Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for the 'International Health Care Systems' Category

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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Visit your doctor whenever you like

Typical hours when illness strikes is 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.  In the US, typical physician hours are 9-5, Monday through Friday. Although this is changing (CVS Minute Clinics have Saturday and Sunday hours), it is still difficult for individuals who are work and are ill to see a doctor without taking […]

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Pharmaceuticals in China

As China is now the second largest economy in the world, spending on medical services and medications is also growing. Pharmafile reports: China is positioned to become the second-largest pharmaceutical market, after the US, by next year, according to healthcare analysts IMS Health; meanwhile, by growing an estimated 15% to 18% annually, the organisation says […]

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What is Reference Pricing?

To reduce utilization of pharmaceutical products, many countries have opted to use reference pricing. Reference pricing is a system where patient coinsurance payments depend not only on the price of the drug but also the price of alternatives therapies.  As the name indicates, reference pricing sets patient coinsurance rates as the difference between the drug’s […]

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US Ranks Last

According to a Commonwealth Fund report examining the health care system of 11 countries, Americans receive the worst health care.  The report summarizes the findings as follows: The United States health care system is the most expensive in the world, but comparative analyses consistently show the U.S. underperforms relative to other countries on most dimensions of performance. […]

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