Are WHO rankings entirely worthless?

According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 2000 report, the U.S. ranked 37th in the world in terms of the quality of its health care system.  The placed the U.S. health system behind Saudi Arabia, Costa Rica and Morocco.  Do we need to fire all U.S. doctors?  Should everyone stop reading this blog post and…

Duflo Wins John Bates Clark Medal

From the N.Y. Times: Esther Duflo, a development economist at M.I.T., has been awarded the John Bates Clark Medal. The award is given to “that American economist under the age of 40 who is judged to have made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge.” Professor Duflo, 37, helped found the Abdul Latif…

Effect of Decreasing Medicare Reimbursement Rates on CABG Surgeries

Many researchers claim that decreasing physician reimbursement will decrease Medicare expenditures.  Mechanically, this is true, but in reality, physicians may adjust their treatment behavior to make up for lost income.  A study by Yip (1998) evaluates how change in reimbursement for coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgeries affected the volume of CABG surgeries physicians perform. …

A Tale of Two Bounties: Can Physicians Cost Shift from Medicare to Private-Pay Patients

Do physicians cost shift after Medicare reduces reimbursement rates?  A paper by Rice et al. (1999) examines whether or not this in fact occurred after Medicare reduced payment for surgical procedures in the late 1980s.  To be more specific, “The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1989 (OBRA-89) reduced Medicare physician payment rates for thirty-six groups…