Category: BUHealth

Letter calls for gun injury research

Colleague Austin Frakt forwarded to me the link to an open letter to VP Joseph Biden and members of the Gun Violence Commission. The letter is signed by over 100 well-known health professionals, policymakers and economists. The letter addresses the fact that both teh CDC and the NIH agencies are currently prohibited from funding […]

Commonwealth Fund Report on Health Care Cost Control

The Commonwealth Fund has just come out with a new report outlining a strategy for containing health care costs in the US. It seems rather optimistic to me. Here is the opening two paragraphs and link. Confronting Costs: Stabilizing U.S. Health Spending While Moving Toward a High Performance Health Care System, Authored by The Commonwealth […]

US Cardiovascular Diseases Rates are Improving But…

I browsed to the following overview of US research on Heart, Lung, and Blood diseases in the US. This report documents the dramatic improvements in cardiovascular health in the US, which they estimate costs the US about $300 billion or about $1000 per American in 2008 (Direct of treatment and indirect costs from premature mortality).  […]

1994 assault weapons ban may have saved 6000 lives per year

Although not a statistical statement, there is a noticeable association between when the 1994-2004 assault weapon ban was in place and the observed decline in gun-related deaths. That ban also contained other provisions that will have affected availability of guns. A decline of more than 6000 gun-related deaths per year appears to be  associated  with […]

Two Great Articles in the December JEL

Journal of Economic Literature, December 2012 Two great articles. Racial Discrimination in the Labor Market: Theory and Empirics Kevin Lang and Jee-Yeon K. Lehmann We review theories of race discrimination in the labor market. Taste-based models can generate wage and unemployment duration differentials when combined with either random or directed search even when strong prejudice […]

HCC risk adjustment formulas for ACA Exchanges

HHS announced the new risk adjustment formulas proposed for the ACA Health Insurance Exchanges on December 7, 2012. Here is the citation and direct link. Department of Health and Human Services. HHS Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2014, and Medical Loss Ratio. 2012 [Dec 7 2012]. Available from: Focus only on the first 33 […]

US Affordable Care Act and Risk Adjustment

Although there is no accompanying paper, I thought it might be useful to post the PowerPoint slides that I have used in several recent talks about the US since there is an enormous interest in a relatively concise summary of the features of the ACA. Since my area of particular interest is risk adjustment, there […]


An Examination of the Professional Morale, Practice Patterns, Career Plans, and Healthcare Perspectives of Today’s Physicians, Aggregated by Age, Gender, Primary Care/Specialists, and Practice Owners/Employees Survey conducted on behalf of The Physicians Foundation by Merritt Hawkins | Completed September, 2012. Copyright 2012, The Physicians Foundation I found this physician survey very useful for statistics about […]

US physician hours and visits still down 17% in 2012.

US physicians work fewer hours and see fewer patients than in 2008 Edward Davies BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 10 October 2012)   Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e6863 “Between 2008 and 2012, the average number of hours physicians worked fell from 57 hours a week to 53, and doctors saw 16.6% fewer patients. The […]

What I Wish Obama Had Said

Alternative Debate Speech Text that President Obama Could Have Used at the First Presidential Debate on October 3, 2012[i] Randall P. Ellis Boston University, Department of Economics October 6, 2012 On Taxes We have heard a lot of talk from the Republicans about the importance of lowering taxes on people earning more than $250,000 which […]

Top 25 Economics Web sites

Top 25 Economics Web sites This list is interesting to browse, or to select a few to include on your own web site. Interesting that the BU Blog the Incidental Economist made it to #6. Here is the direct link. 6. The Incidental Economist is a blog focused on economics, U.S. health policy, politics, […]

Presidential positions on health reform

Two articles about the health reform states the positions of the two presidential candidates from the NEJM    

Lisa Iezzoni’s new book on Risk Adjustment****

I just received and have scanned through Lisa Iezzoni’s fourth book (as editor and major contributor) entitled Risk Adjustment for Measuring Health Care Outcomes (Fourth Edition), Lisa I Iezzoni (ed) (2013) Even though Lisa is a physician, not an economist or statistician, this book provides an excellent overview of risk adjustment (population-based), and severity or […]

Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative, by CMS, Overview

CMS posted in late August an interesting site that provides lots of information about the seven demonstrations going on for Comprehensive Primary Care Payment. Each site includes a list of participating PCPs. with specific clinic names, zip codes and addresses. Could be interesting to examine how severe a selection problem there is.

Five Questions for Health Economists

My presidential address to the American Society of Health Economists is now available to download and scheduled for publication in the International Journal of Health Care Finance and Economics. Here is the link. Five questions for health economists Randall P. Ellis Online First™, 3 September 2012 Here is the direct link to the pdf file. […]

Stirring but informative Clinton nomination speech for Barack Obama

I highly recommend to you the YouTube link to Bill Clinton’s 49 minute Nominating Speech for Barack Obama. Of particular use to health economists are his comments on the implications of the Romney-Ryan discussion of Medicare and Medicaid, I recommend that you watch the segment from 28:10 to 36:10. Watch 28:10 to 36:10 to […]

Congrats to BU faculty on prominent role at ASSA 2013!

Congratulations! BU faculty, graduate students and alumni appear prominently in the program of the Allied Social Sciences Association (ASSA) meetings (aka the AEA meetings), scheduled to be held in San Diego January 4-6, 2013. Altogether their names appear as presenters, authors, chairs or discussants at least 73 times. Seventeen different economics faculty are listed as […]

Wolfram site for Mathematica calculations and data

This is from an 2010 BUHealth post, but I am reposting it now since the alpha site is still live and useful. I thank BU alum Veronica Vargas for sending me the following link to a Wolfram alpha web site. It can be a waste of time, but it also can provide scientific, numeric, and […]

ASHEcon 2012 Ellis Presidential Address

I have just posted the paper version of my June 11, 2012 Presidential Address to the American Society of Health Economists. The title of the talk and paper is Five Questions for Health Economists Here are the five questions in case you want to ponder them before reading the paper. Q1: If the ceiling in […]

Average rebate was $151 per family, received by 19-31% of people

Why is this important ACA achievement getting so little attention in the US media? From the British Medical Journal. August 7, 2012 US health insurance firms issue $1.1bn in rebates to policy holders BMJ 2012; 345 doi: 10.1136/bmj.e5329 (Published 7 August 2012)   Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e5329   Janice Hopkins Tanne   Nearly 13 […]