Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for the 'Miscellaneous' Category

The role of coaches and student-athletes

Today I take a break from my traditional blogging on healthcare and briefly discuss two issues related to student-athletes.  These questions include: Are coaches employers or educators? Should students get unlimited meal plans? I discuss each below. Much of the content is drawn largely from one of my favorite non-healthcare blogs, Wages of Wins. Are […]

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The importance of genes

…may be smaller than previously thought for many chronic conditions.  A paper by Thompson (2014) uses data from 125,000 parent-child pairs to determine that: children with a parent who has a specific chronic health condition are at least 100% more likely to have the same condition themselves. To assess the role of genetic mechanisms in generating […]

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Group of Death?

Typically, when the Healthcare Economist talks about death, it deals with sad topics: mortality rates, preventable deaths, etc.  Today, I will discuss a happier death-related topic: the feared “Group of Death”. The World Cup Groups were unveiled today and popular press is claiming that the U.S. team is placed in the Group of Death.  There […]

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Why is health journalism is often wrong?

One of the reasons is that health-related academic research is often wrong.   Biostatisticians have studied the question of just how frequently published studies come up with wrong answers. A highly regarded researcher in this subfield of medical wrongness is John Ioannidis, who heads the Stanford Prevention Research Center, among other appointments. Using several different […]

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How to reduce compliants

Simple, increase the amount of occupied time.  For a more detailed explanation, check out this article from NPR to find the answer.  With respect towards complaints waiting for baggage at airports. A few years ago, The New York Times reported that airline passengers in Houston were complaining bitterly about how long they had to wait […]

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Using American Idol to Choose Kidney Transplant Recipients?

Don’t laugh.   De Grote Donorshow was a real show that aired in the Netherlands that used an American Idol-style public voting system to determine who should be a worthy receipt of a kidney (see a YouTube video).  Or was it? The program involved a supposedly terminally ill 37-year-old woman donating a kidney to one of […]

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Quotation of the Day

He in his madness prays for storms,  And dreams that storms will bring him peace. Mihail Lermontov, as published in Family Happiness by Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy

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The difference between ‘health’ and ‘heart’

The answer is 2. How do I know know this?  Simple, I applied the generalized edit distance algorithm.  This algorithm measures the similarity between two words or phrases (i.e., strings). Measuring the distance between two words is useful for search engines, handwriting recognition, and speller checkers. To understand how the generalized edit distance works, read […]

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The Truth is much too Complicated to Allow Anything but Approximations

I think that it is a relatively good approximation to truth — which is much too complicated to allow anything but approximations — that mathematical ideas originate in empirics.  But, once they are conceived, the subject begins to live a peculiar life of its own and is … governed by almost entirely aesthetical motivations. In […]

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Creativity

“Nothing will stop you being creative so effectively as the fear of making a mistake.” – John Cleese.

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