August 22, 2012 ·
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Industry Insights from Paul Meade, M.Sc, MPH
Recently, I read a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece titled “Why the Doctor Can’t See You” by John Goodman, President of the National Center for Policy Analysis. The central point of Goodman’s piece suggests that under the Affordable Care Act the “demand for healthcare will increase dramatically,” and there simply won’t be enough physicians in the United States to provide all this care.
While the United States does rank 53rd out of 145 countries in physicians per capita, with 2.4 medical doctors for every 1000 people, our country ranks higher than Japan at 2.1 MDs/1000, Canada at 2.0, China at 1.4, and India at 0.6 (according to a World Health Organization report). The global average is 1.4 doctors per 1000 people. The highest doctors-per-capita healthcare systems are those in Cuba (6.7/1000) and Greece (6.2/1000).
What does all of this mean? Does this mean that Cuba and Greece have a much healthier population than the U.S.? Canada has a universal healthcare system, offering healthcare to everyone, at a per-capita rate of 2.0 doctors. Can Canada provide its citizens with adequate healthcare delivery? It can, and it does. Can Japan handle healthcare demand for its people with only 2.1 MDs per 1,000, especially given its aging population? I dare say that it can, and it will.
So, if ... read more »
April 27, 2011 ·
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Industry Insights from Paul Meade, M.Sc., MPH
By now, just about everyone involved in healthcare has heard about the Sunshine Provision (also known as the Sunshine Act). Starting January 1, 2012, any U.S. drug or device manufacturer that provides compensation to a physician or medical institution for any kind of services rendered will have to report it to the government.
The reporting benchmark is any amount over $10 for any single event. This means that if a sales representative for a pharmaceutical company buys a sandwich for a physician’s lunch and it costs $9.95, it doesn’t have to be reported, but if the physician adds a bottle of water to the sandwich, bringing the total to $11.95, it will need to be reported. Is it really to report sandwiches? Of course not, but it will! It’s really for some of the “big ticket” items, like compensation for conducting clinical studies, consulting on the development of new products, speaking at small meetings to colleagues that are sponsored by a company, etc.
So who pays for collecting, capturing, analyzing, and reporting all this information, and what will all of this monitoring activity cost? Let’s start by determining the number of active physicians in the United States. Well, there’s a problem right off the bat! According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are ... read more »
July 16, 2010 ·
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Industry Insights from Paul Meade, M. Sc, MPH
We all know that the cost of providing healthcare has been steadily rising throughout the world over the last few decades. While there are many nations that have very little healthcare services, there are those with an over-abundance of such care delivery. People everywhere have begun to see healthcare as an entitlement, rather than a privilege. And why is this so?
After World War II, many governments quickly realized that a healthy workforce is a productive workforce, and as such, began to adopt various forms of subsidized healthcare to offer to their citizens. Most countries introduced a form of universal healthcare provided by a single payer, the government. These central governments for the most part decided what products and services they would offer to their people, based on what they could afford with their budgets. For some countries, this was very little, and only the privileged few, while other countries offered everyone some form of healthcare coverage. The United States was different. They rejected the notion of a government-organized healthcare system and opted for the privatization of healthcare. After all, the U.S. was founded as a free nation that broke the shackles of the British monarch. And besides, the medical profession did not want to be constrained by the tyranny of a controlling government ... read more »