One year after passage of the Affordable Care Act, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has unveiled two programs that will most certainly be transformative for U.S. healthcare, affecting both quality and safety. With the announcement of the first-ever National Quality Strategy in March, HHS signaled a strong commitment to improving the quality of healthcare. In essence, ...

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After all the ridiculous fear-mongering about "death panels," Congress dropped a proposal to encourage end-of-life planning from the health reform legislation passed last March. But the administration had in fact quietly included reimbursing doctors for end-of-life counseling along with a host of new Medicare regulations. The provision, which authorizes payment for “voluntary advance care planning,” went into ...

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Primary care is a unique field of medicine. Primary care physicians (PCPs) are the gatekeepers to specialized care, provide preventative care, and most importantly, they have the ability to manage patients with multiple chronic conditions. Thus, primary care physicians are in prime position to become the point men in the Read more...

Now that I'm well out of my reckless youth phase of my life, I try to preserve the efficacy of my brain. With my lifestyle, there's three actions I take to ensure the integrity of my brain.

  1. Always wear a bike helmet when I bike
  2. Avoid over-consumption of alcohol
  3. Avoid looking at doctor bills and insurance "statement of benefits"
The first two ...

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In 1994 Jeff Bezos revolutionized how consumers shop. He founded Amazon.com. Shortly after, Ebay followed suit—solidifying a paradigm shift that has redefined shopping from an in-person to online experience. In 2004, Facebook capitalized on another trend: individuals were becoming more comfortable sharing personal information online. Interestingly, people did not wake up one morning and decide it would be convenient to shop from home, or that sharing pictures with their friends online ...

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During the election season, the biggest loser appears to be civility. Anger, attack ads and name calling ruled the day. We are faced with enormous and complex challenges, issues not easily addressed in sound bites. Yet that is what we usually get from our representatives. I find myself asking are we not willing or able to do the hard work of examining the issues before us? During the ongoing discussions over ...

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Now here's a novel idea. What if someone asked the American people, or a demographically representative group of it, what it wants from healthcare. That would be called "market research." Ask the public what it wants, listen carefully, and then give it to them. Turns out that the New York-based Commonwealth Fund has done just that. In brief they found:

  • 72% of American adults believe that our healthcare system needs to be fundamentally ...

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by Jeffrey L. Cohen The current fixation on Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) is causing an enormous amount of two things:  1) talking, and 2) inactivity. Yes, the concept of delivering care in a manner that reduces or at least controls costs is important and interesting.  Yet, the marketplace is replete with people and businesses that have adopted ...

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by Justin Chang, MD I think we can all agree — physician, payer, provider, patient, etc. — that the ultimate goal of regulations and reform should be to improve the delivery of healthcare, lowering costs and ultimately, making patients healthier and more satisfied. Coupled with driving toward the results defined by CMS, this requires some fairly significant changes ...

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Everyone knows that the excess growth in health care costs is driving the fiscal crisis in our country. The problem is that while everybody wants to somehow cut the cost of Medicare/Medicaid, in theory, when it comes time to actually make cuts, the courage of our politicians fails in the face of unrelenting public opposition to cuts in Medicare. How the IPAB takes policy and puts it in the hands of health care experts
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