Whenever I get asked about how the Affordable Care Act will impact health care, I always say, "look at Massachusetts first." That's because Massachusetts serves as a model for what's coming ahead for the rest of the country. As I wrote in 2009, Massachusetts did not provide the primary care infrastructure for near-universal care, which I predicted would drive up emergency ...

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I was quoted recently in the New York Times' Well blog, in a Danielle Ofri piece on Facebook and doctors. There's no question that Facebook has been a minefield of sorts for the medical professions, with infractions ranging from unprofessional conduct by medical students to patient privacy violations by attending physicians. One solution would be for doctors to simply ...

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It's commonly thought that rising emergency department expenditures could be curtailed if we could eliminate non-urgent visits. In Washington state, for instance, lawmakers are proposing limits to the number of times Medicaid recipients can go to the ER. But what, exactly, is a "non-urgent" visit?  And how ...

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The Affordable Care Act does very little to reform the medical malpractice system. It only allocates $50 million to various pilot projects around the country. A recent piece in the New England Journal of Medicine provides more detail.  It appears that, instead of capping non-economic damages, many of the projects have a
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Much has been written on the death of private practice. A lion's share of the reason is economic.  It's becoming financially unfeasible to run a private practice and practice medicine at the same time.  The increasing bureaucracy and regulations will only get worse. And many doctors are responding by becoming employed by hospitals or by large, integrated health practices, and giving up some independence. Some will continue to resist this trend.  But ...

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Patient privacy and social media use in health care often go together when reported in mainstream media. When physician blogs were a relatively new phenomenon several years ago, the majority of the media coverage focused on edge cases, where doctors inadvertently revealed patient information. Only a minority of the headlines focused on the positive aspects, such as how ...

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I recently concluded a trip down to Nashville, TN where I gave my talk on the health care-social media intersection at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. My audience normally consists of physicians and hospital staff, so talking to students was a refreshing change. I had the opportunity to have dinner the night before, and breakfast and lunch the ...

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Do you use Facebook to look for health information? If you said "yes," and use social networking sites to research your health, you could be in the minority, or majority, depending on which study you read. Recently, a survey released by the ...

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When undergoing surgery, would you want interns and residents present, and perhaps, assisting in the operation? That's a question patients face when going to an academic medical center.  Some won't mind the presence of house staff.  Some will. A recent study provides some details on the outcomes. In a column by ...

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The following op-ed was published on February 22nd, 2011 in AOL News. If you woke up one day with an earache, you could call your doctor's office for help. Or you could do what the majority of patients do today and Google what to do first. Type "earache" into your Web browser and the results can vary wildly. Search engines can return results saying that an earache can be from the common cold, ...

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