What Medicaid Expansion Tells Us About America’s Health

What Medicaid Expansion Tells Us About America’s Health

Medicaid expansion has been a rallying cry for both the politically far left and the politically far right. This post will examine some of the healthcare differences between those states that participated in Medicaid expansion and those states that did not expand Medicare. At its most simplistic, Medicaid expansion has increased federal and state government costs […]

Gaming Hospital Metrics

Gaming Hospital Metrics

Hospital and physician performance is measured by a lot of different quality metrics and everyone wants to look good. Sometimes, there are ways to make yourself look good without actually being good – by gaming the metrics. Nobody actually talks about these gaming strategies but a lot of people think about them. I’m not recommending […]

The High Cost Of Observation Status

The High Cost Of Observation Status

Medicare and commercial insurance companies love observation status. When a patient has to be hospitalized but only for “less than 2 midnights hospital stay”, then that patient is classified as being in observation status rather than admitted to the hospital. This classification means that the patient is technically an outpatient and not an inpatient and […]

Age Of Physicians By Specialty

Age Of Physicians By Specialty

At this month’s American Thoracic Society meeting, it was reported that 1/3 of practicing pediatric pulmonologists in the United States are over age 60, a scary number since that indicates we are soon facing shortages of pediatric pulmonologists. It turns out that it is not the only specialty with disproportionately older physicians and these statistics […]

Why U.S. Health Care Is So Expensive

Why U.S. Health Care Is So Expensive

This month, an article in JAMA gives us some ideas of why American medical costs are so high. The authors analyzed data from the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). The OECD maintains a huge database of economic information from most of the world’s developed countries. Their healthcare database is particularly useful to anyone […]