Tag Archives: Medicare

The Healthcare Efficiency Myth – What Really Happens When Doctors And Hospitals Join Forces

For much of the history of U.S. medical care, hospitals and physicians have existed as separate financial entities. Physicians in the U.S. have typically been self-employed, as solo or group practitioners and not as hospital employees. An internist like me … Continue reading

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An Easy (But Politically Complicated) Way To Save Billions Of Dollars On Medical Care

I sometimes worry that my wife Paula won’t be able to see me grow old. Not that I expect to outlive her. She is four years my junior and has the blood pressure of a 17-year-old track star. It’s her … Continue reading

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Can’t Afford Medical Care? Welcome to America!

David Blumenthal and colleagues recently wrote a wonderful piece in the New England Journal on the future of Medicare. In it, they present a powerful picture comparing how often people in 11 countries have difficulty accessing medical care because of … Continue reading

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Finally: Something Republicans and Democrats Can Agree On

The United States Medicare program is forbidden, by law, from negotiating with pharmaceutical companies. This was part of a negotiation that was reached at the time that the government, under the leadership of George W. Bush, created Medicare Part D, … Continue reading

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The United States of Short Hospital Stays

We spend more for medical care in the United States than just about anywhere in the world, but it’s not because people in this country get admitted to the hospital and stay for long periods of time. Instead, we have … Continue reading

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Paying for “Patient Satisfaction” Harms Hospitals That Care for Poor People

All else equal, it would be wonderful if hospitals had an incentive to provide high quality care. It does not seem fair to pay the same amount of money to a hospital that does a great job of caring for … Continue reading

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The Future of Disease – in One Picture

Here are some projections on what illnesses Medicare enrollees are experiencing now, and what they will be experiencing 20 years from now, courtesy of the Brookings Institute:

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Are Medicare Prescription Benefits Too Stingy?

The bill she received in the mail revealed a staggering figure — $9,225 for one infusion of Avastin, a chemotherapy drug. And she would need many more such infusions. Fortunately, the dollar amount is what medical experts call a “charge,” … Continue reading

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Medicare, Schmedicare

For more than half a century now, the United States has stood out among its peers in the developed world for having the largest percent of its citizens living without health insurance. But once you turn 65-years-old in America, the … Continue reading

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When It Comes to Controlling Healthcare Costs, the Government Outperforms Private Industry

When I think of the federal government, “efficiency” is rarely the first thing on my mind. But when it comes to controlling healthcare costs, we need to consider the possibility that the federal government is better at this job than … Continue reading

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