle’s Let’s Move partnership with schools, businesses, and local leaders has helped bring down childhood obesity rates for the first time in thirty years – an achievement that […]

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The Unintended Consequences of P4P

Pay-for-performance (P4P) may be better at improving documentation of outcomes rather than actually improving outcomes.  Farmer, Black and Bonow give the following example: Beginning in the fourth quarter of 2008, [CMS] ceased to reimburse for costs due to selected preventable adverse events, including patient safety indicator 5 (PSI-5) (leaving a foreign object in the body […]

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Thursday Reading

Outlook for Obamacare. No relationship between pharma spending and life expectancy. Too much and too little coverage. Effect of Dodd-Frank on farmers. Inflicting pain. Hospital Blackout. My favorite football player opens a yogurt shop.

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Why do doctors adopt an innovation?

You’re a researcher.  You just came up with a new medical treatment that is far superior to the previous treatment.  How do you get physicians to adopt your method/technology? Most researchers believe that providing the physician with evidence of the new treatment superiority is the number one factor driving adoption.  In a presentation at this […]

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Smoking Prevention in China

“All tobacco companies are state-owned, and the industry provides signifiant revenue; it also directly employs more than half a million people. From the government’s perspective, smoking is important to stability, both economic and social.  Some cigarettes are even subsidized–the cheapest brands cost as little as thirty cents a pack, because officials fear that farmers will […]

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Partners in Health: Should you really donate your money here?

With the recent devastation in Haiti, many celebrities have advocated donating money to the non-profit Partners in Health.  What is this organization?  Is it the best place to donate your money? Almost 4 years ago, the Healthcare Economist endorsed PIH as a great place to donate your money in my post “Are you ready to […]

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How did the national debt get so big?

The book Cadillac Desert discusses the development of dams, aquaducts, and irrigation canals to slake the thirst of cities and farmers in the Western U.S..  While these projects did eventually deliver the water they promised, they did so at huge costs to taxpayers.  In the words of former congressmen Robert W. Edgar: “The old-boy network […]

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Swine Flu Update: Tuesday

Daily Kos has an interesting post on what should be the threshold to close a school. A second American died from the swine flu. Hong Kong hotel quarantine. Will the swine flu become drug resistant? Although pork is safe to eat, many people still fear eating products made from pigs.  Hog farmers may face significant losses […]

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Solving California’s Water Shortage

Forbes reports that “California is perpetually portrayed as suffering from a shortage of water. Case in point: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recently declared a statewide drought, telling citizens to prepare for rationing.”  As any economist would tell you, the solution to the water shortage problem is simple: raise the price of water. The largest culprits of […]

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