I’d like you to vote for the TIE post or theme by me from 2014 that you think was most influential, informative, and/or stimulating. You can do so using the embedded survey form at the end of this post or at this link.
(My cobloggers have done terrific work. The only reason I’ve limited this to my posts is because it took a ton of work to go through them all and to curate them into themes. I can’t do that work for all of TIE’s posts.)
For simplicity, I’ve narrowed things down to the four choices described below, but you could well prefer something else. So, the survey tool asks you to rank these four in order and then has an open-ended, free-text response question where you can write in anything else you liked. If you need more space than the text field allows, you can leave a comment to this post. (Comments close in one week.) But it’s far better for me if you use the survey tool if you can.
Four Choices and More
I’ve written many posts on each of the following four themes in 2014. Below, I list the themes, in no particular order, each with a brief description, links to one or two key posts, and a link to a bunch more. You can judge each theme holistically or you can consider the key post or two to which I link as the precise thing to judge. Your call.
Consolidation. Consolidation in health care is a bread-and-butter issue in health economics. Insurer market concentration, hospital mergers, acquisition of physician groups by hospitals, or integration between providers and insurers all play important roles in shaping the health care landscape. At the heart of the debate is how growing consolidation will affect prices and quality. This post addresses these issues directly. Many other posts from 2014 on this theme are here.
Medicare Advantage. The “right” way to deliver the Medicare benefit is an old debate. In 2014 we learned some new things about whether private plans that participate in Medicare Advantage deliver a better deal than traditional Medicare. Here’s a post on Medicare Advantage cost and efficiency. Here’s a post on Medicare Advantage quality. Many other posts from 2014 on this theme are here.
Innovation. Under the surface of much of health policy debate is how to manage innovation in health care delivery and insurance. Technological innovation is among the top drivers of health spending and quality. Innovation in plan design also relates directly to cost and choice. How we manage health care technology (e.g., the development of new drugs and devices or the populations to which they’re applied) and innovation in plan design (e.g., benefits) are, therefore, crucial areas of research and policy. Issues pertaining to health care technology management are, perhaps, best discussed in this post. Issues pertaining to consumer choice and protection are, perhaps, best discussed here. Many other posts from 2014 on this theme are here.
Opioids. America is in the midst of its third opioid epidemic in about a century. This time, it’s driven in large part by narcotic painkillers. Addressing this problem is complex because opioids are addictive and can be misused, but are also can address pain in some patients and, in some formulations, can treat addiction. Such addiction treatment is highly cost effective, as discussed here. My history of opioid use and policy is here. Many other posts from 2014 on this theme are here.
More. Again, feel free to weigh in using open-ended question to tell me if there’s another post or theme you think deserves top billing. Just to jog your memory, I’ve also written quite a bit this year on placebos (as has Aaron), big data, methods/causal inference, wellness programs (with Aaron), challenges of health plan choice, Medicaid access, Obamacare labor market effects (job lock), and more.
Survey Technology Details
You should know that there are some ways in which this survey technology works over which I have no control. For example, with exceptions for some devices (see below), the way you have to rank these is by dragging and dropping them in order, not with the drop down menu next to each choice. If you’re trying to use the drop down menus and they’re auto-filling incorrectly, drag and drop the choices instead. I’ve been told by email that this may not work on an iPad, but others say it does. Also, on Android devices, I’m told the drop down menus work, but not dragging choices.
Respond below or at this link.