Nata, Botswana

Nata, in Botswana, is a village of 5000 people located on the edge of the Makgadikgadi Pans. Unfortunately, HIV/AIDS is having a devastating effect on the people of this small village. Botswana has the second highest HIV infection rate in Africa. The current rate of infection is 37% nationally and Nata’s rate of infection is…

Medicaid and Immigration

DB’s Medical Rants cites an interesting New York Times article (“Medicaid Hurdle for Immigrants May Hurt Others“) regarding the administrative burden created by a new law requiring all Medicaid recipients to prove their citizenship in order to receive the public insurance.

Physician Assistant Timeline

Economists typically believe that there is too much regulation in the medical field. Due to problems of asymetric information in determining doctor quality, economists believe there is a role for certification and licensure, but these requirements are currently too strict. For instance, many routine procedures could be preformed by a Nonphysician Clinician (NPC) such as…

Using Physician Assistants: A Wise Tradeoff?

The use nonphysician clinicians (NPCs) in the provision of medical care has grown over the years. Although physicians still dominate the medical field, there were over 66,000 Physician Assistants in the United States in 2005. Before Physician Assistants (PAs) and Nurse Practitioners (NPs) were licensed, physicians were the only individuals permitted by law to perform…

Tax Credits, the Distribution of Subsidized Health Insurance Premiums, and the Uninsured

The popular press has been decrying the existence of large numbers of Americans without medical insurance. From Indiana to Wisconsin to California, politicians are looking for a means–such as government provided health insurance–to give more residents medical insurance. Economists, however, generally speak out against the provision of private goods by the government. An interesting solution…

PPS Economic Model

In an attempt to reduce costs, Medicare enacted a Prospective Payment System (PPS) in 1983. Medicare aimed to pay hospitals a fixed rate based on the Diagnosis Related Group (DRG) plus/minus an adjustment for location and local wage. Although this system gives hospitals the incentive to misclassify patients into high profit DRG, I will assume…

Failure of Medical Malpractice Law

The problems with the Medical Malpractice system in the US have been well-documented. President Bush has presented proposals to cap punitive damages in malpractice litigation. Other others have decried the fact that despite a large number of negligence cases each year, very few patients bring suit to court. Below are two studies which should give…

NHS Doctors prefer private insurance

In England, all residents receive free medical care from the National Health Service (NHS), which is run by the Department of Health. Many critics of nationalized health care would say that publicly provided medical care is often of inferior quality to that of medical care provided in the private market. A recent Times (UK) article…

Iqbal Quadir’s vision of Development

Iqbal Quadir is not your typical investment banker. Inspired by the non-profit Grameen Bank‘s success in his native country of Bangladesh, Quadir has created a variety of initiatives which allow the private sector to be the driving force for development in the Third World. CNN and The Economist (“Power to the People“) both report of…