Monday, July 12, 2010

A 109th Cavalcade of Risk Picnic and You're Invited!

Welcome to this 109th edition of the Cavalcade of Risk, proudly hosted by the Disease Management Care Blog. For the last three years, the DMCB has been writing about the intersection between clinical medicine, health insurance, health policy, research, public health and politics. It all about the emerging science on the care of populations, with advances in insurance designs, disease management, health technology, wellness, prevention, the medical home and accountable care organizations. Thanks for stopping by and feel free to visit the DMCB again.

Given the summer season, the DMCB thinks hosting this Cavalcade is much like a big noisy backyard barbecue. Anyone can cook up a pair of steaks medium rare, but having the Risk Blogging Community visit the DMCB is like having the whole neighborhood over for huge combined multi-grill menu pot-luck dinner picnic. Think of it as a party where we can each learn from smart friends about the other aspects of the backyard culin-bloggery risk-arts. Everybody is bringing something, each of which is described in delicious detail below.

So, let's eat!

A list

What's a picnic, especially if the DMCB spouse is involved, without a detailed list to help organize the countless details like - getting the plates (with beer), the ice (plus some beer), mosquito repellent and, adds the DMCB, additional beer. If you agree with her, then check out this list of the top ten mistakes persons make when they thoughtlessly park your money in a bank, courtesy of the blog at the depositsaccount web site.

The Seasoning!

The Scope Crêpe Blog serves up a basic lesson in how humans process risk. Take the test and find out for yourself how the loss of $20 can be too salty for some. There's more on the implications for medical care here (Hat Tip to TinkerReady).

Slow basted ribs.....

Greg Mankiw's Blog ponders how insurance companies could deal with the advent of genetic testing that can identify persons with an unfavorable profile. Perhaps his dish of ribs is better moved to the back burner and put on very low heat for a long time. As this article from the New England Journal makes clear, we have a way to go before the sensitivity, specificity and reliability of these tests are ready for prime time. There's also the issue of the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (or GINA), at least when it comes to health insurers.

Burgers? And now for something completely different....

Meat patties, check. Buns, check. Oh, but wait! With some creativity, this classic staple can take on some novel features. And so it is among students of risk, who can reshape ho-hum life insurance into "return of premium" term life insurance. The cashmoneylife blog explains.

Just not complete without dogs

The DMCB never quite understood the attraction of these cylinders of pressed meat byproducts, but it does know there's a spectrum of quality out there. The DMCB personally prefers Kosher hot dogs because the contents don't include filler and scraps. That same discerning taste can be applied to car insurance, which has been ranked by JD Power. You can go to the christianPF site and see if your car insurer is also a dog.

Yes, I said an entire turkey.

Did you know it's possible to put an entire bird on a grill? It's a complicated and involved affair that involves a lot of attention and lots of time with rotating, basting, collecting all that grease and keeping things from being burnt on the outside and raw in the middle. So it is with life insurance and estate planning, eh? Freemoneyfinance provides a lengthy option-filled recipe on the big bulky topic, with an emphasis on a surprising variety of trusts.

Everyone has a favorite....

...and so does the DMCB. It's happy to see that the topic of health insurance high risk pools are on the table. Louise of the Colorado Health Insurance Insider unveils how Colorado is using Federal money to cover persons that were previously uninsurable. The premium levels seem quite tasty.

More on that favorite...

Insuranceproviders has prepared a discussion on the topic of assigned risk auto insurance, which seems similar to high risk health insurance pools. This seems rather cut and dry, which makes the DMCB wonder a) why couldn't the States have done the same thing for health insurance years ago, and b) if it'll be so non-controversial years from now?

How about something tasty from overseas?

The ever vigilant DMCB spouse has kept it from bringing pickled herring when it's a guest at picnics. She understands hosting is different though, so the Brits from TaxReturnBlog neighbors could have brought blood sausage and we'd say thank you. Fortunately, they have something far more yummy: an adjustment in tax policy that has led to an increase in Her Majesty's citizens' "tax free allowance." That's so delicious sounding, the DMCB would like more of that.

Health foods?

Well if the entire neighborhood is coming over, there's bound to be someone insisting on something additive free, organic and vegetarian. If so, direct them to the naturalezine site, where persons can find out more about health insurance coverage of 'natural' remedies. Beware, though: the DMCB thinks health insurers are willing to cover this stuff not because the remedies included in the benefit actually do any good, but because these kinds of beneficiaries are low risk.

Let's Be Creative

There's no shortage of recipes for other crazy dishes involving all kinds unexpected ingredients like dandelions, marshmallows or turnips. If that's what you're hankering for, try a spoonful of I Could Make A Fortune over at the New York Personal Injury Blog. The DMCB sampled the haircuts/cut ears, yet somehow, the taste is very familiar.......

The Beverages

It's sure hot isn't it? Those cold sudsy beverages that were on the DMCB spouse's list sure are good. But they're enough to make one forgetful and cloud rational thought. A number of things could be going on, but it you're really worried, read about another stop on the endless road to find a reasonably accurate test for that dreaded dementing disease called "Alzheimer's", courtesy of Hank Stern over at the InsureBlog.

Salad anyone?

The variations of leafy greens, tomatoes, carrots, cukes, peppers and the like seem good for you, which mathematically cancels any bad calories in the other foods, right? Well, surfersam has a description of why annuities may be a worthwhile investment option that can neutralize the bad effects of negative interest from chasing returns in a moribund economy.

Getting the Fire Going

The Digerati Life Blog wanders over to a corner of investment diversification that involves buying FDIC insured certificates of deposits based in other single or basket combinations of currencies, like the South African rand or the Australian dollar or the Brazilian real. Good thing thing this particular currency isn't an option, since it'd be better used as paper kindling to light the charcoal.

The Gas Grill

The DMCB's spouse is eternally leery about the risks associated with her spouse's handling of propane cylinders. The threat of things going horribly wrong is likewise a factor in obstetrical physicians' overcautious and "cascading" use of tests and interventions that have led to, according to the healthcare economist blog, an epidemic of C-sections. Author Jason Shafrin, being the economist that he is, points out that physicians are also vulnerable to its financial incentives. The solution says he? "Midwives." Finally, the DMCB knows the answer to the question posed here. Any midwives at a DMCB BBQ are welcome to take over the grilling, so the physician DMCB can pursue other less risky and more remunerative activities, like having $100 per pop Botox party over by the keg.......

Propane Fired Deep Fryers?

The DMCB tried to get the spouse to agree to this last Thanksgiving. Given her noisy veto, it's highly unlikely that she'll let a bunch of men, whatever their safety record, deploy this within a hundred yards of a summer picnic. Julie Ferguson of the WorkersCompInsider Blog would probably agree, and you will too when you go beyond the story of the DeepWater Horizon and see what a fire disaster does to people's lives.

What About the Guests?

Sure, you can have the best food offerings, but what good is it if everyone leaves early? Nancy Germond of the All Business web site has an article minimizing the risk of not being able to retain talent. She has some excellent suggestions, but if it doesn't seem to be working, the DMCB suggests employers turn to a long honored BBQ methodology: free beer.

Politics Intrude

Let's face it: it's just unavoidable that some guests will want to talk politics. That could get heated if any of them are allowed to check out EarthPM's video link that contrasts what should have been learned about managing the past risk of offshore oil drilling to better deal with the current risk. Egads.

Picnic faux pas

The DMCB has its moments when, to the chagrin of the spouse, it says something impolitic ("Oh, are you pregnant?"), oafish ("Be careful sitting in that chair, you might break it!") or just plain dumb ("The dessert is ready! I can tell how much you were looking forward to that...."). Guests would be well served to be similarly en guard, especially when it comes to giving your social security number to anybody for any reason at any time. Getrichslowly shows why.

Ugh, who invited that person?!

The DMCB will close with this link to a post it co-authored with Vince Kuraitis, which examines the risks of inviting Medicare to a party. There's one in every neighborhood.

Thanks for stopping by everyone. See you at the next Cav!

1 comment:

Henry Stern, LUTCF, CBC said...

Well great, just great: now I'm hungry for even more!

Thanks so much for hosting - what a great job!!