They are suing for the right to shock their son:

"Most of the time, if he starts acting up and beating his head, we just show it to him and that's sufficient," Fran Bernstein said. "We had a judge sign an order saying it was OK to do with proper care, to let him live a decent life. The whole point of doing this was to protect him."

Dr. Rob speaks out:

I work as many, if not more hours as a specialist. I trained for four years in residency, where many of them trained nearly the same length of time. My knowledge base is far broader, and my direct effect on the lives of people is greater. It is part of a normal day that primary care physicians save the lives of their patients. We diagnose them ...

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Only a matter of time before this would happen:

Swapceinski acknowledged at least one doctor's office made multiple, glowing postings in an effort to boost ratings.

A glipmse of how jurors unfamiliar with medicine can be swayed so easily by lawyer tactics:

Juror: How can we not give them the money? You heard the Chiropractor: they had Cervical Myalgia!
My Friend: He was using big words to impress you. Do you know what Cervical Myalgia means?
Juror: Uhh....no
My Friend: Neck Pain. 'Cervical' is neck. 'My' is muscle. 'Algia' is pain. They had Neck Muscle ...

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Bizarre calls to 911

Topping the list: "What time is it?"

The WSJ on the lung cancer screening controversy. What do patients prefer?

Does screening for cancer really prolong your life? Or does it just tell you sooner that you have cancer, without changing whether you ultimately live or die from the disease? . . .

. . . regardless of the debate, patients want to be diagnosed early, when their cancer is most treatable.
However, keep in ...

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The wide variation in the cost of some generic medications:

As predicted, the price that many insurers pay for generic Zocor has dropped dramatically. But the price that pharmacies charge patients who pay cash remains high in many locations, with wide variations by vendor. At online pharmacy walgreens.com, for instance, the price for 30 tablets of a 20-milligram dose of Merck & Co.'s Zocor is $149.99, compared with $89.99 ...

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A new low for law firms:

X-rays that Most Health took in Pennsylvania while screening for asbestosis were sent uninterpreted to Provost & Umphrey, which, in turn, had them read by others for silicosis, Kemeny said. He admitted that those X-rays were taken without the state-required prescriptions, though the company since has changed this practice.
(via PointofLaw.com)

Merck lost a big one yesterday in one of their Vioxx trials. Ted Frank calls it a miscarriage of justice:

This is the fifth plaintiffs' jury verdict out of twenty-nine Vioxx cases that had been ready for trial (not including two pending mistrials), but with millions of dollars awarded each time, plaintiffs' attorneys can keep batting below the Mendoza line and make a sizable profit . . .

Canadian physician Couz explains why Canadian doctors defect to the US. Attend a Canadian medical school for a fraction of the cost; work in the US for a significantly more lucrative work environment:

Much of it comes down to money. There is more of it in the States. Docs south of the border are paid considerably more (in the private system, at least) than here in Canada. Higher ...

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The current trend is to cut and devalue primary care. When primary care is the focus, and appropriately reimbursed, look at what happens:

The clinics emphasize a "warm and friendly" atmosphere, says Fernandez, with service reps hovering to help patients negotiate the system. The CAC Westchester clinic even puts photos on the walls of patients' recent birthday parties, and service is extensive. Many clinics are open 7 a.m. to ...

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Cardiologist Dr. Wes updates us on the recent AHA recommendations:

So, although the EKG is out, practitioners must not forget to take a thorough personal and family history, listen for murmurs, check the blood pressure from the arm, check for femoral pulses in the legs (to exclude coarctation of the aorta), and note physical characteristics of Marfan's Syndrome.
Will this be applied? Likely not. Many are already ...

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That finding is no surprise, but the fact that it did not significantly affect the highest-severity visits is:

"Most HDHP (high-deductible health plan) members did not forgo high-severity emergency department visits and seemed able to distinguish low-severity conditions not requiring emergency department care."

A rare skin condition:



(via KipEsquire)

KipEsquire makes a good point:

My point here is simply that a "right to health care" ought to include a "right to a kidney." If such a right is impossible (and it is), then so too is "universal health care." Stated differently, "socialized medicine" and "universal health care" are not synonymous. It is not "fear mongering" to use former term rather than the latter "” it is simple intellectual honesty.

Cute ditty. A med student talks about Minute Clinic medicine:

More and more I'm seeing retail-based clinics treating people who obviously don't need anything more than just rest and OTC meds with strong antibiotics, pain killers, and then sending them to their PCP when nothing gets better.

A controversial plan is coming under fire:

Prison inmates in South Carolina could get up to six months shaved off their sentences if they donated a kidney or their bone marrow, under a proposed bill before the state Senate.

"We have a lot of people dying as they wait for organs, so I thought about the prison population," said state Sen. Ralph Anderson, the bill's main sponsor. "I believe ...

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In the area of traumatic brain injuries, they are falling seriously short:

In general, these caregivers said that their grievously wounded soldiers had either been written off prematurely or not given aggressive rehabilitation or options for care. From the beginning, they said, the government should have joined forces with civilian rehabilitation centers instead of trying to ramp up its limited brain-injury treatment program alone during a time of war. ...

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Home health aides. And they're still unlikely to meet the demands of the population.

Neurolaw

The fascinating intersection between neuroscience and the law. From the NY Times magazine this weekend:

American law holds people criminally responsible unless they act under duress (with a gun pointed at the head, for example) or if they suffer from a serious defect in rationality "” like not being able to tell right from wrong. But if you suffer from such a serious defect, the law generally doesn't ...

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