Attention Shoppers

Can consumer-driven health care (CDHC) really work?  According to the New York Times, many entrepreneurs believe it can. In “Attention Shoppers,” the newspaper details how Wal-Mart, CVS and other chain stores are opening walk-in health clinics. The clinics are staffed by Nurse Practitioners and operated independently of the chain store. The benefits of the walk-in…

Mummy State

The Independent of the UK reports (“Childbirth revolution“) that the British government is “planning a ‘strategic shift’ in childbirth policy away from hospital delivery and towards births in the home.” Instead of having doctors supervise the birth, midwives will deliver the child. On one hand, I commend the British government for this policy change. The…

Better Health Care

When economists talk of improved healthcare, they are generally speaking of technological improvement or increased efficiency in the production of medical care.  When most people talk about better healthcare, “better healthcare” means more medical services for free.  The Angry Economist rants regarding the ‘something-for-nothing’ attitude of the general public. The very existance of that phrase…

RVU costing

RVU costing sets physicians’ fees by employing various accounting procedures to determine the relative worth of each service they provide. An article by Mark Berlin in Healthcare Financial Management (1997) details how the RVU costing system works. First let us examine the four types of cost accounting group practices traditionally use. Job Order Costing. This…

Crony Capitalism

Recently, we have seen a shift towards the left in Latin America. Socialistic presidents Evo Morales of Bolivia (who just nationalized Bolivia’s national gas industry) and Hugo Chavez of Venezuela both enjoy much popular support. Brazilian president Lula Da Silva has a background as a union leader and Nestor Kirchner of Argentina also rose to…

Failure of Medical Malpractice Law: Part II

Recently, I wrote a post regarding the inefficiency of the Medical Malpractice system. Both Brennan, Sox and Burstin (1996) and Studdert, Mello and Brennan (2004) found that not only were there many frivolous suits brought to court, but even more prevalent was the phenomenon that individuals who suffered negligent care did not sue (only 3%…

Computerized Drug Ordering Reduces Chemotherapy Errors

Here’s one for The Healthcare IT Guy… MedPage Today reports that “Computerized Drug Ordering Reduces Chemotherapy Errors.” Some excerpts: Using the system reduced the likelihood that a child would get the wrong daily chemotherapy dose by 74%, and virtually eliminated the risk of dose calculation errors, wrote Christopher U. Lehmann, M.D., of Johns Hopkins, and…

Dentist Shortage in Britain

British teeth are not famed for their beauty.  There are countless jokes about British teeth on television and at comedy clubs.  Even in Mexico, protruding, discolored and generally unfortunate teeth are known as “dientes de ingles.” A serious shortage of dentists in England, however, is causing this stereotype to become reality.   The New York…