Tag Archives: Uwe Reinhardt

Health economist Reinhardt, 80, was longtime friend to AHCJ

Uwe Reinhardt was a keynote speaker at Health Journalism 2009.

Uwe Reinhardt was a keynote speaker at Health Journalism 2009, where he argued that health care is the best investment to revive the United States from recession.

Health care economist and Princeton University professor Uwe Reinhardt, 80, a German émigré and a longtime friend of the Association of Health Care Journalists, died on Tuesday, according to multiple news outlets.

Reinhardt, who earned degrees from the University of Saskatchewan and Yale University, was a giant in his field of health care economics.

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Reinhardt called out for conflicts of interest

Bloggers and online journalists (Health Care Renewal, the nytpicker, Business Insider) have noticed that Princeton health economist Uwe Reinhardt, who writes for The New York TimesEconomix blog and was the keynote speaker at Health Journalism 2009, earns $500,000 a year working for a number of health care companies, owns about $5 million in related stock, and thus appears to be in violation of The New York Timesconflict-of-interest policy. The conflicts are not yet listed on his Times bio, though the newspaper and Reinhardt both promise they will be soon.

Uwe Reinhardt at Health Journalism 2009
Uwe Reinhardt at Health Journalism 2009

Business Insider’s Lauren Hatch got Reinhardt’s response. The economist said he has never “shilled” for a company, and that his connections enhance, rather than skew, his blogging. He does, however, acknowledge the apparent conflict of interest.

“I guess I have to take the rap for this, but I don’t see it as an ethical lapse,” (Reinhardt) told (Business Insider) in a phone interview. “It never occurred to me. My board memberships are public knowledge.”

“When all is said and done, they pointed it out and that’s good. I had no intent to be unethical or deceitful. I have talked to the New York Times and soon my board memberships will be added to the bio so everyone can see it.”

As of 3 p.m. Eastern on April 8, those conflicts have not yet been disclosed on his bio. The Business Insider story was posted on April 6.

The New York Times, for its part, provided Business Insider with the following statement:

“Professor Reinhardt is a leading expert on the economics of health care, and has provided valuable and independent insights in his blog posts. He has mentioned his service on corporate boards in the blog, but we are reviewing how to more fully describe his activities for readers of Economix.”

According to nytpicker, which seems to have come to the story first, Reinhardt is involved with at least five private health-related enterprises, for which he is being compensated with both cash and stock options. Those include Amerigroup Corporation, Boston Scientific, H&Q Healthcare Investors and H&Q Life Sciences Investors, and Legacy Hospital partners.

Reinhardt breaks down income statements

Princeton economist – and Health Journalism 2009 keynote speaker – Uwe Reinhardt’s latest post on The New York Times’ Economix Blog provides a clear primer on how to read an insurance company’s income statement.

Uwe Reinhardt at Health Journalism 2009

In the post, Reinhardt systematically runs through insurance heavyweight WellPoint’s income statement and, not only explains exactly how major insurers earn their money, but also teaches the reader how to deduce all of this from a publicly available income statement.

Reinhardt promises another blog posting this week that will “explore how the add-ons for marketing, administration and profits on top of expected outlays for health care to set the insurance premiums can be astonishingly high for individually sold policies. Up to half the premium can go for these non-medical items.”