An against-the-grain study suggesting that health courts actually would be tougher on physician defendants:

A jury's lack of medical expertise, Peters says, tends to favor the doctor, not the patient.

"Critics assume that the 'battle of experts' frees juries to award unjustified recoveries," he writes. "The data suggest that it is more likely to shelter negligent physicians."

One proposed solution -- to turn cases over to specialized ...

Read more...

The NHS drifting away from universal care? Slowly, but surely:

Nigel Edwards, director of policy at the NHS Confederation, said: "We need to confront the reality that if the public do not want cost to be a factor in NHS decisions than they may have to prepared to pay more in order to have every treatment funded."

Reverse cost-shifting. Some companies are eliminating copays on drugs:

Desperate for ways to curb soaring health-care costs, a groundswell of employers and health insurers are turning to a radically different approach: motivate patients to take not just the cheapest medicines, but the ones they need the most.

Over the past decade, health plans have sought to save money by shifting costs onto workers and encouraging them to ...

Read more...

A colleague turns against Flea in his upcoming trial.

The future continues to look grim for OB as this specialty is dying a quick death:

Losses rise with the number of patients - especially when those patients are poor. The culprits are high expenses for malpractice insurance and relatively low reimbursements from health insurers, the experts said. In recent years, as obstetricians threatened to leave the state because of high premiums, many hospitals took on the extra expense of ...

Read more...

This is a pretty good list.

Gaming and EHRs

Interfaces for many role-playing computer games like World of Warcraft are light-years ahead of any EHR technology:

Really good role-playing games--such as Dungeon Siege, Neverwinter Nights, or World of Warcraft--have what is commonly referred to in game design circles as a "paper-doll/drag-and-drop interface," which graphically depicts the state of your character and allows you to drag and drop information. I envision the patient's information in the PHR appearing like this.

UK physicians are forced to admit the inevitable truth about Government-run health care:

British doctors will take the historic step of admitting for the first time that many health treatments will be rationed in the future because the NHS cannot cope with spiralling demand from patients.

In a major report that will embarrass the government, the British Medical Association will say fertility treatment, plastic surgery and operations for varicose ...

Read more...

An nurse quite accurately the issue of practice variation in the ER:

This goes back to the free for all nature of medicine. One doctor practices one way and another, a different way. I see it in ER everyday with tests being ordered. There are the people who order a myriad of tests and those that don't. There doesn't seem to be a standard. I never have understood it. ...

Read more...

Are they becoming a necessity for radiology recruiting?

Convenience, value for recruiting, and efficiency were named as key factors in radiologists' use of "nighthawk" services according to a recent study.

Apparently not, as physicians see themselves as being taken advantage of:

"It used to be that doctors felt they were fairly well rewarded for their work and they owed something back to society in free care," Stoner said. He cites the decreasing payments that doctors get from Medicare, Medicaid and insurance companies. "Increasingly, doctors are feeling that society is making so many demands on them . . . they are ...

Read more...

The patient thought he had only 6 months left, and subsequently lived it up:

When doctors diagnosed cancer and told John Brandrick that he had less than a year to live, he resolved to make the most of the time he had left.

The 62-year-old council worker quit his job, sold his car, stopped paying his mortgage and dug into his life savings so he could treat himself ...

Read more...

I'm sure this will pique a lot of interest:

Scientists have found a way to turn on deep sleep at will using a machine that magnetically stimulates the brain.

A device worn on the head could in squeeze the benefit of eight hours' sleep into just two or three hours.

Scientists in the US used a technique called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to induce slow waves - indicative ...

Read more...

Not all hired guns are this responsible:

When New York dermatopathologist A. Bernard Ackerman, MD, is called to testify as a medical expert witness, he refuses to know which side the lawyer represents.

It is his way of remaining objective when he evaluates a case. In addition, the academic clinician typically previews his presentation of the facts and his opinion for a student audience, as a way of ...

Read more...

New York City is offering discounts on eClinicalWorks if 30% of their patients are enrolled in state-funded insurance programs, such as Medicaid. That's a pretty big catch.

Major media eagerly lapped up hype for a medical device. Now that Medicare has rejected it, will they be so enthusiastic in reporting it?

A psychiatrist has an epiphany:

A drug salesman chided him one day for showing "less enthusiasm for our product" than usual and "I had a kind of epiphany," said Carlat, also on the faculty of the Tufts University School of Medicine. "I realized the obvious -- that I was being paid to say good things about drugs, regardless of what my actual opinions were."

Artist Koen Hauser comes up with some slightly freaky images of digital manipulation.



(via Unbounded Medicine)

Boy with earache

A most surprising cause:

Dr. David Irvine said it looked like the boy had something in his ear when he examined him.

When he irrigated the ear, the first spider came out, dead. The other spider took a second dousing before it emerged, still alive. Both were about the size of a pencil eraser.

Futile care

How some are abusing EMTALA in futile cases:

Zee Klein wasn't about to just let her mother die, no matter what some hospital committee decided. But instead of waging a high-profile fight against the hospital, she decided to get her mother out on her own.

It wasn't going to be easy. For one, Medicare wouldn't cover Pereira's care if she were transferred to Christus St. Joseph, the downtown hospital ...

Read more...

Most Popular