November Health Wonk Review

Lisa Lines of The Medical Care Blog hosts this month’s edition of the Health Wonk Review.  Lisa blogs from San Diego as she is attending the American Public Health Association annual meeting.  The HWR edition talks about HRRP, income eligibility for the health insurance exchanges, pharmacists as providers, Medicaid expansion and many other topics. Check…

The Placebo Effect

The placebo effect is well-known in medicine. Give people a sugar pill, they have shown, and those patients — especially if they have one of the chronic, stress-related conditions that register the strongest placebo effects and if the treatment is delivered by someone in whom they have confidence — will improve. Tell someone a normal…

The problem with propensity score matching when using difference-in-difference

Difference-in-differences attempts to measure causal effects using changes in outcomes across different groups.  One of the key assumptions of differences-in-differences specification are that pre-period trends are similar across these groups.   But what happens if these pre-period trends do appear?  Can the use of propensity score matching solve the problem.  According to a paper by Daw…

Friday Links

Building bridges. Stents, the Shape Memory Effect and Superelasticity. Does digital lead to poor surgeons?W Will a drug work for you?  Can 23andMe really help answer this question? Utah-Mexico new medical tourism connection. Doing business. ACA reduced insurance disparities. FDA guidance on meta-analysis.

Pharmacists as health care providers

Pharmacists are often seen as individuals who just dispense drugs.  However, pharmacists are increasingly considered as providers that are part of the broader health care team. My own research has shown that pharmacists are a more cost-effective and safe approach to getting vaccinations compared to primary care providers (see Fontanesi et al. 2009).  A Health Affairs Entry…