Health Wonk Review: August 20, 2009

Welcome to the Health Wonk Review on the Health Business Blog. No doubt about it, it’s a good time to be a wonk. With health care reform on the front burner, there’s no shortage of things to write and talk about. And when was the last time you saw people go berserk at town hall meetings over notions from our wonky little world? Let’s savor it, folks!

Health reform

No surprise, this was the big theme for submissions this time around. We’ve got a healthy mix of viewpoints and topics here.

Mad Kane’s Political Madness leads with a limerick, the first poetic submission I’ve received for any blog carnival.

If reform can’t be fought using facts,
Simply give civil discourse the ax.
Block discussion with mobs
Packed with morons like Dobbs.
That’s the path of
Republican hacks.

Insureblog says the success of Medicare Advantage Plans demonstrates that “private plans are beating Medicare fair and square.” But The Incidental Economist points out that Medicare Advantage’s Private Fee Fer Service Plans (PFFS) are paid well above the average for traditional Medicare Fee for Service. His analysis show that “implementing payment parity… would nearly wipe out PFFS plans, reducing their participation by 85%.”

The Sentinel Effect tells us co-op’s are a cop-out –not a realistic alternative to a public plan. Colorado Health Insurance Insider says co-ops aren’t needed anyway, because there’s plenty of competition in the private market, at least in Colorado.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation presents a users’ guide to health reform. Key assertion: if we improve efficiency in health care we can avoid cost/coverage tradeoffs. Healthcare Technology News lets us know what’s in the latest legislation.

HealthBlawg sets out the role of prevention and comparative effectiveness research in health reform.

Managed Care Matters presents the top ten misconceptions about health reform. Reason #2: “A public plan would crush private insurers and we’d all end up covered by the public plan.”

Healthcare Economist raps Sarah Palin for claiming health reform will bring in government rationing –when health care is rationed already.  Covert Rationing observes that “given the behavior of our elected representatives, Sarah and the right-wing mobs may not be as crazy as we think”. Robot Heart is terrified of –and sickened by– conservatives like Peggy Noonan. Robot says they “manipulate… people by giving them blatantly false information.” (To Noonan’s credit, she was right when she was caught on a live mic saying McCain’s nomination of Palin meant “It’s over” for his campaign.)

Medicaid First Aid notes that even states are entering the misinformation fray on health reform.

The Lewin Report says stories of industry leaders being “mugged” by the health care reform process are exaggerated, and that his field, cardiology is likely to be an attractive profession for a long time to come.

The e-CareManagement blog wants us to think about “meaningful use” as something more than a set of technical criteria: i.e., as a “powerful unifying force across the health system.” Disease Management Care Blog would love to see disease management and the medical home make their way into health reform, but he’s not holding his breath.

Get Fatty

Now that smokers have been driven into submission, it must be time for the obese to take a beating. Who’s next I wonder?

How To Live a Longer Life says of the obese, “They mooch the system and run up the cost for everybody.”

Workers’ Comp Insider reports on Cleveland Clinic head Tony Cosgrove’s support for a Fat Tax and his desire to stop hiring obese workers.

Health Access Blog uses the Mad Men TV show to show how far we’ve come in public health since the 60s: less smoking, less drinking, less drunk driving, more seat belt use. He wonders what our generation will look like to the next.

Brain spasm

Brain fitness is an emerging trend but just can’t compete with health reform for share of blog.

Sharp Brains says brain fitness needs to overcome several issues to advance, including increasing public awareness and improving definitions and standards.

Green Rising talks about Ray Kurzweil’s plans to live beyond 120. Good luck!

Questionable practices

And of course a Health Wonk Review just wouldn’t be complete without a gaze into the sleazy side of health care.

Health Care Renewal thinks hospital Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs) are acting more like Group Kickback Organizations. Actually, he’s written about it as far back as 2005 but now investigators are taking an interest.

Boston Health News once saw some ghosts (writers that is), and lived to tell the tale. Others may not fare so well.

Thanks for reading! The Lucidicus Project (In Defense of Individual Rights and Capitalism in Medicine) hosts next time around.

17 thoughts on “Health Wonk Review: August 20, 2009

  1. Pingback: Healthcare Economist · HWR is posted

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  3. Pingback: "Payment Reduction and Medicare Private Fee-for-Service Plans," Frakt, Pizer, Feldman (2009) | The Incidental Economist

  4. Pingback: Health Care. (united health care, universal health care) » Blog Archive » The Latest Health Wonk Review is Up!

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  7. Kevin Sullivan

    Insureblog says the success of Medicare Advantage Plans demonstrates that “private plans are beating Medicare fair and square.” But The Incidental Economist points out that Medicare Advantage’s Private Fee Fer Service Plans (PFFS) are paid well above the average for traditional Medicare Fee for Service. His analysis show that “implementing payment parity… would nearly wipe out PFFS plans, reducing their participation by 85%.”

    I don’t understand this. Med Advantage collects more premium, or pays providers more?

    K

    Reply
  8. Tampa

    Very careful about the heart attack studies indicate that we must be careful and avoid any situation that we regret later, remember that those increases in weight and which have much dependence on cigarette and alcohol are the most vulnerable to a sudden heart attack care.

    Reply
  9. Pingback: Health reform is above the fold, and HWR is above that » Legit Health

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  11. Pingback: The Counter Productive Death Panel Concept | Colorado Health Insurance Insider

  12. jim ellis

    When costs are better managed people get well faster due to less stress,less time off and if the systems cause willful heartfelt cooperation between patients and medical service providers. Singapore is way ahead of the curve. It took 40 years of hard work plus excellent educations from the world’s best universities–with home grown improvements thereafter. Please see and ponder:
    http://www.HealthCare2009.singaporerental.com

    Reply
  13. Pingback: Health Care. (united health care, universal health care) » Blog Archive » IN THE NEWS: Health Wonk Review @ Health Business Blog

  14. Pingback: Health Care Renewal: The Stealth Marketing of Medical Devices: The … – healthcare

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