Is Medicare cost growth slowing?

Ezra Klein reports that this may in fact be the case according to S&P Healthcare Economics. “This chart shows per-patient Medicare revenue falling to a 2.5 percent growth rate, the lowest since S&P Indices started tracking numbers six years ago. At the very top of the this chart you see the ‘commercial index’ — which…

Expenditure vs. Price Index

Can health care productivity be increasing even as costs are rising so fast?  This may be the case.   One study by Aizcorbe and Nestoriak (2011) examines this phenomenon. “Using retrospective claims data for a sample of commercially insured patients, we find that, on average, expenditures to treat diseases rose 11% from 2003Q1 to 2005Q4 and…

Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Databases

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ)  Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) is a family of databases and tools intended to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of the U.S.   health care system.  HCUP results from Federal-State-Industry partnership to build a comprehensive all payer data system.  A summary of the databases available from…

When does diversification increase risk?

Why did the financial crisis occur?  One reason may be due to too much institutional diversification.  George Sugihara explains how even when individual institutions diversify, system-wide risk can increase exponentially. “Leading up to the crash, there was a marked increase in homogeneity among institutions, both in their revenue-generating strategies as well as in their risk-management strategies, thus…