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Some hope from Congress:

Under the system, payments to doctors would have to be cut by 5 percent a year through 2016 to meet program spending targets, according to federal estimates.

That is unlikely to happen. Lawmakers fear that any reduction in payments could add to the record increases in Medicare premiums and drive doctors from the program.

Rep. Michael Ferguson, R-N.J., said the mandated cuts system is ...

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There are pros and cons to each. However with the fragmented nature of today's health care, continuity of care is dwindling. That is a poor prognostic sign for FP:

But Wright's situation rests on the fact she's had the same insurance for 13 years.

In the modern U.S. economy, the benefits of having a long-term physician may never accrue anyway. Most people don't stay for decades in one ...

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Which is not a bad strategy, sad to say:

At least six retail clinic chains have emerged in the past few years - all betting there are millions more like Mui, who either don't have insurance, don't have a provider, or don't have the time to spend in a doctor's office for a minor health problem.

Due to his Mennonite beliefs:

Rebuffed by the doctor, the woman called her gynecologist, who wrote the prescription. Her local pharmacy told her it was out of the drug and referred her to a sister store in Reading.

The former medical director of the hospital said he sees nothing strange about asking a woman from eastern Lebanon County to drive to Reading for a drug.

"People drive to ...

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It actually does the smart thing, and plans on releasing its HDL-raising medication torcetrapib by itself:

Previously, Pfizer had said it would sell torcetrapib only in combination with Lipitor, one of several medicines called statins that lower levels of LDL, or bad cholesterol. Cholesterol-reducing medicines are the largest prescription drug category, with worldwide sales of $32 billion last year.

By offering torcetrapib only in a combination pill, Pfizer ...

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Inappropriate ER use is commonly discussed here. Apparently this article doesn't do the topic justice:

Dr. O'Keeffe took an article on a desperately important topic and trivialized it with a silly list.

Dr. O'Keeffe then compounds the offense by finishing the article with a list of bullet points to consider when choosing a pediatrician. I thought this was an article about inappropriate use of emergency services!

In case you were wondering, but the short answer is no.

A tragic outcome, and this physician wonders about whether an inevitable patient death equates to a large windfall:

Several years have passed since this case was closed, and I still have trouble sorting out how I feel about it. I'm still surprised by my reaction to the huge settlement given to Mrs. Rios' family. Undoubtedly they suffered a horrible tragedy. But I still don't understand how that equates with their ...

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Another way how being obese can hurt you:

"In the past 10 years or so, medicine has become so dependent on imaging," Uppot said. "Instead of doing very meticulous clinical examinations, a lot of doctors now rely on CT scans, ultrasounds, etcetera, to tell them what's happening inside the body. What happens when you're too big to fit on a table? Or you can fit on a table but the ...

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Sounds like he was dismissive of the prisoners' complaints:

"He appeared to think that the majority of patient inmates seeking care were faking, and thus he did very little to examine them or treat them," Hepps said. "As a result of this behavior, Dr. Nuygen was referred to as `Dr. Death' by inmates." . . .

. . . Prisoners complained the doctor, who attended medical school in ...

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Nurses strike back

They aren't too happy about a physician rant against them. Here is their response.

Increasing fines is one way to recoup lost revenue:

For health-care professionals, the charges are a way to recoup the administrative costs of running a business. After all, they point out, assistants and receptionists need to be paid whether or not a patient shows up. And doctors typically aren't salaried, they're paid only for patients they treat. Some patients understand that. But for them, the fees still are one more ...

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These cardiologists want routine cardiac CT screening as well as carotid ultrasounds. The USPSTF doesn't recommend this. So they took Pfizer's money and paid the American Journal of Cardiology to publish their "recommendations":

The recommendation carried the seal of approval of an established medical journal: virtually every middle-aged man and woman should be screened routinely for heart disease, using sophisticated and pricey technology to take snapshots of ...

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NY Times on President Garfield's gunshot wound and how it confounded doctors at the time:

At least a dozen medical experts probed the president'Â’s wound, often with unsterilized metal instruments or bare hands, as was common at the time.

Sterile technique, developed by the British surgeon Joseph Lister in the mid-1860's, was not yet widely appreciated in the United States, although it was accepted in France, Germany and ...

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More junk science

A study finds that alternative therapies for menopause are useless:

Researchers reviewed 70 randomized controlled trials of alternative treatments and found insufficient scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of any of the commonly used remedies: herbs, mind-body techniques, energy therapies using magnets or electrical nerve stimulation, homeopathy, naturopathy or culturally based non-Western medical treatments.

Smokers and non-exercisers are getting no sympathy:

According to the poll, 53% of respondents also believe that individuals with unhealthy lifestyles should pay higher deductibles or copayments than those with healthy lifestyles, compared with 30% who oppose the practice. Researchers defined individuals with healthy lifestyles as those who do not smoke and who exercise on a regular basis and control their weight.

Face blindness

A case of a mother who can't recognize her family:

The 45-year-old mother of four suffers from prosopagnosia, sometimes known as face blindness. She cannot recognise the faces of her children, her husband or even herself, after a virus struck little more than two years ago, causing inflammation in her brain and permanently harming the temporal lobe.

The loss of key parts of Claire's memory has proved traumatic ...

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How this medical student deconstructs the fantasy life of Gregory House and the world of Grey's Anatomy. (via Grand Rounds)

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