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Author Archive: Peter Ubel

About Peter Ubel

The COVID-19 virus is wreaking havoc on healthcare providers. Hospitals and outpatient practices are struggling from a combination of lost revenue, from people delaying or canceling appointments, and increased expenses, related to the measures they are taking to reduce the spread of the virus within healthcare settings. As always, when American healthcare providers are in […]

The post Concerning Trend for Rural Physicians Makes a Risky Business Even Riskier appeared first on Peter Ubel.

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The contribution of tuition towards medical school revenue is a tiny fraction of what it once was. How this harms the academic mission of medical schools, especially during the pandemic. The post It Should Scare Us That Tuition Is A Tiny Amount Of Medi...

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Science cannot lead us out of this pandemic. Whatever paths we take to navigate COVID-19 need to be chosen through political processes. The true role of science is to illuminate these pathways, guiding our policy choices by showing us what’s at stake.

The post Science Isn’t Meant To Be Followed appeared first on Peter Ubel.

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Rates of cigarette smoking have dropped substantially in the US over the past few decades. But lots of Americans still smoke, and the burden of tobacco-related illness does not fall evenly across our population. That is tragic under normal circumstances, with tobacco use leading to heart attacks, strokes, cancers, and emphysema, to name but a […]

The post Smoking Cigarettes (My Circumstances Made Me Do It) appeared first on Peter Ubel.

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I recently came across a disturbing picture. I know that life in America is unfair. That access to medical care is uneven. That the chance of living a long life is often heavily influenced by socioeconomic disparities. But this figure still astonished me. It shows mortality for people suffering from Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, better known […]

The post A Shameful American Fact: Enormous Racial Disparities In Death Rates From Lupus appeared first on Peter Ubel.

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In 2010, the state of Rhode Island decided to tackle high healthcare costs. It did so by requiring insurers to meet affordability standards. The plan worked, but not for the reasons you probably suspect.

Let’s start with what Rhode Island’s standards look like. It required several things of insurers:

The post Angry Your Doctor Won’t Tell You What That Test Costs? You Should Be! appeared first on Peter Ubel.

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The field of behavioral economics has brought attention to promising ways of motivating people to make better life choices. Many behavioral economic-inspired interventions are relatively hands off — they nudge people to make wiser decisions without in any way restricting their choices. The idea of nudges was made justifiably popular by Cass Sunstein and Dick Thaler in their best-selling book and has inspired governments around the world to create nudge units.

The post The Most Expensive Medicare Patients Aren’t Who You Think appeared first on Peter Ubel.

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Happiness doesn’t always come easily. Some people seem naturally happy, like they inherited the right gene or were born into the right circumstances. Many other people struggle to find happiness. Perhaps even more people hope to become happier than they already are. But what kind of plan should people follow if they are hoping to become happier? Or will any kind of plan merely make it harder to thrive?

The post Death by Poison – A New American Epidemic appeared first on Peter Ubel.

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In 2010, the state of Rhode Island decided to tackle high healthcare costs. It did so by requiring insurers to meet affordability standards. The plan worked, but not for the reasons you probably suspect.

Let’s start with what Rhode Island’s standards look like. It required several things of insurers:

The post High Healthcare Costs — Are Insurance Premiums a Cause or an Effect? appeared first on Peter Ubel.

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The field of behavioral economics has brought attention to promising ways of motivating people to make better life choices. Many behavioral economic-inspired interventions are relatively hands off — they nudge people to make wiser decisions without in any way restricting their choices. The idea of nudges was made justifiably popular by Cass Sunstein and Dick Thaler in their best-selling book and has inspired governments around the world to create nudge units.

The post Behavioral Economic Interventions – It’s Not a Choice Between Nudges and Shoves appeared first on Peter Ubel.

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