Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for the 'Optimal Ins (Theory)' Category

What’s Going on in Grand Junction?

Grand Junction has been lauded as one place that offers some of the best healthcare in the nation, at the lowest cost. “Grand Junction ranks near the top in Medicare’s Composite Quality of Care index, with a score of 91. That’s 21 points higher than McAllen. But costs in Grand Junction are among the lowest in […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Effect of delayed reimbursement on utilization of medical services

A recent paper by Hai Zhong (2011) finds that health insurance that provides immediate reimbursement for health care services significantly increases the likelihood of patients seeking outpatient treatment in China compared to reimbursement beneficiaries with a delay. China isn’t the only country where insurance companies provide delayed reimbursement. In fact, in France patients pay the full cost […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Cash and Counselling

Many economists claim that insurance that gives  sick people cash to pay for their medical treatments is more efficient than insurance that provides in-kind medical services directly.  Although providing in-kind services is more likely to decrease the number of false claimants than insurance that provides cash, cash benefits allow beneficiaries to control how they spend […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Value-Based Cost Sharing

Many policy experts have been proponents of value-based cost sharing.  Under value-based cost sharing, medical care that is seen to provide a higher marginal benefit to the patient will have lower coinsurance rates than medical care with lower marginal benefits.  If value-based cost sharing would be implemented, preventive care should have low coinsurance rates because […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Medical Insurance, Technological Change, and Welfare

Can technological change make people worse off? Most economists think technical improvements are always good. Producing more of the output with fewer input is considered a more efficient use of resources. But is this the case in the medical field? John Goddeeris shows that this may not always be the case in his 1984 paper. […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Self-protection and insurance

Typically, economists when economists look at the health insurance market, they focus on the insurance side of it. By this I mean to define insurance as the purchase of a product which will reimburse the buyer in the case of an adverse event. However, one must also look at the concept of protection. Protection is […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Search Frictions in Employer-Based Insurance Markets

Despite much public rhetoric, why is preventative and chronic care so poor in the U.S.? The easy answer is that patients switch plans so frequently that insurance companies who invest in preventative care will incur the cost, but not reap the benefits. The harder question is why patients are switching health plans. According to a […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Optimal Contracts for Health Services in the Presence of Waiting Times and Asymmetric Information

Should hospitals with long waiting times have higher or lower budget transfers? Offering hospitals who have low wait times more money will increase a hospital’s incentives to decrease wait times. On the other hand, thus policy may hurt the busier hospitals and may not alleviate the wait times of those who are waiting the longest. […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Physicians’ contracts, treatment decisions and diagnosis accuracy

What is the optimal way to pay physicians? If there were a singular variable ‘health’ that could be easily measured, patients could pay physicians for each unit of health they receive. Of course, this is not how the physician-patient relationship operates in the real world. Physicians are paid either a base rate per person per […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Tax-preferred health savings accounts

Health savings accounts (HSAs) have been a major point of contention for health care reformers. Supporters claim that HSAs can reduce health care costs by decreasing the moral hazard problem inherent when third parties—such as insurance companies or the government—pay for medical services. Opponents claims that HSAs will attract rich and healthy individuals, leaving only […]

Read the rest of this entry »