The press and HIPAA. Just how much information can be revealed to the public? (via KidneyNotes)

More questions surrounding prostate cancer screening. I have always maintained that screening for prostate cancer does not save lives. The USPSTF supports this. However, these are case-control studies - randomized trials are needed for a more definitive stance.

Orac analyzes Airborne, the cold-fighting supplement.

The woes of an academic physician. "A growing number of academic physicians are stressed out and depressed because they are being pressured to treat more patients and generate more money, and they have less time for teaching and research, a report published this month concludes."

All I can say is - welcome to the real world. (via Health Care Renewal)

How are doctors combating declining Medicare rates? By doing more procedures:

Ginsburg also said stagnant reimbursement rates for Medicare patients does not mean Medicare patients are less lucrative than they were four years ago. Doctors are billing Medicare for more services per patients, such as lab tests, cardiovascular stress tests and echocardiograms.
Expect this to continue as reimbursement declines.

The NFL has ended its partnership with Levitra. "Perhaps the NFL's recent move to end its $18 million contract with erectile dysfunction company Levitra will help the country alleviate its obsession with the four hour hard on and the penis as the only redeeming quality in men."

A double-standard. When it comes to law malpractice, lawyers don't want it tried in front of a jury:

Law firms have frequently sought to avoid having malpractice claims heard by jurors, who they fear will be unsympathetic.
If lay-juries are "capable of deciding complicated medical cases", lawyer malpractice should be no different.

The cost of skipping medications: "$100 billion in direct health care costs and $1.5 billion in lost patient earnings each year."

Now that's ridiculously good medical access.

Loss leaders: "Increased numbers of uninsured patients coming into Florida emergency rooms may worsen overcrowding, adversely affect quality of care and lead more ERs to close their doors." (via a reader tip)

Medpundit looks at how the Medicare cut affects her. "How does that translate into day to day life? It means that my staff didn't get a cost of living raise this year. It means that I'll have to drop their health insurance if the premiums increase. And it means that I'm working harder - double booking patients when I can and adding an extra half day to my work ...

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Behold the super-soaker to remove ear wax.



"D.K. (a family and emergency physician) assessed the utility of the Super Soaker Max-D 5000. He was surprised to note that it was able to deliver a superbly pressured narrow stream of water equivalent to, or perhaps exceeding, the quality of that achieved with standard ear-syringing instruments. The owner of the Super Soaker Max-D 5000 was sought out; after ...

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NY Times on the NJ state medical school corruption scandal. "The most egregious wrong, to our mind, was the double-billing of Medicaid for the care provided to poor people. Doctors were billing for the services they provided at university clinics, and the university was separately billing for the same services, generating almost $5 million in extra payments at latest count. What makes this double-billing especially reprehensible is that university ...

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Measuring brain activity to treat chronic pain. "In the experiment, Tibbits goes into a brain scanner. Her first task is to make her injury hurt as much as possible. This shows the researchers what brain areas are activated by her pain, and that gets translated into the rising flame. A flame, says Mackey, is an excellent representation of pain.

Tibbits then uses breathing techniques, pleasant thoughts, muscle relaxation ...

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Magnetic bracelets are useless. "Magnet therapies which are claimed to cure conditions ranging from back pain to cancer have no proven benefits, according to a team of US researchers."

How generic medications are hurting Pfizer. "For years, even as rivals hedged their bets by developing high-priced specialty medicines and vaccines free from generic competition, Pfizer threw its energy into remedies for common ailments. Among them were Celebrex for pain, Zoloft for depression and Viagra for impotence. Its key weapon was marketing: television ads for the public and an army of sales representatives urging doctors to prescribe Pfizer pills.


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NY Times on Sharon's stroke. "While some experts supported the extraordinary treatments that were used to try to save Mr. Sharon's life, and others opposed them, all agreed that Mr. Sharon's Israeli doctors were working at the very edges of medicine's lifesaving capacities, with little experience and few studies to guide them."

America's fittest cities.

Some physicians are so fearful of the DEA oversight of narcotics, they don't even apply for prescribing privileges of opioids:

Patient 1, a young man, became acutely ill with an aggressive but highly treatable cancer that caused severe acute chest pain. Since he had to make quick and extremely difficult decisions about his treatment options, he sought advice and pain medication from his trusted primary care physician -— only ...

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A reporter from the Roanoke Times on medical blogs. "Do any doctors, nurses or other medical people in Western Virginia write a blog? It's time and you've got to expect something like that would be well-read. (I would read it. Would you?)

So, this is my appeal. Might a prof in Blacksburg throw back the curtain cloaking the new medical school? Would a hospital P.R. person share tales of ...

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