Health Economics and Finance

Explain some of the factors that may have led to rising healthcare costs in the United States from 1960 to the present day. In your opinion, which factor has had the greatest impact?

Discuss the two ways that product differentiation affects the demand for the product. Give an original example of product differentiation.

Analysis to explain why people demand health. How does the Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility fit into the analysis?

How would you expect the price elasticity of demand for medical care to vary with health status? Give a specific example.

Define moral hazard and give an original example. Do you agree with this concept of moral hazard, explain your answer?

What are the main determinants in health disparities and how can these be modified to improve health status and create health equity in society? In addition to what is in the text, elaborate on these determinants and solutions based on observations that you have made in your own life.

Explain the law of diminishing marginal productivity. Be sure to mention why the law tends to hold in the short run.

Based on your readings this week, in your opinion which factors impact the supply curve for physicians the most? In your own words, explain how each factor impacts the supply curve.

Many have argued that primary care doctors are given too much responsibility regarding direct patient care. The argument has been made that nurse practitioners and physician assistants should be utilized more effectively. What are your thoughts on this?

Physician assistants have long argued that they have the ability to provide as much as 70 percent of the medical services provided by primary care physicians at a much lower cost. Yet government regulations limit their ability to work independently of physicians. Explain what would happen to the level of competition in the physician services market if all the statutes limiting activities of physician assistants were eliminated.

Give an original example of a situation in which cost-effectiveness analysis and cost-utility analysis would give you contrary results. Substantiate your answer.

Suppose you had the opportunity to organize the perfect healthcare system. Explain how you would organize the financing method, reimbursement method, mode of production, and physician referral procedure.

Why is it so difficult to determine which country has the best health system? Describe the empirical issues related to evaluation of the systems as well as possible ways to overcome these difficulties. If you had to choose one, which country do you think has the best health system? Use course concepts to support your answer.

Is death an enemy that is to be fought off at all costs or is it a condition of life that is to be accepted? How does the way we answer this question affect the kind of healthcare system we might embrace?