As Occupy Wall Street has gone from an obscure protest covered only on blogs and social media to a national phenomenon, the apparent parallels between the issues it is raising and the issues we have been raising in health care grows.  A growing number of protesters are calling themselves the "99 Percenters," referring to those who are not in the top 1% of earners.  The top 1% of income is clearly greater than $250,000 per year, and likely ...

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The revelations about the huge golden parachute given the outgoing CEO of ostensibly non-profit Massachusetts Blue Cross Blue Shield induced some public discussion about the disconnect between executive compensation and the mission of health care organizations. First, new proxy statements revealed the compensation of executives of two large for-profit health care insurers/managed care companies. Cigna As reported by the AP, via ABC News, the CEO got a big raise:

Cigna Corp. ...

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We recently discussed the plight of young medical faculty.  It appears that their plight is even worse than we imagined. Recently, an abstract was presented at the Annual  Conference on Research in Medical Education at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Medical Colleges, in a session entitled, "Your Career is More than Your Specialty." The authors described a large survey, of over 5000 faculty at 26 US nationally representative ...

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Recently, reports about deceptive marketing and other questionable practices used by the growing for-profit higher education industry in the US appeared in the news.  For example, per Bloomberg:

Recruiters at U.S. for-profit colleges lied to entice students and encouraged them to commit fraud to qualify for aid, a report by the Government Accountability Office found. Recruiters at all 15 colleges studied by the GAO, Congress’s investigational arm, misled potential students ...

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In 2005, we entitled a post, "How Can a $124.8 Million a Year CEO Make Health Care More Affordable?" At that time, we contrasted the enormous compensation given to the then CEO of UnitedHealth, Dr. William McGuire, with the stated mission of his corporation.  Since then, we have traced the travails of UnitedHealth and its leadership.  Dr. McGuire was eventually accused of receiving backdated stock options (which at one time ...

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A persistent theme for Health Care Renewal has been how concentration and abuse of power in health care trap patients and heath care professionals in a maze of bureaucracy, perverse incentives, deception, and conflicts of interest. To anyone who has to make the transition from person to patient, some of these problems become immediately obvious. Consider, for example, this account of "going into a hospital for a minor procedure":

The very idea of ...

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In Rhode Island, hospitals that are part of hospital systems were paid more for the same services than independent hospitals. The price differences could not be explained by quality of care or severity of illness.  The results suggested that market power determines the price of hospital services, and that increasing concentration of power in hospital networks is likely to further increase costs, without improving quality of care. Recently, a similar report out of the neighboring state ...

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