Tag: health care

Average Wait Time to See a Doctor up 30 Percent in Three Years »

Merritt Hawkins, a physician-staffing firm, has published its periodic survey of waiting times for appointments with physicians in 30 metropolitan markets. The results: Average new patient physician appointment wait times have increased significantly. The average wait time for a physician appointment for the 15 large metro markets surveyed is 24.1 days, up 30% from...
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Where Does Your Health Insurance Premium Go? »

AHIP, the trade association for health insurers, has a nifty infographic answering the question: “Where does your premium dollar go?” Obviously designed to defray accusations that health insurers earn too much profit, the infographic shows “net margin: of only three percent. A full 80 percent of our premium dollar goes to paying medical, hospital,...
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Obamacare’s Bureaucracy: The Amazing Rise in Health Insurance Jobs »

As Congress and President-elect Trump debate how to repeal and replace Obamacare, the obsession with health insurance, rather than actual access to health care, has dominated the debate. It invites the question: How have jobs in health insurance fared before and after Obamacare? They have boomed! Before the Great Recession, nonfarm civilian employment peaked...
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Government Failure in Health Systems Is Widespread »

The Commonwealth Fund has published yet another survey comparing health care in the United States to health care in other countries. The title conveys its emphasis: US Adults Still Struggle With Access To And Affordability Of Health Care. Really? As I’ve previously written, I agree utterly with the Commonwealth Fund scholars that health care...
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EpiPen: A Case Study in Health Insurance Failure »

I recently wrote a post describing EpiPen as a “Case Study in Government Harm,” describing how the government had made it possible for the manufacturer to increase prices of the life-saving drug multiple times without fear of retaliation. It is also a case study in how health insurance distorts our choices and increases their...
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EpiPen: A Case Study of Government Harm »

Much has been written about the dramatic price hikes for EpiPen, a product that injects a drug that counters severe allergic reactions (anaphylactic shock). According to Aaron E. Carroll, writing in the New York Times, the real (inflation adjusted) price of EpiPens has risen 4.5 times since 2004. Both Carrol and the Wall Street...
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Obamacare’s Perverse Job-Creation Program »

The latest jobs report gave the stock market a boost and injected some optimism into public sentiment about our economic prospects. Unfortunately, there’s a problem with the current employment situation that few understand: Obamacare has likely led to too many jobs in health care, drawing labor from more productive functions. Dan Diamond of Politico...
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Ambulatory Surgery Centers Saved $38 Billion in Private Health Spending »

New research from the Healthcare Bluebook (sponsored by the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association) indicates the privately insured population saved $38 billion by using Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs) instead of hospital outpatient departments for day surgeries. That figure includes $5 billion of lower out-of-pocket costs paid by patients directly. What is remarkable is that only...
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Another Hit on Price Transparency in Health Care »

JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, has published a research article challenging the doctrine that price transparency leads to lower health costs. Sunita Desai, et al., found: Two large employers represented in multiple market areas across the United States offered an online health care price transparency tool to their employees. One introduced...
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Significant Drop in Private Health Facilities Construction in September »

After an uptick in August, health construction starts declined significantly in September: A 0.1 percent decline versus a 0.6 percent increase for other construction starts (see Table I). On a twelve-month basis health facilities construction is positive, but running slower than the booming non-health construction market: 9 percent versus 14.3 percent. The short-term decline...
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