Steps Health Professionals Can Take to Reduce Inequality in Health Outcomes

That is the title of an article in AJMC co-authored with Meena Venkatachalam. An excerpt is below: While decision-makers traditionally have ignored the issue of inequality, academic researchers have already developed tools to quantify a treatment’s value from reductions in inequality. Two common methods for doing so are distributional cost effectiveness analysis (DCEA) and multiple-criteria…

What can pharma do about social determinants of health?

The Milwaukee Bucks–my home town sports team–yesterday boycotted Game 5 of their NBA playoff series. This historical event serves to bring attention to the inequalities African-Americans and other minorities face in our society. In health care, disparities also exist. As I mentioned in my Health Affairs blog piece with Meena Venkatachalam, COVID-19 has highlighted these…

Disparities in COVID-19 hospitalization rates

Azar et al. (2020) use electronic health record data to examine differences in COVID-19 hospitalization rates by patient characteristics. The authors find that: …compared with non-Hispanic white patients, nonHispanic African American patients had 2.7 times the odds of hospitalization, after adjustment for age, sex, comorbidities, and income. These findings echo similar COVID-19-related conclusions across California.…

Wages and Benefits

For the past few years, some economists have claims that increases in income inequality are due to increased cost of employee benefits such as health insurance.  For instance, let’s say that health insurance cost $10,000 per worker.  Workers with a wage of $20,000 have total compensation of $30,000 including benefits, and workers with wages of…

Life Expectancy Inequality

Numerous media outlets and academic studies have demonstrated that in the last few decades, income inequality has grown. However, not only are poor Americans making relatively less money compared to their richer peers in recent years, but poor individuals also have not experienced the same survival gains as the rich. Louise Sheiner reports on a…

Who are the 1%?

Although executives and managers lead the way, in large part, the answer is doctors.  See the chart below. Sources: John Bakija, Williams College “Jobs and Income Growth of Top Earners and the Causes of Changing Income Inequality: Evidence from U.S. Tax Return Data.” November 2010, Working Paper. Hat tip: Mother Jones.