Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Can financial incentives increase the effectiveness of weight loss programs?

As an economist, I would say “of course”!  Increasing the price (the reward for weight loss) generally leads to an increase in supply (of efforts to lose weight).  However, there is evidence that in some cases, adding a financial incentive can actually reduce effort.  For instance, Uri Gneezy and Aldo Rustichini (2000) found that adding […]

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Medical Conservatism and End-of-life Decisions

The New York Times Magazine discusses two pressing issues: 1) what type of treatment to the elderly really wish to receive at the end of their life and 2) how does economic incentives affect how physicians advise these patients.  Much of my own research has dealt with (2) [see here].  The following two excerpts are […]

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Money Driven Medicine: A Review

I recently watched the movie Money Driven Medicine.  The movie documents many of the current ills of the American healthcare system.  The movie’s focus details how financial incentives drive both the quantity and quality of care.  Any health economist will of course say ‘duh’, but for those who believe that medicine is purely an altruistic […]

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Pittsburgh has more MRI Machines than Canada

There is an interesting article at Forbes describing that the housing boom is not the only bubble that may need to burst. Scans per thousand insured people went from 85 to 234 in the U.S. between 1999 and 2007. Author David Whelan describes what happened to one radiologist in Connecticut after Medicare and HMOs cut […]

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