Archive for the ‘Healthcare Economics’ Category

What do high healthcare costs and high tuitions have in common?

April 14, 2017

Let’s connect a couple of dots today …

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A NY Times article explored “Why the Economic Payoff From Technology Is So Elusive”.

One example:

Look at this disconnect is in the doctor’s office.

Dr. Peter Sutherland, a family physician in Tennessee, made the shift to computerized patient records from paper in the last few years.

There are benefits to using electronic health records, Dr. Sutherland says, but grappling with the software and new reporting requirements has slowed him down.

Dr. Sutherland bemoans the countless data fields he must fill in to comply with government-mandated reporting rules…

He sees fewer patients, and his income has slipped.

The bottom line: over the years, due legal compliance and technology complexity, administrators (think: bureaucrats) have been added at a far faster rate than healthcare providers (think: doctors and nurses) …

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Hmmm.

Wonder why healthcare costs are so high …

What’s the link to college tuitions?

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What percentage of babies are born on Medicaid?

April 3, 2017

Make your guess before peeking ….

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Medicaid took center stage during the repeal & replace drama … so, I’ve been more alert to Medicaid news.

Let’s put today’s question in context.

According to MSN:

Over the past five decades, Medicaid has surpassed Medicare in the number of Americans it covers.

It has grown gradually into a behemoth that provides for the medical needs of one in five Americans — 74 million people.

For comparison … about half are on employer-based plans and “only” 14% are on Medicare.

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Here’s the geographic spread, according to the Kaufman Family Foundation:

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Note the heavy Medicaid density in the West … and the relatively light density in the Heartland.

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OK, you have your frame of reference: about 20% of Americans on Medicaid.

So, what percentage of babies are born on Medicaid?

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What do high healthcare costs and high tuitions have in common?

June 13, 2016

Let’s connect a couple of dots today …

A recent NY Times article explored “Why the Economic Payoff From Technology Is So Elusive”.

One example:

Look at this disconnect is in the doctor’s office.

Dr. Peter Sutherland, a family physician in Tennessee, made the shift to computerized patient records from paper in the last few years.

There are benefits to using electronic health records, Dr. Sutherland says, but grappling with the software and new reporting requirements has slowed him down.

Dr. Sutherland bemoans the countless data fields he must fill in to comply with government-mandated reporting rules…

He sees fewer patients, and his income has slipped.

The bottom line: over the years, due legal compliance and technology complexity, administrators (think: bureaucrats) have been added at a far faster rate than healthcare providers (think: doctors and nurses) …

clip_image002

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Hmmm.

Wonder why healthcare costs are so high …

What’s the link to college tuitions?

(more…)

Would your boss fire you if your project underperformed plan by 50% ?

October 20, 2015

Answer: Apparently not if your boss is President Obama …  and your project was ObamaCare.

In a conference call with reporters last week, HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell said “We believe 10 million is a strong and realistic goal” for 2016 enrollment in ObamaCare Exchanges.  That represents an increase not significantly different from zero.

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Let’s put that number in context … and show how performance against plan is even worse than it initially appears.

(more…)

ACA: More Americans insured, but vast majority are less insured …

September 3, 2015

I’ve  been wrestling with a conundrum ..…

Mainstream media continues to tout the success of ObamaCare … always focusing on the number of previously uninsured folks who now have insurance.

Most recent CBO numbers say that about 19 million previously uninsureds now have insurance – mostly from Medicaid and subsidized ACA Exchange policies.

Now, about 80% of the non-elderly population is covered … but, about 36 million are still uninsured.

Said differently, over half of the previously uninsureds are still uninsured.

Huh?image

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Let’s look at the cost …

ObamaCare added about $100 billion in annual government spending .

So, the cost per newly insured person is roughly $5,000 per newly insured person per year.

That sounds about right since an average individual health insurance policy is about $5,000 per year.

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OK, so what’s the rub?

Some simple arithmetic suggests that the aggregate monetary amount of insurance provided to the full population of non-elderly citizens has actually declined.

Here’s my logic …

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Remember how your healthcare costs were going to go down by $2,500 per family?

August 18, 2015

Recently, a friend casually mentioned to me that his family finances were being strained by healthcare costs.

Why?

His family’s annual deductible had gone up from $2,500 to $12,500.

What?

Think about that for a moment … a 10-grand bump in out-of-pocket healthcare costs before the insurance even kicked in (with co-pays, of course).

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The discussion piqued my curiosity, and I did some digging to put my friend’s predicament in perspective … what I found was surprising (and certainly under-reported in the main stream media)

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Bitter pill: Harvard faculty thought ObamaCare didn’t apply to them … oops.

January 7, 2015

According to the NY Times , the Harvard faculty is throwing a collective hizzy fit.

What’s their beef?

In a touch of irony, the same folks who cheer-led the passage of ObamaCare now feel aggrieved because they’re being forced to shoulder some of the costs.

To quote my grandson Ryne, “Oh me oh my.”

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Here’s the scoop … with some priceless snippets from the Times’ article

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Surviving a post-med school residency …

August 20, 2014

We’ve been spending a lot of time at Georgetown Hospital recently.

In the process, we’ve developed a deep respect for some of the key cogs in the system: nurses, nurse practitioners and doctor-residents.

In casual conversation, our surgeon mentioned how she had managed to “survive her surgical residency”.

That got me wondering, about the life of a resident.

 

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Here’s what I found …

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