EU Health Market

The BBC reports that patients in the EU may soon have the right to go to any EU country for medical treatment.  In a September 5th article (“EU chief…“), one can see a future of medical tourism in the EU. Many EU members have argued that medical services fall outside the scope of the single…

Managed Care and Employer Health Insurance Offerings

Daniel Polsky and Sean Nicholson have two papers which aim to look at employer health insurance offerings.  The first [Polsky, Nicholson (2004)] tries to estimate the factors driving the cost differences between HMO plans and non-HMO (eg: PPO, indemnity) plans.  The authors deconstruct the cost differences into three factors: Utilization Effect: this occurs if individuals…

Measuring Corruption with Parking Tickets

How do you measure the level of corruption in a nation?  Transparency International uses a Perceptions Index to rank the corruption of each nation.  The problem with this index is that it does not give the true corruption of officials, but the resulting corruption from a mix of personal corruption and the effective enforcement of…

Tax Collection in History

On Thursday I mentioned the Treasury Department’s plan to turn over some of the collection of delinquent taxes to private companies.  In most modern societies of the Western world, tax collectors are salaried employees of the state.  This was not always the case.  A 2006 paper by Cosgel and Miceli aims to create a model…

Doctors reject ‘people power’

An interesting article from The Sunday Herald of Scotland: Doctors’ and nurses’ leaders have rejected proposals that would allow members of the public to be directly elected to health boards over concerns it will make the NHS “too politicisedâ€?. Bill Butler, Labour MSP for Glasgow Anniesland, introduced the Health Board Elections Bill to Holyrood in…

Privatizing Tax Collection

The New York Times reports (“IRS Enlists Help…“) that the Internal Revenue Service will begin to subcontract collection of delinquent tax payments to private firms.  The article states: “…the I.R.S. will turn over data on 12,500 taxpayers — each of whom owes $25,000 or less in back taxes — to three collection agencies. Larger debtors…

Employment and Adverse Selection

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 160 million Americans receive their health insurance from their employers.  That figure represents three out of five non-elderly individuals.  Many experts argue that using employer provided health insurance eliminates the problem of adverse selection by forming an insurance pool around a non-medical issue (employment).  Jayanta Bahattacharya and William Vogt…

Coffee may be good for you

Good news for coffee-aholics like myself.  The Seattle Times reports (“Coffee’s Health Conundrums“) that coffee may have health benefits including a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.  Researchers at the Pauling Institute concluded that “there is little evidence of health risk and some evidence of health benefits” for up to four cups a day. 

Too much care in Elyria: Part II

Joe Paduda of Managed Care Matters did some research and found that a cardiology department in Elyria, Ohio received an award for quality (“Quality means exactly what?“).  Why is this significant?  As I noted on Saturday, this same department performed four times as many angioplasties as the rest of the country.  Mr. Paduda sums up…