Sunday, May 12, 2019

Random charts - hospital costs

 

"... Large price discrepancies exist between what private health plans pay for hospital services and what Medicare pays. RAND Corporation researchers used data from three sources — self-insured employers, state-based all-payer claims databases, and health plans — to assess $13 billion in hospital spending in terms of hospital price levels, variation, and trends from 2015 through 2017 in 25 states. In this report, prices reflect the negotiated allowed amount paid per service, including amounts from both the health plan and the patient, with adjustments for the intensity of services provided. These negotiated prices are then compared with Medicare reimbursement rates for the same procedures and facilities to determine relative prices…” 

Relative prices, including all hospitals and states in the analysis, rose from 236 percent of Medicare rates in 2015 to 241 percent of Medicare rates in 2017 
  • Relative prices varied twofold among states. Some states (Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, and Kentucky) had relative prices in the range of 150 to 200 percent of Medicare rates; other states (Colorado, Montana, Wisconsin, Maine, Wyoming, and Indiana) had relative prices in the range of 250 to 300-plus percent of Medicare rates. 
  • Relative prices increased rapidly from 2015 to 2017 in Colorado and Indiana, but they fell over the same period in Michigan. 
  • Among hospital systems, prices varied nearly threefold, ranging from 150 percent of Medicare rates at the low end to 350 to 400-plus percent at the high end. 
Relative prices for hospital outpatient services were 293 percent of Medicare rates on average, far higher than the average relative price for inpatient care (204 percent of Medicare rates) 
  • However, eight states — Michigan, New York, Tennessee, Massachusetts, Louisiana, New Hampshire, Montana, and Maine — stand out as exceptions to this general finding, with relative prices that are roughly equal for inpatient and outpatient services.."

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Random chart - adversarial patch


"In this paper, we present an approach to generate adversarial patches to targets with lots of intra-class variety,namely persons. The goal is to generate a patch that is able successfully hide a person from a person detector. An attack that could for instance be used maliciously to circumvent surveillance systems, intruders can sneak around undetected by holding a small cardboard plate in front oft heir body aimed towards the surveillance camera..."

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Random charts - Georgia


Source: Georgia: Background and U.S. Policy (22-pg CRS PDF)
 
Take some of this with a grain of salt... For a slightly different take, read some previous entries on Georgia from between 2008 and 2014...

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Random chart - safety events


"To identify age-related patterns of events that could have or did result in unanticipated patient harm, the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority developed a data snapshot from more than 260,000 event reports submitted by Pennsylvania hospitals through the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System during 2017. For almost all age cohorts, the most common event type was Error related to Procedure/Treatment/Test while among Serious Event reports (i.e., event resulting in harm), the most common event type was Complication of Procedure/Treatment/Test.
 
Differences in event report patterns for children, adolescents, and young adults compared with events involving adults and elderly patients were noted. For adults 75 years or older, the number of event reports decreased, while the rate of involvement in a patient safety event report relative to estimated population increased as patient age increased. For adults 25 years or older, the number of reports involving two event types—Fall and Skin Integrity—increased with advancing age. Although the increased rate of total event reports at the extremes of age relative to estimated population was unsurprising, the decreased rate of Serious Events in the very elderly, and the increased rate of total and Serious Events in the age cohort of 5 to 14 years relative to number of admissions were unanticipated.
 
Attention to the event types and patterns of vulnerability that predominate in specific age cohorts may help facilities prioritize interventions."

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Random charts - med devices

 

"The cost of medical device innovation: can we keep pace?© 2019 Vizient, Inc. All rights reserved.The cost of medical device innovation: can we keep pace?Innovation is the hallmark of U.S. health care. Over the last decade, advances in medical device technology have had an extraordinary positive impact on patient outcomes and quality of life. In 2017, the number of first-time premarket approvals by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) increased 28 percent from the previous year, while the number of 510(k) clearances was up 9 percent.

 While these novel devices may provide advanced treatment options, improved quality of life and extended longevity for patients, the high costs associated with the devices and procedures create challenges for hospitals. Because of high research and development costs, the expense of clinical trials and market factors, an innovative medical device almost always carries a premium price. A review of several recent innovative cardiovascular medical device introductions reveals an average 273.3 percent increase in price (range, 163 percent to 565 percent; Table 1) over the predicate medical device.."

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Random picture - sharks


Source: Global Progress on Shark, Ray CITES Listings 

"Each year, at least 63 million and as many as 273 million sharks are killed in the world’s commercial fisheries, an unsustainable fishing rate driven by increasing demand for their fins, meat, liver oil, and other products.1 As a result, shark populations have suffered declines worldwide, and more than half of shark species and their relatives assessed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature are categorized as Threatened or Near Threatened with extinction."

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Random charts - healthcare coverage

 
 
 

Source: U.S.Health Care Coverage and Spending (CRS 2-pg PDF)

Random charts - healthcare pulse

 
 

Random quote - bedrock principle

"Russia, through its 2014 invasion of Ukraine and its attempted annexation of Crimea, sought to undermine a bedrock international principle shared by democratic states: that no country can change the borders of another by force. The states of the world, including Russia, agreed to this principle in the United Nations Charter, pledging to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state. This fundamental principle — which was reaffirmed in the Helsinki Final Act — constitutes one of the foundations upon which our shared security and safety rests. 

As we did in the Welles Declaration in 1940, the United States reaffirms as policy its refusal to recognize the Kremlin’s claims of sovereignty over territory seized by force in contravention of international law. In concert with allies, partners, and the international community, the United States rejects Russia’s attempted annexation of Crimea and pledges to maintain this policy until Ukraine’s territorial integrity is restored. 

The United States calls on Russia to respect the principles to which it has long claimed to adhere and to end its occupation of Crimea. As democratic states seek to build a free, just, and prosperous world, we must uphold our commitment to the international principle of sovereign equality and respect the territorial integrity of other states. Through its actions, Russia has acted in a manner unworthy of a great nation and has chosen to isolate itself from the international community"

Source: U.S. State Department "Crimea Declaration"  


US drops 'Israeli-occupied' designation from Golan Heights

Random chart - Ukraine


"In the lead-up to the presidential election on March 31, Ukrainians go to the polls with less faith in their government than is true for any other electorate in the world. Just 9% of residents have confidence in the national government, the lowest confidence level in the world for the second straight year. This is far below the regional median for former Soviet states (48%) as well as the global average (56%) in 2018."

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Random charts - FDA


Source: The FDA’s Drug Pricing Strategy: What’s New?

"...To help track the FDA’s progress in implementing its strategy, we’ve created a timeline of the major announcements and regulatory actions the agency has taken to encourage a competitive market for biologic drugs, address drug shortages and abuses of the FDA’s citizen petition process, and streamline the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) program, which aims to promote timelier competition from generic drug manufacturers. We’ll be updating this periodically. In a future post, we’ll discuss additional steps the agency and Congress could take to lower drug prices..."

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Random charts - Yemen (war crimes)

 

Source: The Strategies of the Coalition in the Yemen War: Aerial bombardment and food war (23-pg PDF)

"If one places the damage to the resources of food producers (farmers, herders, and fishers) alongside the targeting of food processing, storage and transport in urban areas and the wider economic war, there is strong evidence that Coalition strategy has aimed to destroy food production and distribution in the areas under the control of Sanʿaʾ. As described above, from the autumn of 2016, economic war has com-pounded physical destruction to create a mass failure in basic livelihoods. Deliberate destruction of family farming and artisanal fishing is a war crime. Yemen, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, the United Kingdom and France are signatories to the 1977 Protocol I additional to the Geneva Conventions, which gives the fullest statement in International Humanitarian Law on the protection of objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population. 

If the Coalition war in Yemen is not to mark the erasure of legal referent in war, other forces and institutions will need to call into question the blanket ‘legitimacy’ accorded the Coalition to date by the world’s highest legal body, the UN Security Council. If UN Security Council resolution 2417 (24 May 2018), condemning starvation of civilians in wartime, is to be meaningful, then it is necessary for the UNSC and its member states to halt such crimes in Yemen, to investigate them, and to call to account those responsible for perpetrating them."

Random charts/pictures - Chernobyl

 
 
 

Source: Chernobyl: The end of a three-decade experiment

 
 
 

Source: Cameras reveal the secret lives of Chernobyl's wildlife

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

 
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