Well, just take a look at what's happening to medicine. Also note how medical costs for pets have remained steady despite similar technological advances:

Pain and suffering awards would also boost malpractice suits against vets, making care more expensive and less accessible, just as big lawsuit awards have done to our own health care. American doctors, burdened by nearly $30 billion a year in malpractice insurance premiums, practice "defensive" ...

Read more...

Interesting case. A doctor is sued for overtesting (defensive testing, if you will). Complications from a questionably-indicated colonoscopy leads to aspiration pneumonia and death:

When 59-year-old Judith Dill went to Naples Community Hospital for bilateral total knee replacement surgery in 2003, the operation was successful and she was beginning to walk.

But while still recovering in the hospital, she felt nauseated and began vomiting days, prompting a ...

Read more...

Considerable cost savings:

To examine consequences of beneficiaries making their own rationing decisions, my colleague Andrew Rettenmaier and I estimated the effects of creating reformed Medicare based on a $5,000-deductible Health Savings Account (HSA), beginning with the baby boomer retirees. The size of the deductible and the HSA would grow through time (as health costs grow), and since deposits would be made with after-tax dollars, withdrawals for any purpose would ...

Read more...

An op-ed in the WSJ about how the Democrats are being outmaneuvered on health care:

How goes the cold war? We refer to the never-ending twilight struggle between advocates of socialized medicine in America and those who believe economically competent Americans should be required to budget and save for their own health care, as they do for the rest of their personal consumption . .

. . . Republicans, ...

Read more...

Peter Rost sheds more light on Big Pharma and "speaker utilization". (via Health Care Renewal)

This was the controversial treatment earlier this year where parents had their daughter undergo experimental surgery to keep her small. Apparently the hospital didn't dot every i:

Now, the hospital admits it broke state law by not making sure the court order was obtained and allowing the surgery to proceed.

According to a report released Tuesday by a non-profit advocacy group, Ashley's constitutional and common-law rights were ...

Read more...

Dr. Crippen with his latest update on the government-run NHS.

This time from IV colchicine. Was it the fault of the clinic or compounding pharmacy?

Pressure to crack down on DTC drug ads are causing advertisers to run scared.

Flea has been doing some great blogging about his upcoming malpractice trial. Attorney and med blog reader Eric Turkewitz comments on the risks of this:

In opening the door to the legal sanctuary however -- that is, the special place where all contacts with one's lawyers are protected -- he is running two giant risks:

First, if his cover is blown and plaintiff's counsel finds out he has ...

Read more...

Hospitals are really caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to prices. Faced with decreasing revenue, they are also pressured to lower prices.

The problems are identified, but the authors are not hopeful of a solution anytime soon. One reason is that maybe there has been too much complaining about the undervalued E&M codes:

Although the resource-based relative-value scale may have better aligned fees with costs than the old method based on the Blue Shield system, the cost of new procedures often decreases over time. In principle, any such decreases are to ...

Read more...

Reasons why it won't take off:

We are a six-doctor internal medicine practice, and we have no intention of offering the zoster vaccine.

It is a huge burden for a primary care practice, mostly because of the cost, but also because of the storage requirements. As a Medicare Part D reimbursement methodology, it is a given that reimbursement will be inconsistent.

We find it outrageous that this sort ...

Read more...

Or how hard it is to do so. Charity Doc with the latest insane situation in his ER.

Physicians are under recent attack from their relationship with Big Pharma, but Julie Deardorff wonders if patients are partly to blame:

Congress is considering legislation to force the drug industry to delay advertising newly approved prescription drugs to give physicians more time to review safety and efficacy.

But delays won't address ad content -- often deliberately vague about who is at risk of disease -- nor the fact ...

Read more...

An ER nurse tells a recent story of how delayed notification of blood culture results led to this outcome:

Now the family has hired an attorney to look into the matter. Could that man have been saved if he had been told to come back to the hospital and was admitted and treated sooner? Hard to say. Maybe.

The military is telling pain management specialists to brace for an influx of chronic pain patients from the war.

"Why me?"

A woman diagnosed with breast cancer tries to answer the question:

The only answer to the question "Why me?" is this: Because bad stuff happens to everyone, and this is what happened to me. One of my closest friends struggled with infertility. That's her short straw. Another friend's marriage fell apart. Another friend gave birth to a stillborn child. Look closely enough and you'll see that everyone has a ...

Read more...

An against-the-grain study suggesting that health courts actually would be tougher on physician defendants:

A jury's lack of medical expertise, Peters says, tends to favor the doctor, not the patient.

"Critics assume that the 'battle of experts' frees juries to award unjustified recoveries," he writes. "The data suggest that it is more likely to shelter negligent physicians."

One proposed solution -- to turn cases over to specialized ...

Read more...

The NHS drifting away from universal care? Slowly, but surely:

Nigel Edwards, director of policy at the NHS Confederation, said: "We need to confront the reality that if the public do not want cost to be a factor in NHS decisions than they may have to prepared to pay more in order to have every treatment funded."

Most Popular