Category Archives: Uncategorized

Got Pneumonia? It’s probably a Virus

A team from the CDC recently published an implicit study cataloguing the pathogens – the evil foreign organisms – that cause Americans to find themselves in hospitals with pneumonia. And the worst offenders? Viruses! Moral of the story – get … Continue reading

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Does Having Too Much Money Make Us Stupid?

As a science, economics does not always succeed at predicting how humans behave. The discipline assumes a level of rationality, and an ability to process complex information, that far exceeds human capacity. But as a standard for how people ought to behave, … Continue reading

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How Much Does Health Insurance Cost?

Want to buy health insurance for your family? Last year, that would have cost you almost $18,000. In 1999, the cost would have been closer to $6,000. Here’s a table showing the steady rise in prices: Surprised at the $18,000 … Continue reading

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Using Behavioral Economics to Design Smarter Physician Incentives

Last year, I joined Zeke Emanuel and some other great people in publishing an article on how to use the insights of behavioral economics to nudge physicians towards providing high-value care. Here is a link to that article. To give … Continue reading

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Are Your Healthcare Prices Outrageous? Here’s What Happens When Prices Come Out Of The Dark

They both had shoulder pain, persistent despite weeks of physical therapy. Both received MRI examinations at reputable radiology facilities, looking for things like rotator cuff tears, labral disruptions and other anatomical abnormalities. What was different was the price they paid … Continue reading

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The History of Tobacco Control — In One Picture

Came across this cool graphic, showing the rise and fall of U.S. cigarette consumption. The picture also shows when various policy levers were pulled, and how those levers track to consumption. WARNING: No proof of cause and effect. But still … Continue reading

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Chew on This: Willpower Predicts How Quickly You Respond to the Taste of Food

Taste versus health: That’s a trade-off we are often faced with when deciding what to eat. Some foods are bad for our health but happen to taste quite good. All of us have limited willpower, and when we are exhausted … Continue reading

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How to Keep Santa from Making Our Kids Fat –Three Ways to Reduce Childhood Obesity

The holidays are upon us. It’s a time to celebrate with loved ones, maybe even enjoy a well-earned vacation. But it is also a time that many of us gain weight, with children developing eating habits that could set them … Continue reading

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A Two Picture History Of The Randomized Control Trial

Many people consider the randomized control trial the gold standard for assessing medical interventions. The US government has been a major funder of such trials, as illustrated in this picture which shows that the government funds just about as many … Continue reading

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Surprise – Here’s What Happens When You Try to Help Your Spouse Lost Weight

Ever wonder why your spouse eats too much even when you warn him or her not to eat too much? It could be because your admonitions put your spouse into a state of reactance, causing them to go against your … Continue reading

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