Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Healthcare reform op-ed

The current uptick in ‘medical inflation’ in private sector health industry is worth a separate post. The Standard and Poor Healthcare Economic Indices can be found here. Lifted from a note from Run 75441 on the link I sent on healthcare reform. Recently, Matt Stoller claimed Obama had a 61 vote majority in the Senate and […]

Free market mechanics and healthcare…

by Michael Halasey Free market mechanics and healthcare… Now, I hear something all the time in my work in the health policy realm, and that is that the “free market” could lower prices. I even recently had someone approach me after I mentioned that the PPACA had resulted in an extra million people aged 18-25 […]

Negotiations, Not Love Songs

My wife had knee surgery recently.* One of the great things about our then-current health insurer is that they provide complete data—list price, what they negotiated, what they paid, what you owe. Since we’re in the “doughnut hole,” I’m tracking more frequently than I usually would. And the bills—possibly because we were moving to a […]

Medical Tourism, separating facts from fiction

by Michael Halasy Practicing Emergency Medicine PA, Health Policy Analyst, and Health Services Researcher Medical Tourism, separating facts from fiction One of the greatest myths that I hear on a somewhat regular basis, centers around the belief that the US must have one of the greatest health systems in the world, because everyone comes here […]

Guest post: Massachussetts leads the way!

Guest post by Michael Halasy Practicing Emergency Medicine PA, Health Policy Analyst, and Health Services Researcher Massachussetts leads the way We have talked about bundled payments here, and getting rid of the antiquated and inefficient fee for service model. It looks like Massachussetts is on board suggests The Washington Post. Blue Cross is not alone. […]

Guest post: Prometheus and Bundled Payments

As an extension of one of my posts, Global payment system, as the current buzz in healthcare reform, Michael Halasy points us to one of his choices for a plan. Guest post by Michael Halasy, Practicing Emergency Medicine PA, Health Policy Analyst, and Health Services Researcher Prometheus and Bundled Payments So, one of the more […]

Medical Malpractice Reform: Truth in Advertising Needed (Part Two of Three)

by Michael Halasy Medical Malpractice Reform: Truth in Advertising Needed (Part Two of Three) So in the first article, we discussed the historical implications of tort reform by examining Texas. The take home message being that tort reform failed to curb health care spending, and/or control costs (outside of malpractice premiums which did fall). Proponents […]

Lest we forget healthcare…a few notes and links

Health care reform blog reminds us both complexity of costs: Thus, areas with high medical spending do not have offsetting lower pharmaceutical spending; in fact, if the coding practices in different regions are not too dissimilar, the substantial variation in pharmaceutical spending does not seem to be strongly associated with variations in medical spending at […]

American Exceptionalism Strikes Again

This chart from National Geographic combines several data sets which require a little bit of puzzling out, but which come together in one whopper of an illustration. The parameters are: Cost per capita – lefthand scale, and lifespan — righthand scale, which together give a sloped line for each nation showing dollars per year of […]