Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Health Wonk Review Hosted This Week on Health Care Renewal

Welcome to Health Care Renewal. We are a multi-author blog which focuses on external threats to health care's core values, especially those due to concentration and abuse of power. Please feel free to browse our main page and archives.

We are proud to host this edition of the Health Wonk Review.

[Addendum 1/11/2007 - Please note - the original version of this post had several weirdly scrambled links. Also, the version put up by Google seemed to have entirely lost one of my citations. In some cases, the link appeared correct in HTML, but was scrambled in the posted version. I have tried to fix all of these problems. If anyone notices any more bad links, please email me a rposes at firmfound dot org. I also added two more citations, one whose submission was lost in the spam filter. Sorry about all that and thanks for the corrections.]

Access and Insurance

On the old version of the Health Business blog, David Williams argued that the rich are not given exceptional health care.

And on the new Health Business blog site, David Williams wondered what the very long wait currently required to see a dermatologist in Boston has to say about the usual arguments (long queues in Canada) against a single-payer health insurance system.

Mike Feehan, on InsureBlog, suggested that the rising prevalence of uninsured patients is an indictment of Medicaid, the US state-federal health care system designed for people who can't afford health insurance.

Jason Shafrin, on the Healthcare Economist blog, reviewed Governor Schwarznegger’s plans for universal health insurance in California, and wondered if they will save costs.

Joe Paduda, on Managed Care Matters, suggested that health care economics is of the “supply-side” variety.

Jon Coppelman, on the Workers’ Comp Insider blog, discussed why health care provided under workers’ compensation insurance costs so much.

Leif Wellington Haase from the Century Foundation , suggested why the idea of universal health insurance may be becoming more appealing today.

James Gaulte, on the Retired Doc’s Thoughts blog , noted the disparity between how rigorously the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforces anti-trust regulation to prevent even small groups of physicians from talking about fees, but ignores how a few large health care organizations, such as hospitals or insurers, may dominate local or regional markets.

And regarding the power of a few large insurers, Graham, on the Over My Med Body blog , described the many reasons California insurers find not to write individual policies for individuals with often trivial diseases, or with “dangerous” jobs.

Matthew Holt, on the Health Care Blog, stirred up some controversy by suggesting that the amount spent on the late US President Ford's medical near the end of his life was inappropriate.

Health Care Management

Marcus Newberry, on the Fixin’ Healthcare blog , suggested that as long as health care is a business focusing on disease, things will not improve.

Information Technology

Shahid Shah, on the Healthcare IT Guy blog, had an invitation for health care bloggers to meet in person at the HIMSS '07 conference in New Orleans.

Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology

Erik Turkewitz, on the New York Personal Injury Law Blog, had an update on counterfeit drugs.

HS Ayoub, on the BioHealth Investor blog, chronicled the tale of a former drug “pirate” in India which is now going into the international generic drug business.

Paul Howard, on Medical Progress Today, argued that, based on the European example, direct negotiation of drug prices by the US government would stifle innovation.

On the other hand, David Harlow, on the HealthBlawg, suggested points in favor of Medicare negotiating drug prices.

Adam Fein, on the Drug Channels Blog, discussed implications of the Cardinal Health settlement and the issue of counterfeit drugs.

Fard Johnmar, on the Envisioning 2.0 blog , discussed differences in how consumers and pharmaceutical company executives view the industry. He saw pharmaceutical executives as mainly well meaning, but having to cope with an onslaught of negative publicity about the industry. Readers should peruse some of the stories about some of the leadership of the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry on Health Care Renewal, and think about just how well-meaning they have been, and whether some of the bad publicity was not deserved.

In that vein, Merrill Goozner, on GoozNews blog , noted how the world’s most famous medical journal “de-fanged” an article about conflicts of interest affecting guideline development, in this case, how one large biotechnology company helped to fund the development of guidelines that, surprise, suggested aggressive use of one of its expensive products.

DB, on DB's Medical Rants, discussed the pheonomenon of "too many diagnoses," otherwise know as disease mongering.

“Jack Friday,” on the PharmaGossip blog , announced the debut of the PharmedOut web-site, devoted to teaching physicians more about misleading practices used to market pharmaceuticals.

The Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry blog , commented on how at least one academic physician who worked on trials sponsored by a pharmaceutical company was willing to admit he withheld data from the trial that was unfavorable to its sponsor, and advocated that “industry and academia need to get out of their shared bed.”

Finally, Aubrey Blumsohn, on the Scientific Misconduct blog, chronicled his continuing efforts to get the original data from a drug study for which he was the principal investigator, yet which was withheld by the study's sponsor. This case, which is not well known outside of the UK, is a chilling reminder of how the supposed sponsors of drug trials may try to influence clinical science.

Quality and Safety

On the Antidote: Counterspin for Health Care and Health News blog, Emily DeVoto reviewed recent evidence that the sort of health care quality measures often proposed for pay-for-performance systems for doctors do not seem to correlate very well with some important clinical outcomes.

Rita Schwab, on the MSSP Nexus blog, argued that interviewing physicians for medical staff positions involves medical safety issues.


We have been delighted to be able to showcase some of the lively discussion of health care policy going on in the blogsphere. We hope it has provided food for thought.


Anonymous said...

Terrific job, Roy!

Thanks for putting together an outstanding HWR.

Adam J. Fein, Ph.D. said...

The correct link to my post is Cardinal's Sins

Adam J. Fein
Drug Channels

Anonymous said...

Sounds great to me

Anonymous said...

Just saw your blog and found it really very informative! you guys are doing a great job, just keep on impressing us with your work, thanks:)