A doctor’s view

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Why one doctor left the profession: a cautionary tale, by Maggie Kozel, a former pediatrician, from kevinmd.com. Viewed from several perspectives, this is part of the ongoing series “Why Does It Cost So Much?” Health care economics and the relationship between doctor and patient.

A round of applause

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You don’t need to look far to find the causes of secrecy in the health-care marketplace. It’s much harder to find people and institutions doing good solid work to pull back the curtains. So here’s a round of applause for The Wall Street  Journal and its series on the system, brought in an analysis of […]

Costly endorsements

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So why do health costs keep rising? Advertising is one reason.  And sponsorships. For example, Antonio Banderas is the voice of the Nasonex bee.  Jim Edwards (BNet) on  10 Celebrities on Big Pharma’s Payroll.

Health hot spots, etc.

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Atul Gawande wrote in The New Yorker about “hot spots” in health spending–a very few people who are using a great deal of reseources in the health-care industry. The piece is now available online, and so is his response to the criticisms thereof. Read it. It’s fabulous. One of my favorite health economists is Austin […]

Lab test costs

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Lab tests are a growing cost for most of us. My lab tests, increasingly, seem to involve a separate co-pay or co-insurance payment, though the policy I hold  says that tests from participating labs are covered. Another take on lab tests comes from Anna Wilde Mathews in The Wall Street Journal on Jan. 11: “Cheryl […]

Wait a second (prescription drugs)

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Hey, this is really interesting. You know those free drug samples people get from their doctors? There is a hidden cost: often those prescriptions are for high-priced brand-name drugs when less expensive generics are available, resulting in higher overall prescription prices, this doctor says, citing a University of Chicago Medical Center study. By Dr. Joel […]

A trip to the GP

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A remarkable piece by Mary Pat Whaley on why primary care costs what it costs, on kevinmd.com, including this excerpt: “I know that patients often say ‘But he only spent 10 minutes with me.’  Checking back with the provider, I find it was typically longer.  Patients tend to underestimate the time as it goes very […]

Required reading

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Why it makes no sense to argue over the predictions of the health-care budget implications: http://bit.ly/evXErX Killing jobs or killing people: http://bit.ly/hvdvaD Krugman on his comments: http://nyti.ms/gNYHJr More of the Incidental Economist, this time on utilization and pay. http://bit.ly/i4T3Df Ezra Klein takes on David Brooks: http://wapo.st/flARSG

A primer, health incentives and more: The roundup

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One of my favorite bloggers, who goes by the handle Maxine Udall, Girl Economist, wrote a piece not long ago about explaining the health-care marketplace to her dad. “How, I asked myself, do I explain health and health care to him? The information asymmetries; the third-party (insurance) payment that insulates purchasers from prices and prices […]

The debate about screening

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Screening and prevention are huge issues in medicine today. We all know that knowing early is better than knowing late, so we all screen: it’s like having your teeth cleaned and minding your credit score. Why not screen? Insurance pays, after all, and so…. Here’s a nuanced take on the issue, from Gary Schwitzer of […]