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The Evolution of Pay for Performance

Interesting comments from Mitzi Wasik, PharmD, BCPS, director of Pharmacy Medicare Programs at Aetna. HT: AJMC.

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Quotation of the day: Weight

Vergon 6 was once filled with the super-dense substance known as dark matter, each pound of which weighs over ten thousand pounds. The Professor, Futurama, S1E4. On that light-hearted note, enjoy your weekend!

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Friday Links

The Healthcare Economist is on vacation for the next week, but I leave you with these posts to tide you over until my return. First 3D-printed drug. A cancer report card. Will software eat healthcare? Machine learning and brain injury Profile of super-utilizers.

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Does your employer cover transgender benefits?

It may be more likely than you think. The Health Business Blog (via Business Insurance) notes that: …the Office of Personnel Management recently required Federal Employee Benefit Plan providers to cover transition-related care…About half of large employers offer transgender-related surgical coverage compared with 5 percent in 2007, according to a National Business Group on Health survey. […]

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Friday Links

Paying for primary care. Is marijuana ‘medical’? Why rent control is bad. Minimum wage. Health insurance and cable.

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Choice in the Health Insurance Exchanges

I have posted frequently on the ACA and narrow networks (here and here). How narrow are the networks plans available in the health insurance exchanges? How does provider choice differ between standard commercial insurance plans and those in the exchanges? A study by Avalere finds: …exchange plan networks include 42 percent fewer oncology and cardiology […]

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What is they key driver of cancer care spending?

High-cost cancer drugs often get bad press. Cancer treatment certainly is expensive. However, drug costs are not the primary driver of high cost of cancer treatment; hospitalizations are. Using data from SEER-Medicare, Brooks et al. (2014) examine regional variation in the cost of cancer care and find: Acute hospital care was the largest component of […]

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Measles death in the US

Vox reports: We started 2015 with one of the worst measles outbreaks in recent history, which originated at Disneyland in California. And today, the US just recorded its first measles death in a dozen years. According to a news release from the Washington State health department, the (still unidentified) woman was probably exposed to the […]

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Vermont Creating an All-Payer Claims Database?

A claims database from all health insurers would but a great resource for researchers. States also want to use these data, however, to negotiate better prices. The question is, can a state legally compel health insurers to disclose prices? That is what a court case from Vermont involves. The Incidental Economist writes: the Supreme Court […]

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ACA leading to health insurance consolidation?

That is what Bloomberg is reporting: Insurance companies are looking at mergers to cut costs and keep profits expanding as a surge in enrollment from the the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Humana, which is exploring a sale after being approached by Cigna about a potential deal, Bloomberg News reported last month, Analysts have been […]

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