For a large and growing number of us with meager or no coverage, health care is the ultimate “gotcha.” Events conspire, we receive care and then are on the hook for a car- or house-sized bill. There are few alternatives except going without or going broke. Steven Brill’s recent cover story clearly detailed the predatory health care pricing that has been ruinous for many rank-and-file Americans. In Brill’s report, a key mechanism, ...

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ama_logoA guest column by the American Medical Association, exclusive to KevinMD.com. Information is a source of learning. But unless it is organized, processed and available to the right people in a format for decision making, it is a burden, not a benefit.  -Former ServiceMaster CEO C. William Pollard The new Physician Payment Sunshine Act (Sunshine Act) was created by Congress to ensure transparency in ...

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chinese healthcare Wang Li is a 48-year old farmer from Dalian, China. After a two-day trip to the major provincial hospital, he’s heading home to his village to die. Wang has lung cancer, and even with insurance, his surgery will cost him 20,000RMB—$3,000, which is twice his annual salary. The surgery would be curative, but it doesn’t matter. “I cannot burden my family,” he said. I am a Chinese-born, American ...

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SAFEWAY-STORE There's been a lot of talk since the healthcare law passed about the success the supermarket chain Safeway has had in controlling costs by aggressively encouraging employees to participate in healthier lifestyles. There has been a lot of marketing and hype and publicity about their success, as well as the success of other employers in the market. But does such active engagement really ...

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“Physicians care more about their pocketbooks than taking care of patients.  They are self-interested and overpaid.  They want to control everything.  They don’t know what life is like in the real world of patients.” By now, I am sure that physician readers of this blog can feel their blood boiling, for good reason. Why would I, as the principal staff advocate for internal medicine physicians, put such  pernicious, unfair, inaccurate quotes ...

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shutterstock_108241016 A response to Dear lawmakers: This is what it’s like to be a doctor today. With a family and financial background that eerily matches Dr. Moeller’s, please count me as one soon-to-be physician who does not share the notion that lawmakers should spend their time being overly concerned with the demands placed on physicians or physician compensation.  In fact, I find ...

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We have to stop comparing ourselves to the airline industry. Sitting on the lounge chair at the pool, I can't believe that just hours ago I was sludging the wintry streets of Chicago, rushing to the airport.  The kids clucked away happily in the back seat as the adults in front where more subdued.  As grownups do, we kept running through our mental checklists even though the ship had already sailed, we ...

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backyard-deck Years ago, I hired a carpenter to build a deck in my backyard. He showed up with a pencil behind his ear, a spiral notebook, and a tape measure. I told him what I was looking for, and he made a few suggestions. After 15 minutes of measuring and taking notes, he handed me a piece of paper with how much it ...

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icehockey A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be. –Wayne Gretzky Recently, I attended an end-of-year review with one of our hospital partner’s executive team. We reviewed our performance for the past year, and discussed mutually strategic goals and how to improve upon our excellent service. As part of the conversation turned ...

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The following is an exclusive excerpt adapted from #1 New York Times best selling authors Chip and Dan Heath’s new book Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work, which was ...

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