David J. Becker

Learn More
CONTEXT Proponents of restrictions on malpractice lawsuits claim that tort reform will improve access to medical care. OBJECTIVE To estimate the effects of changes in state malpractice law on the supply of physicians. DESIGN Differences-in-differences regression analysis that matched data on the number of physicians in each state between 1985 and 2001(More)
Fractures impose substantial burdens, in terms of both costs and health, on individuals and health care systems. This is particularly true for older Americans and the Medicare system. The objective of this study was to estimate the costs of care associated with selected fractures among Medicare beneficiaries. This was a retrospective, person-level,(More)
BACKGROUND Red yeast rice (RYR) is a widely available dietary supplement used by millions of patients as an alternative therapy for hyperlipidemia. It contains 14 active compounds called monacolins that inhibit hepatic cholesterol synthesis. Although studies have suggested that some formulations of RYR may be effective and safe for lipid lowering, monacolin(More)
OBJECTIVE To examine the effect of a weekend hospitalization on the timing and incidence of intensive cardiac procedures, and on subsequent expenditures, mortality and readmission rates for Medicare patients hospitalized with acute myocardial infarction (AMI). DATA SOURCES The primary data are longitudinal, administrative claims for 922,074 elderly,(More)
Medicare claims data were used to investigate associations between history of previous fractures, chronic conditions, and demographic characteristics and occurrence of fractures at six anatomic sites. The study confirmed previously established associations for hip and spine fractures and identified several new associations of interest for nonhip, nonspine(More)
BACKGROUND A pilot neonatal screening programme revealed a high (approximately 1 per 4800 live births) prevalence of congenital toxoplasmosis (CT) in the State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The purpose of this paper was to estimate in a larger prospective study the prevalence of CT in the country. METHODS At the beginning of the study, an in-house(More)
This paper identifies which types of patients and hospitals have abusive Medicare billings that are responsive to law enforcement. For a 20% random sample of elderly Medicare beneficiaries hospitalized from 1994 to 1998 with one or more of six illnesses that are prone to abuse, we obtain longitudinal claims data linked with social security death records,(More)
INTRODUCTION Undertreatment of osteoporosis is common, even for high-risk patients. Among the reasons for undertreatment may be a clinician's perception of a lack of treatment benefit, particularly in light of patients' expected future mortality. Among US Medicare beneficiaries, we evaluated the risk for second fracture versus death in the 5 years following(More)
BACKGROUND Red yeast rice is an herbal supplement that decreases low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol level. OBJECTIVE To evaluate the effectiveness and tolerability of red yeast rice and therapeutic lifestyle change to treat dyslipidemia in patients who cannot tolerate statin therapy. DESIGN Randomized, controlled trial. SETTING Community-based(More)
Pathologic fractures are often excluded in epidemiologic studies of osteoporosis. Using Medicare administrative data, we identified persons with vertebral and hip fractures. Among these, 48% (vertebral) and 3% (hip) of the fractures were coded as pathologic. Only 25% and 66% of persons with these pathologic fractures had evidence for malignancy. Analyses of(More)