Tuesday Links

  • A good overview of the Democrat Republic of Congo’s recent history, as a rebel group known as M23 threatens Goma. I don’t know near enough about any of this, but the book King Leopold’s Ghost comes as highly-recommended background reading on the history of the area (which used to be called Zaire)
  • Innovators in health care delivery at Stanford are profiled; as the article notes, reducing the cost of a given intervention (say, breast cancer) necessarily reduces the income of someone (at least in the current payment models), which makes it awfully difficult to enact change
  • Corruption issues writ small: as The Economist puts it, “entrenched elites, bribery and fraud are as much of a problem in village life as they are in big emerging-market bureaucracies.” Bad news for advocates of decentralized aid delivery in the African continent and elsewhere
  • A smart take on the new readmissions penalty for hospitals in America; it seems fair to say that a) it can unduly penalize hospitals that care for a disproportionately large “worst off” population; b) it likely will take brainpower away from other, possibly more important initiatives (reducing medical errors, say); c) it’s still better than the status quo. This follow-up from Ashish Jha is good, too (though the patient example isn’t representative of how the “typical” readmissions risk is treated)

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