Game Theory and the Talmud

Today is Friday.  Every Friday at sundown, the Sabbath (the day of rest) begins for the Jews.  Observant Jews spent most of Friday night and Saturday praying, reading the Torah and other scholarly works, socializing, and of course eating. Although the Talmud might seem to deal only with other-worldly matters, that is not always the…

Do I need an Annual Wellness Visit?

The Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Health Reform, Obamacare) mandates that Medicare provide an annual wellness visit (AWV) to all beneficiaries free of charge.  Today, I answer some questions related to CMS’s implementation of the mandated annual wellness visit requirement. What is included in an annual wellness visit?  The AWV includes “the establishment of, or update…

How to Measure Physician Efficiency

Many payers are moving towards value-based purchasing programs that reward efficient physicians with additional payments and punish inefficient physicians with decreased payments.  Medicare’s Quality and Resource Use Reports (QRUR) are a step in this direction. However, summarizing overall physician quality is a difficult prospect.  First, the types of cases each physician treats is not homogeneous,…

Quality Rankings and Choice of Hospital

Today I review some of the evidence regarding whether quality rankings affect hospital choice. In particular, I focus on a recent article on choice of hospitals in the Netherlands for angioplasties. Literature Review I first review some of the previous literature on how quality affects patient choice of hospitals. Tay (2003) found changes in hospital quality…