Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for the 'Public Policy' 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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Is your state solvent?

That is the question that a new study by the Mercatus Center attempts to answer with their “Ranking the States by Fiscal Condition 2017 Edition.” They found that the most financially solvent states (from best to worst) are: 1. Florida 2. North Dakota 3. South Dakota 4. Utah 5. Wyoming Yet all is not perfect […]

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Should Republicans support Unions?

I’m not talking about civil unions (that topic is for another blog)…but instead actual trade unions. Compared to Democrats, Republicans have been relatively pro-business and anti-union for many years.  However, The Atlantic has an article making the case that Republicans should become more pro union.  Perhaps not pro-union in the traditional US union setting but […]

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Trials in Health Policy

Scientists often use randomized controlled trials (RCT) to examine whether certain treatments have a causal effect on patient outcomes.  For social scientists, however, conducting an RCT is more difficult.  Nevertheless, there have been a number of health policy trials. In a recent NEJM paper, Newhouse and Normand (2017) review some of these trials.  A summary […]

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Will Better Care deliver better care?

The Senate’s new health care bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, proposes a number of changes to the Affordable Care Act.  The Kaiser Family Foundation has a detailed breakdown of the bill and compares it with the Affordable Care Act that President Obama passed and the American Health Care Act that was proposed […]

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The Future of Oncology Treatment and Value Assessment

Value frameworks are all the rage of late.  But are payers really using them? According to my colleague Jeremy Schafer, the answer is yes.  From an article in Drug Topics: “Value assessment may become more important as the health-care market shifts to outcomes and value-based reimbursement models,” said Jeremy Schafer, PharmD, MBA, Senior Vice President […]

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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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Orphan Medical Products

Should health insurers cover orphan drugs?  Although the clear answer appears to be yes, the issue is tricky.  An orphan drug is one which treats a limited number of people.  In Europe, this designation generally applies to patients with a disease with an overall prevalence between 5 and 10,000 individuals. In order to incentivize innovators […]

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What is causing U.S. debt to explode?

According to the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO’s) 2017 Long-Term Budget Outlook, you need to look no further than entitlements for the elderly. Mandatory programs have accounted for a rising share of the federal government’s noninterest spending over the past few decades, exceeding 60 percent for the past several years. Much of the growth has occurred because […]

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Did the ACA cause industry consolidation?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA)–among other things–mandated a number of reforms to the Medicare reimbursement system.  For instance, the ACA created Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and bundled payment initiatives were initiatives.  If Medicare started paying providers more based on quality and total cost of care across all provider settings, one would hypothesize that industry consolidation would accelerate. […]

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