Arnold Kling  

Another Speaking Opportunity

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Favorite "Liberal" Economist... Evening Commentary...

on markets and health care. I know the topic sounds boring these days, but it really is somewhat important as a public policy issue. If you work on or near Capitol Hill, feel free to drop by. Friday, February 20th, at noon.


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Speaking of health care, did you see this Globe article Professor Kling?

http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/11/16/a_healthcare_system_badly_out_of_balance/?page=full

The lede: "Call it the best-kept secret in Massachusetts medicine: Health insurance companies pay a handful of hospitals far more for the same work even when there is no evidence that the higher-priced care produces healthier patients. In fact, sometimes the opposite is true: Massachusetts General Hospital, for example, earns 15 percent more than Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for treating heart-failure patients even though government figures show that Beth Israel has for years reported lower patient death rates."

Jeanne writes:

In response to the Healthcare comment regarding
Massachusetts General Hospital earning 15 percent more than Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for treating heart-failure patients even though government figures show that Beth Israel has for years reported lower patient death rates.
It most likely has to do with getting the coding right, depending on how or how much each and every item and procdure is coded/rated the hospitals could potentially perform the same treatment and one would be more profitable for the same care. It also will depend on how the hospital codes the severity of the condition of the patient. In addition, if one hospital were to provide more care, say they did additional procedures called Aqua Pheresis, similar to dialysis, they could potentially keep their CHF patients out of the hospital longer and reduce their readmission rate which will be come increasingly more important when CMS/Medicare begins decreasing reimbursement to hospitals for readmission of the same patient within 30 days for the same diagnosis. Ironically, improving profitability will mean keeping your patient discharged longer and keeping them out instead on in the hospital.

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