Why Is Health Care In America So Fucked Up?

ballmouse

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People do not understand the limitations of data and predictive analytics, at least with what's possible today. I worked on a project where we sold the HR department on an analytics dashboard to better understand employees. Everyone was supportive of the idea and though that they would get deep insights and learn more about the employees.

The reality was that there was not nearly enough data. There was not enough meaningful data. And even if there were both of the above, are you really going to make decisions just based on some data points without doing a qualitative investigation to double check the data?

In all, it was a huge waste of time and money. Yet the project was spun as a huge leap in analytical prowess and the project leads essentially started up their own fiefdom to sell more of these projects to clients.

I agree that data is meant to be a guide. Maybe it asks a question to investigate. It really doesn't replace very much in the process even though it appears to give 'the answer'. That 'answer' is more like a conversation starter or hypothesis. Rather than use it as an asset to apply to existing methodologies, people just want to replace the entire process with this.

Unfortunately, there is a huge push for analytics (see Moneyball in sports and all those other buzzwords like big data and AI in other fields) so people blindly accept it without much question or understanding that it's an additional asset and not a replacement for an entire process.
 

Journeyman

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Rambo

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Interesting story from The Atlantic magazine on how massive numbers of largely (or even totally) unnecessary procedures are performed in the US, with a couple of procedures in particular way out ahead of the rest in terms of numbers - primarily surgery to repair a torn meniscus in the knee joint, and fusing some vertebrae together:

doctors are worse than cops
 

Rambo

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Money shot
When LeBron James hit a long, go-ahead three pointer with a minute left in a play-in game versus the Warriors last May, dozens of concession workers at the Chase Center in San Francisco lost their health care for a month. That’s because, according to the union chief who represents them, concession workers at the Chase Center only receive health care through their jobs if they work ten games a month.

The Warriors played six scheduled regular season home games in May plus a home play-in game versus the Grizzlies to bring the total to seven. Had the Warriors beaten the Lakers they would have been guaranteed at least three more home playoff games in May.

“LeBron hitting a three shouldn’t cost people their health coverage,” said Anand Singh, president of UNITE HERE local 2, the union that represents 930 concession workers at Chase Center and Oracle Park, where the Giants play. “It’s absolutely ridiculous to take away workers’ health care in a pandemic over something that’s no fault of their own. That’s one of the reasons we have chosen to fight.”
 

Journeyman

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^Interesting and concerning article. The aged care regulator in Australia just got a large injection of funds following a royal commission into aged care (a royal commission is essentially an independent investigation, usually headed by a retired judge assisted by a bunch of lawyers, commissioned by the government and imbued with powers to seek out evidence).

The sector is generally pretty well-run in Australia but there were some dodgy operators who were neglecting residents. The national regulator has now been given increased powers, including the ability to impose sanctions and other tougher measures to ensure compliance with the aged care quality standards.

The quality of aged care is an important topic, for a couple of reasons:
- Just about everyone gets old and so will most likely require aged care at some stage; and
- Quite a number of countries, including Australia, have ageing populations and so the number of elderly people requiring care is going to increase in coming years.

Here's an article on the Australian aged care situation that prompted the royal commission:

 

Rambo

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Their Baby Died in the Hospital. Then Came the $257,000 Bill.​

A New York family had good health insurance. But the bills for their daughter’s care started showing up and kept coming.
 
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