Nurse practitioner employment is growing

Nurse practitioner employment has nearly doubled between 2010 and 2017 according to Auerbach et al. (2020). If nurse practitioners can provide similar quality for some services at lower cost, nurse practitioners could save money. If nurse practitioners can help better leverage physician time for more complex services, and increase access to care, they may be…

For-profit chains are gobbling up local hospitals. What trend in the broader US economy explains this behavior?

One trend in recent years is how many hospitals are being purchased by large regional or national hospital chains. An April 2019 slide deck from the NIHCM Foundation shows this trend graphically. A paper by Hsieh and Rossi-Hansberg (2019) provide some aggregate data as well as a case study from the Boston area. Four decades…

Why don’t physicians follow evidence-based guidelines more often?

Many researchers complain that physicians often use treatments with little evidence to base these decisions. From off-label prescribing, to unstudied surgical procedures, physicians are often painted as cavalier practitioners who don’t read studies. For instance, Austin Frakt at Incidental Economist writes: The British Medical Journal sifted through the evidence for thousands of medical treatments to assess…