eighty percent of the work is just getting the data ready…

I’ve heard this idea twice in my academic career, once working on a GIS project and once in econometrics class, but you don’t realize how true it is until you sit down with  a pile of data and try to use it.

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Getting to Know STATA

Over the past couple weeks, I’ve been learning to program in STATA, a program used to assist statistical analysis. My advisors have been working on a project that requires them to know the charges for individual surgical procedures , specific to an individual hospital. For some hospitals however, there are no records for an individual procedure’s cost. Instead, there are entries that have the combined cost for two procedures, one being the procedure of interest. Hence, the data must be manipulated to get the desired results. In the simplest example, the information we wish to find is the charge of procedure x at hospital A. In the data, we find the charges for procedure x  and procedure y combined. In order to find the charge for procedure x by itself, we can look to see if there is an entry that just contains the charges for procedure y. We could then subtract this value from the x and y combined charges to get our procedure of interest. In order to do this, it is easiest to write some code up in stata that goes through this process.

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Wage Index and Coinsurance

Hey everyone, I’ve been assisting in the research of Professor He and Professor Mellor for the past two weeks.  Part of my task has been to compile a database of Florida hospitals that includes formulas for calculating coinsurance amounts for  various procedures performed on Medicare patients. For those unfamiliar, coinsurance refers to to the amount of money a patient pays out of pocket for a given procedure. A procedure will cost ‘x’ dollars, and the coinsurance amount that is paid is Cost of procedure-amount paid by insurance plan. In this case, the insurance plan is Medicare.

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The Economy, Health, and Class Differences

Hi everyone,

My name is Ashley Ingram.  I am a rising senior majoring in Economics and Sociology. This summer I’ll be doing research for the Schroeder Center for Health Policy with Professor McInerney  and Professor Mellor in the Economics department. The topic I’ll be researching is how macroeconomic conditions affect outcomes in different classes.

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All About Health Care

Hello everyone! My name is Eytan, and I’m a rising senior majoring in Economics at William and Mary. This Summer, I will be working on two projects related to health care. First, I will be working with my advisor, Professor He, on examining changes in Medicare legislation. Medicare is a government sponsored form of health care primarily for individuals over the age of 65 (younger individuals with  specific types of disabilities are also eligible).  In 2000, Medicare changed the way in which outpatient hospital expenses were reimbursed. Previously, outpatient hospital visits were reimbursed based on the exact cost of the treatments. Under the new legislation, the Outpatient Prospective Payment System, expenses are classified into different categories , depending on the type of treatment. Thus, the exact cost of the expenses is not reimbursed, but rather a set amount is paid based on the classification of the treatment. This change in policy could affect how much medication patients receive , and how likely they are to receive outpatient surgery.

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