Thursday, May 29, 2008

Health Wonk Review: Post-Memorial Day Edition

[Welcome Kaiser Network readers!]
Welcome to this week's edition of all that's wonky in the healthcare world. As a 4-timer, I was tempted to out-shtick myself, but decided to play it straight (for once). And so, without further ado...
Paul Hsieh poses an interesting question at We Stand Firm: What would health insurance look like in a truly free market? I really liked the Q&A format of this post.
The Health Business Blog's David Williams has a chilling post on identity theft, specifically crooks who take advantage of the fact that stolen health information is likely to be useful for much longer than stolen financial data.
Sam Solomon, blogging at Canadian Medicine, draws a connection between global warming and mortality rates.
Brian T. Schwartz, writing at Patient Power, has a real issue with the concept of mandatory health insurance.
Dr Deb Serani reports on a VA facility in Texas, whose cost-conscious administrator has apparently put the kibosh on any more PTSD diagnoses.
HWR's Julie Ferguson is out of the country, but her Workers Comp Insider partner, Jon Coppelman, has his own take on that VA administrator.
Alvaro Fernandez, blogging at Brain Health Business, explores how people can use emerging technologies to keep their brains healthy and productive as long as possible.
Here at IB, we're big fans of transparency in health care (and health insurance). Over at his New America blog, Tom Emswiler talks about the newest HHS program, which lets consumers compare cost data at nearby hospitals.
Vince Kuraitis, principal of e-CareManagement, tells us about the newest delivery and financing model to rescue primary care, the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH).
Shaheen Lakhan, the Brain Blogger, presents a Patient Manifesto. He points out that each of us may also be a patient and so many blog posts are about medical topics and issues, but not about the patients.
Over at Health Populi, blogger Jane Sarasohn-Kahn discusses the rising cost of health insurance, especially from the employers' standpoint, and wonders if we'll see more employers dropping cover, or requiring a bigger bite out of the employees' paycheck [ed: Yes].
At the Disease Management Care Blog, Jaan Sidorov discusses the cost/benefit dilemna when looking at med's that treat brain cancers, and how making the decision on whether or not to even use them can cause more stress.
Anthony Wright, of the Health Access California blog, asks what, exactly, constitutes insurance coverage? He posits that, at the very least, coverage should protect a consumer against unlimited financial liability.
The Internet Marketing Blog's D. Singh takes a close look at the new, improved Google Health, and comes away concerned about whether or not we should trust the search-engine behemoth with our private medical data.
Speaking of Google Health, Health Care Industry blogger David Hamilton is quite concerned that Google has hedged its exposure in the event a privacy breach occurs. In fact, it appears that the company actually requires users to defend against or settle any suit brought against Google.
Finally, you might think that insurance agents would welcome presidential wannabe John McCain's market-based solutions. Not so fast: Our own Bob Vineyard takes the good senator to the woodshed, instead.
That's all for this week's edition. Please make sure to stop by the Health Affairs Blog on June 12th for the next exciting episode.
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