Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Free Health Care in the UK ‘A Thing of the Past’?

The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is well known for providing free care to all its citizens. However, will £0 out-of-pocket payments be a thing of the past? Maybe so according to a recent survey of UK Members of Parliament (MPs). Pharmafile reports: In response to the question “if the challenges facing the NHS are […]

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P4P in the UK

General Practitioners (GPs) in the UK NHS are paid a mixture of capitation, lump sum allowances, and a pay-for-performance bonus. The P4P element, the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF), rewards GPs according to their performance on a large number of indicators. QOF payments represented up to 20% of GPs ’ income in the first year […]

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What does a NICE health economist do?

What role do health economists at the UK’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) play and how do they conduct their cost effectiveness analyses for new treatments? I answer this question today based on NICE’s own documents.  According to their guidelines manual, the role of the health economist in clinical guideline development is to: […]

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Healthcare Outsourcing in the UK

Many liberals laud Europe’s government-run health care sectors as a model to emulate.  In particular, Great Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) often is seen as the ideal single payer system.  In reality, however, the British government itself does not supply all services. A study from the Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU) describes the gradual […]

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Why operations in Great Britain are being cancelled

On Wednesday, many of the NHS workers went on strike.  Seven thousand of the day’s 30,000 operations were cancelled. Why are workers striking?  One reason is pensions.  According to a new government plan, workers would be required to increase their pension contributions 3.2 percentage points without seeing an increase in the value of their pensions.  Additionally, […]

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Health Reform in the UK

Health Reform in the U.S. means more government involvement in health care.  More public insurance (expanding Medicaid), more government intervention in the insurance market (health exchanges), and government being a driving force for innovation (the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation). In the UK on the other hand, “Health Reform” means more privatization, not less.  As […]

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Price Competition for UK Hospitals?

Is health reform coming to the UK?  Since the middle of the decade, the NHS has used a tariff system which pays a fixed price per procedure. Now, however, the Financial Times, reports that the UK plans for “public and private hospitals to compete on price for the treatment of NHS patients.”  The reform calls […]

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Measuring Variation in Labor Costs for the NHS

The cost of running a hospital in New York City is much higher than running a hospital in Bozeman, Montana.  To take into account these cost differences, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has created a wage index to adjust the inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) for differences in labor costs. However, the […]

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How is the financial crisis affecting the UK’s National Health Service

In the 1990s, the UK’s National Health Service may have imitated most American’s idea of what is wrong with a single payer system.  However, when Tony Blair became Prime Minister in 1997 government spending on the NHS increased.  Over the past decade spending on the health service has risen by over 6% a year in […]

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Scottish NHS pay £23 million in compensation, but U.S isn’t doing any better.

The Scotland Sun reports that the Scottish NHS paid £23 million ($40 million) to patients for subpar care. Is this due to the inherently substandard quality of care in a single-payer system? The answer is likely no. This figure only amounts to about £4.50 ($7.34) for every person in Scotland however. Drug-related errors in the […]

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