Thursday Links

Find out how much Medicare and Medicaid cost you in taxes. CABG report cards do not influence referral patterns. Overrated cost savings. Workers comp insurers’ biggest issues. What is driving Medicaid cost growth? Health Reform made simple (with cartoons!) Can rationing spur competition? Health Reform to destroy child-only health policy market?

Medicaid Expansion in Oregon

In early 2008, Oregon expanded it’s Medicaid eligibility.  To take advantage of these new benefits, 85,000 individuals signed up.  Oregon’s budget, however, only had enough money to fund Medicaid coverage for 30,000.  In a researcher’s dream case, Oregon decided to select the 30,000 eligible to apply for coverage using random assignment.  Because this policy in…

The Medicaid Integrity Program

One of President Obama’s biggest initiatives as part of health reform was to reduce fraud, waste and abuse in Medicare and Medicaid.  Today, I will discuss how the Medicaid program fights fraud at the federal level. Because Medicaid is state-run, the States have typically been the ones responsible for ensuring efficient Medicaid operations. However, the…

The Medicaid Medical Industrial Complex

“Across the nation, sizeable and forceful groups–a Medicaid medical industrial complex–support welfare medicine, many of them becoming entirely or partially dependent on its funding for their financial viability.  Their reliance on the low-income health program puts them at risk of adverse political decisions, but also drives them to exert disproportionate influence over policymakers. Vested interests–professionals,…

Friday Links

Dr. Oz’s Colonoscopy. Health reform allows workers to keep their current health plans…sometimes. Fun Graphs: aging nations and your county’s health. Tragedy at my alma mater. Confidential Medicaid policy advice. 8th largest economy in the world without a budget.

EMR and Second Opinions

Electronic medical records have been touted as producing large gains in efficiency.  In fact, Kaiser Permanente has invested $3 billion in EMR.  One drawback of EMR, however, is that the value of second opinions may fall.  Instead of coming to a new physician with a clean slate or at the least seeking a fresh interpretation…