Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Visit your doctor whenever you like

Typical hours when illness strikes is 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.  In the US, typical physician hours are 9-5, Monday through Friday. Although this is changing (CVS Minute Clinics have Saturday and Sunday hours), it is still difficult for individuals who are work and are ill to see a doctor without taking […]

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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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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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Did pay-for-performance work in the UK?

A paper by Sutton, Elder Guthrie and Watt (2010) describes the UK’s National Health Service’s (NHS) adoption of the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) in April 2004. In general, P4P programs can have positive or negative spillovers.  An example of a positive spillover would be the adoption of EMR to comply with certain P4P initiatives, […]

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Pay-for-performance programs in the United Kingdom

Pay-for-performance is a hot topic in the health policy world. However, one of the largest pay-for-performance programs has already been implemented in the UK’s National Health Service. A paper by Doran et al. (2006) reviews the overall implementation of the NHS’s P4P program as well as how some physicians used exceptions to greatly increase their […]

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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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