As we enter 2012, many patients will be changing to new insurance plans. And for a few, deductibles will be rising. One thing that's emphasized in the Affordable Care Act, however, is that preventive services would remain "free." However, consider this story of a man, who thought he wouldn't have to pay for his screening colonoscopy, instead was charged over $1,000 for ...

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The following column was published on November 10, 2011  in Medical Economics. I recently saw two patients in my primary care clinic, each with new-onset hypertension. The first, a middle-aged executive, brought printouts from the Internet and already had researched the various treatment options for high blood pressure. During the visit, we discussed this information, and I gave my thoughts on ...

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The common perception is that older doctors are more adverse to technology, especially when it comes to electronic medical records. Recent data, however, says that isn't true. According to a study cited in American Medical News, "physicians more than 10 years out of medical school and those with higher patient volumes were more likely than younger and less busy ...

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Times are tough for pharmaceutical reps, with many hospitals and physician offices banning their sales visits. But, there's hope for those out of a job. Consider the physician liaison. Faced with budget cutbacks, hospitals are becoming more aggressive growing their market share. They are not only buying physician practices, they want more doctors to admit, refer to and use their ...

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Imagine that your neurosurgeon, during surgery, was talking on his cellphone using a headset. Unthinkable? Well, no. A recent article in the New York Times cites a case where a patient was left paralyzed and the neurosurgeon was sued, in part, for being distracted. He made 10 personal calls during the operation. The proliferation of portable electronic devices, smartphones, tablets, and ...

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When I talk about online presence to physicians, the first question I'm often asked is, "How do I remove a negative physician rating?" The short answer is, you can't. American Medical News came out with an article outlining the various legal options physicians ...

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Pediatrician Rahul Parikh has a great piece in Salon, Why doctors can’t say no. You should go read it. In the piece, he cites a recent study showing that, in about 10 to 25% of cases, patients come into an office visit with an agenda, or something specific they request. It can be an antibiotic, x-ray or a scan, for ...

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Medicare is beginning to tie financial bonuses to hospital patient satisfaction scores. Although patient satisfaction is important, I've voiced concern in the past about giving hospitals a financial incentive to cater to patient surveys. In a previous USA Today column, I wrote, "already, more than 80% of doctors ... said patient pressure influenced their medical decisions. And in primary care, ...

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As the cost of health insurance rises, patient deductibles are getting bigger. More doctors are reporting that patients are coming in less frequently for chronic care followups, skipping medication refills, or balking at the out of pocket costs for various tests. Sometimes, however, this can get physicians into trouble. I was reading through a copy of Massachusetts Medical Law Report, and saw ...

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The following op-ed was published on September 18, 2011 in USA Today. A fellow physician recently shared a frustrating clinic visit with me, in which a patient had left by saying, "You doctors need to wake up and realize that patients (who are) in pain are in a no-win situation." The patient was absolutely right. This summer, the Institute of Medicine ...

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