shutterstock_207314821 Fifty years ago, President Lyndon Baines Johnson signed Medicare (and Medicaid) into law.   Medicare’s relationship with physicians since then can best be described as a complicated one. First, recall that Medicare became law notwithstanding the American Medical Association’s fierce opposition to it. Three years prior to its enactment, AMA President Ed Annis warned that, "We doctors fear that the American public ...

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Part of a series. There is a crisis in the provision of primary care in the United States. If you are a patient, a primary care doctor, an insurer, an employer or a policy maker, this crisis is exceptionally important to you. The crisis means that Americans do not get the level or quality of health care that they deserve and need. This crisis is the major reason that ...

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shutterstock_153912641 Recently I have been reading articles regarding the patient experience that I find both stimulating as well as challenging. As the chief experience officer at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), you might imagine just how many times these articles are forwarded to my inbox when they are published. In “The Problem with Satisfied Patients” by Alexandra Robbins in April’s edition of The ...

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Would a single-payer national health program, at the end of the day, truly be sleeker and slimmer than our bloated and fragmented semi-private system?  Not according to Dr. Michel Accad, who takes on this important single-payer talking point in his post: “Will single-payer really reduce administrative waste?” Given that savings from reduced expenditures on billing and overhead are a core argument that single-payer advocates (myself among them) employ to advance ...

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shutterstock_174773759 If someone was sitting on a veranda somewhere in the Alpha Centauri system, reading about health care in America of planet Earth, one would most likely conclude that the family of viruses known as the common cold are destroying a health system already crippled by a glut of poorly educated physicians practicing their miserable craft on a slow-moving ...

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shutterstock_247572289 Years ago, I owned a lawn service. I ran the company. Actually, I was the company. The only worker. Then, a buddy of mine joined up. It became our summer gig for many years. We prided ourselves on quality. We were good at what we did. And, we were fast, too. Jump ahead a few years. OK, more than a few. I now work in ...

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shutterstock_164492462 Anti-Obamacare critics often claim that “every” physician they know hates Obamacare. For instance, pediatric neurosurgeon and GOP Presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson told Fox News that “he's spoken to hundreds of doctors throughout the country about the Affordable Care Act, and not one of them ‘liked’ President Barack Obama's signature health care law.” Doctors hate Obamacare, it’s alleged, because it ...

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Congress is infected with the budget-cutting bug, and building an effective immune system requires political savvy. Sometimes, it’s simple (“We bomb terrorists” or “We process Social Security checks”), but sometimes an agency struggles. Case in point: AHRQ. A House subcommittee recently voted to eliminate the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) as of Oct. 1, 2015, the start of fiscal 2016. If you hadn’t heard the news or aren’t ...

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pnhp-long-setweisbartversion-52-638 In contrast to the expected shortage of tens of thousands of physicians, there appears to be an abundance of health care administrators, at least judging by graph above. The originators of the graph -- economists and physician-activists at Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) -- invoke the administrative bloat as reason to promote a single payer system.  With a single ...

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shutterstock_125105294 The feminization of health care is fundamentally changing care delivery in the United States and it is doing so in ways that will accelerate the pursuit of improved quality and affordability. Historically, health care providers and health care leaders have been selected for and nurtured traits that are traditionally seen as “masculine” -- traits such as heroism, independence, and competition. Yet it ...

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