Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for the 'Public Health' Category

Innovation vs. Equity in Health Care Philanthropy

In the Denver Post, Dottie Lamm makes discusses Larry Ellison’s hope to live forever and his donation towards anti-aging research.  Ellison has donated $450 million to anti-aging research. Ms. Lamm worries that this research will only benefit the rich. If such measures are available only to billionaires, or millionaires, or even to “one-percenters,” I see […]

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Health in Baltimore

Baltimore is in the news, and not for the best reasons.  The arrest and eventual death of Freddie Gray have unleashed a series of protests and riots.  One conference where the Healthcare Economist had a poster presentation–the American Heart Association (AHA) Quality of Care and Outcomes Research (QCOR) Scientific Sessions (conference) was cancelled this week due […]

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Do Weight Loss Wellness Programs work?

In short, ‘no’.  At least that is the conclusion reached by a recent AJMC paper that looks at the evidence available for employer-sponsored wellness programs.  The authors write: American corporations continue to expand wellness programs, which now reach an estimated 90% of workers in large organizations, yet no study has demonstrated that the main focus […]

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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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Are you really disabled?

When the government extends benefits to individuals with specific characteristics (e.g., poverty, disability), the number of people who claim to have these characteristics will necessarily increase.  For instance, there are reports that unemployed individuals who no longer qualify for welfare are now moving onto the disability rolls in large numbers.  Are these people really disabled? A recent study  by Gosling […]

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The Efficiency Frontier in Health Economics

Which treatments are better than others? Ideally, medicines that provide large health benefits and cost little will be preferred to those that offer little health benefits and/or cost a lot. In health economics, one way to systematically evaluate different treatments is the efficiency frontier. The efficiency frontier methodology is an extension of the standard approach […]

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I’d rather have HIV than diabetes

This is what a provocative article in the Spectator concludes. A recent large epidemiological study showed that, for those diagnosed with HIV now, life expectancy is similar to someone who does not have the virus. The medical profession now considers HIV a chronic disease; it’s regarded in public health terms in the same category as, […]

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Are we running out of antibiotics?

Nicole Allan of the Atlantic discusses why overuse of antibiotics is making them less effective.  The fact that antibiotics are less effective did not come as a surprise to many experts.  In fact, in 1945, “while accepting a Nobel Prize for discovering penicillin, Alexander Fleming warned of a future in which antibiotics had been used […]

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Free Heroin?

Giving away heroin may sound like a good plan for a start-up drug dealer.; get new customers hooked and them make money off their addiction.  Drug dealers aren’t the only ones considering giving heroin away for free; so are some European governments. The Economist reports: Over the past two decades many have come to favour […]

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Cancer Tidal Wave

People are living longer. That is good news. The bad news is that when you decrease the mortality rates for some diseases, you increase the likelihood that you die from other ones. For instance, if someone previously would have died of a heart attack at 50 year old in 1950, if that same person turned […]

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