Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Trends in Cancer Care Near the End of Life

The Dartmouth Atlas released a new report describing how end-of-life cancer care is changing over time. Their analysis uses data from a 20 percent sample of all Medicare beneficiaries who died between the ages of 66 and 99 years during 2010, who had cancer diagnosis with a poor prognosis. The authors find that: Deaths in […]

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Dartmouth Response to “Target Decision-makers, Not Geography” Report

The title of the Institute of Medicine’s recent report “Target Decision-makers, Not Geography” at first glance appears to be an indictment of the work of the Dartmouth Atlas, which largely claims that policymakers can reduce healthcare spending by targeting the highest spending geographic areas. A more detailed review shows that the empirical findings from IOM […]

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What’s Going on in Grand Junction?

Grand Junction has been lauded as one place that offers some of the best healthcare in the nation, at the lowest cost. “Grand Junction ranks near the top in Medicare’s Composite Quality of Care index, with a score of 91. That’s 21 points higher than McAllen. But costs in Grand Junction are among the lowest in […]

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Regional Variation in Medicare Spending

What causes regional variation in spending and outcomes?  Previous research claimed that physician treatment norms in different areas account for much of these differences.  Recent research, however, claims that most of these regional differences are caused by geographic differences in health status.  Reschovsky et al (2011) find the following when examining a sample of Medicare […]

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Is there really large differences in Medicare Spending across states?

Research by the Dartmouth Atlas team has indicated that Medicare spending is concentrated regionally.  States such as Florida spend much more per beneficiary than do doctors who treat similar patients in low cost states like Minnesota. A recent paper by Reschovsky and co-authors, however, has determined that variation in supply-induced demand is not a major driver […]

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