Category Archives: Behavioral Economics and Public Policy

Doctors Without Appointments

Jill Ladkin was already having a terrible autumn. It began with a seizure that put her in the hospital with what seemed like scores of unfamiliar physicians attending to her state of health. The brain scan revealed a mass in the lining … Continue reading

Posted in Behavioral Economics and Public Policy, Health & Well-being

If You Want to Avoid a C-Section Choose Your Hospital Wisely

We have an epidemic of C-sections in the US, now accounting for almost 1 in 3 births. That represents a 50% increase since the mid-90s, despite all the advances we’ve seen in obstetrical care. Sometimes C-sections are critical to saving the … Continue reading

Posted in Behavioral Economics and Public Policy, Health Policy

Your Risk Of Prostate Cancer Just Dropped Precipitously. Here’s Why

Most men diagnosed with prostate cancer don’t die of the disease. Between 2011 and 2015, 112.6 per 100,000 men per year were diagnosed with prostate cancer in the U.S., but only 19.5 per 100,000 men per year died of the disease … Continue reading

Posted in Behavioral Economics and Public Policy, Health Policy, Medical Decision Making

Colon Cancer Screening Controversy. Here’s What All The Debate Is About.

Here’s what most medical experts agree on: People 50 and older should be screened for colon cancer. Here’s what is more controversial: Whether that screening should start, routinely, at age 45. Recently, the American Cancer Society (ACS) recommended that colon … Continue reading

Posted in Behavioral Economics and Public Policy

How Great HIV Medicines Are Now (In Two Pictures)

In 1991, I remember where I was walking when I learned that Magic Johnson was HIV positive. I shuffled along in a daze, distraught at the thought of such a young and magnificent man facing imminent death. Back then, you see, … Continue reading

Posted in Behavioral Economics and Public Policy

Physician Burnout — These Characters Are To Blame

Physician burnout in the U.S. is reaching epidemic levels, affecting the majority of physicians in some specialties. Practicing medicine is, of course, a stressful job. Make a mistake and you might end someone’s life. But physicians are not usually burned out … Continue reading

Posted in Behavioral Economics and Public Policy

Hospital Price Transparency

The US is finally making very small strides towards pulling healthcare prices out of the shadows. Here is a recent media story on the topic. U.S. hospitals are now required to list the prices of medical services online and update … Continue reading

Posted in Behavioral Economics and Public Policy

Christmas Shopping Tip — Your Brain Knows What You Like Better Than You Do

A song comes through your earbuds: good rhythm, clever lyrics, pleasing melody. You know whether you like the song, right? Maybe not. A series of studies using brain imaging raise the possibility that sometimes we think we like or dislike things, … Continue reading

Posted in Behavioral Economics and Public Policy

The Insurance Companies That Are Most Likely To Refuse To Pay Doctors

Healthcare reimbursement in the U.S. is frighteningly complex. We have federal payers, like Medicare; state/federal payers, like Medicaid; private, for-profit insurance companies, like Aetna; private, not for profit insurers, like many local Blue Cross Blue Shield networks. Oh yes, and … Continue reading

Posted in Behavioral Economics and Public Policy, Health Policy

Why Telling Your Children They Are Smart Could Turn Them Into Cheaters

I am not one of those parents who believes kids should win trophies just for showing up for their t-ball games. But I’m also not stingy in praising my children when they do well. When my kids got hundreds on … Continue reading

Posted in Behavioral Economics and Public Policy