Tag Archives: healthcare

How to ensure quality health coverage, part 2

Source: Cato Institute
by Michael F Cannon

“In theory, a risk-adjustment program could constantly identify and correct its pricing errors. When government price-setters find evidence that prices are too low or too high, they need only make the necessary adjustments. Experience shows that that is not how government price-setting works in practice. Looking just at health care, government price-setting agencies persistently get the prices wrong, even when they know the prices are wrong. … In Medicare and elsewhere, these pricing errors tend to persist for years or decades because government price-setters face both information and incentive problems.” (01/09/18)


Healthcare spending vs. health system performance: What are the realistic options for reform?

Source: Niskanen Center
by Ed Dolan

“We often hear that we, in United States, spend more on healthcare than other high-income countries, but get less for our money. A report from the Commonweath Fund, ‘Mirror, Mirror 2017,’ is among many pieces of research to reach that conclusion. Just why is U.S. healthcare spending so high and performance so low? What are the realistic options for reformers? One of the report’s key charts provides an excellent framework for discussing what it calls ‘flaws and opportunities for better U.S. healthcare.'” (01/08/18)


Cato Daily Podcast, 12/12/17

Source: Cato Institute

“Many hurdles remain in place for innovation in the sphere of telemedicine. Shirley Svorny offers her thoughts in a new Cato paper, ‘Liberating Telemedicine: Options to Eliminate the State-Licensing Roadblock.'” [various formats] (12/12/17)


The private option

Source: National Review
by Kevin D Williamson

“Coca-Cola is able to provide excellent benefits to its employees because the sugar-water business is wildly profitable and because the company carefully manages its program. Coca-Cola is big enough to act as its own insurer through what’s known as a ‘captive,’ a separate company that exists only to insure (or reinsure) the risks of the parent company. Coca-Cola uses its captive, Red Re, to handle its worldwide health-insurance benefits, life insurance, and, under an agreement with the Labor Department, its domestic accidental-death and -dismemberment policies. That allows the company to pay the ‘real cost of providing benefits’ … rather than funding a profit for a third-party insurer. … Bernie Sanders may call himself a socialist, but there’s a slightly different shade of red that might be of some interest to him and to likeminded progressives, one that symbolizes the best that capitalism has to offer. Why not buy the American people a Coke?” (12/05/17)


Licensing requirements holding back telemedicine

Source: Show-Me Institute
by Andrew Aubuchon

“Imagine that you suffer from a heart condition that requires daily monitoring of your resting heart rate, blood pressure, and other vital signs. Rather than daily hospital or doctor visits, you might use at-home monitoring devices that record your data and relay them to your doctor, who could decide if any intervention is necessary. Your healthcare costs would be significantly reduced, and you wouldn’t have to suffer the added inconvenience of regular, and perhaps daily, doctor visits. This scenario is an example of telemedicine, a common-sense application of innovations in medical and telecommunications services. And especially as the technology behind it improves, telemedicine offers an opportunity for patients to receive quality healthcare at a significantly reduced cost. Unfortunately, state medical licensing restrictions often serve as a barrier to the expansion of telemedicine.” (11/28/17)


States should not wait for Congress to fix healthcare

Source: Heartland Institute
by Matthew Glans

“Congress has failed to pass a replacement of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and Obamacare’s collapse is inevitable. To protect their citizens, state lawmakers should take the lead in passing free-market health care reforms. One of the best ways they can accomplish this is by applying for a Section 1115 waiver from the Department of Health and Human Services. If approved, these waivers give states greater flexibility in how they manage their Medicaid programs.” (11/15/17)


One step forward, but many more to go for telemedicine

Source: Cato Institute
by Shirley Svorny

“The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently released its final rule for the 2018 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, including an increase in Medicare coverage for select telehealth services. CMS indicates that its aim is to transform ‘access to Medicare telehealth services by paying for more services and making it easier for providers to bill for these services.’ This is good for Medicare beneficiaries, and a promising step for the burgeoning practice of telemedicine. But a major obstacle remains: state physician licensing laws restrict the practice of interstate telemedicine.” (11/15/17)


This one weird trick could improve medical care

Source: Reason
by A Barton Hinkle

“Say you want to open a new grocery store. You do the market research, scout a location, develop a business plan, line up investors, get all the local zoning and other permits you need, and figure you have a decent shot. Then the state says you have to jump through one more hoop. You have to prove that the area actually needs a new grocery store. Oh, and one more thing: The other grocery stores nearby will have an opportunity to sound off on the question, too. Any bets on what they’ll say? This, roughly, is how Virginia controls the amount of medical care available to its citizens. The Certificate of Public Need (COPN) system was created by congressional mandate many years ago. Some states repealed their COPN programs after Congress lifted the mandate. Virginia didn’t.” (10/25/17)


Why do hospitals have to beg for permission to save lives?

Source: Heartland Institute
by Matthew Glans

“North Carolina has long been one of the nation’s leaders in providing medical care, and the Duke University Health System is seeking to expand the state’s reputation by building an $88 million cancer-treatment therapy center that would offer an innovative new treatment to the people of North Carolina and beyond. However, before Duke — or any other hospital, for that matter — can begin building its facility, it needs to get permission from a state-run board under North Carolina’s certificate of need (CON) law. North Carolina is one of 35 states that limit the ability of health care providers to expand their businesses through certificate of need, an obstructive and unnecessary approval process.” (10/23/17)


Schumer says all 48 Senate Democrats are on board with healthcare deal

Source: NBC News

“Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Sunday morning that ‘all 48 Democrats’ in the Senate are on board with the health care deal negotiated between Senators Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash. … After numerous attempts at repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act failed to pass Congress, the two leaders of the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Sen. Alexander and Sen. Murray, started creating an outline for legislation that’s aimed at stabilizing the health insurance markets. … Alexander announced 12 Republican co-sponsors to the bill this week, and McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, told CNN on Sunday that he would allow votes on the legislation if he felt President Trump was behind it.” (10/23/17)