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  • Thumbnail for Cipher [2017-2018 v.21 n.1 October]
  • Thumbnail for Who Requests Generic Drugs From Their Doctor?
    Who Requests Generic Drugs From Their Doctor? by Luong, Toan Minh

    Rising faster than either wages or the cost of living, prescription drug expenditures present a significant burden on the economic well-being of patients in the United States. To curb such financial pressure on government healthcare programs, patients are encouraged to consume more generic medications that can be as much as 85 percent cheaper than their brand-name counterparts. Using the 2013 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey dataset, this study explores the likelihood that Medicare beneficiaries requested generics from their primary doctors. The logistic regression model includes variables related to beneficiaries’ demographics, health conditions, insurance coverages, doctor-patient relationships, and cost-awareness. The final results align with those of previous studies by suggesting that non-Hispanic black beneficiaries older than 65 and those with higher education were more likely to request generics compared with those of other demographic groups. Other interesting findings show that beneficiaries who had experiences with drug samples, were satisfied with their drug coverage, and were cost- sensitive when shopping for medications tended to request generics more frequently. These conclusions have tremendous implications for policymakers, insurance companies, and generic manufacturers to provide educational programs, advertising campaigns, and financial incentives that promote low-cost generics usage and can save patients billions of dollars in medication expenditures.

  • Thumbnail for An Examination of Transgender Patients' Accessibility to and Satisfaction with Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains' Health Care Resources
    An Examination of Transgender Patients' Accessibility to and Satisfaction with Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains' Health Care Resources by Dube, Lily

    This study uses data from Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains (PPRM) to analyze how their transgender and cisgender patients compare in terms of the degree to which they find PPRM’s health care services accessible and satisfactory. Although prior literature emphasizes transgender individuals’ overwhelming lack of access and satisfaction with health care resources, various statistical analyses run on this data reveal that transgender patients find, on average, PPRM’s services to be slightly less accessible but slightly more satisfactory than cisgender patients. Significant, yet very small, differences were found between mean accessibility and satisfaction scores for transgender and cisgender patients at PPRM. Overall, most patients are very satisfied with PPRM’s services. Additionally, despite gender having a significant effect on both accessibility and satisfaction scores, OLS regressions affirm that there are other factors—besides gender, ethnicity/race, and age group—that influence PPRM patients’ accessibility and satisfaction scores. Further investigation into what other factors impact accessibility and satisfaction is necessary in informing the work of PPRM, especially regarding their transgender patients.


    Using data from NHIS from the years 2017, 2015, and 2013, I use OLS regressions to investigate the relationship between activity frequency, duration, and type of exercise (moderate, vigorous, and strength activity). I find that when controlling for variables such as sex, age, smoking status, mental health status, and insurance coverage, activity level is not consistently correlated with annual healthcare cost. The effects of exercise are complex but have implications for individuals’ healthcare costs, government programs, and the insurance and fitness industries.

  • Thumbnail for The Catalyst [2016-2017 v.47 no. 17 March 3]
  • Thumbnail for Hispaniola Dividida: Legados Coloniales y Salud en la Frontera