Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for the 'HC Statistics' Category

Which cancer treatment is best?

This seems like a straightforward question, but clearly depends on what you mean by “best”.  Some drugs will be more efficacious and have more adverse events; other drugs may be less efficacious but have fewer adverse events.  What if a one drug shows an 80% improvement in progression free survival (PFS), but a 50% improvement in overall […]

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Health Care Spending is Complicated

Healthcare Triage reviews a recent publication in JAMA that describes health care spending in detail.  A nice summary.

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Cancer deaths are rising…is that a good thing?

A JAMA Oncology paper estimating the global burden of cancer is getting a lot of attention in the press.  The study’s key findings are: In 2015, there were 17.5 million cancer cases worldwide and 8.7 million deaths. Between 2005 and 2015, cancer cases increased by 33% A 33% increase in cancer cases!!! There must be an […]

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Health care spending hits 17.8% of GDP

The annual health spending numbers from CMS’ Office of the Actuary (OACT) show that health care spending is increasing as a share of national income.  A study by Martin et al. (2016) estimates that health care spending now makes up 17.8% of the U.S. economy, by far and away the largest percentage in the world. […]

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Trends in Life Expectancy among Older Americans, by Race

It appear that most of the gains in longevity and reductions in disability among elderly Americans accrued to Caucasians. Using data from the 1982 and 2004 National Long Term Care Surveys and the 2011 National Health and Aging Trends Study, Freedman and Spillman (2016) find the following: We examine changes in active life expectancy in […]

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US Healthcare Spending Projections

In 2016 we will hit a milestone: national health spending per capita is projected to exceed $10,000 for the first time.  This estimate is from an article by Keehan et al. (2016).  In this paper, CMS’ Office of the Actuary (OACT) estimates costs not only this year but over the coming 10 years.  According to their projects, […]

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Sounds like a good idea?

Kaiser’s family of website has some interesting posts of late.  The Kaiser Family Foundation presents 10 Essential Facts about Medicare Prescription Drug Spending.  They show the increasing price of U.S. prescription drugs spending over time. They also show that many patients with Medicare Part D, still bear a large share of prescription drug costs for […]

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ACA decreased the number of uninsured Americans

This is according to a Urban Institute study by Karpman, Long and  Zuckerman (2016).  They look at changes in the uninsurance rate and in the rate of full-year insurance coverage for nonelderly adults (ages 18 to 64) overall and by state Medicaid expansion status.  They found that: The uninsurance rate for nonelderly adults fell from 17.6 percent in […]

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Mental Illness is mostly costly condition in the US.

A recent paper by Roehrig finds that annual U.S. spending to treat mental illness is $201 billion.  This puts mental illness as the most expensive disease to treat. Previous estimates using data such as the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) did not have mental illness as the most expensive disease.  However, MEPS examines health care […]

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Who pays for the elderly’s medical care in the U.S.?

In the U.S., the answer is largely the government.  An NBER paper by Mariacristina De Nardi, Eric French, John Bailey Jones, and Jeremy McCauley provide some helpful statistics using data from 1996 to 2010 waves of the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS). The government pays for two-thirds of health care spending by the elderly, with Medicare […]

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