Effect of Medicare Part D on Mortality

Huh and Reif (2017) have an interesting study of the effect of Medicare Part D on mortality.  The abstract is below. We investigate the implementation of Medicare Part D and estimate that this prescription drug benefit program reduced elderly mortality by 2.2% annually. This was driven primarily by a reduction in cardiovascular mortality, the leading cause of…

Does your mortality rate increase when your doctor is out of town?

According to a paper by Jena et al. (2014), the answer is no. The paper examines 30-day mortality rates for Medicare patients admitted to the hospital with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) or heart failure and compares “…mortality and treatment differences…during dates of national cardiology meetings compared with nonmeeting dates.mortality rates “during dates of national cardiology…

Does Increased Hospital Spending Reduce Mortality?

According to Romley, Jena and Goldman (2011), the answer is yes. For each of 6 diagnoses at admission—acute myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, acute stroke, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, hip fracture, and pneumonia—patient admission to higher-spending hospitals was associated with lower risk-adjusted inpatient mortality. During 1999 to 2003, for example, patients admitted with acute myocardial infarction to…

Capitalism and Russia’s Alcohol Problem

It turns out that capitalism was not the cause of Russia’s current (largely alcohol-related) mortality crisis.  From an NBER working paper by Bhattacharya, Gathmann, and Miller (2012): Political and economic transition is often blamed for Russia’s 40% surge in deaths between 1990 and 1994. Highlighting that increases in mortality occurred primarily among alcohol-related causes and…

Medicaid’s Effect on Mortality

Does Medicaid coverage decrease mortality?  According to a recent study in NEJM, the answer is yes. “Mortality declined significantly (by 19.6 deaths per 100,000, for a relative reduction of 6.1%; P=0.001). Reductions were greatest among nonwhites and older adults, with smaller but significant reductions among whites and no effect among persons under the age of…