Posts tagged ‘Pathology’

Movin’ Out!

We are outta’ here!

….and moving to our new location on our website –

There we’ll have our opinions about the latest from the world of surgery, pathology, evidence-based medicine, structured data, synoptic reporting, and a whole host of other issues. There will be more writers covering more areas of discussion. So please head on over to learn more about us (although it may take a few days for it to stop looking so wonky).

August 2, 2011 at 3:35 pm Leave a comment

Behavioral Economics, Insurance and Making Healthy Choices

I was reading this piece on Dark Daily, entitled “Behavioral Economics Likely to Push Up Utilization of Clinical Pathology Laboratory Tests” which suggests that laboratory usage will increase due to a trend in insurance companies to lower premiums through proactive intervening tests instead of costly reactive procedures. These tests would measure and inform certain healthy/unhealthy behaviors and would influence the price of coverage for individuals.

The piece’s author, Michael McBride, believes that more people will choose for less expensive coverage in exchange for living healthy, which will result in more testing sent to clinical and pathological labs.

While I thought it was interesting – especially as we at mTuitive have a pathology product – I was unsure about the validity of McBride’s assumptions. Luckily, I’m fairly familiar with behavioral economics as my friend Ryan has been studying it for years and is currently in the economics PhD program at Duke University. I asked Ryan if he could clarify for everyone the definition of behavioral economics and provide any examples that either support or contradict McBride’s findings. Here is Ryan’s response:

Behavioral economics is a burgeoning field due to its robust nature in explaining economic decisions. Where many view standard economics as too rigid, relying on assumptions of consistent preferences, full information, and unbounded rationality, behavioral economics use of flexible concepts like social/cultural framing, the status quo, and loss aversion seem to be more representative of the “real” world. Due to its accommodating assumptions and straightforward approach, though, there is a tendency for people to simplify or generalize the predictions of behavioral economics. An example of this trend can be seen in the Dark Daily article, “Behavioral Economics Likely to Push Up Utilization of Clinical Pathology Laboratory Tests.”

The article presents a well thought-out premise; new insurance schemes which incentivize improving health will have large take-up and thus subsequently lead to major increases in clinical lab tests. To motivate this discussion the author states, “given a choice of either unhealthy activities (e.g., smoking, eating badly, not exercising) coupled with an expensive health benefit plan, or an inexpensive, even zero cost, health plan that promotes healthy choices, behavioral economics theory predicts that consumers eventually choose the latter. That choice should lead to improved health while driving down the cost of healthcare.” This statement though is not completely valid. Nothing inherent in “behavioral economics”, or standard neo-classical economics for that matter, makes a costly insurance program with no behavior related stipulations necessarily the preferred choice over a cost-less but regulated alternative.

February 14, 2011 at 1:02 pm Leave a comment

Animated Differences Between Pathologists & Surgeons

(some language NSFW)

A video highlighting what Pathologists mean vs. what Surgeons mean when they’re talking about the same case:

How can we get both parties speaking the same language?

October 1, 2010 at 9:29 am Leave a comment

mTuitive’s New Website!

Self-Promotion Alert!

The Internet's Inner Workings...Revealed!
(click image to see it in motion)

mTuitive recently updated our website. Please check it out today – we’ve made some changes to the content, the layout and other aspects. Let us know what you think! You can either go to or click on the button below!

(Thanks and regular/non-brand plugging posts will continue shortly)

September 16, 2010 at 12:28 pm 1 comment

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Disclosure Statement - The authors of this blog are paid employees of mTuitive Inc. and are compensated for their services.