What would happen if we eliminated medical debt?

Medical debt in the U.S. is a major problem. While over 90% of individuals have health insurance, many people are uninsured and even those with insurance may be liable to high deductibles and copayments. A Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) analysis uses data from Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) and finds that: …20 million…

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…

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.…

Utilization management for biosimilars

When we think of utilization management (e.g., prior authorizations, step edits), we often think payers only use these for higher cost branded products including biologics. Generic drugs should have low cost sharing and limited utilization management. One question, however, is whether payers’ utilization management practices for biosimilars mirror those of biologic products, or small-molecule generics,…