Blog Posts (10)
November 15, 2013
I want to share a wonderful blog post with you, written by one of “my” students, Laura Mortimer – a student in the Masters in Public Policy program at the Sanford School at Duke, who also happens to be a talented writer. In linking to her post, ...
November 13, 2013
In response to the New England Journal article I published with Yousuf Zafar and Amy Abernethy, Newsweek chimed in this week with a report on the topic, including some thoughtful commentary from other medical experts. I thought it was worth pointing yo...
November 4, 2013
If an antibiotic would cure your infection, your doctor would probably still warn you about the chance of sun sensitivity before prescribing the pill.
But even when the costs of a medical intervention might force patients to choose between paying th...
October 30, 2013
I recently learned about a company called OpsCost, which has a very user-friendly website designed to help people figure out how much different hospitals charge for a wide range of treatments and procedures. The company makes use of the data that the M...
October 23, 2013
When is the treatment worse than the disease? When the high costs associated with care become a financial burden for patients and in many cases prevent them from protecting their health, contends Peter Ubel, MD, a 2007 recipient of a Robert Wood Johnso...
October 22, 2013
Ask physicians if our messed up malpractice system causes them to practice “defensive medicine,” and most will probably say yes – hard not to be paranoid with so many lawsuits affecting so many physicians. Some experts even contend that major re...
October 17, 2013
Physicians need to broach discussions about out-of-pocket costs with patients the same way they discuss a treatment’s side effects, public policy professors wrote.
“Admittedly, out-of-pocket costs are difficult to predict, but so are many m...
October 17, 2013
Here is a link to an article I co-authored in the New England Journal this week, with Yousuf Zafar and Amy Abernethy. In the article, we urge physicians to talk about out-of-pocket costs with patients, given that these costs can sometimes have a bigge...
October 15, 2013
To almost every claim that the American healthcare system is overpriced, defenders of the United States can point to the comparison problem—it is not fair to compare American surgeons, or hospitals, to our peers in Europe when American surgeons and h...
October 11, 2013
Most new insurance plans sold on Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges will have deductibles greater than $1000. That’s the kind of number that’s going to make people think twice about going to the emergency room when they experience shortnes...
June 19, 2013 3:08 pm
Unfortunately, limited by many factors, our health-care system has suffered from insufficient experimentation and a lack of innovation in approaches to physician and nonphysician provider compensation.
May 21, 2012 4:55 pm
Think of it as a health policy wonk’s dream: Football stadium after
One insurance company’s data could fill 60 million of these. (bigstockphoto) football stadium packed to the brim with…health insurance claims data. An odd dream, to be sure. But health insurance data is crucial to understand how health care dollars get spent. It shows how people use health care, what’s changing and, in some cases, why. Health insurers, however, have tended to keep that data private, as it could tip competitors off to how they handle business.
May 20, 2012 1:37 pm
Having the results of a personalized genetic test did not drive patients to utilize potentially costly follow-up healthcare services, a study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found. In the past five years, there have been many new tests marketed to consumers who want to know whether they are genetically susceptible to a range of health conditions and traits, including diabetes and certain types of cancers. The tests, known as multiplex assays when they test for a variety of genetic variations, are marketed by a number of for-profit companies.
May 14, 2012 10:14 am
An Irish adage says: “When you come to a wall that is too high to climb, throw your hat over the wall, and then go get your hat.” That’s what Massachusetts started with its 2006 law requiring just about everyone to get coverage and arranging to make that coverage affordable. Now, it’s time to get the hat.
April 30, 2012 10:37 am
Worried that questioning your doctor will damage your relationship or make for an awkward office visit? Time to untie your tongue. Asking a few key questions at your next appointment could save you both money and exposure to medical risks. Meanwhile, more doctors are volunteering to help the conversation along and prescribe evidence-based conservative measures first.
April 12, 2012 11:39 pm
Spurred by patients and patient advocates like Ms. Kuhn, lawmakers in at least 20 states, from Maine to Hawaii, have introduced bills that would limit out-of-pocket payments by consumers for expensive drugs used to treat diseases like cancer,rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and inherited disorders.
April 5, 2012 12:57 pm
The national conversation about health care reform focuses relentlessly on cost reduction. While bending the cost curve is extremely important, improving quality is also essential — but sometimes downplayed — in today’s reform equation. Grappling with quality challenges has attracted a new breed of health care leaders: physician and nurse executives.