LOWESS Curves

Often times when doing data analysis, you want to find the relationship between two variables.  The first step is typically to plot a scatterplot.  To better understand this relationship, however, it is useful to fit a line to the scatterplot.  Most commonly, this is done with a simple linear regression (i.e., ordinary least squares (OLS)…

Off label prescribing: Q&A

The Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy has a great overview of some of the issues related to off-label prescribing.  Below is a summary of some key points from this article. What is off-label prescribing? Off-label prescribing and use can take many forms, such as use of an approved drug for an unapproved clinical indication, use at…

Friday Links

Top 10 drugs in the UK. Techonomists. 20 million get health insurance from ACA. Time to reform the Hospital Readmission Reductions Program? How big a problem is patient turnover in ACOs? Returning from space after 1 year. Buying cures vs. renting health.

Cost of Quality Reporting: $15.4 billion

Medicare aims to move away from fee-for-service reimbursement and towards value-based payment mechanisms based on quality of care.  Although the goal is laudable, there are a number of practical challenges.  First, most care is still provided via fee for service.  In 2013, 95% of all physician office visits were reimbursed using fee-for-service.  Second, collecting quality of…

Is Economics a Science?

That is the question addressed by in a paper by Colin Camerer and co-authors in Science. The authors repeated 18 economics experiments conducted in a laboratory setting. These articles were published in leading economics journals including the American Economic Review and the Quarterly Journal of Economics between 2011 and 2014. As The Economist reports, they…

Cost effectiveness analysis Q&A

What is cost effectiveness analysis or CEA?   One definition is that CEAs–at least in the field of health care–measure the difference or ratio between cost of care and the benefits of care for a given intervention compared to an alternative treatment strategy.  The intervention could be a new surgical procedure, a drug, a behavior modification program or any other…