Kip Piper's Health Care Blog
Medicare, Medicaid, Health Reform

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Monthly Archives: May 2004

A Head is a Terrible Thing to Waste

"The way I see it, being dead is not terribly far off from being on a cruise ship. Most of your time is spent lying on your back." So begins Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, the hillarious, fascinating, and, yes, sometimes gross new book by Mary Roach. As Ms. Roach wisely points out, "By and large, the dead aren't...

Redefining Competition in Health Care

The June 2004 issue of the Harvard Business Review contains an outstanding article on Redefining Competition in Health Care by Michael E. Porter, Ph.D. of the Harvard Business School and Elizabeth Olmsted Teisberg, Ph.D. of the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business. Their carefully researched, well-argued, actionable recommendations include: - Standardized information about individual diseases and treatments should be collected...

Twice as Many Medical Mistakes in Canadian Hospitals

Canada's Socialized health care system may result in cheaper drugs but far more dead patients. The first major study of patient safety in Canadian hospitals has found an extremely high number of preventable medical errors. The study, appearing in the next issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, estimates that preventable mistakes in hospitals kill between 9,000 and 24,000 of our...

Would Prescription Drug Importation Reduce U.S. Drug Costs?

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that re-importing prescription drugs from Canada will save virtually nothing. Many will find this counter intuitive, especially in light of all the misinformation and political rhetoric - and the uneven reporting on the issue. As with so many of the "Taste Great vs. Less Filling" debates in health policy, perceptions are overly simplistic and...

Consumer-Driven Health Care

Consumer-driven health care - new models and technologies to empower consumers to make informed choices - is growing in popularity. At it's core, consumer-driven health care is all about transparency of costs and quality of care, and giving consumers the tools and information they need. To learn more, check out the best books on consumer-driven health care, including Regina E....

Cost of Poor Quality Health Care

Preventable medical mistakes and inappropriate, outdated medical care is the third leading cause of death in America, according to the Institute of Medicine and other experts. In addition, studies by the respected RAND Corporation think tank show that a staggering 45% of health care is clinically inappropriate. As if that's not enough, the economic impact of poor quality care is over...

Big Savings for Seniors on Rx Costs

The new Medicare drug discount cards will save seniors a whopping $6.4 billion, according to a study commissioned by The Business Roundtable. For the full drug benefit that begins in January 2006, BRT estimates seniors will save another $17.7 billion in the first year alone. And these estimates are conservative. The BRT provides a nice online tool to view state-by-state breakdowns...

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