Should Non-Profit Hospitals get a Tax Break?

Of course they should! Non-profit hospitals treat the poorest patients in the most underserved communities using a bare bones administrative budget…right? According to the New York Times (“Nonprofit Hospitals Face Scrutiny Over Practices“), the traditional view of non-profit hospitals as altruistic institutions may be flawed. The commissioner of internal revenue, Mark W. Everson, said tax…

HC Economist diagnosis: A case of Baumol’s Disease

The American health care system seems ill.  Prices for medical services have continued to outpace inflation during recent history.  What is the Healthcare Economist’s diagnosis?  Simple, its a case of Baumol’s cost disease. Baumol’s cost disease is a phenomenon which appears in industries which have slow productivity growth over time (see “What ails us” in…

The WHO revises its Tuberculosis Strategy

Tuberculosis is the world’s deadliest curable, infectious disease. According to the World Health Organization TB report, there were 8.9 million new TB cases in 2003.  Over 1.7 million people die of the ailment, 90 percent of them in developing countries.  Africa has the highest incidence of TB with 2.8 million cases in 2003, but even…

Job Lock: A Literature Review

I have recently completed a paper titled Job Lock: A Literature Review, which has been posted in the ‘Papers by HC Economist‘ page. Here is a brief excerpt from the beginning of the paper. “Three in 10 Americans say they or someone in their household have at some time stayed in a job they wanted…

Tourney Time

The NCAA Men’s basketball tournament is almost upon us. Time to fill out your brackets and cheer for your favorite teams. I have filled out my bracket, but as an economist, I can’t do this as any normal person would. I have used some quantitiative measures in order to rank the teams. The teams are…

Are you ready to be inspired?

If your life has been in a rut lately and you wish for some inspiration in your life, I have the perfect book recommendation: Mountains beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder.  The book is about Paul Farmer, a world renowned infectious disease physician who has dedicated his life to improving the quality of health care in…

Does Public Insurance Crowd Out Private Insurance

Programs such as Medicaid and Medicare aim to expand health insurance to those currently uninsured.  These programs certainly accomplish this goal, but they also crowd out private insurance.  This means that an individual who has private health insurance may decide to use public insurance instead.  This would mean that society is simply substituting individual payment…

IT usage in the Health Care sector

When I go to Ralph’s, my La Jolla grocery store, I scan my Ralph’s club card. The firm then is able to track all of my purchases and offer me customized coupons. If I go another Ralph’s store in Clairemont, this store still has access to all my prior purchases and I still receive a…