Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Disease Management Care Blog Proudly Presents the 124th Cavalcade of Risk

Welcome to the Disease Management Care Blog's hosting of the 124th Cavalcade of Risk. Every few weeks, writers like the DMCB get to submit their on-line posts for inclusion in the CoR. Bloggers take turns hosting the CoR by selecting the best, summarizing the posts and providing links back to the original post for further review. Think of this as a virtual convention of writers who blog about risk and want to share our best recent work for your reading pleasure.

The DMCB likes to regularly write about health care, primary care, insurance, health reform and disease management. As a result, it often strays into the topics of measuring, monetizing, moving and mitigating risk. As a result, it couldn't resist a chance to host this CoR.

The DMCB has divided this Cavalcade of bloggery into two categories. The former are of the very high quality "thinking" persuasion that critically examine some new aspect of policy, regulation or the business. The latter are peripherally associated with risk but spill over into money management, employment, credit, value and personal security. They are more "informational" in nature.

Thinking Contributions

Louise of the Colorado Health Insurance Insider quotes the President of a state medical society about comparative effectiveness research (CER) and likes what she hears. Doctors need to be confident about which treatment option among many offers their patients the greatest value, says she. If every doc follows Colorado's example, maybe we'll be on the way to achieving real health reform, not just health insurance reform. The DMCB wonders if anyone has done research comparing health care quality among physicians who believe in CER versus those who don't.

If we're going to have a mandate for health insurance, why not the same for mishaps related to gun ownership? Nina Kallen of the Insurance Coverage Law in Massachusetts blog points out that insurance generally only works for unintentional accidents. She thinks it's a lousy idea. Most shootings are intentional, so it'd be difficult to price and regulate. Yet, thinks the DMCB, health insurance covers intentional injuries and what about the person who knowingly continues with a lifestyle that is harmful.....? Maybe that's why we should have a tax and not a mandate. Maybe that's why health insurance is broken. You can think about this knotty issue here.

Auto accidents, falls, skin injury, being impaled, electrocution, amputations, being trapped in a building, exhaustion, dehydration, heart attacks, lumbago and being gassed are all risks that share one key characteristic. Want to know what that is? Then head on over to Julie Ferguson of the Workers' Comp Insider Blog, who succumbs to the blogtemptation of an informative "Top Ten" (in this case "12") List (Speaking of "cold," the DMCB spouse would have little problem with her husband heading off into space if she were recovering from a gunshot wound to the head. It's his coming back that she'd have the problem with).

Have you heard about the Obamacare "mandate" and "risk pooling," but never quite grasped it? Jason Sharfrin of the Healthcare Economist provides a remarkably clear explanation while dismissing Florida Judge Vinson's controversial decision. The DMCB worries, however, that in both scenarios, the total cost is approximately the same, it's just spread around more people and is less visible. Unfortunately, for Mr. Obama, it appears U.S. health care costs are being spread around and are more visible. Not to worry, however, since lawyers on the Supreme Court will have the answer.

Somewhere in the Affordable Care Act is something called the "Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) provisions. This is a voluntary, tax-qualified long-term care assistance program that is administered by the federal government. Henry Stern of the InsureBlog has been closely looking at this from a "nuts and bolts" insurance perspective and doesn't like what he sees. After reading it and checking out its links, you may not either. That was certainly true for the DMCB.

Russell Hutchinson of Chatswood Consulting examines the insurance concepts of the "booster benefit" here and benefit exclusions here. The former is mysterious and the latter is pernicious. Both appear to be situations where it may really pay to have a broker on your side who can explain all this to you. Lacking a broker, another option is to regularly read the Cavalcade of Risk as well as the Colorado Health Insurance Insider, Insurance Law in Massachusetts, Workers' Comp Insider, Healthcare Economist, InsureBlog, Chatswood Consulting and DMCB (via Twitter, Facebook and RSS) every once in a while.

Last and least, the DMCB offers up another public service, informational and humorous video portraying a fictional conversation between an enthusiastic Accountable Care Organization administrator and a skeptical health care consumer. While ACOs are the darling child of President Obama's health reform efforts, there may be less to these details than meets the eye.

Informational contributions:

Indexed annuities. Their complexity is part of their fascination.... and risk.

Parachuting. Here's why you shouldn't.

Think you can beat the markets when it comes to investing? Meet your competition.

Income not keeping up with your job responsibilities? Here's what to do.

If you think $10 is not a lot of money, here's 9 good (along with one bad) reasons to think again.

Lending money to family and friends calls for some tough discipline.

Mixing your 401K and a cash advance loan is risky. If you must.

If you are considering opening or managing your own IRA, here's some facts.

Inflation is lurking out there, so you may consider some hedging strategies.

You: road warrior. Your device: iPhone. Your need: travel apps. Lots.

Credit cards can get you into credit trouble. Ironically, they can also get you out.

Speaking of credit cards, AmEx will extend product warranties with the usual exclusions.

Risk is known, knowable and unknowable. Know why here.

If you are tired of paying too much for routine care maintenance, pop this hood.

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