An excerpt from The Future of Health Care Delivery. We Americans like to pride ourselves on having the best health care system in the world, but unfortunately that is not the case. We have a medical (that is, sick) care system—a system that waits until we become ill before it kicks into action—instead of a health care system focused on helping us stay healthy. We give lip service to prevention and, ...

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As Americans we believe we have the best healthcare system in the world. But think again, it’s really not the truth. We do have superb medical schools, very well trained providers, superb science and technology but the delivery of medical care is just not what it should be. We spend more for healthcare than any other country does on a per capita basis. And yet when we compare ourselves to other ...

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Between the Susan G. Komen-Planned Parenthood debate and the study on treatments released by the Journal of the American Medical Association recently, breast cancer has certainly gotten a lot of play in the media as of late. Every major news outlet in America covered the breast cancer study released by JAMA which said that nearly half of the women who had second surgeries for breast cancer may not have needed the ...

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Labor and deliveries are slowly closing across the United States:  California, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.  In regional areas where there have been no closures, conversations in hospital boardrooms are probably questioning whether they should be.  But why?  Because of health care reform, increasing medical expenditures, hospitals are making less money due to reduced reimbursement, and because of the financial margin of obstetrics.  To explain the complex answer further, we need to ...

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We have a real paradox in American healthcare. On the one hand we have exceptionally well educated and well trained providers who are committed to our care. We are the envy of the world for our biomedical research prowess, funded largely by the National Institutes of Health and conducted across the county in universities and medical schools. The pharmaceutical industry continuously brings forth life saving and disease altering medications. The ...

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A few months ago I was introduced to a gentleman who had been a corporate VP for employee benefits at a Fortune 100 company for many years.  I was impressed with his knowledge of health care.  He shared some of his experiences with company employees, who lived all over the country. The company had a policy that when employees were informed they had a very serious medical condition, the company paid ...

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A guest column by the American Medical Association, exclusive to KevinMD.com. This week, I’m joining hundreds of physicians and medical students in Washington, DC during the American Medical Association’s National Advocacy Conference to talk to our federal lawmakers about an end to what has become an annual chore of stopping drastic scheduled Medicare physician payment cuts to preserve access to health ...

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CNN recently posted an article titled "Doctors Going Broke."  It described several cases of independent physicians who are near bankruptcy although they once were quite well off.  For instance, the article detailed the case of Dr. William Pentz, a cardiologist in a small group practice, who had to borrow money last month to make payroll.  He and the other cardiologists have cut their salaries in order to meet overhead.  Dr. ...

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One of the things that I like most about my job is engaging with ACP’s physician leadership—the internal medicine doctors who dedicate enormous amounts of time, at great personal sacrifice, to represent the interests of our members and their patients. One of the things that I like least is when an ACP member (or non-member physician) caustically dismisses their efforts, usually because they disagree with some aspects of ACP policy. It ...

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I’m sure Ezekiel Emanuel hates being referred to as Rahm Emanuel’s brother, so I won’t describe him as such. After working as one of Obama’s main health care advisors, he’s now at U-Penn in a job spanning medicine, economics, and ethics. He’s also been writing engaging essays in JAMA about health care reform and economic change, that give us an augur into where health care reform might lead us. Here, ...

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