Health News Review
  • May 24 2012

    Roundup of interesting health policy news stories this week

    Here are some links to some things I’ve meant to write about this week.  They caught my eye and I thought readers of this blog might find them interesting. For The Washington Post, Sarah Kliff writes about something that “could revolutionize health care…a health policy wonk’s dream.”  She explains: “a new nonprofit called the Health [...]

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  • Apr 17 2012

    Incidental Economist blasts Health Affairs cancer care costs paper but praises journalist

    Aaron Carroll, blogging on The Incidental Economist was “all riled up to get angry” over a Health Affairs paper that suggested “that the higher-cost US system of cancer care delivery may be worth it.”  He wrote: So much wrong here. First of all, it uses the old “survival rate”/”mortality rate” swap that I’ve discussed here and [...]

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  • Apr 2 2012

    More workplace wellness plans dangle financial rewards/penalties tied to test results

    Julie Appleby of Kaiser Health News reports, “Employers Tie Financial Rewards, Penalties To Health Tests, Lifestyle Choices.” Excerpt: Gone are the days of just signing up for health insurance and hoping you don’t have to use it. Now, more employees are being asked to roll up their sleeves for medical tests — and to exercise, [...]

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  • Mar 12 2012

    Online “Daily Deal” coupon for preventive MRI scan – disease-mongering du jour

    Some of the Groupon, Living Social, Daily Deal offerings are getting a little crazy. Here’s one I got today. The ad copy is astounding: Been dealing with a minor ache or pain? Get it checked out today! Once in a while, you may experience an enlightening moment in your life. This experience may change the [...]

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  • Mar 9 2012

    Patient POV on waste, quality of care, imaging issues

    Journalist Laura Newman, on her Patient POV blog, posts, “MR Imaging, Electronic Test Ordering Creates Waste.” She writes: Waste is what you get with rampant, uncritical use of MRI and health information technology, according to two papers out this week.  The authors of a companion editorial to one of the papers even go so far [...]

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  • Mar 5 2012

    Comparing health care costs in US and 8 other countries

    The National Journal reports on a new analysis from the International Federation of Health Plans (pdf file). Excerpts: The group’s survey of expenses for medical procedures, tests, scans and treatments in nine countries shows that Americans pay more for physician time, for scans, surgery and drugs than people in Spain, France, Germany, Argentina, Chile, Canada, [...]

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  • Feb 17 2012

    The Costly Myths about Pharmaceutical R&D

    The following is an unsolicited guest post submitted by Donald W. Light, University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey, and Rebecca Warburton, University of Victoria, Canada.  It is followed by some comments in response from Matthew Herper, the writer of the Forbes article in question. We are pleased to provide this forum for this [...]

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  • Feb 16 2012

    Key quotes from Reuters story on overtreatment

    Nothing new, just good perspective in a Reuters piece, “Stemming the tide of overtreatment in U.S. healthcare.” And some great quotes.  Examples: “I don’t trust professional societies to (set clinical guidelines) because that’s how they make money – by doing tests and procedures,” said MIT healthcare economist Dr. Jonathan Gruber; “When hospitals buy robots they [...]

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  • Feb 16 2012 – another solid resource for journalists

    I’ve recently become aware of – and hope to collaborate and share ideas with – a Canadian website called The founders describe this as “a non-partisan web-based project funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Manitoba Health Research Council to make the latest evidence on controversial health policy issues available to the media.  [...]

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  • Feb 6 2012

    How hospitals recoup the cost of buying robotic surgery systems

    The blogger known only as the Skeptical Scalpel (self-described as a surgeon for 40 years and a surgical department chairman and residency program director for over 23 of those years) continues his thread of posts raising questions about the proliferation of robotic surgery. The latest is entitled “Study: Robotic surgery financials explained.” It’s his take [...]

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