In the current climate of health care reform, it is important to understand doctors and the work they do. I have found 3 common misconceptions, held even by doctors themselves, concerning the job of being a doctor. The first is the idea that doctors are conservative, resistant to change. Facts show that doctors deal with change all the time. They are familiar with the concept of change for change's sake and ...

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Three out of four dentists recommend this tooth brightening toothpaste -- make your smile sparkle like never before! Six out of seven plumbers recommend this drain opening de-clogger -- make your bathtub drain like never before! Nine out of ten doctors recommend improving the medical system in the United States -- make your health care system heal like never before! But how do we do that? Do doctors think the Affordable Care Act is the soothing balm ...

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An excerpt from Potent Medicine The Collaborative Cure for Healthcare. It was mid-summer 2010 when the full scope of everything that Nancy D’Agostino did not know hit home. Still raw from surgery and missing parts of her body, she thought that all the hard choices were behind   her.  Then  here   was  a  new  face,  a  radiation  oncologist, outlining  side  effects of treatment  and  asking her to  choose. And then a medical ...

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There will be some very disruptive and some transformational changes in the way health care is delivered, not as a result of reform, but as a result of the drivers of change described in a previous post on KevinMD.com. They included an aging population, an obese society, shortages of doctors, and emerging consumerism, among others. I interviewed in depth about 150 medical leaders from across the United States to collect ...

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Patients have been arriving at the doors of emergency departments in increasing numbers over the past decade, and this trend will only grow in the future. I believe there are five key factors that suggest every ED should brace itself for a never-ending rush hour. As the CEO of a physician group that provides medical care to over 4 million patients per year, I have the opportunity to study in great ...

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Based upon the past and the current state of affairs in healthcare, healthcare reimbursement will change dramatically in the future.  I believe that reimbursement based upon fee-for-service will gradually disappear and be replaced by models based upon the ability to better manage patient diseases and conditions.  That is, reimbursement will be based upon the quality of service delivered by the provider.  For insurers, whether private or governmental, I believe that ...

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Amid all the political rancor and media hoopla currently surrounding the American healthcare system and the clamor for reform from all sides, one question has gone unasked; what exactly is this thing we call healthcare? Is it the local hospital with its giant façade and ambulances coming and going all hours of the day and night? Is it the clinic where you sit and wait to have your blood pressure ...

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The fundamental challenge in any high-risk industry is balancing “productivity” versus “safety.” The term “protection” is frequently used within the scientific literature to express the role of safety departments within an organization. Described this way, it might sound as if the safety experts are framing the debate to suggest “the evil factory bosses are continually speeding up the assembly line, while the righteous safety-folks are yelling ‘slow down!’” This essential ...

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When I moved from the news business, writing about crime and investigating corrupt politicians and police officers, to the healthcare industry in the mid-1970s, we measured only the basic hospital performance indicators -- including census, staffing, inventory, days in accounts receivable and average length of stay. The data was not in real time by any stretch of the imagination. By the time the information was produced and distributed to managers, ...

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One advantage of being a surgeon and an MBA is the opportunity to observe different ways of approaching and responding to challenges.  My surgical training and 25 years of practice in academic and community hospitals have helped me become more comfortable with making major decisions despite the lack of perfect information.  Although I find that it takes longer to bounce back from nights on call, I relish the excitement of ...

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