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Health Utility Book (HUB) Can doctors talk teenagers out of risky drinking Impact of physician disclosures on patient trust. Quadratic voting in practice. Why doctors don’t like email....


Instrumental variables: Can I use patient level IVs to correct for endogeneity in patient characteristics?

Does a treatment improve patient health  Does a policy intervention improve quality of life  Does more education increase income  These are fundamental questions that are difficult to answer with standard observational approaches.  The reason  Selection bias.  Patients who are sick take medicine; patients who are sicker may take more medicine.  Thus, one could observe that…...


Family knows best

Is caregiving by family members superior to paid home health caregiving According to a paper by Coe et al. (2019), the answer is ‘yes’. We find that some family involvement in home-based care significantly decreases health-care utilization: lower likelihood of emergency room use, Medicaid-financed inpatient days, any Medicaid hospital expenditures, and fewer months with Medicaid-paid…...


What is confounding and how do you deal with it?

If you work in research, you may have heard that you need to worry about confounding. But what is confounding And how can you address the problems it causes. What is confounding An example Let us say that you are interested in the effect of an Ivy League education on a child’s long-term income. You…...


Trends in hospital consolidation

The National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) has some nice slides describing trends in hospital consolidation. First, we see a trend of increased hospitalizations over time. Further, these mergers are not small. In 49% of cases, the acquired (i.e., smaller) hospital has revenue of >$100m and in 19% of cases the acquired hospitals has…...


Why you need to test for violations of the proportional hazards assumption

An interesting article in Value in Health reviews how HTA bodies have (or have not) required testing for violation of the proportional hazards assumption. The Academic Health Economists Blog describes why simply assuming proportional hazards is a bad idea and reviews the Monnickendam et al. (ViH 2019) article: If you are an HTA body…[testing for…...


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