Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for the 'International Health Care Systems' Category

Innovation in small markets

The introduction of new treatment technologies typically occurs where there is a large market.  A lot of innovations are developed to treat disease that affect a large number of people in the developed world because the financial returns are large.  It is less likely to observe innovation in the treatment of rare diseases or diseases […]

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Does more spending improve outcomes?

A number of studies have claimed that increased health expenditures may result in no better, or even worse outcomes.  For instance, a paper by Fisher et al. (2003) looking at patients with acute myocardial infarction, colorectal cancer, or hip fracture finds that “Quality of care in higher-spending regions was no better on most measures and […]

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Do the US and UK health care systems have anything in common?

The United Kingdom’s National Health Services provides universal health coverage at not cost to patients.  On the other hand, in the U.S. not all people have insurance, and further insurance can be provided by public entities (e.g., Medicare, Medicaid), private and employer-provided health insurance, and other sources.  Whereas the NHS system is highly centralized, the U.S. […]

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Will the UK become a “desert for healthcare innovation”?

That is the claim made by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI).  Lisa Anson, who took over as ABPI president last week, told The Times that the financial squeeze on the NHS threatened the whole of Britain’s £30 billion life sciences sector as firms would reconsider working in the UK.  ABPI asked for the […]

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Pay caps on nurses in the UK

I’m finishing my time in the UK today and head back home tomorrow.  The British Society for Rheumatology 2017 conference was interesting, on the news the key headlines were pay for National Health Service employees, nurses in particular. Due to budget shortfalls, the NHS froze nurse pay between 2010 and 2012.  Beginning in 2012, pay raises resumed […]

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Access to cancer care in the UK

Being sick in the United Kingdom has advantages and disadvantages.  Supporters will cite that out-of-pocket costs are generally low, coverage is universal, and the price of health care to the government is lower. One question is, what is the quality of care received?  Critics cite that access to cutting edge, innovative treatments is often restricted or […]

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The kindly physician or the profit maximizer?

In the U.S. physician fees are largely set through regulation or negotiation with insurers. For physicians accepting Medicare or Medicaid patients, fees are set by government entities (i.e., the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for Medicare reimbursement for the former and state Medicaid agencies for the latter). Rates for physicians accepting patients with private […]

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How do payers use patient reported outcomes?

This is the question asked by a study conducted by Brogen et al. (2017).  To see how payers use patient reported outcomes (PRO) in oncology, the authors conducted a literatures search, and searched the websites of the following health technology assessment bodies: Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) in Australia, Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies […]

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Cancer drug pricing in Europe

How do Euroepan countries reimburse for pharmaceuticals? A paper by Pauwels et al. (2014) provides an nice summary. I review that article today. With the exception of Germany, most countries had a national and/or regional drug budget.  Germany is also unique in that only Germany and the UK allow for free pricing, whereas other countries […]

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Adding the patient perspective to health technology assessment

Health technology assessments (HTAs) aim to measure the cost effectiveness of a given treatment or set of treatments for a specific patient populations.  Often, these assessments are conducted from the point of view of the payer–either a national health system or the individual insurer perspective.  This payer focused perspective can often focus largely on treatment costs rather […]

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