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Tag: Innovation

“I Felt Like a Hostage”: Toward a Solution for Medical Price Transparency »

I recently wrote an article critical of a business group’s approach to improving transparency of prices for medical and hospital procedures. However, as noted in the article, expressing such criticism is not to deny that we have a serious problem when it comes to figuring out how much we owe for treatment. In Saturday’s...
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Can You Hear Me Now? We Have Too Much Health Insurance »

Hearing aids have been expensive—until now. An interesting story in the New York Times a little over a year ago related the journey of a woman who had broken the shell of one of her hearing aids. Shocked at the price of hearing aids from private audiologists—at least $2,000 for a set, and usually...
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Thinking Is Research, Too! »

Bill Parker, an old friend of mine who died in 2000, was director of graduate studies in economics at Yale for thirteen years. He told me once about his struggles with his colleagues, who, he believed, were spending too much time on technique and not enough time on substance in teaching their courses. The...
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ObamaCare Ruling Just Killed Portable Health Insurance »

Although it is rarely discussed by the national health media, a quiet revolution in how health insurance is purchased has been underway for several years now. Specifically, employers have been using Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) to allow their employees to purchase individually owned health insurance. A number of states, including Colorado, have expressly passed...
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It’s Third-Party Payers, Stupid »

How can you write an entire column about waste in health care and never mention why there is waste? Uwe Reinhardt shows he’s up to the task at the New York Times economics blog. Maybe it’s that bottle of champagne he mentioned the other day. Are there huge administrative costs in the market for...
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Stunning Results from California »

I’m going to summarize in a single paragraph a debate that has been raging in health policy for the past two decades. On one side is what I call the health policy orthodoxy. On my side is a small group of people that believe markets can work. The debate goes like this. Them: The...
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Problem Solved, No Government Program Needed »

In a classic article, Stanford University professor Kenneth Arrow argued that the market for medical care is inherently flawed because of asymmetric information. In what follows, I am going to embellish on the argument, making it even more forceful than it was in the original text. My book, Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis, offers...
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President Obama’s Database: Information on Everyone »

Here is a video of Representative Maxine Waters explaining that President Obama has put together a database that “...will have information about everything on every individual in ways that it’s never been done before.” Searching for the video, I only find it on “conservative” websites, the most “mainstream” of which is the Fox News...
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What Emerging Markets Tell Us about Healthcare Reform »

In fields as diverse as cosmetic surgery and LASIK surgery, we are discovering that healthcare markets can give patients transparent package prices and that costs can be controlled—despite a huge increase in demand and enormous technological change (of the type we are told increases costs for healthcare generally). For services as diverse as walk-in...
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Armen Alchian (April 12, 1914—February 19, 2013) »

Arline Alchian Hoel reports that her father, Armen Alchian, “passed away peacefully in his sleep early this morning at his home in Los Angeles.” He was 98 years old. Armen Alchian was a major figure in the economics profession for more than half a century. At UCLA, where he spent his academic career as...
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