Category Archives: Health Policy

How Medicare Is Punishing Hospitals That Care For Poor People

Such a no-brainer: If patients who receive care at Hospital A are more likely to get readmitted to the hospital 10, 20 or 30 days after discharge than patients in Hospital B, then Hospital A must be doing something wrong. … Continue reading

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The Best-Selling Biologic Drugs

Biologic drugs are a big deal for the pharmaceutical industry right now. Blockbuster chemicals for common conditions like diabetes and hypertension are largely things of the past. We’re getting pretty good at controlling those conditions, and few people expect a … Continue reading

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Racial Disparities in Outcomes after Heart Attack Were Eliminated by Free Prescriptions

High costs make it hard for many patients to afford their medications. That’s why some medical experts believe we should give important medications to patients for free, to see if that improves their health outcomes. One famous example of this … Continue reading

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Don’t Blame Obamacare for Health Insurance Turnover

When the health insurance exchanges began operating last year, critics complained that people were being forced out of their insurance plans. They correctly pointed out that Obama was mistaken to promise that “if you like your healthcare plan, you will … Continue reading

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Debating New Ways to Pay

One of my favorite reporters, Dan Gorenstein from NPR’s Marketplace, interviewed me and a few other people recently, to discuss challenges of trying to pay physicians, reward them essentially, for providing high-quality care. It turns out to be a much … Continue reading

Posted in Behavioral Economics and Public Policy, Health Policy

Could Pay-For-Performance Lead To Overuse Of Antibiotics?

Not long ago, the Joint Commission (a healthcare quality organization) established that patients with pneumonia should receive antibiotics within four hours of diagnosis. Timely diagnosis and treatment can be the difference between life and death in patients with this illness. … Continue reading

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What’s Really Scary about Obamacare

This cartoon made the rounds of twitter a few weeks ago, and was first brought to my attention by Timothy McBride (@mcbridetd). But it is such an entertaining cartoon, I thought I would circulate it again: For all its flaws, … Continue reading

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Healthcare Versus Other Social Spending

Here is another great picture from the people at Vox. It shows the United States in the middle of OECD countries, when it comes to spending on social services, like healthcare, unemployment, and the like. Despite being in the middle, … Continue reading

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How Good is Healthcare in Your Country?

Here is an interesting picture of how people rate the quality of care in their countries. The US is near the top, but so too is the largely socialized British system: One clear message here: We all have another reason … Continue reading

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How To Trick People Into Caring About Healthcare

In health policy circles (yes, those exist!), experts often refer to three aims for a modern healthcare system – to offer (1) universal access to (2) high quality medical care at (3) an affordable cost. Access, quality, and cost: a … Continue reading

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