Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Does preventive care save money?

Aaron Carroll argues ‘no’ and–in most but not all cases–I agree with him.  Here is the evidence he cites: More health insurance does not reduce emergency department (ED) visits.  States that expanded Medicaid eligibility with ACA funding saw an increase in ED visits relative to non-expansion states.  In Oregon, individuals who won an eligibility ‘lottery’ to […]

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Less Money for Preventive Care, More Money for Docs

Merrill Goozner reports that paying for the “doc fix” comes at the cost of preventive services. Friday’s payroll tax cut extension bill included $18 billion to maintain Medicare physician salaries at current levels for the rest of this year. Unlike the payroll tax extension, Congress insisted on paying for the doc-fix with offsetting budget cuts.  […]

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Taiwan’s National Health Insurance System: Part II

A recent Health Economics article by Hsiou and Pylypchuk (2011) examines differences in preventive care and hospitalization use between the United States and Taiwan.  The authors find the following: “The rate of preventive care use is much higher in the USA than in Taiwan, whereas the use of hospital and emergency care is about the […]

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Sigmoidoscopy: The colonoscopy’s cheaper, equally effective predecessor

Physicians claims that colonoscopies are the gold standard of preventive medicine.  In 2008 the American Cancer Society deemed the colonoscopy as the preferred test and the health reform law (PPACA) will compel insurance companies to cover colonoscopies.  But does the sigmoidoscopy–the colonoscopy’s predecessor–offer less expensive, less invasive, equally effective preventive care? “[The sigmoidoscopy] looks at […]

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