Thursday, February 19, 2009

Health Wonk Review: The Anti-Spam Edition

In honor of all the "spamblog" submissions I received for this outing, I thought it appropriate to include some useful spam tidbits. And so, each post this week is accompanied by a relevant, and yet tasty, Spam© concoction.
(Oh, and if that doesn't work, try this)
■ We start off with a Singapore Salad, in honor of Pizaazz blogger Glenn Laffel's post reminding us that not all talk of health care reform is taking place here in the US: China's system is undergoing some changes, as well.
Careful though, about an hour after you read this post, you'll want to re-read it.
■ Moving on to the appetizer course, Sarah Axeen of the New Health Dialogue blog argues that we can both save the economy and reform our health care system, all in one fell swoop.
■ For those interested in lighter fare, we present Fiona Gathright's post at the Employee Wellness blog. She contends that folks are more likely to lose weight if they are paid for it, and that this weight loss would then translate to lower health care costs.
■ Sometimes, Puffs are a great idea. But David Williams, proprietor of the Health Business Blog, warns that looking for bargains in healthcare can lead to puffed up claims, particularly for uninsured and underinsured patients.
■ In a nod to our new president's heritage, we have a Hawaiian Spamburger, courtesy of Musings of a Distractible Mind's Dr Rob Lamberts.
The good doctor is thoroughly unimpressed with the state of Medicare, and in an Open Letter to the President, he explains why.
■ For a south of the border taste, we look to Nursing Degree blog. Looking to mix travel with surgery? Erika Collins has an indispensible guide to what she considers the Top 50 (and then some!) resources for Medical Tourism.
■ Interested in something that may sound good on paper, but might just be overreaching? Our own Bill Halper gives us his take on the "Stimulus" package (known around these parts as "The Spendulus"). Bill takes a look at all the health care provisions, and worries about their impact.
■ Like this recipe for incomparable corn chowder pot pies, Health Care Renewal guru Roy Poses has his own take on the comparative effectiveness research imperative in the recently passed "Stimulus" bill: if done right, he's all for it.
■ Sometimes, it's important to remember the basics, like a classic baked Spam loaf. Jason Shafrin, the Healthcare Economist, reviews some important healthcare statistics. These are classic, too, like health care spending that is expected to grow to almost 20% of GDP in 2017.
■ Remember when Egg McMuffins were first introduced, and folks wondered what they were? Well, just what is the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology, and why should we care? Healthcare journalist Neil Versel explains both, including what they have in common with Bernie Madoff.
■ Is the Kaiser Family Foundation's recent report a bit cheesy? Disease Management blogger Jaan Sidorov thinks so, and gives the KFF a thorough fisking for its disingenuous criticism of insurance coverage for cancer patients. The good news, Jaan assures us, is that his own "pic is Obama-esque."
■ When grilling kabobs, managing heat is critical. So, too, is managing patient care, as Dr Rich reminds us in this "meditation" on why patients who receive stents are so poorly informed, and how policy decisions (i.e, how doctors are "managed") may play a role.
■ Talk about heartburn in a bowl: Blogger Merrill Goozner takes aim at the Atlantic Magazine's apparent misrepresentation of comparative effectiveness. Ouch!
■ This Mexican Extravaganza is sure to cause some gastric pain. And while we're thinking of it, does the level of pain you experience while recovering from surgery have any relationship to the type of coverage you have? Jon Coppelman of Workers' Comp Insider makes the case that it sometimes does.
■ If you're on a budget, these BLT Bites might be just the ticket. But, as Medicaid Front Page's Brady Augustine reports, the new SCHIP legislation may leave states scrambling to stay within their own budgets.
■ Bet you never expected to see the words 'Spam' and 'cupcake' together, did you? Canadian Medicine blog's Sam Solomon reports on a similar surprise: the Canadian Medical Association is lobbying to reform the country's healthcare system to make it look more like one of the mixed public-private European systems.
■ These Tuscan Spam Bites aren't the only things with (metaphorical) fangs; Anthony Wright opines that the benefits of COBRA shows the complete disaster that is the individual insurance market.
■ Just as this Seven Layer Dip has many levels, Louise at Colorado Health Insurance Insider reports that the Stimulus Package [ed: referred to as "The Spendulus" here at IB] includes some not so obvious ingredients, including some that she hopes will help to ameliorate the problem of so many uninsured.
■ And for dessert, something both sweet and tart. THCB's Brian Klepper reports on a recent appeals court decision that held against the advocacy organization Consumers' Checkbook, and with the AMA and HHS. The latter two are looking to keep Medicare physician data secret, but this may conflict with increased efforts at transparency in health care.
Be sure to check out the comments for some great fireworks, um, debate.
Thanks for stopping by; be sure to catch the next edition when Brady Augustine hosts at MedicaidFrontPage.
blog comments powered by Disqus