As Harvey’s devastation raged through Houston recently, the city's mayor was compelled to address rumors that those seeking aid could be deported. In the wake of a statewide ban on “sanctuary cities,” the mayor sought to reassure the Houston area's more than 500,000 undocumented immigrants that they would not be targeted for deportation at emergency shelters. Nevertheless, out of the disaster ...

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The current conversation regarding health care reform in the U.S. is essentially pointless. It can be boiled down into four statements: Obamacare stinks, so we need to get rid of it; Obamacare doesn’t stink, so we just need to improve upon it; the insurance companies are to blame, so a government single-payer system is the best idea; the government is to blame, and only the free market can fix health ...

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This week is National Primary Care Week, an opportunity to engage medical students and healthcare stakeholders in a national discussion around the tremendous role that primary care plays in our health care system. With so much debate about the high price of health care in the United States, too often one of the most effective methods of controlling costs is overlooked: primary care. A wealth of research continues to show that ...

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The main character in the popular film Groundhog Day is caught in a time loop where he must repeat the same day over and over again. The U.S. Senate is now having its own Groundhog Day moment as it debates (yet again) a law to replace the Affordable Care Act. To add to the drama, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is promoting his single payer alternative popularly branded as “Medicare for All.” In a 
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As many was in the health care world, I was shocked by the unlawful arrest of nurse Alex Wubbels. In health care, there is a brotherhood and camaraderie between our law enforcement officers and health care workers, especially nurses. We all are literally on the front line of public service on a daily basis, making this story even more disturbing. Although the situation initially happened on July 26, ...

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Quality-based Medicare payment is far from a new concept. However, the Quality Payment Program (QPP), created by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), introduces a new vocabulary, complex requirements and fast-approaching deadlines. Physicians have little time left to successfully navigate the program and avoid penalties for 2017. A recent survey by the American Medical Association (AMA) ...

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Although I am now working part time, I still get my academy's monthly newsletter. I pretty much ignore the ads and any clinical studies that do not directly affect the work I am doing now, but I still find myself drawn to stories with a political bent. Namely, those stories that reflect the latest health reform controversy. The vast majority of these stories do not mention anything really new, just ...

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Health care is falling apart. We all know it, we can feel it, but it's hard to say why it's happening or even what is happening, we just know that it is true. And as bad as it is for patients, it's even worse for providers. We know that there is something wrong. We want to help people. We are busy all day long seeing patients. Why doesn't it feel ...

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A dear friend who is many years my senior recently remarked that he has stopped watching television. “I’m tired of seeing all the bad s%&t that’s happening in the world.  I know it’s happening, but I can’t do much about it, and it makes me depressed. I want to hear some good news stories.” He is correct, of course. we all could use a good news story or two. To be sure, our news media has evolved ...

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So much for repealing and replacing Obamacare. The Graham-Cassidy Senate bill is on life support. Members of the Senate death panel have made their decision, leaving their patient on palliative care to spend the last few days of life on heavy pain meds but without lifesaving treatments. Death is scheduled for the end of September when time runs out on the reconciliation rules which allow the Senate to pass legislation ...

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