Everyone in our industry -- policymakers, clinicians, healthcare facility administrators, public and private payers, technicians, pharmacists -- shares concerns about the state of healthcare in the U.S., each of us from a slightly different viewpoint. The thread that joins us all is that one day each of us will be a patient. As its title suggests, patients are central to almost every provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Act), ...

Read more...

Jack and John are identical twins, but have varying interests in life. One day Jack, 43-years old, decides he has had enough of these headaches and calls his family doctor and asks what he should do. He is told that his doctor can see him in 4 days and to take some over the counter ibuprofren. And to definitely go to the ER if the headaches worsen. John, who has also ...

Read more...

President Barrack Obama delivered a 6,944 word State of the Union address to the American people. Of the speech, less than .01% was devoted to healthcare, which is remarkable considering the major changes in healthcare that are on the horizon if Obamacare survives a challenge in an upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case. During the speech, there were only three sentences that mentioned healthcare. The first was this: “I will not ...

Read more...

It has taken 13 years for us to revisit the issues in To Err Is Human, the 1999 landmark government report that shocked our nation with its revelation that 98,000 people died yearly in hospitals due to doctors' errors. For decades, and through one administration after another, the lack of safety in our healthcare system has gone un-addressed, placing us at greater and greater risk. Hospitals have disappeared, ...

Read more...

A social media movement is happening before our eyes with action starting to take shape.  The #occupyhealthcare movement has begun within to the blogosphere and through various areas of social media by storm. What does the #occupyhealthcare movement mean to me?  My main focus in advocacy for family medicine is the production of an adequate primary care workforce distributed adequately to best serve our country.  Those close to me also ...

Read more...

The triple aim of health care, as defined by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is: improving the experience of care, bettering the health of populations, and reducing the per capita costs of health care. This struck me as odd when I first read it.  Why should the stated aim of any system become to decrease the costs associated with that system? Which led to the next logical questions: What should be the stated aim of ...

Read more...

The storyline is familiar. An organization is challenged to achieve better results without spending more money.  An executive is committed to obtaining these better outcomes and recognizes that more financial resources aren’t forthcoming .  Faced with the option of near-certain failure if he continues to work within the historic operating framework, he decides that a different approach is necessary.  With the help of a young and visionary analyst, they decide ...

Read more...

Why are cancer organizations waiting until it starts to rain before they suggest buying an umbrella? “Join my Medicare Advantage plan and get free membership to a local health club, free glasses and dental care.” This time of year, during Medicare Advantage Annual Enrollment period, the only TV commercials that annoy us more often are for lawyers who want to help us if we were injured at work or in a ...

Read more...

While payers and providers are usually in the spotlight when it comes to accountable care, the most successful models will be the ones that place a strong focus on patient accountability. More and more frequently patients are selecting doctors with the best outcomes, asking proactive questions, and taking an active role in their lifestyle and behaviors. Empowering patients with the support and tools to be responsible for and more involved ...

Read more...

A guest column by the American Medical Association, exclusive to KevinMD.com. Let me start by wishing you and your families a very happy and healthy new year. This is my first column of 2012 for this blog, and I am excited to talk about a new initiative that is beginning this year. Medicare accountable care organizations (ACOs) have been discussed at length ...

Read more...

Most Popular