What happened to the Census?

The year 2010 marks the last for the decennial Census.  Although you might miss the ad campaigns every 10 years, the Census hasn’t really disappeared completely.  Instead, it’s being replaced by the American Community Survey (ACS).  Although the goals of the ACS are similar to those of the Census, its approach is very different.  Rather…

2010 Nobel Prize in Medicine

The 2010 Nobel Prize in Medicine went to Robert G. Edwards, the inventor of in vitro fertilization (IVF).  According to the Nobel Prize press release: “Robert Edwards is awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize for the development of human in vitro fertilization (IVF) therapy. His achievements have made it possible to treat infertility, a medical condition…

Shrinkage and the James-Stein Estimator

Is an average always the best estimate?  Let us say that we are evaluating physician quality.  Does a physician’s average score across patients (or episodes of care) best represent their true quality level?  Stein’s paradox says that when we are evaluating the true quality value for a number of doctors, we can do better than…

Immigration and Medicaid

“…in order to prevent undocumented families from obtaining benefits illicitly, a problem that could not even be verified, Congress mandated (under a provision of th eDRA) that all Medicaid recipients must submit proof of their citizenship and identity.  Implemented in 2006, everyone subject ot the new law has to produce a birth certificate, passport, certificate…

Saturday Night Links

California takes the lead on health insurance exchanges. Health plan refunds are bad for the sick? Read the fine print. Text messaging and adherence. California gets a D+. Asymmetry: avoiding poor glycemic control decreases ER visits, but promoting superior glycemic control does not. Guideline Wars. Outlawing texting-while-driving decreases safety. Unconscionable science. Courage.