A guest column by the American Medical Association, exclusive to KevinMD.com. Last month, physicians from all states and specialties came together for the American Medical Association’s (AMA) semi-annual policy-making meeting to adopt new policies that will impact the future of medicine. Of the new policies, some of the many noteworthy topics include national drug shortages, health insurance exchanges, private contracting and the ...

Read more...

As we approach the end of what has been another roller-coaster year for our country, it seems an appropriate time for an "annual checkup" on healthcare reform in the U.S. Like many of my colleagues, I have followed the implementation of the monumental Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) with great interest, mild trepidation, and a small measure of optimism. It's hard to believe that almost two years have flown ...

Read more...

As of March 2010, there were an estimated 11.2 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.  Currently, three in ten immigrants are undocumented, while only one in seven of the uninsured is an undocumented immigrant.  As there exists no consensus on immigration reform, undocumented individuals will gradually become a larger share of the uninsured population due to exclusion from all programs of the Affordable Care Act. This study utilized data ...

Read more...

What if we had considered the following items within health care reform? What if physicians were able to practice medicine with reduced fear of malpractice litigation? Some estimates believe the cost of defensive medicine approaches 30%. What if patients were to be offered a different process for conflict resolution before litigation, one that is partially driven by greed? What if this process provided a remedy which met all our future financial and ...

Read more...

If you have read Michael Lewis’ book, The Blind Side, or seen the popular movie based on it, you know that the title refers to the fact that quarterbacks, who are typically right-handed, can’t see when a 300-pound opponent is charging at them from the left side. Not being able to see the full picture puts the quarterback directly in harm’s way and makes it harder for his team to ...

Read more...

Fortunately, the 27% reduction in Medicare payments to physicians that is set to take place in a matter of weeks unless congress acts is getting some press.  Fox News published a piece recently, as did the Washington Post. Writer Merrill Goozner breaks things down nicely in his article, "Is There a Doctor Fix in the House ... and Senate?" However, one thing that seems to be getting confused in all ...

Read more...

My colleagues who advocate improvement to our healthcare often say, “It’s a non-issue. We all benefit from better care.” Yet the political vehicle that’s to drive the reform has stirred emotions and controversy at almost every turn, leaving us baffled. Why wouldn’t anyone want better coverage, lower cost, and more evidence-based treatments?  These targeted goals improve healthcare, which is why they poll well. When asked for a general impression of the ...

Read more...

The last four days have provided a sharp glimpse into the future that awaits those of us in the health care profession, physicians in particular. Over the last few years physicians have been burdened with mountains of paperwork, most of which contributes little to patient care, but does take time away that could be better utilized caring for our patients. However, the last four days have demonstrated that the administrative ...

Read more...

Imagine what health care in the United States could look like if we devised a system that was based on sound medical practice and proven cost effectiveness.  What if we put our brains, energies and passion behind designing the smartest health care system possible? That was the question that kept poking through my train of thought as I read a study that appeared in the most recent issue of Pediatrics, the ...

Read more...

A guest column by the American College of Physicians, exclusive to KevinMD.com. In 1998 I started a period of national service to the American College of Physicians leading to my term as President for 2010-2011. During that time I kept an almost full time private practice in Fayetteville, Tennessee. Moving between the worlds of health policy and "the trenches," I ...

Read more...

Most Popular