- I’m going to start with Health Beat Blog’s great summary of the US’s terrible ranking with preventable deaths. Great summary of the data, and the implications. Shadowfax agrees. In the comments, The Happy Hospitalist says no country is really doing all that great with preventable deaths, which I agree with, but as Shadowfax reminds us, “We pay $7000 per capita. Again, we pay the most, and get the least.” (France, the leader, pays less than half of that.
- Catron takes issue (“load of BS”) with my highlighting a recent poll showing support for single-payer over our current system, saying that the poll isn’t scientific and flawed. Well of course it is, Mr. Catron–all polls are. They also leave out all us young adults who have no home phone number and have unlisted cell phone numbers, too. Either never cite polls or surveys yourself, or be honest. All polls suffer from selection and other biases. (Still, having half of respondents say they support a system where “all Americans would get their insurance from a single government plan” is pretty damn impressive to me. I never would have expected the number to be that high.)
- Nick (who I’m meeting next week!) satirizes the talking heads describing the ER. Keep this stuff coming!
- Lower co-pays make patients less likely to skip meds. Not a surprise. When it’s food versus medication (especially anti-hypertensives which often have side effects patients don’t like), not a surprise they pick food for themselves or their kids.
Many companies are already paying for disease management programs to help patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes. So why not encourage people to take the medicines they need. You “pay a nurse $65 an hour to call call a diabetic [employee] and say, ‘Take a beta blocker.’ And the employee says ‘I know it’s important, why did you raise my copay from $15 to $30,” Fendrick says. “It’s a classic example of the misalignment of incentives in the U.S. health care system.”
- Out of state licensing rules are a mess, according to California Medicine Man. Would definitely frustrate any physician trying to help.
- Nice interview in the WSJ Health Blog, Kevin!