Category Archives: Blogs

Cavalcade of Risk #218

Where you headed?

Where you headed?

Welcome to the 218th running of the Cavalcade. Has it really been that many since InsureBlog’s Hank Stern started it up? Wow!

In case you’re wondering what Hank is up to these days, he’s participating in the American Cancer Society’s annual walk to raise money for research. You know the odds –the risks of getting cancer are too darn high. I’ve donated to Hank’s cause and you can do the same right here.

But with all that walking Hank still finds time for blogging. InsureBlog takes a New York Times blogger to task, explaining how risk transfer in insurance really works.

Creating innovative medical treatment and technologies is risky.  How does society motivate individuals to create these innovations?  Healthcare Economist reviews one proposal on the topic.

You may want to childproof your vacation. Kids can get in to trouble anywhere and at any time. At home, if you’re smart, you’re already covered. Overseas you need more help. Chatswood Moneyblog explains with a few examples.

Do you know how Experience Modification premiums are calculated for workers comp? Workers Comp Roundup helps us sort out gross payroll, losses, job classification codes and more to make it all add up.

On the Health Business Blog, I write about how even well informed patients who thought they did all their research can still get surprised by massive medical bills.

The next host will be Russell Hutchinson from Chatswood Moneyblog.

photo credit: kyz via photopin cc

By healthcare business consultant David E. Williams of the Health Business Group


Health Wonk Review is up at Healthcare Lighthouse

Check out the latest Health Wonk Review blog carnival at Healthcare Lighthouse. This is the TGIR (Thank God It’s Recess) edition when all the health wonks get to ease up a bit with Congress out of session and take a longer term view.

Nonetheless you’ll see some intense posts on health policy.

Health Wonk Review: September 11, 2014

Nothing to be ashamed of

Nothing to be ashamed of

Welcome to the September 11, 2014 edition of the Health Wonk Review. We’ve got a hearty and healthy set of posts from our wonkish community, including submissions on Obamacare, Medicare, performance measurement and power plants.

Medicare anyone?

In The 125 percent solutionHealth Affairs  bloggers including Elliot Fisher suggest using Medicare as the benchmark for all payments to providers.

“If every patient and every insurance company always had the option of paying 125 percent of the Medicare price for any service, we would effectively cap the worst of the price spikes. No longer would the tourist checked out at the ER for heat stroke be clobbered with a sky-high bill. Nor would the uninsured single mother be charged 10 times the best price for her child’s asthma care.”

Meanwhile,Healthcare Lighthouse informs us that CMS is slowly integrating principles of bundled payment into the base fee-for service hospital reimbursement system. The Medicare Services per Beneficiary (MSPB) measure essentially creates a virtual bundled payment episode for every hospital admission.

Healthcare policy experts know that the Resource Based Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC) is a big reason why US specialist physicians are overpaid and procedures so richly rewarded. Medicare generally accepts the RUC’s recommendations and commercial payers blindly follow. Yet no journalists seem able to stir up sufficient attention to this secretive group, which has only gotten less independent over time. Health Care Renewal shares the lament with us.

Obamacare: Con and Pro

In a three-part video interview, Curbside Consult Host Harold Pollack talks with conservative health policy wonk and former Romney advisor Avik Roy about his “universal exchange” health reform plan, “Transcending Obamacare.”

InsureBlog never met an Obamacare-causes-new-problems story it didn’t like, and this week’s entry is no exception: Tax forms will be more complex thanks to Obamacare subsidy calculations.

Heading back to school so you can get a good job? Not so fast. John R. Graham says the Affordable Care Act is affecting your odds of getting full time employment.

While well-insured armchair Obamacare opponents talk of transcendence and throw a scare into schoolgoers, Healthbeat explains why 10 million more people will gain insurance coverage in 2015 and why those who have had direct experience with Obamacare are more likely to support it than those who have only read about it.

Medical cost inflation continues to decline, reports Managed Care Matters. That’s good news for those paying the bills and not as good for those raking in the cash (and for health reform opponents who have to work harder on their arguments against Obamacare).

Get fatty

Put down that donut! Workers Comp Insider posts about a recent report on the status of obesity in America from the Trust for America’s Health and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. More than a third of adults are obese and more than two-thirds when factoring in “overweight.” Insider also links to various reports on the relationship of obesity to workers comp.

What Would Cigna do?

Wright on Health examines Christian medical cost-sharing plans, which allow people to be exempted from the ACA’s individual mandate to purchase health insurance, but which are themselves not really health insurance—despite looking a lot like it.  How many people enroll in a plan like this without fully understanding what they’re buying, and how little protection they may actually have?

Does spanking work?

Wing of Zock addresses the often unintended consequences of carrot-and-stick performance measures, of which the recent VA scandal is a regrettable example. Performance measurement is especially difficult in pediatrics, but is essential to tracking outcomes. “Problems begin when performance measures cease to become a means to an end, and become an end unto themselves.”

Power to the people

Population Health Blog takes note of the many eerie parallels between the power-utility industry and health care.  Will there be a smokestack casting a shadow on your favorite integrated delivery system? (I’m not holding my breath, but maybe I should)

That’s it for this edition. Thanks for reading!

photo credit: @jbtaylor via photopin cc

By healthcare business consultant David E. Williams of the Health Business Group

Cavalcade of Risk is up at iiabny

The latest Cavalcade of Risk blog carnival is up at iiabny, featuring an “eclectic collection of risky posts” including ones on stole kayaks, and my post on legalizing medial marijuana.

And as a special bonus, CavRisk founder Hank Stern and I finally met in person today –nearly 10 years after he started up InsureBlog and I started the Health Business Blog.