Mass immunizations

What is the most efficient procedure to immunize large groups of people? This is an interesting question, especially considering the potential need to distribute vast amounts of medicine in the case of a terrorist attack. Since the CDC’s Vaccinations for Children (VFC) program recommended flu shots for that all children age six months and to…

Do financial incentives affect the type of breast cancer surgery a patient receives?

There are two treatment options for patients with breast cancer.  The first is a breast conserving surgery (BCS) which removes the cancerous lump (lumpectomy) followed by irradiation treatment.  The second option is a mastectomy which removes the entire breast.  Lecia Apantaku claims in the American Family Physician journal in 2002, that “survival rates following breast conservation…

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…

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…

P4P

Can Pay for Performance (P4P) improve care and slow spending growth in the U.S.?  Joe Paduda is doubtful.  So is John Wennberg of the Dartmouth Medical School.  In his report (“Variation…“) for The Commonwealth Fund, Wennberg says that P4P initiatives can be very effective in creating incentives for physicians to operate under best practices.  For instance, practice guidelines…

Coffee may be good for you

Good news for coffee-aholics like myself.  The Seattle Times reports (“Coffee’s Health Conundrums“) that coffee may have health benefits including a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.  Researchers at the Pauling Institute concluded that “there is little evidence of health risk and some evidence of health benefits” for up to four cups a day. 

Money and Health

Ten days ago, MedPageToday ran an article (“Hefty Bank Account…“) which claimed that people who have more money are healthier.  Using the 2000 Census American Community Survey, the study finds that “a 55-year-old man making about $49,500 per year is 44% more likely to have a functional disability than his neighbor making $57,800 a year.”  This…

Paying for end-of-life treatment

Speaking about which services hospitals and doctors should provide at the end of a patient’s life is always a sensitive subject.  Family members become emotional and desire any procedure which has a non-negative chance of prolonging the patients life, regardless of the cost.  This is what insurance is for, to safeguard families from calamitous medical…

Cost to bring drug to market: $802m

According to the PhRMA (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America) U.S. drug companies spent $39.4 billion on research and development in 2005. Much of this money goes towards the clinical trials necessary for FDA approval. But how much does it cost to bring a drug to market? In order to bring a drug to market,…