Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

The problem with managed care is…

Managed care, as the names suggests, aims to manage health care.  The goal is to identify high quality, low cost treatments in order to insure that patients get the best care while keeping premiums low.  While good in theory, managed care critics often contend that some of the stricter managed care policies reduce patient access […]

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Transformation of Mental Health Care in America

Mental illness is a highly prevalent class of diseases with potentially debilitating affects. About 30% of Americans have a mental illness and almost half (46%) will have a mental illness at some time in their lives.  Examples of mental illness include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety disorders. A paper by Glied and Frank (2016) summarizes the transformation […]

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Mental Health Stigma

In this day and age, does having a mental illness still carry a stigma?  According to research by Prashant Bharadwaj, Mallesh M. Pai, Agne Suziedelyte, the answer is yes. Comparing self-reports to administrative data records on diagnosis and prescription drug use, we find that survey respondents under-report mental health conditions 36% of the time when asked […]

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Antidepressant coverage in the Health Insurance Exchange plans

The most common drug class taken among patients aged 18-44 is an antidepressant. Furhter, these relatively young and healthy patients are likely to be the ones who enroll in healht plans within the health insurance exchanges.  The question is, how easily can patients access information about antidepressant coverage? According to a recent RWJ report, the […]

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Why doesn’t evidence based medicine spread faster?

One reason is that physicians may value their own experiences (i.e., learning by doing) over the accumulated experience across many providers.  A paper by Berndt et al. (2015) look at physician prescribing patterns of antipsychotic.  They note that some physicians concentrate in prescribing specific antipsychotics and others concentrate on prescribing other ones. The authors claim the […]

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California’s Efforts to Aid the Homeless with SMI

Society often likes to ignore the challenges faced by citizens with serious mental illness (SMI), especially those who are homeless. California, however, has funded an initiative to help this vulnerable population. On November 2, 2004, California voters approved Proposition 63, which was signed into law as the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA). The MHSA applied […]

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Statistics from the Medicare Trustees Report

Basic Statistics In 2010, 47.5 million people were covered by Medicare: 39.6 million aged 65 and older, and 7.9 million disabled. About 25 percent of beneficiaries have chosen to enroll in Part C private health plans that contract with Medicare to provide Part A and Part B health services. Total benefits paid in 2010 were […]

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