The skewed Medicaid spending distribution

Many people claim Medicaid recipients are moochers, relying on the federal government.  Further, Medicaid costs states a lot of money.  Why don’t Medicaid programs just raise copays to reduce unnecessary use of medical care? The reason is that the vast majority of Medicaid beneficiaries don’t spend too much money.  Medicaid is expensive mostly due to…

Calculating SEs is not as simple as you think

What is the standard error of a predicted value? Most people know that the standard error of the mean of a dependent variable is σ(Z_bar)= σ(Z_bar) / √N. As Dowd, Greene and Norton (2013) explain, however, the standard error for the predicted value of a linear regression is much more complicated: The estimated standard error…

David Williams of Health Business Blog hosts this week’s roundup of risky blogposts. It’s a great way to learn about the riskiest profession, problematic cancer care, and even risky transplant issues:

Is risk selection into high-deductible plans a problem? Even single payers have multiple computer systems. Saving a Program That Saves Lives. ‘TripAdvisor’ site for NHS. Healthcare.gov fail. The \$500 stitch. Do hospitals know their own prices?

2013 Cost to bring drug to market: \$1.3 billion

In a previous post in 2006, I wrote that the cost to bring a drug to market is \$802 million. Although that is a huge number, it may be an underestimate. Pharmafile reports that the cost to bring a brand drug to market is now over \$1 billion. the cost of bringing a brand from…

Group of Death?

Typically, when the Healthcare Economist talks about death, it deals with sad topics: mortality rates, preventable deaths, etc.  Today, I will discuss a happier death-related topic: the feared “Group of Death”. The World Cup Groups were unveiled today and popular press is claiming that the U.S. team is placed in the Group of Death.  There…

Health Wonk Review takes on Healthcare.gov

What is on the mind of the Wonk blog-o-sphere?  You guessed it… Loyal reader, your time is precious. So without further ado, let’s get to the best health wonk posts of the week!   ACA (a.k.a. Obamacare) What other problems is Healthcare.gov facing?  Sarah Kliff of the Washington Post’s Wonk Blog states that Healthcare.gov also is having trouble…

Thoughts on IOM’s ‘Delivering High-Quality Cancer Care’ Report

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) makes a number of recommendations on how to improve cancer care in their 2013 report.  I have listed them all here.  For some of these recommendations, I have comments below. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and other payers should design, implement, and evaluate innovative payment models that incentivize…

Doc Fix: 2014 Edition

It’s that time of year.  The time of year where Medicare threatens to cut physician salaries by double digits (in this case 24.4%).  This is no idle threat.  Under current law, CMS is mandated to cut physician salaries under the sustainable growth rate formula.   Its the time of year that physician lobbyists (rightly) complain that…

P4P in Ontario

Ontario implemented a physician pay-for-performance (P4P) scheme in 2002.  This P4P framework was a jointly agreed upon by the  Ontario government and the Ontario Medical Association.  The Ontario P4P program is described in Hurley, DeCicca and Buckley (2013) in more detail below: [Ontario’s P4P program] targets performance bonuses on effective preventive services whose rates of provision were…