Looking for our new site?

The New Health Dialogue

A Blog from New America's Health Policy Program

Health Wonk Review: Muppets Edition!

Published:  September 28, 2011
Publication Image

Health Wonk Review, Muppet Edition!

Hello all, and welcome to another exciting episode of Health Wonk Review! (Regular readers will note that yes, I used line last time. I have half a mind to make Alistair Cookie the official HWR mascot, here at New Health Dialogue.) In honor of what would have been Jim Henson’s 75th birthday last week, I bring you the Muppet Edition of Health Wonk Review!

Now, without further silliness, the articles!

Quality Care

Here at New Health Dialogue, we’re exulting in doctors’ acceptance that yes, they do overtreat patients! Now, getting them to accept that money is part of the reason why…

Jonena Relth of Healthcare Talent Transformation draws attention to the cool new physician payment system being tried at Fairview clinics in Minnesota: payments are based on patient satisfaction and health, rather than by the number services provided.

David Williams draws a parallel between diagnosis and management consulting: experienced clinicians need to be wary of “early closure,” and avoid becoming like the “more experienced managers [who] are satisfied with two data points – after all, that’s enough to make a line, [or the partners who] just need one data point – they can assume the slope.”

Jessie Gruman, at the Prepared Patient Forum, wonders if the collaboration between HHS, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Dr. Oz, and others will help Americans learn to pay attention to their medical care and improve communication with their providers.

Chris Langston points out that there are fewer people entering training for geriatric specialties—a workforce that may be critical in addressing the communications issue Jessie discussed.

Insurance and Medicare

Avik Roy is impressed with Rick Perry’s idea of bi-national health insurance between the US and Mexico.

The board establishing Colorado’s health insurance exchange has hired the Colorado Attorney General’s office to provide legal advice. Louise at the Colorado Health Insurance Insider sees a conflict of interest—the AG is suing to overturn the individual mandate.

Health Beat’s Maggie Mahar is concerned that the deficit-reduction fervor in Washington will lead to worse health for seniors, as Medicare costs are shifted to them and seniors have more difficulty determining what care they need-and can afford.

Steve Lieberman and Krista Drobac have a long recap of state concerns about creating their insurance exchanges, which together articulate a huge uncertainty problem.

At the Health Access Blog, Anthony Wright believes Obama’s budget proposal presents a choice: whether to ask for shared sacrifice, or balance the budget on the backs of “low- and middle-income families that depend on programs like Medicaid and Medicare.”


Health Spending

John Goodman of the National Center for Policy Analysis looks at knee replacement prices—why does it cost six times as much to do one in a human as in a dog? Why do some insurers pay three times as much as others in the same city?

Disease Management Care Blog’s Jaan Sidorov is concerned that people are passing up necessary medical care while still indulging in luxury purchases. Are our national priorities messed up?

The Healthcare Economist wonders whether health care spending is converging among developed countries.


Other Fun Stuff!

DrRich’s Covert Rationing Blog asks “Is Health Care a Right”—the question without which there can be no honest discussion of what kind of health care system we want.

Roy Poses at Health Care Renewal calls out the hypocrisy of academic medicine, for criticizing stringent new anti-conflict of interest rules proposed by the NIH and IOM.

On the technology front, InsureBlog’s Henry Stern comments on the really cool, HIV-relevant research being carried out by gamers playing Foldit. Here, New Health Dialogue comments on the same story.

Medical Billing and Coding, source of a great infographic in this post, enumerates the 8 most common medication mistakes.

Jon Coppelman has a detailed dissection of new workers’ comp rules, over at Worker’s Comp Insider.


Still not had enough? Check back on October 13th, when Health Affairs hosts your favorite bi-weekly blog roundup, Health Wonk Review!

Join the Conversation

Please log in below through Disqus, Twitter or Facebook to participate in the conversation. Your email address, which is required for a Disqus account, will not be publicly displayed. If you sign in with Twitter or Facebook, you have the option of publishing your comments in those streams as well.

Related Programs