We've been hearing for years that nurses are in short supply.

But the economy has put a damper on that notion. Contrary to that popular belief, nurses looking for a job are having a hard time finding work. The recession has forced nurses close to retirement to keep on working, and part-timers looking for more work.

At one hospital near Washington DC, there were precisely ...

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How do Americans ration health care?

It's by cost, as well as the number of uninsured.

Ezra Klein actually has a pretty balanced take on health care rationing issue. He says that what's happening Stateside is equally as dismal as the waiting times both in Canada and the UK, calling each system opposite ends of "awful extremes."

The ACP's Bob Doherty picks up on that, ...

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Hospital re-admissions are hitting Medicare patients particularly hard.

Otherwise known as "bouncebacks," MedPage Today reports on a recent NEJM study showing that, during a 15-month period, 20 percent of hospitalized Medicare patients were re-admitted with 30 days of discharge.

When you consider how few outpatient doctors accept Medicare, compounded by the appointment shortage that many primary care physicians face, it's no wonder that these elderly patients who ...

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Apparently, 9 patients in Texas, the majority of whom had mental health issues, visited the emergency department nearly 3,000 times during the past 6 years.

Many of those visits were due to non-emergency causes, and it is speculated that these patients' mental health history played a role, as this physician comments, "They have a variety of complaints, [and] a lot of anxiety manifests as chest pain."

The proposed ...

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Almost 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries have trouble finding a new primary care doctor.

Expect that number to rise dramatically in the near future, as the number of Medicare beneficiaries balloons, and the amount of primary care physicians plummets.

The whole scenario is a perfect example of how poor physician access makes medical coverage practically worthless.

Contrary to popular belief, Medicare's paperwork requirements and ...

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One of the most contentious health reform issues going forward is the possible inclusion of a public plan as one of the health insurance options patients can choose.

Progressives see this as a vital part of any reform initiative, but those on the right see it as a "backdoor" to a government-run, single-payer system.

I won't hash out all the details here, instead, I'll leave it to ...

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The following op-ed was published on March 26th, 2009 in the USA Today. As a primary care doctor, I am frequently faced with decisions where the choice is not always clear. Do the latest, more expensive drugs work better than the less costly, older medications? Will ordering an MRI help me treat a patient's lower back pain? Often, the answer to these questions is, "I'm not sure." Because ...

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My latest USA Today op-ed was published this morning: Unbiased research for doctors is good medicine.

I talk about comparative effectiveness research, which was recently allocated $1.1 billion in the recently passed federal stimulus package.

How will it help patients? What are some of the obstacles that may impede the initiative? And, should it be modeled after the US Preventive Services Task Force?

Read to ...

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Patients still trust their doctors, despite what you may read in the newspapers and blogs.

Bob Doherty points to a recent survey, showing broad public support for comparative effectiveness research, indicating that voters "trust their doctors and consistently support changes to help their doctors do their jobs."

Mr. Doherty interprets the findings to mean that organizations like his, namely, the American College of Physicians, still has significant ...

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Health care reform is the headline-maker these days, and I give my take in a couple of recent articles.

First, Congressional Quarterly wonders if there are enough primary care doctors for every patient newly insured under a universal coverage plan (a familiar take, I must say). Anyways, here's my contribution to the piece:

The biggest problem is that primary care physicians are paid far less for their ...

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