Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

You can subscribe to this site via RSS (the humanity!) or .

The Costs of Medicine

I swear I read stuff other than The New Yorker, but here is another pointer: This week’s issue has a great article about the costs of healthcare and their inverse relationship to the level of care patients receive. At the heart of the issue is a series of misaligned incentives:

There is no insurance system that will make the two aims match perfectly. But having a system that does so much to misalign them has proved disastrous. As economists have often pointed out, we pay doctors for quantity, not quality. As they point out less often, we also pay them as individuals, rather than as members of a team working together for their patients. Both practices have made for serious problems.

Dr. Jay Parkinson writes about a lot of this stuff and is worth reading as well (I’ve also been covering a little bit about health economics over at GE Adventure).

May 28, 2009