I am often fascinated by the simplified dichotomies and ironies of the health care discussion. Some argue that the individual mandate infringes on individual rights yet one could argue that tying health insurance to a particular employer is in itself a violation of individual liberty.  When Patrick Henry stated, “Give me Liberty or Give me Death” in protest of the Stamp Act of 1775, he helped swing the assembly (including ...

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Imagine an America with no health insurance companies. What do health insurance companies do? They take as much money as possible from people who want health insurance coverage. They pay out as little money as possible -- so-called medical loss -- to settle claims from creditors for health services and products that have been delivered. They keep as much money as possible for the incomes of their executives and other employees, and to ...

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Recently, The Doctors Company (TDC), the country’s largest insurer of physician and surgeon medical liability, decided to survey doctors to determine what they are thinking and feeling about health reform.  The results are pretty gloomy. To put this in context, it is important to understand a bit about how TDC conducted the survey.  First of all, the universe of doctors they reached out to were doctors insured by The Doctors Company.  That means ...

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Today and for the next few years the weather of this industry will be dominated by pervasive, discontinuous change. Structures, revenue streams, relationships of every level: All are shifting in fundamental ways. Specifically, the weather will be driven by: i) invention and propagation of new business models; ii) shifting risk onto both the provider and the patient, accompanied by building of new risk-based relationships, contracts and alliances; iii) smart primary care coming to ...

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Your doctor’s exam room is getting overcrowded. Modern US health care means that, like it or not, you and your physician are sharing that once private space with an insurance executive constantly hissing in your doctor’s ears to move it along. You are also sharing it with pharmaceutical marketers,  lobbyists from the food industry ... special interest groups of every stripe. Now move over and make room for one more interested ...

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Author of the new book “The Future of Health Care Delivery” and the former CEO of the University of Maryland Medical Center, Stephen C. Schimpff, MD, FACP, says effective care coordination, especially for patients with chronic illness, requires technology, more involvement of primary-care physicians and a health-care system – not a medical-care system. A physician, educator and cancer researcher for more than 40 years, Dr. Schimpff shares his insights ...

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There are an awful lot of reasons that led up to my eventual resignation from a career in primary care medicine.  I don't know that any one of them is more important than the other (it really just depends on which day you ask me).  One that stands out for me though as a universal problem shared by millions is Managed Health Care, and the imposition it has posed on ...

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The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is a federal committee composed of private sector experts in prevention and primary care. Its mandate is to make recommendations as to which preventive services are beneficial, which are useless and which are harmful. Disconcertingly, there is a small but vocal opposition to the USPSTF as embodied by an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal by Dr. Scott Gottlieb. Dr. Gottlieb’s main argument against the USPSTF is ...

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Last year, Ann Mathews wrote a brilliant piece in the Wall Street Journal about the future of medical care in the United States. It is an extremely informative study and provides the reader with a very fine 50,000-foot view of the current condition of its subject. What she did not mention, or truly highlight, is the threatening trend that is taking place with ever increasing rapidity, of hospital conglomerates, ...

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shutterstock_37756744 For centuries, hospitals have served as a cornerstone of the U.S. health care system. During various touch points in life, Americans connect with a hospital during their most intimate and extraordinary circumstances. Most Americans are born in hospitals. Hospitals provide care after serious injuries and during episodes of severe sickness or disease. Hospitals are predominately where our loved ones go to ...

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