Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

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Does calorie labeling work?

I am generally skeptical of broad, top-down approaches to improve health. For instance, soda taxes are one example.  While soda is clearly not got for you, should unhealthy drinks like Red Bull be taxed?  Why single out soda?  What about cheesecake?  Thus, these efforts–while well intentioned–can seem arbitrary and paternalistic. On the other hand, posting […]

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Understanding The Value Of Innovations In Medicine

Today, there was an excellent briefing put on by Health Affairs at the National Press Club. The topic was “Understanding the Value of Innovations in Medicine” and the briefing contained two panel discussions (see agenda).  The first panel , “Many Stakeholders, Many Values: Measuring Value In A Diverse Healthcare” featured expert economists, epidemiologists, and patient […]

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Medical school with no lectures?

Med students in Vermont rejoice!  The Washington Post reports: When the University of Vermont’s medical school opens for the year in the summer of 2019, it will be missing something that all but one of its peer institutions have: lectures. The Larner College of Medicine is scheduled to become the first U.S. medical school to […]

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Economic Burden of ACPA+ patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis

That is the topic of my most recent article in the Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy along with co-authors Mahlet Gizaw Tebeka, Kwanza Price, Chad Patel, and Kaleb Michaud.  The abstract of the article–titled “The Economic Burden of ACPA-Positive Status Among Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis“–is below. BACKGROUND: Anticitrullinated protein antibodies (ACPAs) are serological […]

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Quality of your (Social) Life

Many metrics purport to measure individuals quality of life.  Tools such as the EQ-5D and SF-36 do so largely based on functional status.  Using other surveys on individual preferences, one can estimate patient utility for any given functional status level (i.e,. EQ-5D or SF-36 score).  What these scores ignore, however, is the social component of […]

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Quotation of the Day

On this Fourth of July, I will actually quote a British man to describe the state of a country. “Healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country can have.” ― Winston S. Churchill

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Are multiple sclerosis treatments worth the cost? Comparing how treatment “value” is determined by five cost effectiveness analyses

by Daniel Kantor, Michelle Brauer and Jason Shafrin As drug prices continue to rise, many patients, payers and policymakers are asking whether the treatment benefits justify the cost. One method favored by health technology assessment (HTA) bodies for making this decision in a formal manner is to conduct a cost effectiveness analyses (CEA).  However, there […]

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Overview of the American Health Care Act (a.k.a. “Repeal and Replace”)

Before we get into the details of how the American Health Care Act bill will proposed to change the current system, let’s first talk about what is not changing.  In fact, while “repeal and replace” has a catchy ring to it, there is a lot that is staying the same.  As Ezra Klein of Vox notes, […]

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Links to start the week

Obamacare replacement? My drug problem. Do ACOs reduce post acute care use? Eating with 4 ingredients. MD Anderson benches Watson? Patient = partner.

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Patient and Physician Risk Preferences

Physicians are supposed to act as agents for patients, acting in their best interest. But a question is, how well do physician know patient preferences? How well do physician preferences reflect those of patients. Previous research indicates that for terminal diseases, patients are risk loving. My own recently published research (with co-authors Schwartz, Okoro and […]

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