Thursday, May 22, 2014

Health Wonk Review: Life's a Beach edition

Good morning, and welcome to this edition of the Health Wonk Review.

In casting about for a theme suitable to the occasion, my mind wandered a bit (as it's prone to do this time of year), and I flashed on a serene stretch of sand and crystal clear water (and no, I did not have my hands wrapped around an ice cold Corona).

And so, I figured I'd share some moments of calm as we plunge into the best of the blogosphere's posts on health care polity and policy:

■ First up, a blast from the past: Jared Rhoads has transitioned from the more traditional blog platform to the v-log model (Mazel tov, Jared!). He last hosted the HWR back in January of 2012. In this vid-post, he presents the Urban Institute's Howard Gleckman discussing the challenges of financing Long Term Care.

Next, Chris Langston (Program Director of the John A. Hartford Foundation) offers his take on how the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) might improve its effectiveness.

Bradley Flansbaum thinks that maybe the P4P (Pay for Performance) train has lost its caboose. He points out that the P4P phenomenon isn't an exclusively American idea: the Brits have been at it for a long time, "with mixed results."

HWR co-founder (and all around mensch) Joe Paduda ventures into Workers Comp territory (watch out, Julie!), ACA plan rate increases, Medicaid non-expansion and a few other interesting tidbits in this eclectic (and interesting) post.

Health care guru Roy Poses is concerned about how much money is being thrown at the boob-tube over the past few years in attempts to influence the public's perception of ObamaCare. He's also leery of the anechoic effect (which he introduced and explained way back in '06: "Why is it that folks can behave like such miscreants and everyone turns a blind eye?").

David Williams offers us the transcript of a podcast he recently did with the director of a new, not-for-profit effort designed to provide unbiased information to help patients choose physicians. It's called "The Doctor Project," and David's interview provides some background and a progress report.

I refer to Jason Shafrin as my favorite health care economist for a reason: he knows his stuff. This time out, he explores how the ACA's Medicaid enrollment expansion has affected even those states which didn't opt in to it.

For some reason, I always smile when I see posts from Wing of Zock. Ann Bonham, PhD (chief scientific officer at the Association of American Medical Colleges) offers her insights on the need to address sex differences in pre-clinical research that relies on cell and animal models (Whew!). I say: Viva la difference!

Julie Ferguson is one of my very favorite blog-buddies: she coordinates the HWR, helps me out when I run into glitches with the Cavalcade of Risk, and always has interesting, thought-provoking posts. This one's sure to take your breath away, perhaps literally, as she presents a last letter from a dying miner caught in a 1902 collapse, and takes to task public authorities both here and in Turkey for failing to safeguard the lives of contemporary miners. 

 ■ Louise Norris is another great blog-friend, and this week she offers her perspective on reference-based pricing. She explains how it's really just another way of looking at the difference between in- and out-of-network costs, and that the patient just needs to be more aware of them.

Harold Pollack interviews Sabrina Corlette, a Research Professor and Project Director at Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute. They discuss how the new health insurance marketplaces are actually working: how many have paid their premiums, differences between the kinds of available insurance plans, the likely impact of the “Cadillac tax” on high-expenditure insurance plans, and more.

Finally, our own Kelley Beloff (a Certified Medical Office Manager) posts about the reality of physicians' wages. Spoiler: they're not as great as you've been led to believe.

Thanks for stopping by, and please make sure to join us again in 2 weeks over at Joe P's place.
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