Thursday, September 07, 2006

Health Wonk Review: 15th Edition

Greetings fellow wonks (and wonkettes), and welcome to InsureBlog. Along with my (thus far) unindicted co-conspirator, Bob Vineyard, we try to make insurance understandable, or at least bearable, to our fellow denizens of these tubes.

Regular readers know of my food fetish; what most folks may not know is that I have my own personal food “guru.” And so, I’ve decided to merge these two seemingly disparate phenom’s into a smorgasbord of possibilities (click the "" buttons for a treat).

HWR is served:

ESI at HR Web Café writes that in the anniversary aftermath of the public health debacle that was Katrina, Human Resource managers learned some important disaster planning lessons, including the need to be alert to workers suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

HR heavyweight Peter Rousmaniere, writing at Working Immigrants, discusses how Wal-Mart is becoming the banking intermediary of choice for Mexicans living and working in the U.S. Scary and timely.

Over at Worker’s Comp Insider, Jon Coppelman offers some management lessons, Ghengis Khan style. Incredibly, there are lessons to be learned from the man who led the Mongol hordes.

Our friend Joe Paduda, posting at Managed Care Matters, questions the criteria used by some industry groups for assessing quality. He notes that doing too many procedures on relatively healthy patients can greatly improve outcomes, resulting in fancy awards and big bucks for the procedure-doers.

Associate Professor Dr Roy M. Poses blogs at Health Care Renewal. In a post that seems related to Joe’s, Dr Poses tells us that primary care doctors are now under the gun to submit to various pay for performance programs. Noting that a particular pharma company recently pled guilty to a criminal offense, he asks if the new slogan for our health care system ought to be "pay for malfeasance?"

Meanwhile, over at the Health Business Blog, David Williams argues that bias isn’t always a bad thing. Citing a recent article on FDA Advisory Panels, David posits that consumers have a bias toward cost control, and that’s a healthy attitude.

InsureBlog’s own Bob Vineyard avers that taxing smokers is one way to help pay for health care, but wonders if that’s a good thing. He asks if targeting one lifestyle choice for special taxation might not lead down a slippery slope.

Dr R Craig Lefebvre blogs On Social Marketing and Social Change, which is providential, as he takes a look at mobile technologies, their current use and promise in public health and health behavior change programs.

Another PhD, Adam J. Fein, hosts the Drug Channels blog. His post examines the "demand side" problem of drug counterfeiting, asking how we stop pharmacy buyers and consumers from purchasing outside of a theoretically secure supply chain?

This post, from Carol Kirshner at Driving In Traffic, discusses recent news that Wellpoint (one of the nation's largest insurers) has announced that they will be providing a wide range of consumer-driven health plans, from the individual to the large corporation.

Medblogosphere biggie Matthew Holt, host of The Health Care Blog, alerts us to a recent study by David Cutler, which suggests that increased spending on health care is “reasonable value.” Matthew believes that the report was destined to be used as propaganda, and wonders whether Cutler intended just that.

In what may be a harbinger of things to come, we have PhD student Jason Shafrin on board. Jason helms the Healthcare Economist blog, and wonders why some employers hesitate to offer generous health insurance benefits. He hypothesizes that when a firm offers a generous insurance package, it may attract sicker workers, driving up the cost of the firm's health insurance.

Last, but certainly not least, Medical Blog Network founder Dmitriy Kruglyak brings us exciting news about a new Medical Blog “Widget” program, and also updates us on the Healthcare Blogger Survey.

I’ve certainly enjoyed hosting duties this time around, and encourage you to catch the next episode, on the 21st, over at The Century Foundation.

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