A couple of links

A blog post on Development Social Science in medical journals: diagnosis is caveat emptor. A highlight:

Aid Watch has complained before about shaky social science analysis or shaky numbers published in medical journals, which were then featured in major news stories. We questioned creative data on stillbirths, a study on health aid, and another on maternal mortality.

Just this week, yet another medical journal article got headlines for giving us the number of women raped in the DR Congo (standard headline: a rape a minute). The study applied country-wide a 2007 estimate of the rate of sexual violence in a small sample (of unknown and undiscussed bias). It did this using female population by province and age-cohort — in a country whose last census was in 1984. (Also see Jina Moore on this study.)

We are starting to wonder, why does dubious social science keep showing up in medical journals?

Remember, question the data, methods, and results. It is hard to overcome bias, we have to understand the biases others have and most importantly, understand ours.

A post from Mark Perry about competitition in the medical field. Who’d a-thunk it? A medical cartel doesn’t like competition? Takes a quick look at the rise of retail clinics, and the American Academy of Pediatrics response:

clinics are “an inappropriate source of primary care for pediatric patients, as they fragment medical care and are detrimental to the medical home concept of longitudinal and coordinated care.” Here’s more from the WSJ article:

“Retail health clinics that are popping up in drugstores and other outlets shouldn’t be used for children’s primary-care needs, the American Academy of Pediatrics said, arguing that such facilities don’t provide the continuity of care that pediatricians do. While retail clinics may be more convenient and less costly, the AAP said they are detrimental to the concept of a “medical home,” where patients have a personal physician who knows them well and coordinates all their care.”

So if you don’t like competition, you first play the “competency card,” and then you follow with the “fear card“:

“Some pediatric practices say they won’t see you if you go to a retail clinic,” said Ateev Mehrotra, a policy analyst at RAND Corp., who has studied the clinics for years. “And we’ve heard that some patents tell retail clinics, ‘Please don’t tell the pediatrician that I’m here.’ “

Another post from Carpe Diem. Charts of the day: a) Top ten 2014 Olympic medal winning countries and b) Top ten countries adjusted for population

Pretty interesting way to break down the medal count.

Using 3D printing for medical purposes. Surgeons reconstruct baby’s skull with 3D printing technology. Simply amazing.

Detroit Tigers introduce dynamic ticket pricing for 2014 season.

There is one week until Detroit Tigers’ individual game tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 1.

And new this season, the Tigers are introducing ‘dynamic ticket pricing,’ which will either increase or decrease prices due to the demand of the game.

As reported by the Free Press last week, the Tigers are planning to announce the ticket pricing system today.

“Dynamic pricing is based on consumer demand and generally affords fans who buy early to save more,” Duane McLean, executive vice president of business operations for the Tigers, said. “With dynamic pricing you could see the value of ticket prices increase and decrease based on demand. Season tickets are not affected by dynamic pricing and continue to offer the most significant savings whereas dynamic pricing more accurately prices tickets for individual games.”

Couple of thoughts. Will this increase the transactional cost to the Tigers because someone is having to determine the pricing for each home game? I see potential for a big upside. If the Tigers do well this year, they make increase their revenues by squeezing out the consumer surplus because they will be bringing ticket prices closer to what consumers would be willing to pay. If they don’t do so good, they will be bringing the ticket prices closer to what someone would be willing to pay. Instead of having open seats, they may be able to fill them with individuals who have a lower price point. I’m interested to see how it works for them.


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