Telehealth available for follow up as well as new consultations. Please contact us Here
1-818-812-7222 Office Hours: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
10 Congress St., Suite #405
Pasadena, CA 91105

Category: Uncategorized

What does efficiency in healthcare delivery mean? Examples of two market failures

October 08, 2021 3:41 pm

Introduction: Economic efficiency measures system performance (Enrique & Marta, 2020); the Healthcare delivery system (HCDS) is no different. In non-biologic systems, the efficiency can be measured and optimized since all variables are predictable. However, efficiency becomes a complex and possibly unachievable task in a biological environment such as HCDS. The summary report will define the efficiency and examine the limitation of achieving efficiency in the healthcare delivery system. Definitions: Efficiency measures the adeptness of a system allowing identification of the inadequacies and opportunities for improvement. Economic efficiency minimizes cost and maximizes production for profit (Petrou, 2014). Healthcare is a commodity (Mills & Gilson, 2009).  Increased need and limited resources, environment, illnesses are forces on an equilibrium of efficiency that requires flexibility. These are why economically competitive markets fail to achieve healthcare efficiency (Johansen & van den Bosch, 2017). The concept of efficiency in health care has been described as Technical, Productive, and Allocative (Palmer & Torgerson, 1999). Extensive work has looked at special measures and populations for optimizing efficiency (Cylus & Papanicolas, 2016). Efficient systems require predictable input, components, processes, and output, unlike efficiency in HCDS. The differences include:
  • Biologic environments introduce variability in the system. Therefore, the HCDS efficiency will need to be flexible to diversity. Unfortunately, flexibility and efficiency counteract each other at industrial levels (Adler et al., 1999; AHRENS & CHAPMAN, 2004), and thus inefficiency is to be expected.
  • Efficiency can be measured at two points:
    1. Efficiency of delivery
    2. Efficiency of outcome
Efficiency in HCDS means providing the most cost-efficient healthcare to those in need. As equity is a pillar of the HCDS, efficiency and equity are opposing forces (Guinness et al., 2011). Therefore, it is critical to have the broader determinants of health into consideration on HCDS. This broad spectrum of variables, individual level, and upstream factors (Dahlgren G & Whitehead M, 1991)  will affect efficiency models applicable in one setting for a given population and inefficient in another (Hussey et al., 2009). Healthcare Market: The principle of maximizing profits applies to the four market types[1][2]. However, healthcare markets achieve Social Efficiency[3] and not economic efficiency (Folland & Goodman, 2013). This is due to Asymmetry of the information, Adverse selection, Moral hazard, Independent supply and demand stresses, and Externalities (Mwachofi & Al-Assaf, 2011). Examples of Market Failure At the onset of the pandemic, most governments, WHO assumed the costs of COVID-19 vaccination as they became available. Social media has disseminated incorrect information on vaccines (Lin et al., 2020; Wajahat Hussain, 2020). The Asymmetry of the information (AOI) has resulted in a sizable portion of the eligible population not being vaccinated (Coe et al., 2021; Malik et al., 2020). HCDS’s failure is a public relations problem and a breakdown in the trust of institutions (Soares et al., 2021). Adverse selection (AS) compounds the AOI. There have been pockets of efficiency in vaccination with no equity for the world population (Mathieu et al., 2021). This is due to the AOI and the structural inequities in HCDS (Hyder et al., 2021). Few countries are offering vaccine boosters, where most of the world’s population has not received any.   References: Adler, P. S., Goldoftas, B., & Levine, D. I. (1999). Flexibility Versus Efficiency? A Case Study of Model Changeovers in the Toyota Production System. Organization Science, 10(1), 43–68. https://doi.org/10.1287/orsc.10.1.43 Adler, P. S., Goldoftas, B., & Levine, D. I. (1999). Flexibility Versus Efficiency? A Case Study of Model Changeovers in the Toyota Production System. Organization Science, 10(1), 43–68. https://doi.org/10.1287/orsc.10.1.43 AHRENS, T., & CHAPMAN, C. S. (2004). Accounting for Flexibility and Efficiency: A Field Study of Management Control Systems in a Restaurant Chain*. Contemporary Accounting Research, 21(2), 271–301. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1506/VJR6-RP75-7GUX-XH0X Coe, A. B., Elliott, M. H., Gatewood, S. B. S., Goode, J. V. R., & Moczygemba, L. R. (2021). Perceptions and predictors of intention to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sapharm.2021.04.023 Cylus, J., & Papanicolas, I. (2016). Health System Efficiency 46 How to make measurement matter for policy and management. London. Dahlgren G, & Whitehead M. (1991). Dahlgren and Whitehead (1991) – Policies and strategies to promote social equity in health. Stockholm: Institute for future studies. Dahlgren G, Whitehead M. Retrieved from https://core.ac.uk/display/6472456 Enrique, B., & Marta, B. (2020). Efficacy, Effectiveness and Efficiency in the Health Care: The Need for an Agreement to Clarify its Meaning. International Archives of Public Health and Community Medicine, 4(1). https://doi.org/10.23937/2643-4512/1710035 Folland, S., & Goodman, A. (2013). The Economics of Health and Health Care. Oakland: Pearson. Guinness, L., Wiseman, V., & Wonderling, D. (2011). Introduction to health economics. (2nd ed. /). Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill/Open University Press. Hussey, P. S., de Vries, H., Romley, J., Wang, M. C., Chen, S. S., Shekelle, P. G., & McGlynn, E. A. (2009). A systematic review of health care efficiency measures. Health Services Research, 44(3), 784–805. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-6773.2008.00942.x Hyder, A. A., Hyder, M. A., Nasir, K., & Ndebele, P. (2021). Inequitable COVID-19 vaccine distribution and its effects. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 99(6), 406-406A. https://doi.org/10.2471/BLT.21.285616 Johansen, F., & van den Bosch, S. (2017). The scaling-up of Neighbourhood Care: From experiment towards a transformative movement in healthcare. Futures, 89, 60–73. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.futures.2017.04.004 Lin, C. Y., Broström, A., Griffiths, M. D., & Pakpour, A. H. (2020). Investigating mediated effects of fear of COVID-19 and COVID-19 misunderstanding in the association between problematic social media use, psychological distress, and insomnia. Internet Interventions, 21. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.invent.2020.100345 Malik, A. A., McFadden, S. A. M., Elharake, J., & Omer, S. B. (2020). Determinants of COVID-19 vaccine acceptance in the US. EClinicalMedicine, 26. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eclinm.2020.100495 Mathieu, E., Ritchie, H., Ortiz-Ospina, E., Roser, M., Hasell, J., Appel, C., … Rodés-Guirao, L. (2021). A global database of COVID-19 vaccinations. Nature Human Behaviour, 5(7), 947–953. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-021-01122-8 Mills, A., & Gilson, L. (2009). Health Economics for Developing Countries: A Survival Kit. Esocialsciences.Com, Working Papers. Mwachofi, A., & Al-Assaf, A. F. (2011). Health care market deviations from the ideal market. Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, 11(3), 328–337. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22087373 Palmer, S., & Torgerson, D. J. (1999). Economic notes: definitions of efficiency. BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.), 318(7191), 1136. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.318.7191.1136 Petrou, A. (2014). Economic Efficiency. In A. C. Michalos (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research (pp. 1793–1794). Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-0753-5_818 Soares, P., Rocha, J. V., Moniz, M., Gama, A., Laires, P. A., Pedro, A. R., … Nunes, C. (2021). Factors associated with COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. Vaccines, 9(3). https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9030300 Wajahat Hussain. (2020). Role of Social Media in COVID-19 Pandemic. The International Journal of Frontier Sciences, 4(2), 59–60. https://doi.org/10.37978/tijfs.v4i2.144 [1] Perfect competition, Monopoly, Oligopoly, Monopolistic competition [2] Control of Total revenue (TR) and Cost (TC) to maximize profit [3] An equilibrium point (Pareto Optimality) where Social Marginal Benefit (SMB) and the Cost (SMC) are equal

Oral Vitmain D

September 24, 2021 3:42 pm

We have had positive feedback from patients who have had Replesta Vitmain D shewable wafers. There are some cost considerations, when compared to the cheeper alternatives. The follow up labs have also shown improvement for the patients who have tried Replesta, compared to alternatives with better results. Note that this is not a product placement, as there is no financial interest to report.

All about vaccines?

February 14, 2021 2:41 pm

There is a lot of incorrect information on non-medical mass media about vaccines. Vaccines have been instrumental in our well being. As we face the challenge of COVID-19, our medical decisions must be made based on facts. Here are some interesting and concise descriptions of How do vaccines work? How are vaccines developed?  How are vaccines manufactured?   The source of all this information is WHO.

Activity And Your Health

November 28, 2020 1:26 pm

We should be aware that being physically active is part of being healthy. Health is a combination of being physically active, having a healthy diet are all parts of the variables that contribute to our physical and mental well-being long-term.

The restrictions and the stressors caused by COVID-19 have resulted in our inability to maintain a healthy diet and be physically active. However, we must be vigilant with maintain our activity levels to combat health issues.

It is timely that the British Medical Journal has just published an entire issue regarding the significance of activity and our health as individuals and public health worldwide.

There are a few articles that are outlined here.

Ekelund et al. Reviewed published articles and correlated the activity level and mortality. They Concluded, “Higher sedentary time is associated with higher mortality in less active individuals when measured by accelerometry. About 30–40 min of MVPA per day attenuate the association between sedentary time and risk of death, which is lower than previous estimates from self-reported data.”

Zoom Group Meeting

September 21, 2020 7:10 am

We are excited to announce we will be having a Zoom group meeting Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at 7:00 PM PST.  We hope to see you online!

Registration is required. Please follow the link to the meeting registration.

Topic: Group meeting question and answer
Time: Sep 22, 2020 07:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
These meetings are for general topics and/or basic question and answers.  If you need a more in-depth meeting we would suggest a video or in-person consultation with Dr. Keshishian.  You can request a consultation via this link.  Contact Us

Covid-19 Mutation – Please physically distance and Wear Masks

August 18, 2020 1:16 pm

Introduction:

There is evidence emerging of Covid-19 mutation. This may explain the difference between the severity and intesity of the disease presented in the those geographical locations where the disease  first.

Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute, Jupiter, Florida have identified changes in the Spike protein. This protein is used to bind the virus to host membranes. As we now know Florida is one of the few hot spots of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This has significant implications for the long term strategy needed to control transmission and manage resurrgence.

Until there is effective vaccination or effective treatment available for everyone, prevention by wearing face mask is the most efficient form to avoid transmistion.

Prevention:

The facts are that the most consistent effective preventive measures are wearing face masks and physical distancing.

There are those who may feel invincible and think that you will 1. either not get the disease or even if you get it it will 2-not affect your health.  Lets first remind ourselves that wearing a mask is more to prevent passing the virus that getting it. We should all assume that someone that we come in contact with may already have it. Would you like them to breath the virus toward you ? This then brings the second issue: We do not know what the long term health effect of the virus is for those who develop significant symptoms and those who are asymtphomatic.

The unkown:

Let’s look at other viral infections that provide either no or minimal disease condition at the time of initial exposure only to result in long term health conditions that may result in death. These include hepatitis and HIV exposures and infections. Admitedly  Coronavirus is a differnt family of virus. I am not suggesting that this will behave like other family of the viruses. We just do not have enough information to know what happens to those exposed to the virus (regardless of being asymptotic or not). Could the virus become dormant and over time result in organ injury (lung) like in the case  of hepatitis (liver). Or make a home in our body and have recurrent debilitating infections and symptoms as it is seen with Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) which causes chickenpox and the time of the initial infection and makes residence in our body to reappear later on as herpes zoster (shingles). Will we need a new strain of vaccine every year similar to the flu vaccine?

That is the crux.  We do not know because the COVID virus is new and we do not know the long term effects.

Vitamin D and COVID 19

June 13, 2020 4:40 pm

There has been extensive discussion on the importance of Vitamin D published over the last few years in regards to bone health, immune health and Calcium physiology. The importance of vitmain D and bone structure has been discussed extensively. It is also important in the absorption of Calcium. It further plays role in immune modulation.

What is new is the possible correlation of Vitamin D and COVID 19. Recently it is been shown that low vitamin D may increase the risk of a poor outcome with Covid-19 exposure and infection.

There are different standard recommendation for the Vitamin D levels.

In our practice we aim to maintain a Vitamin D level of 0ver 60 in post weight loss surgical patients.

There are a number of theories as to how the Vitamin D deficiency may play a role in this. An emerging observation is that low Vitamin D may cause abnormal and excessive blood clot formation. Mohammad et. al. in 2019 published a study on the association of low vitamin D and “…Pathogenesis of Thrombosis”

This pathologic blood clot formation in COVID-19 patients may explain the extensive lung injury and  multi system organ failure in some patient. It is also one of the reason that some COVID-19 patients have loss limbs or appendages.

Please follow all supplement recommendations based on your laboratory studies and all COVID-19 recommendations. We would recommend frequent hand washing, surface cleaning, social distancing, and wearing face masks as the most basic precautions and increase precautions based on your health status.

Vitamin D and Covid -19

May 07, 2020 9:24 am

We are all aware of the many roles that Vitamin D plays in our bodies. This includes immune function in addition to all the regulatory roles that Vitamin D plays in several physiologic reactions. There may be a correlation of low Vitamin D and COVID-19 infection increasing death risk as looked at in research articles.

Covid -19 in a subset of patience causes significant lung injury. These patients require mechanical ventilation.

Previously reported publications have suggested a possible correlation between ace inhibitors and increased risk of pulmonary complications of Covid -19. Some researchers suspect that the Covid-19 may be able to enter lung cells by the ACE receptors.

Shown is the initial entry of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) into cells, primarily type II pneumocytes, after binding to its functional receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). After endocytosis of the viral complex, surface ACE2 is further down-regulated, resulting in unopposed angiotensin II accumulation. Local activation of the renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system may mediate lung injury responses to viral insults. ACE denotes angiotensin-converting enzyme, and ARB angiotensin-receptor blocker. (N Engl J Med 2020; 382:1653-1659)

Vitamin D may positively implact the receptor ACE2. This study, report clear correlation between the high death rate with low vitamin D levels in Covid infected patients. There are limitation to this study that the attached abstract outlines.

Our take home message would be to please make sure you have updated labs and that you are all taking the recommended Vitamin D based on your surgical anatomy and laboratory values, not just an average non-bariatric person recommended dose.

https://www.dssurgery.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/manuscript.pdf