Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for the 'HC Statistics' Category

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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ASSA 2016: Regional variation in hospital spending among U.S. privately insured patients

How do health care costs vary across the country. Although the team at the Dartmouth Atlas has done this exercise with patients in Medicare, there has been less study of region variation in health care spending among the privately insured with the notable exception of a 2013 Institute of Medicine report. In a study by […]

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2016 ASSA: How does expanding Medicaid eligibility affect take-up and health care spending?

Typically, answering this question is difficult as the Medicaid program varies across states and even within states. What Amanda Kowalski and co-authors do in a paper she presented at the 2016 ASSA is collect data on the variation in Medicaid eligibility across states, across demographic groups, and across time from the inception of Medicaid in […]

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Average prevalence of “sickness”

Despite the large number of illnesses defined by the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) disease coding system, health systems need to know how many encounters they are likely to experience each month. One gauge for this is the prevalence of sickness in the population. A paper by White et al. […]

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Cancer rates in the developing world

NPR reports that the developing world that cancer rates are increasing in the developing world.  In fact: The majority of cancer cases — 57 percent — now occur in low- and middle-income countries. And 65 percent of cancer deaths worldwide occur in these countries, according to an analysis by the American Cancer Society. But there’s […]

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How much are you willing to pay to live an extra year? (Part II)

In a previous post in 2014, I examined a systematic literature review of individual willingness to pay for an extra life year.  That study found that individuals were willing to pay 118,839 EUR 2010 on average (equivalent to $142,762.92 USD in 2015 USD). The median WTP however, is only 24,226 EUR (or $29,100 in 2015 USD). […]

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HDHP on the rise

High deductible health plans (HDHP) are on the rise. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation 2015 Employer Health Benefits Survey, 25 percent of all covered workers have an HDHP in 2015, up from just 8% in 2009. For small firms, 69% of workers have a deductible of $1,000 or more compared to only 39% of […]

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Over half of federal spending on entitlements

Here’s a graphic from the NIHCM foundation summarizing where federal revenues come in an where they are spent.  As you can see about one quarter of the budget is spent on  Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP and ACA Subsidies and another quarter is spent on Social Security.  This is not news if you have been reading the Healthcare Economist diligently […]

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Life Expectancy Inequality

Numerous media outlets and academic studies have demonstrated that in the last few decades, income inequality has grown. However, not only are poor Americans making relatively less money compared to their richer peers in recent years, but poor individuals also have not experienced the same survival gains as the rich. Louise Sheiner reports on a […]

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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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