When is physician failure a good thing?

How do physicians learn?  A paper by Van Gestel, Muller, and Bosmans (2018) claims that the answer is through cumulative experience, economies of scale, or human capital depreciation. Learning from cumulative experience refers to the idea that treating an additional patient generally improves physician (or team) performance. When referring to economies of scale, we capture…

Will MACRA kill small physician practices?

Depending on the source, 34% to 59% percent of physicians are employed in practices of less than 10 physicians.  On the other hand, 39% of physicians are employed by hospitals.  How will these proportions change over time? An interesting paper by Casalino (2017) examines the impact of the  Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) on…

Physician Prescribing Recommendations for Themselves and for Patients

In one of my recent publications, I show that patient and physician risk preferences differ.  Patients are willing to take take treatments with more both upside and downside risk, whereas physician prescribe treatments large based on which one provides the most efficacy to the average patient. One question that remains is how do patients and physician preferences over treatments…

Does your doc want to be in an ACO?

The answer is likely “It depends.”  To see why this is the case, let us consider the case of some proposed health reforms in Switzerland to force physicians into managed care (MC) networks.  As described in Rischatsch (2015): In 2012, Switzerland held a referendum…aimed at encouraging the nationwide development of MC networks. Among other changes…the legal…

Physician Payments in the 1990s

One of my favorite health economists and bloggers is Austin Frakt of the Incidental Economist.  In a recent paper, he examines whether new Health Reform provisions have learned from the mistakes in the 1990s from shifting provider reimbursement to a capitation based-system.  To find the answer, you’ll need to read his commentary (with Rick Mayes)…

Doc Fix Fixed…for Two Months

Kaiser Health News reports: The House GOP leadership’s agreement to a Senate proposal averts a 27 percent paycut to doctors scheduled to take effect in January. The deal delays the cut until March 1, and lawmakers hope to hammer out an agreement on a longer-term fix to the payment formula before then. As I previously noted,…