Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for the 'HC Statistics' Category

ACA driving up health care spending?

That is the conclusion reached by John Holahan and Stacey McMorrow in a RWJ Issue Brief. They claim that “recent reports suggest such growth has returned to a more typical level of approximately 5.6 percent in 2014, considerably faster than increases in gross domestic product (GDP).” Positive excess cost growth–defined as the difference between the […]

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Half a trillion dollars

Clearly, the care family members provide for sick relatives add significant value to the life of the infirm. Many non-economists may consider the cost of this care as “free” because family members typically are not paid for this services.  However, nothing could be further from the truth.  If family members were not caring for their […]

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Billionaires List

Forbes came out with its list of richest people in the world.  Bill Gates tops the list, but we don’t care about that here at the Healthcare Economist.  Which people in the healthcare industry are the richest?  The top 5 include: 44. Dilip Shanghvi (India): $20 billion 96. Patrick Soon-Shiong (US): $12.2 billion 99. Stefano Pessina (Italy): $12.1 billion 149. […]

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Measles kills more kids that AIDS

Globally, measles is a significant killer of kids and the threat is growing in the US as vaccination rates decrease.  Citing a Global Burden of Disease study published in the Lancet, Wonk Blog reports that in 2013 measles killed over 82,000 children under age 5.  This puts measles as #7 on the list of the top causes […]

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US Health Care Spending in 2013

What is happening with US healthcare spending? A recent Health Affairs article from the National Health Expenditures Accounts Team summarizes the latest trends. In 2013 US health care spending increased 3.6 percent to $2.9 trillion, or $9,255 per person. The share of gross domestic product devoted to health care spending has remained at 17.4 percent […]

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What share of society’s “raise” should go to healthcare?

Politico.com has an interesting series of articles titled Obamacare 2.0, which examines different perspectives on how to improve the Affordable Care Act.   One common theme in about half the articles is that the ACA does not do enough to cut healthcare spending. The rise in healthcare spending over the past few decades has been significant.  In […]

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1 in 5 dollars of the US economy to be spent on healthcare by 2023

CMS Office of the Actuary (OACT) projects that the slowdown in healthcare spending will not last. From an article in Health Affairs this month: In 2013 health spending growth is expected to have remained slow, at 3.6 percent, as a result of the sluggish economic recovery, the effects of sequestration, and continued increases in private […]

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How much are you willing to pay to live an extra year?

Health Economists often use the cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) metric to answer this question.  QALYs are used to measure not only the additional years of life from a treatment, but also the quality of life.  For instance, you may prefer to live 1 year in perfect health to two years in a coma. […]

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Is the US health care spending slowdown real?

Between 2000 and 2007 annual health expenditures in the US grew by 6.6% per year. Between 2008 and 2011, however, the growth rate was only 3.3 percent per year. Are structural changes (e.g., the ACA) helping cause the slowdown? According to Dranove et al. (2014), the answer is likely ‘no’. The authors use new data […]

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What’s in store for 2015?

PwC’s Health Research Institute projects what is going to happen to health spending in 2015.  According to their annual report, Medical Cost Trend: Behind the Numbers: At first glance, the health sector [in 2015] appears to be reverting to historical patterns of bouncing back as the nation recovers from the economic doldrums. Whether spending more freely because […]

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