CEO Jeffrey Segal mentions a frivolous case in an op-ed in today's WSJ:

In a recent case we dealt with, an expert witness detailed how a urologist had botched a vasectomy, even though routine postoperative sperm counts were, as expected, zero. Nonetheless, the patient's wife became pregnant.

A lawsuit gathered momentum based on an expert supporting the least likely hypothesis: surgical error. To almost no one's surprise, a ...

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This is an article from 2004, but I wonder why no one brings up the Indian Health Service when cheerleading for single-payer reform:

The health of American Indian tribes became the government's responsibility long ago, through treaties and other covenants signed in exchange for hundreds of millions of acres of tribal land. After generations of neglect, in 1955 the Indian Health Service took over, creating an independent, single-payer, government-funded system. ...

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The UK is considering it:

A 17.5% rise on fatty, sugary or salty food would cut heart and stroke deaths by 1.7%, the study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health said.

Bayer is trying an unorthodox marking approach:

But to attract a younger customer, the consumer care division of Bayer HealthCare is starting an online game today for Aleve Liquid Gels, a product that was introduced in March. By visiting a Web site, www.aleviator.com, Internet users will be able to follow a fictional storyline that leads them through a series of clues, taking them in and out of social networking sites, ...

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Mostly because they are expanding too quickly and biting off more they can chew. Here are some red flags. (via Dr. RW)

Public demand for a zero percent death rate in surgery may have unintended consequences:

Dr. Thomas H. Lee knows the headline he wrote is provocative: "Is Zero the Ideal Death Rate?"

But the network president of Partners Health Care and associate editor at the New England Journal of Medicine is concerned that public reporting of mortality rates for individual cardiac surgeons carries unintended, perverse consequences. He fears that ...

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Emory is going against the grain with this new idea in ICU-level care.

Did this patient's iPod lead to further injury as he was struck by lightning?

Although the use of a device such as an iPod may not increase the chances of being struck by lightning, in this case, the combination of sweat and metal earphones directed the current to, and through, the patient's head.

Some coverage of Michael Moore's showdowns with CNN.

Peter Chowka:
"It does not seem unreasonable to think that Moore's performance with Blitzer on CNN was, in large part, calculated to generate controversy about and rekindle interest in the lagging Sicko box office . . . Moore's schtick was like throwing red meat to his large core fan base that already thinks that CNN is right of center, too ...

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Hospitals are working hard to streamline operations and improve efficiency. What do they get for this? A higher risk of red ink. Way to go fee-for-service!

"The good news is that Virginia Mason identified ways to streamline and improve care; the bad news is that the medical center's bottom line may take a significant financial hit as a result," said Hoangmai H. Pham, M.D., M.P.H., an HSC ...

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More headache mysteries solved:

A Chinese grandmother has woken up in hospital after doctors finally took care of her persistent headaches "” by removing a bullet from her brain.

Jin Guangying, 77, of Shuyang town, Jiangsu province, went to Shuyang Leniency Hospital for an X-ray, inset, only to be told the cause of her pain was an injury inflicted when she was 13.




(via ...

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Sid Schwab shares his thoughts on the matter:

Now, far as I know, it's a pretty-much universal recommendation of malpractice defense attorneys, and insurers, that surgeons NOT record operations. Why? Simple: in the same way that that barf-inducing, gargantuan photo swung a jury, so have videos, even -- hard as it might be to believe -- when nothing was all that significant. Hands shake instruments around. Bleeding occurs; it's ...

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Pitney Bowes' Mike Critelli on single-payer:

Medicare, in particular, ludicrously controls the payouts for individual clinical interventions for Alzheimer's, and, I am sure, other conditions, to reduce today's costs, but ignores opportunities for investments in health that will save on future costs. By the way, this is one of the reasons I am strongly opposed to any "single-payer" health system in the United States. Given our approach to ...

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It certainly doesn't lower them, and in fact, may place the physician at more risk:

Finally, some physicians fear that EHRs may actually increase their malpractice exposure, says Gerald "Jud" DeLoss, a health care and malpractice defense attorney with Krahmer and Nielsen in Fairmont, MN. For example, he says, doctors have told him that when their EHRs have online connections with other providers' EHRs, "faulty information that may have been ...

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More real life examples of EHR horror stories.

A primary care practice is finding it hard making ends meet. An obvious problem would be the number of patients each physician is seeing:

One of the reasons revenue might be sluggish, says Falkoff, is that the practice's six physicians each see an average of 16 to 20 patients per day, rather than the 40 or so that would yield hefty profits. "Giving patients a lot of time is ...

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A core tenet of risk management:

That's all the more reason to carefully approach informed consent, that exam room ritual of securing a patient's permission for a test or treatment after discussing its benefits, risks, and alternative measures. If you help a patient form reasonable expectations about a course of action, he's not only in a better position to say Yes or No, but he's also less likely to legally ...

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Proceduralists

"See one, do one, teach one" doesn't cut it in today's malpractice environment. The (rightly) low tolerance for complications stemming from procedures is creating this new field, which focuses on procedures that everybody used to do:

Awaiting both kidney and liver transplants last year, Larry Pritchard suffered from fluid build-up so severe it sometimes leaked from the skin on his stomach. The condition required a procedure known as ...

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Shaving in the OR

keagirl talks about her pre-operative handiwork.

Angry Mike says that's the way it should be:

He feels that the ethics committees agree too often with providers. (He states later that ethics committee at Baylor agreed with the clinicians 43 out of 47 times. Gee, I wonder why.)

I will tell you why: Because they know what they are doing . . .

. . . Additionally, I do not understand AT ALL his ...

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