Another example showing the ridiculousness of the Medicare RVU system:

And even worse, the insurance companies use the Medicare RVUs to set their rates, so everyone is socialized. If the government told all restaurants that they could only charge $10 for a steak dinner, whether they were Golden Corral or Smith and Wollensky's, what do you think would happen to the quality of the dining experience? Is that really ...

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Only 74 percent are passing recertification their first try.

This includes two primary care and five specialists. This sort of fragmented age presents another barrier for P4P, and is reflective of the bloat plaguing American health care.

It never works to save money. This will lead to an increase in the volume of procedures, further driving up health care costs:

When physician fees are capped, the number and complexity (or volume and intensity) of services furnished to Medicare beneficiaries simply increase, including more frequent and intensive office visits, and a rapid increase in the use of imaging techniques, laboratory services, and physician-administered drugs, which will lead ...

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Of course, liability is the reason. Patients lose again:

Florida Hospital and Orlando Regional officials agree liability is a factor, though they emphasize safety as their main concern. But Bair at Central Florida Regional said that hospital's policy was prompted by worries that a photo or videotape could end up as evidence in a trial.

A birth video last year helped lead to a malpractice settlement in Missouri, ...

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Apparently the doctor used "excessive force" as he shot the burglar in his home:

An accused burglar is suing the doctor who shot him after the man broke into the physician's house in Janesville.

The man is awaiting trial on charges of burglary and criminal damage. In the meantime, he's filed suit against Doctor Michael Rainiero. He claims Rainiero was negligent in using excessive force after he found the ...

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A shortage of PCPs

Family medicine applications plummet while the need continues to rise. Readers of this blog know why.

Number needed to treat

Slate with a nice article on NNT - a statistic that is not advertised in many pharmaceutical studies:

In June, the New York Times ran an article headlined, "Breast-Feed or Else." It suggested that experts believe that "breast-fed babies are at lower risk for sudden infant death syndrome and serious chronic diseases later in life, including asthma, diabetes, leukemia and some forms of lymphoma." Yet, the article never mentions ...

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Yes, health care is expensive. But so is added life expectancy:

Instead, a baby born in the United States this year will live to age 78 on average, a decade longer than the average baby born in 1950. People who have already made it to their 40's can now expect to reach age 80. These gains are probably bigger than the ones the British experienced in the entire ...

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Find the wire

Dr. Schwab with a "mammorable" patient and a lost wire. Another great story.

The effect of malpractice caps on medical costs, one reason why medical tourism is so cost-efficient:

Malpractice expenses also are much lower. People can file claims in Costa Rican courts, he said, but they generally are encouraged to settle rather than go to trial.

The story in Bangkok is similar.

At Bumrungrad Hospital, Mr. Toral said, the lower cost of living is a major factor in the ...

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The uninsured tended to be prescribed more generic medications:

According to the survey, 88 percent of the doctors made at least one change in their patients' clinical management due to his or her insurance status. Overall, physicians changed management strategies for 99 of 409 patients. Nearly two-thirds (62.6 percent) of the time, doctors discussed insurance issues with patients and made changes based on insurance status.

Common changes in practice ...

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A study in Sweden wonders what would really happen if people ate 6,000 calories per day.

A view from across the pond.

Digg and del.icio.us

I have added the ability to share posts via Digg and del.icio.us. Enjoy.

Take this story from a small automotive company. The boss is really knowing more employee health information than he ought to:

Mr. Bond's experience suggests that although information about the price and quality of health care remains sketchy, the president's push to make the health-care market more like the market for other services can change consumers' behavior. However, some managers have to turn themselves into instant experts both ...

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More Canadian ER woes

It has become so desperate that Canadian community hospitals are contracting for-profit corporations to run their ERs.

Once again, by cutting reimbursement, patients lose and health care costs go up:

Current proposals before Congress could reduce those reimbursement rates, however, making home visits a less attractive option for doctors.

That would be a shame, because one of the fastest-growing segments of the U.S. population is those 85 and up. Many are, like Kurzweil's mother, frail and in need of multiple medications and frequent doctor's care. Since ...

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Only going to get worse as the population ages.

His work is being reviewed by an independent panel.

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