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Archive for the 'HC Statistics' Category

U.S. Healthcare Spending

The CMS Office of the Actuary released their 2016 estimates for U.S. health care spending.  We’re getting close to health care taking up 18% of the economy. Total nominal US health care spending increased 4.3 percent and reached $3.3 trillion in 2016. Per capita spending on health care increased by $354, reaching $10,348. The share of gross […]

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Inequality in mortality is not as bad as you think

There have been numerous articles (e.g., Krugman in the NY Times) stating that disparities in life expectancy is growing.  It is known that income inequality has grown in recent decades but some claim that health inequality is also growing.  Janet Currie argues that the truth is not as bad as you think in a forthcoming article […]

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How much is your life worth?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the answer is $10 million.  Other agencies place use a somewhat lower number.  The Food and Drug administration pegs the value at $9.5 million and the Department of Agriculture places the value at $8.9 million. Technically, what these agencies are calculating are the value of a statistical life (VSL).  […]

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The cost of cancer care: Examining four common cancers

An interesting study by Chen et al. (2017) examines the cost of cancer care among Medicare patients.  Using SEER-Medicare data of people diagnosed with cancer between 2007 and 2011, they found: Over the year of diagnosis, mean per-patient annual Medicare spending varied substantially by cancer type: $35,849 for breast cancer, $26,295 for prostate cancer, $55,597 […]

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What is causing U.S. debt to explode?

According to the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO’s) 2017 Long-Term Budget Outlook, you need to look no further than entitlements for the elderly. Mandatory programs have accounted for a rising share of the federal government’s noninterest spending over the past few decades, exceeding 60 percent for the past several years. Much of the growth has occurred because […]

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Health care to comprise 20% of the US economy by 2025

That is the conclusion reacted by CMS’ Office of the Actuary.  As published in a recent Health Affairs article: Under current law, national health expenditures are projected to grow at an average annual rate of 5.6 percent for 2016–25 and represent 19.9 percent of gross domestic product by 2025. For 2016, national health expenditure growth is anticipated to […]

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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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