Archive | July, 2009

Explaining Runaway Healthcare Costs: On Lunch Clubs and Lap Choleys

Have you found yourself ‘splaining to friends and family why the healthcare system is so damn expensive? I’ve been teaching health policy for a couple of decades, and I’m surprised that my two favorite stories haven’t yet surfaced in all the discourse. Here they are, in the hopes that they help you, or someone you […]

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McAllen, Texas: The Inside Story

Many of you already read “The Health Care Blog” (which sometimes carries my posts). In case you don’t, please check out today’s wonderful father-son interview, which puts a human face on the transformation of McAllen, Texas from sleepy border town into national healthcare icon (at least ever since Atul Gawande placed it on the map […]

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Healthcare Rationing: Why Stalin Had it Right

Princeton ethicist Peter Singer’s article in this week’s NY Times Sunday Magazine is creating lots of buzz. It is a classic utilitarian description of the case for rationing – QALYs and all – and a plea for a mature national dialogue about the dreaded R-word. Don’t hold your breath. To understand why, remember the words […]

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Strapping Grandma to the Bed: The Unintended Consequences of “No Pay for Errors”

Medicare’s policy to withhold payment for “never events” – the first effort to use the payment system to promote patient safety – remains intriguing and controversial. To date, most of the discussion has focused on the policy itself at a macro level (including two articles by yours truly, here and here). In the past month, […]

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