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Archive for the 'Textbook Review' Category

Calculating Optimal Trial Sample Sizes: EVSI

Chapter 7 of Decision Modelling for Health Economic Evaluation looks at the calculating the Expected Value of Sample Information (EVSI).  In particular, EVSI can answer the question of optimal sample sizes. The Wrong Way How do scientists currently decide on sample sizes?  Often they will do one of the following: “(i) estimate potential grant funding […]

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Quality Improvement Tools & Techniques

For those of you in the operations research side of the medical care world, you may recognize an interesting textbook by Peter Mears title Quality Improvement Tools and Techniques. The book is a good reference tool, but is a little difficult to slug through. It has so many graphs, outlines, quotations, that there is little […]

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“The Genesis and Development of Medicare”

The following is a timeline which summarizes the genesis and evolution of government provided health insurance in the United States. Major Foreign Events: 1883: Otto von Bismark, then Chancellor of Germany passes a compulsory health insurance bill for factory and mine workers 1911: Germany extends compulsory insurance coverage to almost all employees 1911: David Lloyd […]

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Does Financial Aid really help the poor?

Conventional Wisdom holds that financial aid helps poor students afford higher education.  This is certainly true.  However, does financial aid truly help the entire distribution of poor families in the United States.   A study by Hansen and Weisbrod in their 1969 book Benefits, Costs and Finance of Public Higher Education seeks to analyze how financial aid is distributed […]

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Is the AMA interested in quality of care or physician profits?

The American Medical Association (AMA) is a national physicians organization founded in 1847 by Nathan Smith Davis.  While, the AMA exists explicitly to serve the interests of physicians, politicians often seek advice from the AMA when setting health care policy.  Conventional wisdom is that the AMA is dedicated to providing the best care for patients.  […]

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Did the HPEA Increase the number of Physicians in the US?

In the 1950’s and early 1960’s, the United States maintained a fairly constant ratio of 141 physicians/100,000 people. In the 60’s, however, politicians began to worry that the supply of doctors would decrease in the near future. In 1963, Congress passes the Health Professions Educational Assistance Act (HPEA) in 1963. Senator Yarborough stated that the […]

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