#1 Dinosaur thinks not:

The problem is that specialist do not do primary care very well at all. They find high blood pressure and refer to the cardiologist. They see an elevated blood sugar and refer to the endocrinologist. They all say "Stop smoking" and think of it as tobacco counseling. Virtually none of them do immunizations, especially gynecologists, who like to think of themselves as providing Primary Care ...

Read more...

Proceduralists dominate discussion on physician reimbursement. It's time to get tough:

Everyone knows that medicine is a guild with little response to the free market. But here we have a situation in which a critical commodity (primary care) is systemically and significantly undervalued in a command-and-control economic system.

If I am wrong, and primary care is unnecessary, family medicine (and perhaps internal medicine, as well) will no ...

Read more...

Physicians grade the payers, and the scores are not pretty.

Bingo: "Judging medical quality from claims data is like judging a restaurant by looking at its grocery bill."

The magic bullet? This family physician takes no insurance nor Medicare and charges a flat fee of $45 per visit.

A death in Oregon sparks controversy about the safety and regulation of naturopathic providers:

The state Naturopathic Board of Examiners conducted a separate investigation, and Boylan's death is believed to be the first directly caused by a naturopath, says board director Anne Walsh.

The board licenses and polices naturopaths, but learned of the death only by chance 16 months after the fact. Boylan's sister, Cindy Bethell"”sustainability manager at ...

Read more...

What is the risk of transmitting TB on a plane? Marc Siegel gives the answer, and has some comments on the media coverage:

The simple answer I give them is "extremely low." Big HEPA filters screen out more than 99 percent of viral and bacterial particles, including tuberculosis. The risk of Speaker infecting another passenger when he reportedly wasn't coughing, had no fever, and was receiving some treatment ...

Read more...

The average annual income of a French physician is estimated at $55,000. Some are advocating we follow the French model of health care.

Cutting physician salaries as part of some radical government-dominated health reform would likely lead to this kind of thinking:

Boy, can you imagine the shortage of doctors (and nurses) in the US if we capped salaries at $55K? What would they start out, $35K?


Read more...

That is, focusing on health care costs: "None of the candidates have offered a specific plan to seriously rein in the growth of health care costs."

GSK rushes out interim results hoping to calm the Avandia backlash, and the headlines and quotes are all over the place:

An interim analysis of a study involving GlaxoSmithKline PLC's Avandia showed the diabetes drug was associated with an increased heart-failure rate, but there appeared to be no increase in the death rate from heart attacks or strokes, researchers said.
GSK:
"Overall, we feel these results are very reassuring."


Read more...

An Pennsylvania ER physician drives 2 hours each way to work in Ohio for cheaper malpractice insurance.

Studies conflict as to whether patient satisfaction is associated with physician attire. The most recent study says no.

Two brain scans of women. Which is the one with the real orgasm? Good to know for those men with brain scanners in their bedroom.



Tragic:

Six members of the U-M Survival Flight Team were on board the Cessna Citation 550 when it went into Lake Michigan at 5:05 p.m. Detroit time en route to Willow Run Airport from Milwaukee's General Mitchell International Airport . . .

. . . Dr. David Ashburn, a physician-in-training in pediatric cardiothoracic surgery, was onboard, along with Dr. Martinus Spoor, a cardiac surgeon, transplant donation specialists Richard Chenault ...

Read more...

Free marketers vs single-payer wars continue. Matthew Holt compares this to the free-spending NY Yankees and the Oakland A's (and their Moneyball system):

When it comes to price, essentially the U.S. healthcare system is the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox with their $200 million dollar payrolls up against the Oakland As. You'd think the guys with the expensive hitters and pitchers would win every time. But as ...

Read more...

Their settlement money is going towards funding alternative and natural therapies. Talk about rubbing salt into the wound.

The doctors are being accused of losing concentration while they interacted, and argued with, the audience:

The investigation panel said it cannot be denied that the operation was planned and managed with "show-like elements," noting that the hospital picked an operation with a high mortality rate.

The panel also said the chief surgeon might have been distracted because viewers were free to ask questions and argue during the surgery.

Read more...

Congratulations to Drew Mays who won the Van Cliburn Foundation's Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs.

And if the answer is yes, how will it be enforced?

A rash of incidents in hospitals across the country involving camera phones has led to firings -- and the realization that monitoring the devices in clinical facilities is no easy task.

After sorting through red tape, a California hospital has fired nine employees who in April either took or looked at camera-phone photos of a patient's X-ray. Meanwhile, ...

Read more...

No amount of reform will change things as long as the Medicare reimbursement formula stays put:

Many prices will be too high or too low, and political forces tend to keep inappropriate prices in place -- specialists in fields with excessive payments will resist cuts, and there will not be enough specialists in low-paid fields to become an effective counterlobby. New physicians will react to existing prices, and so ...

Read more...

Most Popular