The last Obamacare sign up?

Today is the last day to sign up for Obamacare for 2017.  If President Trump has his way, it could be the last day to sign up for Obamacare ever.  In fact, Marketplace reports that Trump administration decided to pull ads promoting last-minute sign-ups, although it reversed that decision shortly after. The media put forth mixed estimates…

Which cancer treatment is best?

This seems like a straightforward question, but clearly depends on what you mean by “best”.  Some drugs will be more efficacious and have more adverse events; other drugs may be less efficacious but have fewer adverse events.  What if a one drug shows an 80% improvement in progression free survival (PFS), but a 50% improvement in overall…

Judge blocks Aetna-Humana merger

A judge blocked a potential $37 billion deal for the merger of large U.S. health insurers Aetna and Humana.  The Washington Post provides some explanation behind the judge’s logic: Bates wrote in his opinion that the proposed merger would have decreased competition substantially in the Medicare Advantage market in 364 counties. Aetna and Humana had argued…

ISPOR Paper of the year

The ISPOR paper of the year award for best publication in Value in Health was given to Basch et al. (2016) for their study titled Methods for Developing Patient-Reported Outcome-Based Performance Measures (PRO-PMs).  The abstract is below. Objective: To recommend methods for assessing quality of care via patient-reported outcome-based performance measures (PRO-PMs) of symptoms, functional status,…

Cost-Effectiveness Analysis 2.0

High drug prices are in the spotlight. While expensive, many of these treatments improve patients quality of life and even extend patient’s life expectancy. How do you balance treatment cost and benefits? Peter Neumann and Gillian Sanders have a perspective piece in NEJM describing the findings of the Second Panel on Cost-Effectiveness in Health and…