Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Insurance expansions reduce ER Use

One promise of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was that by giving more people access to health insurance, patients would be more likely to have a regular source of care and would be less likely to use the emergency room. Rick Kronick–the Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and a member […]

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Insurers: Non-profit or For-profit?

The answer is “no” according to the California Franchise Tax Board. California tax authorities have stripped Blue Shield of California, the state’s third largest insurer, of its tax-exempt status in California and ordered the firm to file returns dating to 2013, potentially costing the company tens of millions of dollars. Why did California claim that […]

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King v. Burwell

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments in King v. Burwell.  The plaintiffs argue that the Affordable Care Act (i.e., Obamacare) does not permit subsidies to individuals if they receive health insurance from a federally-run health insurance exchange. Why would they argue this?  Well, Section 1401(a)(2)of the law says that subsidies would go only to […]

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Kids with 3 parents

No, this is not science fiction. The British Parliament approved a procedure that would permit a new procedure that would allow children to use DNA from 3 parents rather than 2. Here’s why: That insight is why MPs were right to agree, on February 3rd, that Britain should become the first country to allow the […]

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Friday Links

What is precision medicine? Medicaid fees and access to care Potentially practical, in a world without fraud. The graveyard shift. Ebola turning point?

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Quality and Quality of Life

There have been numerous efforts to measure quality of health care, especially among the elderly.  For instance, Nursing Home Compare measures of quality of care for nursing homes.  However, these quality measures focus on health and safety.  They do not measure quality of life.  Atul Gawande’s book Being Mortal describes why nursing homes focus more on […]

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Funding for Digital Medicine on the rise

What is digital health?  Although a single definition is hard to fine, digital health uses data collected from patients to improve care.  Mobile health, the use of electronic medical records, the “quantified self” movement and various forms of health information technology all count as digital health. Is digital health just a fad or will it revolutionize health […]

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Stimulating Health Care Innovation

How do policymakers increase the speed of healthcare innovation in the US? A 2014 report by RAND gives five proposals which I list below with my own commentary. Enable more creativity in funding basic science. Increasing funding for basic science is a clear way to spur innovation. The opportunity cost of additional funding for science […]

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The Angelina Jolie Effect

You may know that Angelina Jolie is an actress but do you know that she also is influencing the health care decisions of millions of women worldwide?  At least that is the findings from a recent article in Breast Cancer Research.  The Guardian reports: Referrals for genetic breast cancer tests more than doubled in the […]

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Links

Here are some links to check out for the end of the week: Roadblocks to telehealth. Economist job market guide. Cell phone ban. EHR = Grief Counselors as Tarot card readers Is your nursing home really 5-star?

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