A hurricane Katrina patient with pneumonia died, and the hospital is being sued for lack of an evacuation plan:

Pneumonia patient Althea Lacoste walked into Methodist Hospital with her portable ventilator a day before Hurricane Katrina struck and died there before rescuers arrived at the flooded, powerless building in eastern New Orleans.

The question now before the Louisiana Supreme Court: Was the hospital's alleged lack of an adequate backup ...

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Bravo for speaking the truth:

Is this what our legal system has wrought? Have we so intimidated the medical profession that its members fear admitting their mistakes and offering to correct them; that we need legislation to protect them against the consequences of apologizing? Concededly, doctors are faced with baseless malpractice claims, exorbitant insurance premiums, the expenditure of time and emotion in defending suits and the possibility that their ...

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Arcoxia: Denied

It wasn't even close.

Needless to say, it's been a tough week for him.

Panda Bear with a common overnight scenario. Imagine yourself in the specialist's position and ask, "Would I come in?"

Part 1 was a few months ago, now with the most recent installment.

A study in the Annals highlights the long-term negative effects of false positive mammograms - which needs to be better publicized in this biased media flurry of cancer screening news:

The Chapel Hill team found higher levels of anxiety and distress among women who received false-positive mammograms. "These effects last for many years," Brewer noted. "Although their anxiety is not generalized or at the level that requires medical intervention, it ...

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More lawyers and lawsuits, according to this USA Today op-ed.

Not if the lawyers have their way:

Providence lawyer Steven Minicucci, who handles malpractice suits, said that displays of compassion are rarely useful in building such cases. But an apology and an admission of error could be key evidence. He opposes the Rhode Island legislation.

"I like to call it the'I'm sorry I killed your mother' bill," Minicucci said. "If a doctor comes out and says something like that, ...

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That's no surprise.

This WSJ op-ed is bang on. This single fact will prevent any complete overhaul of the current system:

Americans want a lot of health care, are willing to pay for a lot of it and don't like their choices limited.

Maybe this isn't exactly new, but it is more certain. Americans rebelled against managed care, and particularly didn't like employers forcing them to enroll. "One of the ...

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Ted Kennedy is behind the bill. He finally does something I can agree with.

Policy wonk Joe Paduda comes out in UnitedHealth's corner in the LabCorp controversy.

He's right that most doctors don't count costs as part of the treatment equation. Physicians considered costs during the managed care era, and patients rebelled. Now we're criticized for not considering costs enough. How ironic.

Sued if you do or don't. The story from Overlawyered:

In short, the hospital had the choice of risking a patient's life and being sued for malpractice, or restricting the privileges of the surgeon and being sued for discrimination. (And we know that had a patient sued for malpractice, the hospital couldn't possibly have defended itself by pointing to the requirements of the ADA and saying that it was ...

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Although the ACP recommends the "discussion of individual risk" of breast and prostate cancer, their real-world application unfortunately is minimal:

Discussions about risk is never easy and with the limited time physicians now have with each patient the logistics virtually prohibit a meaningful exchange, at least outside of a retainer practice.

The big elephant in the exam room is the issue of malpractice. Missed diagnosis of breast cancer ...

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It has been said that media physicians don't embrace evidence-based medicine, most recently with their coverage of cancer screening.

Orac with more examples of the media embracing questionable therapies like prayer and Masuka honey.

The Medicare secretary won't negotiate, even if he could:

One rather obvious stumbling block: HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt, who oversees Medicare, has said he wouldn't negotiate drug prices even if the law permitted him to do so. For negotiations to work, the head of HHS has to be willing to use whatever cudgel Congress devises. (A House bill would address this by requiring HHS to negotiate, while a Senate ...

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A physician e-mails me his thoughts on drug rep detailing:

I have been thinking about the drug rep thing. I see them. I eat their lunch and I shake them down for enormous quantities of samples. I try to play their arguments off against each other and I treat them decently.

I also send every patient for whom I write a new prescription home with a trial (one to ...

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Some patients may be influenced to (not) sue based on what the physician is wearing:

A patient suing over a post-surgical error said that she knew her surgeon wasn't focused on her because he came to her room in jeans, a T-shirt and athletic shoes. "Every other physician said he probably came and checked her and then went into the locker room and changed into scrubs, but what the ...

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Of course, this radiology ad left out some important caveats such as "the $1,200 fee may not be covered by their insurance, or that incidental findings that require further testing may ultimately found to be benign."

Virtual colonoscopies, and CT screening for lung cancer and heart disease are not ready for routine use yet.

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