Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for the 'International Health Care Systems' Category

Are expensive cancer drugs worth the money?

A paper by Sebastian Salas-Vega and Elias Mossialos attempts to answer this question looking at nine countries (Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States) using data between 2004 and 2014.  They find that: All nine countries—most notably France and Japan—witnessed an improvement in neoplasm-related years of potential life lost, […]

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Is balance billing a good thing?

Are health care prices set on an open market? Almost certainly not. In many cases, physician fees are set by insurers. Currently, for instance, Medicare sets fees for physicians administratively. At Medicare’s inception, however, Medicare did allow physicians to charge whatever fees they wanted; Medicare would pay a base rate and patients would be responsible […]

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Health insurance in China

Although China has the world’s largest economy, the average individual is actually fairly poor.  Average incomes in the country are less than $15,000 per year, ranking #121 in the world.  However, a vast majority of Chinese have health insurance due to some recent reforms. A paper by Zhang et al. (2016) uses data from the 2011-2012 China […]

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Healthcare for all in Latin America?

The Economist has an interesting article surveying some of the efforts in Latin America to expand health insurance coverage.  Below is an excerpt: One model is that of a tax-financed system with government as sole payer (as in Britain’s National Health Service). That applies, of course, to the famed health service in communist Cuba, as well […]

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Canada’s single payer system doesn’t cover drugs?

Yes it is true.  Wang et al. (2015) report: Unlike physician and hospital services, which are universal in Canada, coverage for prescription drugs dispensed outside hospitals falls outside the Canada Health Act and provincial governments only provide public drug programs for some population groups,primarily seniors and social assistance recipients…Canada is still the only country that […]

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Economists’ Declaration

In September 2015, 267 economists from 44 countries, led by Lawrence H. Summers of Harvard University, signed the Economists Declaration on Universal Health Coverage, which calls on global policymakers to prioritize a pro-poor pathway to universal health coverage as an essential pillar of sustainable development.  The full text is here.  An excerpt is below: Universal […]

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What influences NICE decisions?

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) claims that although cost-effectiveness is highly valued in its health technology appraisal process, it sates that there are other factors considered relevant.  However, no explicit weight is assigned to these other factors.  Do they matter? A paper by Dakin et al. (2015) tries to answer this question by looking […]

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Kidney Transplants in Iran

Almost ten years ago, I wrote a post on Iran’s policy of paying organ donors.  It looks like the New York Times has finally caught on.   An excerpt is below: But [Iran’s organ donation program’s] chief advantage is this: People who need kidneys get them rapidly, rather than die on the waiting list. In the vast majority of cases, […]

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Dartmouth, France?

The Dartmouth Atlas is well known for examining regional variation in practice patterns in the U.S. It looks like researchers in France are taking a similar approach to evaluate their own single payer system. A paper by Mercier, Georgescu and Bousquet (2015) find: We assessed disparities in potentially avoidable hospitalizations in France in 2012 and […]

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Disability Benefits Around the World

In a series of papers, Coile, Milligan and Wise look at Social Security Programs and Retirement Around the World. In the sixth installment of the series, the authors look specifically at disability programs. Although stereotypically one would believe that most people exit the workforce due to choice and rely on Social Security, job pensions, and […]

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