Quality of care and prices

There have been a number of studies that have examined how publicly reporting quality ratings (for health plans, physicians, hospitals or other health care providers) affects market share.  Less attention has been paid to the effect of measured quality on health care prices.  A paper by Huang and Hirth (2016) aim to answer just this…

Will technology replace nurses?

Many people have feared that robots, computers, and other forms of technology will take people’s jobs. Conventional wisdom holds that healthcare workers have been largely immune from these technological changes to date. However, a new paper from Lu, Rui and Seidmann examines whether technological advances–specifically computerized provider order entry (CPOE)–affects employment at nursing homes. Using…

Quality and Quality of Life

There have been numerous efforts to measure quality of health care, especially among the elderly.  For instance, Nursing Home Compare measures of quality of care for nursing homes.  However, these quality measures focus on health and safety.  They do not measure quality of life.  Atul Gawande’s book Being Mortal describes why nursing homes focus more on…

The Decline of Mental Hospitals, 1950s

The movement of mental health care from mental hospitals to treatment in outpatient settings and nursing homes  began in the 1950s.  Here is how it happened. “The field of medicine where the ‘rediscovery of community’ found an immediately welcome reception was mental health services.  A movement away from mental hospitals had already begun in the…

Value-Based Purchasing in Nursing Homes

More than 3 million frail and disabled individuals rely on nursing home services in any given year.  About half of these individuals consider the nursing home to be their primary place of residence.  Nursing home quality, however, has often been called into question. Some experts believe pay-for-performance schemes will improve nursing home quality.  Today, I…