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Why do so Many Doctors Practice Defensive Medicine? Maybe Because it Works

Physicians with higher spending in a given year were substantially less likely to be sued for malpractice the following year.  (more…)

Medical Expenditure Risk: How Medicare Protects the Elderly and What Would Change with Proposed Reforms

A key goal of health insurance is to protect individuals against the risk of large unexpected medical expenditures. This function is particularly important (more…)

What’s a Fair Price? The Debate Over Value & Cost of Specialty Drugs (Part 1)

When Turing Pharmaceuticals raised the price of a drug that had been on the market for over 60 years from $13 to $750 a pill there was overwhelming public dismay.  For many, it highlighted the growing concern over prescription drug prices.   (more…)

The US Hospital System May Be Outperforming Expectations

In a new Health Affairs article released in February, Schaeffer Center researchers provide evidence that hospital productivity increased from 2002 to 2011, suggesting that the US health care system could be performing better than many believe.  John Romley, Research Assistant Professor at the USC Schaeffer Center for Health (more…)

Biomedical Research in the Age of Preventive Medicine

“Moonshot” was the word Google CEO Larry Page used to describe his newest venture, Calico–a biotech startup focused on the challenge of aging and age-associated pathology. In fact, medical therapies to delay aging are increasingly feasible, and, as shown by our study in Health Affairs, could achieve a far greater return on investment than comparable advances in the treatment of specific diseases. (more…)

Five Myths About Cancer Care in America

One of the most pervasive and misguided myths about cancer is that the ‘war on cancer’ has been a failure. With provocative news headlines about cancer often popping up, it is understandable that there is public uncertainty about progress in its treatment and patient care. (more…)

Don’t Be Fooled by Claims About the ACA Impact on Insurance Premiums

A recent New York Times headline reported that health plan costs for New Yorkers will fall 50%. They were taking the bait from Governor Cuomo’s office, who crowed about “real competition that helps drive down health insurance costs.” (more…)

What Health Care Can Learn from Netflix

Watching Arrested Development with my kids, my mind started to wander after the eighth episode or so. How can Netflix let us gorge ourselves on so much television and – if it makes business sense – are there any lessons for the health care industry? The surprising answer turns out be yes, and it has to do with drugs. (more…)

Don’t Blame the Medical Innovators

Health economists are fond of saying that medical technology is to blame for rising health care costs. Some – including me – have also pointed out that about 30% of health care spending is wasteful. (more…)

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