Another luminary-rich panel has been formed to make recommendations about how physician and other healthcare services should be valued and paid for. The Society for General Internal Medicine launched the National Commission on Physician Payment Reform with funding from prominent healthcare foundations. The 13 commissioners represent a mix of perspectives: a former surgeon/senator, community physicians, academics, two healthcare mega-corporations, a think tank, a state regulator, ...

Read more...

The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and nine other professional medical societies announced that doctors should perform 45 tests and procedures less often than currently done because there is no good medical evidence that they add any value. Specifically, a xray or other imaging for low back pain in an otherwise healthy individual or an EKG as part of a routine physical, just add a lot of unnecessary cost ...

Read more...

Physicians from all corners of the country will be receiving refund checks by mid-April totaling nearly $200 million. The checks are not a tax season windfall courtesy of the IRS. The payments resulted from a record-breaking settlement that concluded a historic court challenge led by the American Medical Association against UnitedHealth Group. Under the terms of this landmark settlement, UnitedHealth ...

Read more...

Physicians have historically been fairly well compensated for their efforts and thus have enjoyed many of the comforts of modern life. Most would agree this is the result of years of hard work, perseverance, intellect and dedication. In general these are also traits along with professional integrity, which raised physicians to a position of relative prominence and trust within our society. But in recent years that social position and economic ...

Read more...

The pressures mounting on most institutions as the years trudge by are mounting. They are mired in mountains of regulations, the need to implement millions of dollars of IT "improvements," streamline their most productive service lines, strip down their front-line staff to dangerous levels … and all this while their reimbursements are being crushed. Consider that a profitable hospital currently operates on a 1% margin. Consider that the hospital is considered the most costly ...

Read more...

The next time I receive medical care, I want to know how much it will cost before I agree that it will be done -- and that includes no matter who pays the bill. And, doctor, I want you to know and I want you to care how much what you prescribe is going to cost me or somebody. You say it is beyond your control to know? I say, insist. Rise up, ...

Read more...

Recently I had the privilege of travelling to Vancouver, British Columbia to attend the inaugural BC Forum of the Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research. We had a wonderful host in the Department of Global Health of Simon Fraser University (and especially from Drs. Craig Jones & Vic Neufield). It was a challenging and pivotal conference for me. That is not what I want to share now. The conference started with ...

Read more...

If you have a brain and work in healthcare, you know chances are good that David Houle and Jonathan Fleece’s prediction that “one third of hospitals will close by 2020” is on the money.  Until a recent marriage and move took me to St. Louis, my job was to sell a Texas hospital system’s plans for the future to major donors; and throughout my five-year tenure, the looming and pervasive ...

Read more...

Have you ever owned a dog? If so, did you ever take him to the vet? I’m sure that even if you don’t own a pet, you understand the gist of the question, but now I’d like to ask it again in a different way. Before taking your animal to the doggie doctor, do you ask the little guy which vet he wants to see, or what treatment he wants ...

Read more...

Back in 2000, a group of experts convened by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) reported that, although substantial medical error and injury was occurring in the ambulatory setting, very little research had been done to understand the reasons why. To address what they recognized as a serious issue, this expert panel made 11 specific recommendations that were intended to stimulate research in this area. Fast forward to the present ...

Read more...

Most Popular