Mahalanobis Distance

What is Mahalanobis distance? Most people know what Euclidean distance is…it is the shortest distance between any two points.  In other words, its what we typically think of when we think of distance – the distance we would measure with a ruler, and the one given by the Pythagorean formula. Unlike Euclidean distance, Mahalanobis distance…

Friday Links

Enjoy the weekend with some interesting reads… The highest paid public employee in your state is… Do markets for health care work? Workers comp not paying for on-the-job ER visits? Tackling Medicare Fraud. Some of my best friends are germs. Be nice to Sebelius.

A drop in the bucket…

Every year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) conducts a recovery audit. In a recent report, Medicare collected over $797 million in Medicare overpayments in 2011. Where do these overpayments come from? Inpatient: $677m Durable Medical Equipment & Other: $35m Physician: $33m Outpatient: $17m Skilled Nursing Facilities: $0.2m Recovery Audit Contractors returned $488…

Why become a doctor?

On The Health Care Blog (THCB), Dr. Vineet Arora argues that being a doctor is not as attractive as it once was. She writes: After all, why go into this much debt and spend so much time in training if your prospects are not much better? More recently, the New York Times article points out…

Kaplan-Meier Survival Curves

Survival analysis is used in many contexts.  Some examples include: Medical research: fraction of patients living for a certain amount of time after treatment. Economics: length of time people remain unemployed after a job loss. Engineering: time until failure of machine parts. Ecology: how long fleshy fruits remain on plants before they are removed by…