Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for the 'Innovation' Category

Static and Dynamic Effects of Vaccine Policy on R&D

How does health policy and pricing affect investment in innovation? This is the research question investigated in Amy Finkelstein’s 2004 QJE paper on Static and Dynamic Effects of Health Policy. She examines three policy changes: 1991 CDC recommendation that all infants be vaccinated against Hepatitis B 1993 decision for Medicare to cover (without any copayments […]

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How we should pay for cures, according to economics

I have an article up at the Washington Post‘s In Theory blog titled How we should pay for cures, according to economics. Imagine a major medical breakthrough: a cure for Alzheimer’s. Imagine that cure not only would improve the cognitive abilities of the more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s but also would give these patients […]

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Assessing Healthcare Value: The Need for a Decentralized And Scientific Approach

Tomas Philipson has an interesting post in Forbes describe how value should be incorporated into the U.S. healthcare system but should be done in way suited for the American market. The American healthcare system is at a crossroads. Shifting to a system that reimburses based on value, rather than volume, of care requires changes in how we […]

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How does market structure affect technology adoption?

The answer: more competition leads to more technology adoption.  This is the finding from a study by Karaca-Mandic et al. (2016).  They use data from 100% Medicare claim in 2003 and 2004 as well as linked information on hospitals [American Hospital Association (AHA) Annual Survey] and physicians [American Medical Association (AMA) Masterfile]. Competition is measured two […]

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Value Framework Guidelines

In recent years, a number of organizations have developed value frameworks to assess new treatments.  These organizations include the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), Memorial Sloan Kettering Memorial Cancer Center (Drug Abacus), American Society for Clinical Oncologists (ASCO),  National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), European Society of Medical Oncology (Magnitude of Clinical Benefit Scale). […]

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Innovation: The good and the bad

Our data, for example, show that a third of Medicare’s spending in physician or outpatient settings in 2012 reflects technology that did not exist a decade earlier…When it comes to technology development, the central challenge is to encourage high-value innovation while discouraging innovation that drives up costs without much improving health. Bagley, Chandra and Frakt. Correcting Signals for […]

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FDA to Consider Patient Preferences

Typically, the FDA evaluates drugs and devices based on whether they are safe and effective. Patient treatment preferences play little to no role in whether a drug or device is approved by the FDA. However, times are a changing. On Wednesday, the FDA released draft guidance whereby they recommend the inclusion of patient preference information […]

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Robots vs. Physicians?

The Economist reports that adverse events occur relatively frequently when physicians insert catheters: placing needles inside veins deep in the body is notoriously difficult. Some 15-30% of attempts suffer complications, mainly punctured arteries that can lead to infection (around 250,000 cases in America annually), but also bleeding, collapsed lungs and even cardiac arrest. Failure rates in […]

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Why doesn’t evidence based medicine spread faster?

One reason is that physicians may value their own experiences (i.e., learning by doing) over the accumulated experience across many providers.  A paper by Berndt et al. (2015) look at physician prescribing patterns of antipsychotic.  They note that some physicians concentrate in prescribing specific antipsychotics and others concentrate on prescribing other ones. The authors claim the […]

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The Future of Medicine

The next decades of medicine and health care will be about using technologies and keeping the human touch in practicing medicine. Everyone’s genomes will be sequenced to access personalized treatments. We’ll measure almost any health parameters at home with diagnostic devices and smartphones. The 3-D printing revolution will produce affordable exoskeletons and prosthetic devices. Bertalan […]

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