Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Did Medicare Part D reduce emergency room visits?

In 2006, the Medicare program was expanded to include prescription drug coverage through the Part D program. Previous studies have found that Medicare Part D improved prescription drug coverage rates among seniors (Levy and Weir,2010), increased medication utilization (Duggan and Morton, 2010), decreased out-of-pocket spending (Engelhardt and Gruber, 2011; Ketcham and Simon, 2008), and reduced medication […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Does Prescription Drug Coverage Save Money?

Many experts have claimed that increasing Medicare beneficiary’s access to prescription drugs through Medicare Part D is cost saving.  Even if it does increase cost, by increasing patient adherence to various prescription drugs, Medicare could prevent certain expensive hospitalizations and emergency room visits. The only problem is that it doesn’t. According to Liu et al. […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Health Economist + Emergency Room = Death Threats

NPR’s Morning Edition reports on what happened when health economist Philip Musgrove brought a dying man to an emergency room.  The receptionist with whom Dr. Musgrove interacted would not treat a the man until his health insurance information was collected.

Read the rest of this entry »