A "free" ambulance ride

An patient calls 911 for an ambulance because the bus was too expensive:

So, basically, our uninsured patient will pay $1000 for an ambulance ride and $700 or $1000 for the ER bill to look at her 3-month-old problem because $2 for a bus was too expensive and, after all that, she didn't have the money to pay for the outpatient prescription anyway.

Airport, or ER?

Self-serve kiosks are being used to cut down on ER waiting times.

Mississippi is reaping the benefits:

"We had hospitals closing their delivery rooms," said Barbour. "We had only one neurosurgeon between Jackson and Memphis."

Then came tort reform in 2004 and now doctors are coming back. Barbour announced the fifth decrease in medical liability rates in three years. Overall, that's a 45 percent decrease.

But more importantly, lawsuits against doctors for medical malpractice are down. Home grown doctors ...

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They're possibly about to try in Washington.

Do not resuscitate

A tattoo may not be enough.

Stossel in the WSJ

He takes on Michael Moore head on with his WSJ op-ed:

Patients in countries with government-run health care can't get timely access to many basic medical treatments, never mind experimental treatments. That's why, if you suffer from cancer, you're better off in the U.S., which is home to the newest treatments and where patients have access to the best diagnostic equipment. People diagnosed with cancer in America have a ...

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Pimping medical students

A Medscape editorial against the age-old practice:

Unfortunately, medical students who are mistreated often go on to become doctors who mistreat other medical students, creating a cycle of abuse. This pattern has continued despite "righteous declarations by the academic community." To break this cycle now, individual physicians will have to acknowledge these unhealthy behaviors. They must get beyond any mistreatment they suffered and demonstrate the compassionate behavior that colleagues, students, ...

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Robert Centor suggests that the zeal to lower hemoglobin A1c's below 7 is partly responsible for the Avandia controversy:

His point, on which I concur, states that our efforts to lower HgbA1c stimulated our willingness to try another drug to reach the magic number. Perhaps the zeal for lowering HgbA1c to below 7 stimulates us to use a second or third drug. Perhaps if we had a more realistic ...

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Thanks for the mention. A number of great blogs on his list.

How not to do it.

Containing costs

The Independent Urologist with some good tips.

keagirl on how patients' deaths affect her:

That is why I am just so shocked when I hear that some of the patients have passed on. Our office usually finds this out when we call the patient as a reminder of their appointment, and we are told by family or friends that they are no longer with us. I think our entire office staff gets a jolt as well. ...

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Drug seeking in the ER

How big is your "list"?

The good thing about The List is that once people know they are on the list, they don't visit the ED nearly as much.
The sad part about the list is that we have to have a List at all.

"People lose sight that it's a dying patient there."

David Brooks' op-ed in the NY Times:

Some liberals, believing that government should step in as employers withdraw, support a European-style, single-payer health care system. That would be fine if we were Europeans. But Americans, who are more individualistic and pluralistic, will not likely embrace a system that forces them to defer to the central government when it comes to making fundamental health care choices . . .

. ...

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More VA misreporting

Pseudo single-payer VA continues to misconstrue waiting times:

A report released Monday said auditors found VA was understating waiting times by excluding some patients from the count and by claiming that some appointments were late because that was when veterans wanted to be seen, although there was no evidence in the patient files to verify such a claim.

Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee chairman, called ...

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Great article on how physicians are conditioned to bend over and take it during their training. Too often, that continues into the real world, where physicians' lack of business sense and their "learned helplessness" puts them at a real disadvantage:

Young physicians become so well trained in deferring gratification that many give up on ever getting any meaningful rewards for their sacrifices. With their resilience worn away, many just ...

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Remote ICU care

See it in action.

Bait and switch

One of the five things Dominic Carone can't stand about going to the doctor's office:

With that said, the first thing I cannot stand when I go to the doctor is when they try to do a bait and switch and have me seen by a physician's assistant or nurse practitioner instead of the doctor. Now, I don't have anything against anyone in these fine professions, but when I make ...

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Too many like to dump on free-market solutions for our health care system. David Hogberg points out some of the positives:

Although there are plenty of negative aspects of our health care system to report on and analyze, it is important to every so often emphasize the positive. As of late, there are some very hopeful developments, ones that move our health care system away from one that ...

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