Monday, March 31, 2008

Brian Klepper's recent post, "What Walgreens Surely Sees" got Health Beat's Maggie Mahar thinking and the result is one of her usually insightful comments. While Brian sees the for-profit model as a useful tool in making the primary care system more effective and vibrant, Maggie sees things differently.Their discussion represents the classic difference between those who believe the market needs

Friday, March 28, 2008

What Worksite and Retail Clinics Mean for the Primary Care Crisis

Today, Brian Klepper returns with one of the more intriguing posts we have seen from him.This time he looks at a relatively unnoticed acquisition of two worksite clinic firms in the broader context of the challenge primary care faces in out health care system.What Walgreens Surely Seesby Brian KlepperThough it probably went mostly unnoticed in the cacophony of health care stories, last week's

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Democrats Ask GAO to Study the Individual Health Insurance Market--They Are Really Trying to Set Up McCain and Cast Doubt on His Health Reform Plan

There is an old salesman's axiom, "Don't ever ask a question you don't already know the answer to."Key House Democrats have asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to take a look at the current state of the individual health insurance market. They also want the GAO to review the operation of the state high risk pools designed to provide a safety net for those who can't get coverage in

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Today's HMO Carnage on Wall Street

Maybe times have been just too good for so long that people have forgotten just what a challenging business this can be.After easy profits for the industry during a multi-year period when trend rates fell, today Wellpoint let us know nothing can be taken for granted.When the trend rate is steadily falling a monkey can make money. If an employer sees their claims go up by 9% the year before, it's

The Higher the Price the Better It Works--Placebo Drugs That Cost More Found to "Work Better"

That was the somewhat humorous--but nonetheless valuable--conclusion from a study sponsored by MIT and led by a Duke behavioral economist.It seems that researchers told one group that a medication cost $2.50 per pill and told another group that it cost ten cents per pill. Both were identical placebos.85% of those who took the "$2.50 pill" reported pain relief.61% of those who took the "10 cent

Monday, March 10, 2008

Drug Prices Rise 7% For Drugs Most Commonly Prescribed For Seniors--Two-and-A-Half Times the Rate of Overall Inflation

Many health care experts point to the creation of Medicare as the time that the American health care system's costs began to explode at an unsustainable rate. Simply, they believe that a huge infusion of government money drove both the supply and the demand for services setting the stage for today's cost problems.That has made many wonder what impact the new Medicare Part D drug benefit, which