Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Is IPAB the new “Doc Fix”?

There has much debate in the Presidential debates about IPAB, the Independent Payment Advisory Board. IPAB can make cuts to Medicare spending, but the question is whether any of these recommended cuts would  ever actually be enacted, since Congress can reverse any IPAB recommendation.  According to an article in The Hill, the answer may be […]

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Rationing comes to Massachusetts

Massachusetts legislature passed a first-in-the-nation bill limits the growth of health care costs in the state. “The bill would not allow spending on health care to grow any faster than the state’s economy through 2017. For five years after that, any rise in health care costs would need to be half a percentage point lower […]

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The Start of Rationing in Medicare?

Prior authorization is a common tool that managed care organizations use to reduce patient utilization of medical services.  Some physicians believe that prior authorization creates barriers to effective care, but other commentators believe that prior authorizations can be implemented in a more efficient manner.  Either way, prior authorizations are a form of rationing care. Although […]

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The Death Panel

Is Obamacare going down in flames? Is Sarah Palin’s “Death Panel” comment the culprit? Is the government going to start killing its own citizens? In Sarah Palin’s Facebook post, she explains her concerns by quoting from section 1223 of HR 3200: Section 1233 authorizes advanced care planning consultations for senior citizens on Medicare every five […]

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Rationing Health Care

The N.Y. Times Magazine has a nice piece on rationing health care, but nothing too new if you’ve been a loyal reader of the Healthcare Economist. Below is an excerpt. “Health care is a scarce resource, and all scarce resources are rationed in one way or another. In the United States, most health care is […]

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