Thursday, September 04, 2008

Health Wonk Review: Early September Edition

Welcome to the post-Labor Day Health Wonk Review. Having hosted the 'Review umpteen times, one would think I'd become inured to the barrage of spambot entries that seem to plague a lot of "carnivals" these days. But I was able to slog my way through, and came to realize that there are some really bright folks here in the "wonkosphere." That fact is reflected in the posts you see below, each and every one of which is worth your time.
By way of introduction, I received several pieces regarding John Goodman's (no, not him, the wonky one) suggestion vis: the census and the uninsured. If you haven't seen it, it's worth the read. His contention is that we need to more accurately quantify what it means to be uninsured, and drop the question from the census altogether.
Needless to say, this generated more than a few responsa:
Anthony Wright, blogging at Health Access, disagrees with John's contention, and vehemently refutes his misconceptions.
Not afraid to pile on, The Health Care Blog's Matthew Holt thinks that John must be joking; how else to explain such an outlandish proposition?
For once, we at IB have sidestepped the fray, so I'll only add that perhaps both sides are talking past each other.
Moving on, Dr. Sajid Surve (the Brain Blogger) avers that the political science folks should perhaps be a little more cognizant of the health sciences. He explains how our city planners are making us fat with less than optimal urban planning.
Never thought of that.
Electronic medical records are big news lately, and The Physician Entrepreneur [ed: wouldn't that make a great name for a band?!] has the latest on Medicare's foray into the field.
Based on the agency's track record, I'm reserving my opinion.
My personal favorite econ blogger, Jason Shafrin, has a disturbing story about recent deaths at a California hospital. He wonders, based on the experience, what should be done with underperforming hospitals.
Darned good question.
Dr Roy Poses, proprietor of Health Care Renewal, reports on the latest health care merger to hit the news, and wonders about what effects these pairings will have on costs.
Isn't more better? (I keed, I keed!)
From the Legal Department: David Harlow, the Esquire behind the HealthBlawg, has a truly wonkish (in a good way!) post on how the Office of the Inspector General is dealing with a growing problem: doctors who refer patients to other doctors via a mutually profitable joint venture.
Well, profitable for the doc's, anyway; for the patients and insurers, not so much.
Mmmmm, cookies! Oh, my bad: cookie cutters. Workers Comp Insider maven Tom Lynch talks about physicians, networks and workers comp claims, and explains why crafting a specialty network to treat injured workers (i.e. avoiding the cookie cutter approach) may be a good idea.
I repeat: Mmmmm, cookies!
The Health Business Blog's David Williams is one of my favorite "wonks," and this piece, explaining why he's not bothered by some "scary" HIV ads just serves to underscore it.
"Ads for Aids?" That just sounds wrong.
Joe Paduda takes on the 'Cuda? HWR founder Joe P isn't intimidated by the Alaskan Governor (and VP candidate). He's unimpressed with her take on, among other things, Certificates of Need and competition in health care.
Careful, Joe.
Fans of Spinal Tap (the movie, not the procedure), will appreciate Dr Adam Fein's take on California legislation affecting security in the pharmaceutical supply chain.
I'm wondering if procrastination is really such a good idea here.
Fellow health insurance agent and blogger Louise Norris (Lucky Jay's better half, and co-blogger at Colorado Health Insurance Insider) asks how committed one might be to change, especially if that means fighting your insurance carrier to cover a new treatment method. She has the true story of a young lady's experience with a new blood glucose monitor.
Another reason why it's important to read your policy, and be willing to stay the course if you think you're in the right.
Jaan Sidorov, who runs the Disease Management Care Blog, explores the brave new world of Patient Centered Medical Care. He raises some concerns about unintended consequences, taking the American College of Emergency Physicians to task for some self-serving assertions.
Finally, with all the election hype about "improving" health insurance (not to mention health care), our own Bob Vineyard reports on a promising Dutch system that appears to build on some of the best ideas of both private and public financed coverage.
In two weeks, the aforementioned Jaan Siderov makes his HWR hosting debut...Don't miss it!
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