Health Care Politics, Policy, and Services: A Social Justice Analysis

November 17, 2008

Gunnar Almgren Health Care Politics, Policy, and Services: A Social Justice Analysis. Springer Publishing Company. ISBN-13: 978-0826102362.  Order (Amazon).

Amazon Description: Winner of an AJN Book of the Year Award! ” Who has a right to health care? ” What is the government’s role? ” How are corporations, insurance companies, and health care providers affecting the quality of health care? ” Can we reform the U.S. health care system?  In this innovative text, Gunnar Almgren provides all the tools necessary to understand and critique a health care policy in dire need of change. With its comprehensive coverage of U.S. health care, this unique text is accessible to all those in public health, nursing, social work, public policy, or public administration. No other book addresses the underlying issues of the U.S. health care system alongside a variety of social justice models that we can use to evaluate, and perhaps eventually, change it.

Gunnar Almgren, MSW, PhD, is an Associate Professor and former Director of the MSW Program at the School of Social Work at the University of Washington. He is also a Faculty Affiliate at the University of Washington’s Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology.

The Cost of Doing Nothing Why the Cost of Failing to Fix Our Health System Is Greater than the Cost of Reform

November 17, 2008

Elizabeth Carpenter, Sarah Axeen, New America Foundation
November 13, 2008.

The economic cost of failing to fix our broken health care system is greater than the upfront expense of comprehensive health reform. In 2006, our economy lost as much as $200 billion because of the poor health and shorter lifespan of the uninsured. This is by most estimates as much as, if not greater than, the public costs of ensuring all Americans have quality, affordable, health coverage. For the full text of this report and the accompanying state profiles, see Full report (125 pp.)

Medicare’s National Coverage Decisions for Technologies, 1999–2007

November 17, 2008

Peter Neumann, Sc.D., Maki S. Kamae, M.D., M.P.H., and Jennifer A. Palmer, M.S. Health Affairs, November/December 2008 27(6):1620–31

A multiyear analysis of Medicare’s “national coverage decisions”—policies for reimbursing health care providers for particular medical services—shows that the program considers the available evidence “fair” or “poor” for most medical technologies it reviews. Nonetheless, Medicare issues favorable decisions in 60 percent of cases.

Dynamic Cost-Effectiveness: A More Efficient Reimbursement Criterion

November 17, 2008

Douglas Lundin and Joakim Ramsberg (2008) “Dynamic Cost-Effectiveness: A More Efficient Reimbursement Criterion,” Forum for Health Economics & Policy: Vol. 11: Iss. 2 (Economics of Health Care Contracting), Article 7.

Basing drug reimbursement on cost-effectiveness provides too little incentives for R&D. The reason for this is that cost-effectiveness is concerned with immediate value for money. But since the price of a drug usually declines over time, the drug might well provide value for money as seen over its entire life cycle, even though its price during patent protection is too high to warrant reimbursement according to the cost-effectiveness decision rule. We show in a theoretical model that welfare could be improved if decision-makers took a longer perspective and initially allowed higher prices than immediate value for money can motivate. We also discuss the real world relevance of applying dynamic cost-effectiveness.