Top 10 blogs for the business of health care


by J.K. Wall

Source: Indianapolis Business Journal, IBJ.com

Here's a chance for you all to help me out.

There's so much news in health care every day, I can't keep up with all of it. So what do I do?

I cheat. Or, more precisely, I find shortcuts.

I keep tabs on about 10 blogs that are, frequently, about the financing of health care. These blogs are written by doctors, economists, politicos and health care administrators. They represent a variety of political views.

Collectively, I feel they keep me fairly well-informed on national-level research and thought on key issues in health care.

But I'm sure there are numerous other blogs out there that I should be reading. So once you get to the end of the list, please leave a comment and tell me other blogs I should add to my reading list.

If I agree, I will add it to a blog roll that I'll soon post on The Dose.

So here goes:

1. Health Affairs Blog: If you're interested, as I am, more in the financing and operations of health care than the medicine of health care, then the journal Health Affairs is the one to read. The associated blog not only gives you a peak into the research published by the journal, but also discusses other issues. And the comments are often by leading health care professionals. Also, the series of posts by law professor Timothy Jost titled "Implementing Health Reform" would, by themselves, be one of my top 10 blogs.

2. The Health Care Blog: This is a well-moderated, well-edited and wide-ranging site filled with lots of different medical professionals discussing medical, financial, administrative and policy issues. Can't go wrong with it.

3. Wonkblog: A comment went out on Twitter earlier this year that said, "You know you're an adult if you know who Ezra Klein is." Klein is the Washington Post's wunderkind who shot to fame during the nine-month debate of Obamacare. He still writes occasionally about health care, but the health care tab on Wonkblog is now ably handled by Sarah Kliff.

4. NCPA Health Policy Blog: Since there's a leftward tilt at Wonkblog, as well as at the next three blogs I'm going to recommend, I figure I need a little conservative thinking to balance things out. The best source for that perspective is John Goodman, the economist who dreamed up the idea of health savings accounts. Goodman and his team at the National Center for Policy Analysis always have good analysis and good reasoning to back up their positions on health care.

5. Economix/Uwe Reinhardt: Princeton University's Uwe Reinhardt is another economist, like Goodman, who can put deep analysis into a highly readable form. Also like Goodman, Reinhardt has 40 years of background in health policy, which proves invaluable when new policy ideas come up again under a new label. Beyond those similarities, Reinhardt and Goodman agree on little else.

6. The Incidental Economist: This blog features a mix of physicians, economists and health policy professors. It can also claim one of the only other Indianapolis-area bloggers on health care finance: Dr. Aaron Carroll, the director of the Indiana University School of Medicine's Center for Health Policy & Professionalism Research. Shameless plug: Aaron will be a panelist during a discussion I will moderate at the IBJ Health Care Power Breakfast on Sept. 25.

7. ThinkProgress: While I'd say this blog is not quite as good as it was before Matt Yglesias left at the end of 2011, it's still worth reading to get a full-throated defense of Obamacare.

8. CBO Blog: With the largest single share of money for health care coming from the federal government, and with that spending threatening to bust the federal budget, you cannot afford to miss the Congressional Budget Office's analysis of those issues and the various bills introduced to reform the system.

9. AEIdeas: This conservative think tank is, at the very least, a good way to follow academic research and Wall Street analysis on the impact of Obamacare.

10. Brookings: This last one is not even a blog, technically. But it's a good round-up of the research and commentary by scholars at the center-left Brookings Institute think tank. I check it regularly.

So that's my top 10. What else should I be reading?