The opioid crisis in numbers

Most people who spend time in health care are aware of the opioid crisis. But how bad is it really? The National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) Foundation provides a number of interactive graphs to quantitatively describe how the opioid crisis has evolved between 2000 and 2017. For instance, the the graph below shows…

Part D Fun Facts

Some fun facts from Kaiser Family Foundation about Medicare Part D, which covers prescription drugs. Enrollment has doubled since Part D’s inception in 2019. Enrollment in managed care drug plans (i.e., Medicare Advantage Part D Plans [MA-PD]) has continued to grow, but enrollment in stand alone Part D Plans [PDP] has leveled off or decreased.…

Why did life expectancy fall in Canada?

According to a news report in The Globe and Mail, one of the primary reasons for falling life expectancy in Canada is the opioid epidemic. Life expectancy in Canada has stopped increasing for the first time in more than four decades, due largely to soaring overdose deaths in the Western provinces. In British Columbia, the…

Growing health care spending in China

One can expect health care spending in China to grow for two reasons in the coming years. First, with the economy growing, individuals and the government will have more money to spend on health care. Second, China is aging rapidly and older individuals require more health care services. Thus, it should come as no surprise…

CBO: Healthcare projected to consume increasing share of federal outlays in next decade

Every year, the Congressional Budget Office projects how the federal budget will look over the coming decade. For the coming decade, the numbers look grim. Federal deficits in CBO’s baseline average $1.2 trillion per year and total $11.6 trillion over the 2020– 2029 period…Those deficits would average 4.4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Other…

Who uses medical marijuana?

A number of medical studies have touted the benefits of medical marijuana. But who actually uses medical cannibis? Some statistics from Boenhke et al. (2019) provide the answer: While conventional wisdom hold that medical marijuana is frequently used for glaucoma, in practice, this medical marijuana is much more likely to be used to treat other…