Decrease price…increase supply?

In a typical market, an increase in the consumers’ willingness to pay will increase price and increase quantity (see graph).  On the other hand, a decrease in willingness to pay will decrease price and decrease quantity.  This axiom of economics does not hold in the health care market; at least not according to a 1998…

Academic Integrity

In order to prevent fraud, such as in the case of Eric Poehlman, economists use a peer-review system consisting of referee reports.  The referee reports evaluate the merit of a paper and offer suggestions of how to improve the article.  Tyler Cowen of Marginal Revolution gives some good tips on the best way to write referee…

Those annoying HMO patients…

Why do HMO patients receive less care than fee-for-service patients?  Could it be that HMO patients are healthier (adverse selection) or that FFS compensation leads to increased demand for medical services (moral hazard)?  A paper by Shen, et al. (2004) finds that one reason could be that physician compensation could affect a doctor’s desire to perform…

I love my doctor

People love their doctors.  Study after study has shown this to be true.  Typically 75%-95% of patients surveyed claim that they completely or mostly trust their physician.  Does this finding hold even when doctors are compensated through a capitation method and have a financial incentive to withhold care?  A study by Kao, et al. (1998) shows…

An Unwelcome Discovery

While I was reading the The New York Times Magazine, I came across a very interesting article regarding scientific integrity.  The article (“An unwelcome discovery“) documents how a Eric Poehlman, a faculty member at the University of Vermont, had fabricated ten years worth of data.  This is a serious problem .  Sally Jean Rockey of the…

Diagnose your disease

Are you feeling ill or experiencing worrying symptoms?  Interested in looking for information regarding a disease?  If so, you can find answers to these and other medical questions at Wrong Diagnosis.  This site uses reliable sources to create it medical database.  These sources include: the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institute…

Media that Matters – Women in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Media that Matters is an organization dedicated to producing films portraying controversial issues relevant to today’s society and encouraging viewers to work towards social change.  While the organization is heavily left leaning politically, they do have a wide variety of health-related films (see health/health advocacy section).   I did come across an interesting short film regarding…

Ordered Probit (or Logit) Estimation

What is one to do when the dependent variable under investigation is categorical?  Well if these categories are ordered, then an ordered probit (or logit) estimation technique is a sensible means for estimation.  An example where ordered probit estimation should be used is for an integer index ranking of physician quality between one and five.    On…

UCSD Medical Center in the news

The University of California San Diego (UCSD) is where I currently attend graduate school.  The UCSD Medical Center has been in some hot water lately. The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services has alleged that UCSD has overcharged Medicare $48 million for pension costs.  According to a UCSD Guardian…

Defining Managed Care

As insurance markets began to develop in the U.S., we observed two types of insurance emerging: indemnity plans and health maintenance organizations (HMOs).  Indemnity plans compensated providers on a fee-for-service basis and HMOs used a capitation scheme.  Typically, HMOs used gatekeepers to restrict services while indemnity plan restrictions were few and far between.  Typical analysis…