Category Archives: Uncategorized

Will Lowering The Price Of Genetic Testing Raise The Cost Of Medical Care?

The first time scientists sequenced a person’s entire genome, it took more than a decade and cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Currently, such sequencing takes less than twenty-four hours and costs less than $5,000: To put that into perspective, … Continue reading

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Sagan the Quipster

In 1996, a man wrote to Carl Sagan asking him the distance to heaven. Sagan was a very public agnostic. He replied brilliantly: “Thanks for your letter. Nothing like the Christian notion of heaven has been found out to about … Continue reading

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Science Writing Prodigy

I’ve been teaching college for four years now, at a pretty darn good college. But I’m not sure I’ve seen student writing quite as good as this undergraduate writing sample: There is a wide yawning black infinity. In every direction … Continue reading

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Price Transparency Thoughts from a Thought Leader (And Former Student)

Here is a great piece on my former student, Jessica Harris, who now works in health care price transparency at Aetna. She visited my class this summer, and here are some of the things she taught them: The evolution of … Continue reading

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A Picture of Scientific Publication Bias

Because so much of human thinking is dichotomous, even though so much of the real world exists on a continuum, we have strange phenomena like the one illustrated in the picture below. The picture shows the significance values of research … Continue reading

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Financial Counseling for Cancer Patients: A Growth Industry?

A former student of mine who now works at the Advisory Board recently emailed me some figures her company put together, offering a snapshot of how many people are being hired in oncology practices to help patients with their financial … Continue reading

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Hello, From Michigan!

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The Power of Comparison

In a wonderful article on deep cave exploration, Burkhard Bilger shows how powerful comparison can be in putting an unfamiliar topic into context. He is describing the arduous work involved in deep cave exploration. He is describing the risks of … Continue reading

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Obamacare Hasn't Scared Away Insurers

Interesting picture on the Vox website from Sarah Kliff, showing an increase in the number of health insurance companies planning to compete on the exchanges next year: So much for the rumors that Obamacare will quickly kill the health insurance … Continue reading

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If Costs Are Unknown, Can Doctors Still Talk About Them?

I have been writing a bit lately on the need for healthcare providers to talk with their patients about healthcare costs, if for no other reason than to enable patients to determine whether they can afford to pay for the healthcare that … Continue reading

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