Profile of Medicaid participants

As of 2002, approximately 41 million people were on Medicaid. That is approximately 14% of the population of the United States. Who are the people on Medicaid? We can generally divide the people who receive Medicaid into four categories: 1) poor adults, 2) elderly who can not afford Medicare co-payments or deductibles 3) children and…

My former employer to give physicians incentives to use IT.

General Electric (my employer between 2002-2004) unveiled an interesting program named ‘Bridges to Excellence.’  This program will compensate participating physicians up to $50 per patient in exchanged for instituting IT systemts for patient records, electronic prescription writing, etc.  GE estimtates that the $50/patient figure will be about half of the projected savings from the project. …

Can varying co-payment rates by risk reduce cost and improve health outcomes?

A RAND study published in the American Journal of Managed Care (“Varying Pharmacy Benefits With Clinical Status: The Case of Cholesterol-lowering Therapy“) claims that managed care administrators may be able to vary pharmaceutical co-payment amounts by risk group in order to reduce cost and improve health outcomes.  Thus study looks at Cholesterol-Lowering pharmaceuticals.  Co-payments are…

Does Financial Aid really help the poor?

Conventional Wisdom holds that financial aid helps poor students afford higher education.  This is certainly true.  However, does financial aid truly help the entire distribution of poor families in the United States.   A study by Hansen and Weisbrod in their 1969 book Benefits, Costs and Finance of Public Higher Education seeks to analyze how financial aid is distributed…

State of the Union

In the State of the Union address, President Bush dedicated portions of the speech to the health care problems facing the United States.  A summary of his proposals is located on the White House website.  I will comment on a few noteworthy additions to the Bush plan, of which I was not aware of during my…