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Generative AI for economists. Juvenile curfews on teenage birth rates. Cato on Biden Short‐​Term Health Plans Rule. Parents’ education on children’s earnings. DTx for MDD.

Pharmacy quality metrics: An overview

A paper by Kogut (2024) has a nice overview of the organizations that develop pharmacy plan quality metrics. Pharmacy plan quality is vital since approximately 85% of the US population has prescription drug coverage through public (e.g., Medicare , Medicaid) or commercial (e.g., employer-provided) pharmacy plans. A helpful summary table is below. Quality measures are…

Considerations in payer coverage of digital therapeutics

The Digital Therapeutics Alliance defines a digital therapeutic (DTx) as “evidence-based therapeutic interventions that are driven by high-quality software programs to prevent, manage, or treat a medical disorder or disease.” One key question is what factors do US payers take into account when evaluating DTx and how does that differ from standard pharmaceuticals. A paper…

Can AI make health care more efficient?

People won’t be surprised to learn that AI could improve the accuracy of diagnosis, expedite the rates of drug discovery, or even replace some (or many) activities typically done by doctors. However, can AI save the health care system money? That is the question asked by a recent article in The Economist titled “Can artificial…

Why don’t physicians accept Medicaid patients?

One reason is that reimbursement rates for Medicaid are lower than for Medicare or commercial insurance. Another (often overlooked) factor, however, is physician’s risk of payment denials and the administrative hassle they face trying to get reimbursed by Medicaid. A paper by Dunn et al. (2024)–cleverly named “A Denial a Day Keeps the Doctor Away“–shows…

RIP: Daniel Kahneman

Nobel prize winner Daniel Kahneman passed away today. His work incorporating psychology into economics through Prospect Theory has been a major advance. From the N.Y. Times obituary: Professor Kahneman delighted in pointing out and explaining what he called universal brain “kinks.” The most important of these, the behaviorists hold, is loss-aversion: Why, for example, does…

Imputing deductibles in claims data

Many researchers are interested in how cost sharing impacts health care utilization, cost and patient outcomes. This is especially true as high-deductible health plans (HDHP) have become more common in the US. In 2023, 29% of covered workers in the US had a HDHP. One helpful type of data for analyzing HDHPs is claims data.…