Tag: hospitals
Government Restrictions Have Gone Too Far

The question about whether governments have been too restrictive, or not restrictive enough, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic will likely never have a definitive answer. We can see what governments actually did and what actually happened, but we can only conjecture about what would have happened if governments had done things differently. In...
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The Key Indicator for Reopening the Economy Is Hospital Capacity

Like many people, I’ve been following the various COVID-19 numbers with interest and have become aware of the various data problems with many of them. However, it is becoming obvious to me that, as talk turns to “reopening” the economy, most of these numbers aren’t relevant, yet people are selectively using them to support...
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Doctors Leaving Private Practice for Hospitals

A new survey by the Physicians Advocacy Institute and Avalere Health, a consulting firm, shows a significant increase in the number of physicians leaving independent practice and joining hospital-based health systems: From July 2012 to July 2015, the percentage of hospital-employed physicians increased by almost 50 percent, with increases in each six-month period measured...
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Medicare Changes Have Reduced Hospital Readmissions, but More Reforms Are Needed

In 2012, Medicare began to penalize hospitals that readmitted too many patients. For a small number of targeted conditions, the program compares actual readmissions within 30 days to what an acceptable readmission rate should be. This measure is an important part of the drive to “pay for value, not volume.” The problem it was...
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Hospitals and Insurers Are Dropping the Ball

An advocate of consumer-driven health care, who makes the case that individuals should control most of our health spending directly, will not get very far before hearing the rebuttal: “When you have a heart attack or get hit by a bus, you won’t be in any condition to negotiate which hospital you go to.”...
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More Evidence Against Health Insurance

David Lazarus of the Los Angeles Times, whose columns on health policy tilt heavily towards single-payer advocacy, has done a great service to the cause of consumer-driven health care: In a recent piece he describes how much more sense it makes to pay cash prices for health services than to pay what your health...
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Are Prescription Drug Prices Becoming as Meaningless as Hospital Charges?

Professor Jack Hoadley of Georgetown University recently gave an excellent presentation discussing prices of prescription drugs. Two slides stand out. First, a slide showing how much prescription spending is controlled by insurers and governments versus patients directly: As recently as 1990, patients controlled over half of drug spending. Today, it is under 20 percent....
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Two-Thirds of Patients’ Hospital Debts Are Unpaid

Healthcare business reporter Holly Fletcher of The Tennessean has written a very informative feature on the hospital revenue cycle, including a seven-deck slideshow that translates the process into layman’s terms. (The Tennessean is the best daily newspaper for understanding hospitals, because Nashville is home to for-profit hospital chains which control 60 percent of the...
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Hospital Ownership of Physicians Drives Up Costs

New research published in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal supports, with rigorous data analysis, the notion that hospital ownership of medical practices drives up costs: Among the 240 Metropolitan Statistical Areas, physician-hospital integration increased from 2008 to 2012 by a mean of 3.3 percentage points, with considerable variation in increases across MSAs. For our study sample...
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Hospital Profits Rise 9 Percent

This week’s Quarterly Services Survey (QSS), published by the Census Bureau, reported some interesting data: The estimate of U.S. health care and social assistance revenue for the second quarter of 2015, not adjusted for seasonal variation, or price changes, was $591.3 billion, an increase of 2.2 percent (± 0.8%) from the first quarter of...
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