Patient care under uncertainty: Or why I learned to stop loving clinical practice guidelines

The National Cancer Institute defines personalized medicine as “uses information about a person’s genes, proteins, and environment to prevent, diagnose, and treat disease”. In practice, however, patient treatment is rarely personalized by individual since evidence to support complete personalization is rarely available. Personalization in practice more often means care that varies with some individual characteristics.…

When is physician failure a good thing?

How do physicians learn?  A paper by Van Gestel, Muller, and Bosmans (2018) claims that the answer is through cumulative experience, economies of scale, or human capital depreciation. Learning from cumulative experience refers to the idea that treating an additional patient generally improves physician (or team) performance. When referring to economies of scale, we capture…

Do hospital purchases of physician practices increase or decrease prices?

The effect of health care industry consolidation on prices is a question argued about by many including researchers, economists, anti-trust, lawyers, regulators and more.  There is evidence that health plan consolidation increases premiums, and hospital consolidation increases price. For instance, Dafny et al. 2015 writes: The harsh reality is that it’s difficult to find well-documented…