Friday Links

Reforming the WHOs Essential Medicines List. Should countries ban dual practice by physicians? Evidence on alcohol use. College vaccine mandates and COVID deaths. Using natural experiments for analysis of population health. 4 in 5 pregnancy-related deaths are preventable.

What is the Yost Index?

The Yost Index is a measure of socioeconomic status (SES) across geographic areas. The index was developed by Kathleen Yost and coauthors in their 2001 paper titled “Socioeconomic status and breast cancer incidence in California for different race/ethnic groups.” There are seven key inputs to creating the Yost index were calculated at the Census block…

Prior authorization: Burden on physicians and recommendations for change

Prior authorization policies may save money for payers, but they impose significant costs on patients and providers. A JAMA Viewpoint by Anderson, Darden and Jain (2022) examines various approaches for improving prior authorization in Medicare Advantage. In a recent survey of 1004 physicians, 88% reported that the burden associated with prior authorization requirements was high…

Medicare Advantage and Lake Wobegon

That is the connection made between Medicare Advantage (MA) Star Ratings under the Quality Bonus Program (QBP) and Garrison Keillor well-known segment on the Prairie Home Companion in a recent paper by Teno and Ankuda (2022). To better understand this linkage, first recall the famous quote from Mr. Keillor: That’s the news from Lake Wobegon,…

Midweek Links

Hunger in America. Cancer vaccines being developed by Moderna/Merck and BioNTech.  Health plan value ≠ star ratings. Impact of daylight savings on health. Reduced copayment for psychologist treatment and suicide attempts. Ode to Giannis.