Insured use emergency room more often for primary care issues than uninsured

The Star Ledger reports that “uninsured patients are less likely to visit the emergency department for non-urgent care than insured patients.”  The conclusion is based on an article in this month’s edition of JAMA written by Newton, Keirns, Cunningham, Hayward, and Stanley (2008).   The authors examined 127 articles which studied adult medical and surgical care of uninsured patients in emergency…

Cavalcade of Risk #63

The latest edition of the Cavalcade of Risk is up at John Cogan’s Regulating Health Insurance.  Mr. Cogan even claimed that I’m “everyone’s favorite graduate student.”  Some of my favorite posts include: Blogging is a dangerous profession and may require blogging insurance. Lawrence G. Lux discusses the financial crisis. David Williams discusses physician bias in…

Will technology kill health care?

Information technology has the possibility of greatly increasing the efficiency of health care.  EMRs can reduce the cost of accessing patient information.  New technologies can make medical devices more effective.   But is there a cost to increased medical technology?  GigaOM wonders “…will widespread diagnostics increase the burden on healthcare? Somewhere between 10 and 50…

China and Universal Health Care

The Wall Street Journal reports that China is aiming for Universal Health Care.  The Chinese hope to cover 90% of the population within 2 years, and provide health coverage for all Chinese by 2020.  “This all stands in contrast to China’s current system, which provides little government funding to government hospitals and requires patients to pay heavy out-of-pocket…

The unintended consequences of expanding low-income home ownership rates

The New York Times has an revealing article on Henry Cisneros.  Mr. Cisneros was the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under President Clinton.  In an attempt to expand home ownership rates, especially among low-income households, Mr. Cisneros loosened mortgage restrictions.  ” Families no longer had to prove they had five years of stable income; three…

Offshorable Economists

In recent years, economists have examined the phenomenon of offshoring.  Offshorable service jobs are characterized by a number of factors.   Jensen and Kletzer note that offshorable jobs have little face-to-face customer contact and work processes that can be monitored via the internet.  Thus, data entry is easily offshorable whereas barbershop services are not. A paper…