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…

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…

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…

Is Economics bogus science?

John Ioannidis has an interesting article in the L.A. Times titled “Economics isn’t a bogus science — we just don’t use it correctly.” Some excerpts are below: Most published studies use limited data. By a conservative estimate, the average study has 18% power to detect a modest association if one exists. Due to this low…

Is there peer-reviewer bias against research from low-income countries?

According to a paper from Harris et al. (2017), the country from which a study takes place greatly influences the academic community’s perception of that study.  The authors used a unique study design approach: In our randomized, controlled, and blinded crossover experiment, participants rated the same abstracts on two separate occasions, one month apart, with the…

How to pay for cures

Do you want to cure cancer?   Diabetes?  HIV?  Imagine if there was a single pill for each of these diseases that one could take to cure the diseases.  That would be a clear clinical advance, it would save lives, and also save money form reducing the cost of treating these disease. Can we expect to…