Health Policy

Big Bets on Proton Therapy Face Uncertain Future

Big Bets on Proton Therapy Face Uncertain Future

May 26, 2015

By Melinda Beck, Wall Street Journal

Insurers balk at expensive radiation treatment; can smaller machines turn the tide?

...Critics say the lower startup costs will mean more centers offering pricey, unproven treatment. “Now, we’ll have an even bigger problem on our hands,” said Amitabh Chandra, a professor of public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Obamacare’s Big Gamble on Hospital Productivity

Obamacare’s Big Gamble on Hospital Productivity

May 25, 2015

By Austin Frakt - New York Times

...The acceptance of inevitably low health care productivity growth also troubles some economists. Amitabh Chandra, a Harvard economist, is one of them: “In Baumol’s view, as long as there is a steady stream of innovation in sectors others than health care — from cars to computers to everything on Amazon — we’ll be able to spend even more on health care, despite its jaundiced productivity growth. But if productivity in health care improves, too, then think about how much more health care we’ll be able to afford.”

In Forecasting Health Costs, Let Technology Be Your Guide

In Forecasting Health Costs, Let Technology Be Your Guide

March 9, 2015

By Austin Frakt - The New York Times

...Putting these and other factors together, Amitabh Chandra, Jonathan Holmes and Jonathan Skinner, in a paper for the Brookings Institution, made a quantitative prediction. Health spending will grow at a pace above that of the overall economy, but slower — 1.2 percent above gross domestic product — than it has historically — 2.4 percent — though the authors also express caution about this prediction...

Measuring the Value of Robots in the Operating Room

Measuring the Value of Robots in the Operating Room

February 2, 2015

By Doug Gavel - Harvard Kennedy School

Rapidly evolving medical technologies are providing effective, if not very expensive, new treatment options for Americans suffering from a variety of health ailments. Robot assisted surgeries are becoming more commonplace for a number of procedures, but administrators remain unclear as to whether or not the health care benefits are worth the costs.

As a Proton Therapy Center Closes, Some See it as a Sign

As a Proton Therapy Center Closes, Some See it as a Sign

September 18, 2014

By Jaimy Lee - Modern Healthcare

... “I look at this closure as a sign that insurers are finally empowered to say this is a dubious medical technology” in the treatment of patients with prostate cancer, said Amitabh Chandra, director of health policy research at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. “The 'build it and they will come' philosophy around these centers is being questioned.”

Massachusetts health spending hits below target

Massachusetts health spending hits below target

September 2, 2014

By Melanie Evans - Modern Healthcare 

...Still, the report shows the tepid growth benefited consumers. Premiums for commercial insurance in Massachusetts did not change last year, nor did the benefits included in health plans, the report said. In previous years, consumers paid more and received less than they did the year before. The amount paid by commercially insured patients from their own pockets in form of co-pays, deductibles, and coinsurance, also remained unchanged from 2012.