Category Archives: Strange Healthcare Numbers

Today’s Silly Things

Consider these examples from ancient and not-so-ancient history: Cholera was alleged to come from “miasma” or bad air.  John Snow traced the common factor to one bad water source and ended the 1854 London outbreak. Tuberculosis was assumed to run … Continue reading

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Brill’s next pill: hire more foxes

America’s Bitter Pill author Steven Brill had heart surgery and an epiphany about how to redesign our health care system.  His Time Magazine article is certainly worth reading, as it highlights the absurdity of expecting patients to commandeer their own … Continue reading

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Please Pass The Butter

Which of the following has been proven to cause heart disease? Egg nog and butter  (saturated fats) Pasta and pastries (carbs ) Candy and soda (sugars) None of the above.

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Turning Poor Kids into Tax Paying Adults

Imagine a magic potion that, when given to children in low-income households, will turn them into higher-earners when they become adults.  Furthermore, the potion will more than pay for itself before the child turns 60. It turns out there is … Continue reading

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Good News: TVs are cheap

The price of TVs, computers, and many other goods has steadily gone down over the years.  Meanwhile, the expense of medical care has even more quickly risen. “So what?” a reasonable person might ask.

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Myth Math Part Two: How Costs Go To Shi(f)t

In Myth Math Part One, we saw that it is not cheaper to give preventive treatment to hundreds of patients when few of them will ultimately have the avoided event (i.e. a heart attack).  In Part Two, we tackle the … Continue reading

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Patients are not populations

The trendy term right now is “data-driven population health management”.  It can mean anything, really, (just nod knowingly and you can join the in crowd).  More often than not, it means using numbers to deliver better, safer medical care.  There’s … Continue reading

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Eat more spinach, get fat anyway

1970’s: Mother admonishes children to eat their spinach so they will grow big and strong like Popeye. 2000’s: Government admonishes adults to eat their spinach so they will not grow obese. The problem – none of it was true. 

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Staying alive

Massachusetts slowed down its death rate after its state-level health reform (which is remarkably similar to Obamacare), especially in low-income/ high-uninsured counties.  It’s an excellent and careful study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Does this mean that more … Continue reading

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Being rich doesn’t suck

It’s obvious that wealthy people have a lot of advantages and a cushier life.  They have nicer cars, clothes, vacations, and could afford a $5,000 hamburger (True story: Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas serves the FleurBurger 5000, … Continue reading

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