Tag: healthcare costs

Blog Posts (26)

May 20, 2015

These Americans Are Rich – Should We Celebrate?

American manufacturing has declined precipitously in the past few decades. Companies that were once the source of fabulous wealth for Americans – the U.S. Steel profits that enriched the Carnegie family, the Ford Motor F -1.29% Company profits that enriched … Continue reading

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May 14, 2015

What Physicians Could Learn from Accountants and Veterinarians

Rebecca Plevin, from KPCC public radio in California, is quickly becoming one of my favorite health reporters. She is really digging in to the strange world of health economics. Here’s a nice piece she did, comparing how people talk about … Continue reading

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May 13, 2015

Showing Doctors How to Lower Healthcare Costs

There are lots of things we need to do to get healthcare costs under control in the United States. Critical to most of our efforts, however, is to get physicians to practice cost-conscious care. Here is a nice story on … Continue reading

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May 7, 2015

Using More and More Medical Care

Recently, Dr. R. Adams Dudley, director of the UCSF Center for Healthcare Value, circulated a picture illustrating rapid growth in the use of tests and other imaging procedures between 2000 and 2013. I thought it deserved further circulation. It reveals … Continue reading

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May 1, 2015

More Healthcare Job Growth

The other day I posted a picture on job growth in the United States, in healthcare versus other parts of the economy. It showed that most growth was healthcare related. Well here is another picture, from the Wall Street Journal, … Continue reading

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April 29, 2015

The Upside of High Healthcare Costs: Lots of Jobs!

Here is a quick review from the Commonwealth Fund showing what happened to jobs in the United States since 2000. A dramatic growth in healthcare jobs, and almost no growth in the rest of the economy: Something to keep in … Continue reading

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April 6, 2015

Health Insurance Is About Financial Security Too

People like me, trained to be physicians, have pushed hard to promote health insurance in the United States because we believe, with some evidence to back up our claims, that good health insurance promotes better health. When people don’t have … Continue reading

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March 31, 2015

Millions To Be Made On…Generic Drugs?

It is well accepted among health economics wonks that the lion’s share of pharmaceutical company profits come when these companies hold exclusive rights to their products. Once their blockbuster pills go “generic,” competitors enter the marketplace and profits plummet. Consider … Continue reading

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March 24, 2015

The High Price of Affordable Medicine

In the old days, blockbuster drugs were moderately expensive pills taken by hundreds of thousands of patients. Think blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes pills. But today, many blockbusters are designed to target much less common diseases, illnesses like multiple sclerosis … Continue reading

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March 3, 2015

The Lost Art Of Not Ordering A CAT Scan

She didn’t talk like a stroke victim. “I…I…I…k…kkk…can…can…can’t…t…t…t…talk.” She struggled with her words, struggling on early syllables, only to then spurt out full and correct words. “N…N…N…No.” Recognizing this unusual speech pattern, the neurologist Allan Ropper, author of Reaching Down … Continue reading

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News (7)

June 19, 2013 3:08 pm

The Experts: How Should Physician Pay Be Changed?

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

What could revolutionize health care? This database. (Washington Post)

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

Genetic Testing May Not Drive Up Health Costs (MedPage Today)

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

In health care, cheaper can mean better (The Boston Globe)

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

Care That's Just Right (Wall Street Journal)

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

States Seek Curb on Patient Bills for Costly Drugs (New York Times)

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 arthritismultiple sclerosis and inherited disorders.

April 5, 2012 12:57 pm

The New Face of Health Care: Why Nurses Are in Such High Demand (The Atlantic)

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.