Category Archives: Health & Well-being

The Key to Surviving Your Hospital Stay? Get Admitted During Inspection Season

A fascinating study from JAMA Internal Medicine shows that hospital mortality rates decline when hospitals are being inspected by The Joint Commission, a national accrediting agency. Here’s a picture showing the research findings: Which raises the question – is there a … Continue reading

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Does a Church Service a Week Keep the Doctor Away?

Religious belief has many health benefits. For some people, religious belief reduces existential angst, the reduction in stress leading to lower blood pressure and a stronger immune system. For others, religious belief gives their lives purpose, that purpose motivating them … Continue reading

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Need More Evidence the U.S. Healthcare Market Is Screwed Up?

In a healthy consumer market, people compare the price and quality of goods inside whether it’s worth paying extra money to get the best possible products. In healthcare, it’s often almost impossible to figure out what things cost. And when … Continue reading

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Is the Government Trying to Make Us Fat?

The FDA has proposed new labels on grocery store food products, that adjust serving sizes to more accurately capture what Americans eat. Research I conducted with Steven Dallas and Peggy Liu suggests these labels could be a problem. Here is … Continue reading

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The Harms of Believing in Exercise

Can beliefs make you fat? The answer to this question might seem pretty obvious. If I believe that the best way to lose weight is to super-size five meals a day at McDonald’s, while consuming bags of Doritos to tide … Continue reading

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If You Look for Cancer, You’ll Find It

What would you like first: the good news or the bad news? Let me start with the bad. Life expectancy among patients in the U.S. with thyroid cancer lags behind that in Korea. In fact, the vast majority of patients … Continue reading

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Calling Obesity A Disease Dooms Dieters

In June of 2013, the American Medical Association officially recognized obesity as a disease. The organization had its reasons. For starters, obesity leads to heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, early-onset degenerative arthritis…and just about every other illness on the planet. In … Continue reading

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How Screwed is North Carolina if Supreme Court Rejects Obamacare?

In a few months, we will find out whether the Supreme Court has decided that a critical part of the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. If that happens, lots of people will be in lots of trouble, financially speaking. Here … Continue reading

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More on Healthcare.gov 3.0

Here is a nice follow-up story on my recent New England Journal article on improving the design of health insurance exchanges. Comparing health insurance plans – whether signing up through Healthcare.gov or weighing employer-sponsored plans with a spouse – can … Continue reading

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

New Danger: Third-Hand Smoke?

Smoking kills. But you knew that already. So does second-hand smoke. Inhaling a smoker’s exhalations can cause heart disease and cancer. But now it turns out that just watching other people smoke is dangerous, especially if those other people are … Continue reading

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