The NHS’s IT disaster

It makes Kaiser's debacle look small by comparison. (via GruntDoc)

There is a thin line between reimbursement for expenses and paying someone to donate their organs.

It can mean whether or not a hospital admission is denied by the insurance company.

Plastic surgery often follows to treat the resulting skin folds after massive weight loss.

The so-called "'low back pain of the extremities' meaning many patients with foot pain, like chronic back patients, never get better, no matter what you do."

There was no DNR order in the chart. Without one, you have to assume full code.

Once you sign an agreement, there's not much a patient can do:

Bonnie Berry was also initially charged $290. The charge was made to a credit card belonging to her sister, Martha Green.

Remember, Bonnie had a cut finger but she says the doctor told her she also has high blood pressure. "The bottom line was, he wanted an additional $1,400 and something dollars to treat me. I told ...

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The vandalized hospital had hundreds of manila patient files laying around:

A neighbor last week found, lying on the street corner, a 40-page stack of patient intake forms, including names, dates of births and Social Security numbers. And a pharmacist across the street recently came across records blown into the street.

$129 for a box of Kleenex

Or in hospital-speak, a "mucous recovery system". Other bizarre hospital overcharges.

Jane Galt looks at 4 pre-requistes before a universal health care system can be implemented here. There is no such universal system that satisfies these requirements - making it next to impossible to get it done:

1) It cannot provide less, or less rapid, coverage than the typical American policy does now. Over three quarters of Americans are happy as clams with their health care now; to the extent ...

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This letter to the editor gives a contrarian opinion:

What Emma neglected to address, as most proponents of universal health care do, is who will be funding the program. I wonder who Emma believes she has the right to enslave in order to pay for her medical care. There are only two choices: the doctor who will be forced to work for free, or taxpayers.

Anyone forced to work ...

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With their reliance on the colonoscopy, gastroenterologists are worried about being antiquated: "Dependence of a specialty on a single procedure is always a concern."

Men die at higher rates of almost every disease, and the NY Times looks at the lack of attention on this fact.

Much has been made of the recommendations to decrease time to the cath lab for acute MIs. However, Dr. Wes points out it isn't always that easy. For one, consider the idea of having a cardiologist in-house at all times. Somehow I don't think the bigshots making this recommendation will be the ones to stay overnight.

A physician roundtable discussion at Medscape. My top 3 changes: i) health-courts or no-fault malpractice insurance; ii) increasing reimbursement for primary care; iii) a universal EHR.

Maybe next year, they can get it just right.

A dissenting opinion suggesting that what the Democrats want to do - namely allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices - will increase cost. DTC advertising is one sticking point that will prevent this approach from working:

In fact, the government negotiating on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries may lead to some unintended adverse consequences. Since direct-to-consumer advertising is legal in the U.S., there is nothing preventing pharmaceutical companies from funding ...

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Virtual checkups

A new trend is the remote checkup via a computer video camera:

Patients and their home health aides are trained on how to use the computer station, which includes a stethoscope, vital sign equipment, a glucose meter and a pulse oximeter. Readings from the machines are transmitted to the nursing agency, sometimes on a daily basis. The camera also allows the nurse to remotely view injuries or other problems.

Acne and suicide

A third of teenagers with bad acne have suicidal thoughts and more than 10 per cent have tried to kill themselves.

A man without cardiac risk factors dies of a heart attack after being sent home from the ER. It is successful malpractice cases like these that cause ER physicians to defensively admit everybody to rule out an MI, further ballooning health care costs.

As the defense states, the only definitive test to determine whether someone has heart disease is a cardiac catheterization. The day is coming when ...

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