Thursday, January 10, 2008

"Health Wonk Review" Here At Health Policy and Marketplace Review

This week it's my turn to host Health Wonk Review. HWR is designed to highlight some of the best posts in the health blog world.

What I found remarkable this time was the sheer number of thoughtful submissions. The number and quality of health care blogs continues to grow.

It's a long, but terrific, list so I'll try to make it easy reading:

Brian Kleppper, posting over at "Health Commentary" gives us his take on the importance of California health reform and his worry that it will end up being more about taking care of the special interests than the strong medicine our system really needs. You know, I think Brian is just another one of those independently wealthy health care consultants who likes to cause trouble.

Speaking of independently wealthy health care consultants who cause lots of trouble, Joe Paduda, over at Managed Care Matters, gives us his take on John McCain's health plan now that the Senator is back in the game. You can also access my detailed analysis of McCain's plan on this site.

Jason Shafrin probably isn't the wealthiest health care blogger, but this kid may be the smartest. This time Jason gives us his take on the Democratic candidates' health care plans in an easy reading detailed analysis on, "Healthcare Economist." Wonder where Jason will be in thirty years?

Anthony Wright, with "Health Access California," points to a recent New York Times chart comparing the various presidential candidate's positions on health care but also gives us his sense about where the differences are. By the way, if you are following California reform, you need to keep an eye on this site.

I don't know how wealthy he is, but I do know Chris Fleming posts on a heck of a content rich site--"Health Affairs." This time Chris comments on the latest federal data from CMS on health care spending. Merrill Goozner also gives us his take on the report over at, "GoozNews."

Roy Poses on, "Health Care Renewal," a must on your health blog bookmark list, this time tells us about the CFO that put greed in front of good judgment in health care and the predicable result.

I found Bob Vineyard's piece, on the recent death of the young girl who was denied a liver transplant, on the always worthwhile, "InsureBlog," to be a particularly compelling one this time.

Maggie Mahar also gives us a most thoughtful perspective on this recent controversy over cost and end-of-life care in her post, "Bad Cases Make Bad Law," on her blog, "Health Beat."

Lisa Emrich, my favorite health care musician, has a a post this time on a recent study and the controversy over the value of free drug samples and compares and contrasts the pharmaceutical industry's statement with her take on it.

But David Williams sees it an a very different way with his post, "Drug Samples Not Going To The Poor. So What?," on "Health Business Blog."

From one of the best business insurance sites, Julie Ferguson recaps the top insurance news from 2007 at "Workers' Comp Insider." Julie also recommends a post by John Coppelman about a neurosurgeon awaiting sentencing in a kickback scheme over surgical implants.

Louise from, "Colorado Insurance Shopper," gives us her take on the recent California health insurance policy rescission controversy. Louse just reminds us that the people who work in the market every day often have a lot more common sense than those in the corporate suite who think the way to deal with their customers is through the legal department.

Over at "Wealth Builder," "Super Saver" gives us some outside the box thinking about how to require that people buy health insurance in quite an unconventional way.

David Harlow does his usually great job of keeping us up-to-date on health law at "HealthBlawg," this time with his post, "ERISA Pre-Emption Ruling Bites San Fran Health Care Coverage Mandate."

Daniel Goldberg, at "Medical Humanities Blog," discusses a recent study that demonstrates a link between having insurance and good treatment but still leaves him thinking there may be a more powerful argument in favor of universal care on ethical, compared to, policy grounds.

Adam Fein at, "Drug Channels" looks at December's unexpected injunction against CMS in, "No AMP for You!" The injunction stems from a lawsuit brought against CMS by two retail pharmacy trade associations to stop the use of Average Manufacturer Price (AMP) data to set reimbursement limits for Medicaid prescription drugs. Adam highlights the effect on payers, manufacturers, and pharmacies in one of the only blog posts on this important but little-understood topic. I just cut and pasted Adam's description because this issue is so complicated I can't even describe it. Adam is one heck of a resource for the rest of us on the nits of drug pricing.

Neil Versel posts about two separate federal health IT initiatives and offers some commentary about the chance of meaningful Medicare reform in 2008 on his blog, "Health Care IT Blog."


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