Much has already been written about the Oregon Medicaid study that came out in the New England Journal of Medicine. Unfortunately, the vast majority is reflex, rather than reflection.  The study seems to serve as a Rorschach test of sorts, confirming people’s biases about whether Medicaid is “good” or “bad”.  The proponents of Medicaid point to all the ways in which Medicaid seems to help those who were enrolled ...

Read more...

I recently took part in a "civil discourse," an unusual occurrence in this era of media pundit-orchestrated shouting matches. Unlike a debate with winners and losers, a civil discourse begins with the premise that, when there are different points of view on a topic, it is better to understand those with whom we disagree than to turn off the sound. By listening and asking probing questions, we come to understand how such ...

Read more...

shutterstock_30561922 Recently, an article by Kate Baicker and colleagues came out in the New England Journal of Medicine. Almost immediately, the article received widespread attention in the media where headlines claimed that giving people Medicaid coverage doesn’t improve their health. This is not exactly what the article said, but most journalists aren’t scientists, so we should cut them a bit of ...

Read more...

It was bound to happen. By “it,” I mean that the small group of specialty hospitals (usually orthopedic or cardiology-focused) across that country that are owned by doctors were going to have their “See! We Told ‘ya so!” moment. Doctor-owned hospitals. How many are there? Two hundred and thirty-eight of them in the whole country (out of more than five thousand)–somewhere between four and five percent of the total in the U.S. (numbers courtesy ...

Read more...

I know what I want in healthcare. I want it to be efficient, effective, thoughtful and inexpensive. I want it to create healthy people who don't need very much health care. I want it to involve elegant solutions to problems that take less time, money and effort. I want it to be so much easier and less expensive that taking care of all of our people uses even less resources ...

Read more...

What is the path forward for physicians who want to remain in private practice, outside the constraints of health system employment? How will the environment change and what new demands will that place on practices and physicians? What follows are the observations of one industry-watcher who has worked on all sides of health care, but who now spends most his time focused on the interests of those who pay for ...

Read more...

Over the past decade, patient-centered care has become a mantra for high-quality health care. Policymakers, researchers, physician-leaders, and patients have all cited the need for care to be tailored to patients' unique needs and preferences. And there is solid evidence that patient-centered care can help improve care quality and reduce costs. However, in the rush to become more patient-centered, the health care system has misplaced its focus. Current approaches to ...

Read more...

Ask a nurse about Nurses' Week, and you'll likely get a snarky answer. The sweets designed to obesify already unhealthy nurses are intended to kill them off so they can bring in a whole new crop, as they'll be cheaper than the old experienced ones. We need a national initiative to start giving out coupons during Nurses' Week for plastic surgery to have smiles permanently stuck on our faces. Nurses like to ...

Read more...

How are you feeling today? Do you feel a bit under the weather? Maybe you have some aches and pains, or a miserable flu, or maybe you have some chronic condition like diabetes or asthma, or some other ailment. Perhaps you could benefit from medical attention, but then again getting medical care is so darn inconvenient and expensive and time consuming, and everybody knows that our health care system is ...

Read more...

In a time of crisis is when leaders step forward. If our nation faces one crisis, then it is that of the health care system which increasingly is unaffordable and trails other industrialized countries in quality and access. If there was a time leadership was needed then it would be now. As doctors, we should be providing this leadership. No longer can we let others dictate how health care should ...

Read more...

Most Popular