Hidden in the debate over expanding the SCHIP is the fact that the impending Medicare fee cuts will also be abated:

The bill's main Medicare proposals include replacing the impending 2008 and 2009 physician fee cuts (projected to be 10 percent and 5 percent, respectively) with a 0.5 percent update for both years.

The AMA comes out in support of the dropped charges:

"The AMA continues to be very concerned about criminalizing decisions about patient care, especially those made during the chaotic aftermath of a disaster, when medical personnel and supplies are severely compromised."

An "opt-out" clause wasn't enough to satisfy these pharmacists:

Pharmacists have sued Washington state over a new regulation that requires them to sell emergency contraception, also known as the "morning-after pill."

In a lawsuit filed in federal court Wednesday, a pharmacy owner and two pharmacists say the rule that took effect Thursday violates their civil rights by forcing them into choosing between "their livelihoods and their deeply held ...

Read more...

Placebo Television

A hilarious weekly vlog from the writers of Placebo Journal. "Scrotox" is classic.

height="350" width="425">

Benjamin Brewer considers the questions when treating high cholesterol. (via The WSJ Health Blog)

Having had setbacks with torcetrapib and Exubera, and with generic competition to Norvasc and Lipitor, Pfizer is putting more emphasis into animal drugs.

Clogging the ER

Scalpel on flow-stoppers:

Any patient who requires an interpreter, any time-consuming procedure, patients who are overly demanding, patients with numerous concerned and annoying relatives, patients who want to be admitted but don't need to be, patients who need to be admitted but don't want to be, patients requiring more than one or two calls to other physicians, and so on.

Physicians aren't racist, says Chris Rangel. It's about where people go for care:

. . . the poor mostly seek care at urban health centers that tend to be underfunded, understaffed, and overburdened. It's basic economics. Poor people tend not to have the same access to the same quality of housing, cars, consumer products etc. that more affluent people do and health care is no exception . . .

Read more...

"Sometimes you have to invest money to make money," says Robert Centor. Can generalist care be saved?

A case where atypical depression was missed - due to the celebrity or VIP bias:

Dr. Groopman observes that V.I.P. or celebrity patients sometimes short-circuit the physician's normal diagnostic thinking. For example, these patients may be spared the doctor's usual tests and procedures. As our "top gun," Mike was just such a patient to me. Even as I entertained grandiose fantasies about curing him, my unconscious may have steered me ...

Read more...

What does that mean to you? More patients than you think are confused by drug labels:

Did that mean a total of two, or a total of four? A third of patients who were deemed literate got confused. A more clear instruction would be: "Take two tablets in the morning and two tablets at night."

Sick. A doctor is charged with facilitating the death of a man to harvest his organs:

A San Francisco transplant surgeon was charged Monday with prescribing overdoses of medication to speed up the death of a man at a San Luis Obispo hospital and harvest his organs.

Dr. Hootan Roozrokh, 33, prescribed excessive amounts of morphine and Ativan and injected the topical antiseptic Betadine into Ruben Navarro's ...

Read more...

A panel stops short of pulling Avandia from the market.

The answer is irrelevant unless costs are contained:

The problem is that nobody is going after the root causes of the spiraling cost of care. To simply call for "more free market" or a "single-payer system" without addressing the incredible waste, lack of accountability, and profiteering by third-parties is simply re-arranging chairs on the Titanic. It is the unfortunate nature of politicians to take a politically-motivated veneer and ...

Read more...

Mastectomy

Immediate reconstruction or not? Sid Schwab weighs in:

But having treated many hundreds of women with breast cancer (I lost count a long time ago) and having been (so I was told) more sensitive to the horror and fear than the "typical" surgeon, I feel qualified to express myself. My thoughts are based in the reality I saw in my practice. So here it is: though not opposed, ...

Read more...

. . . and is Glaxo trying to take Actos with it?

Health insurance premiums are starting to be linked to lifestyle habits:

Government workers in Benton County, Ark., can now sign up for a plan with premiums that fall from to $500 a year from $2,500 a year if they maintain a healthy weight. Clarian Health Partners, a hospital chain based in Indiana, said last month that it'll start charging workers as much as $30 every two weeks if they ...

Read more...

The Well-Timed Period critiques this DTC effort:

I realize that a TV ad is expensive, the time is limited, and the ad's function is to convey a marketing message not to educate. But that's no excuse to misinform.

It's like there's this implicit assumption out there that we mustn't trouble potential Pill users with too much information. And that really annoys me. Explain the difference between a period ...

Read more...

A microcosm of the procedure-driven nature of American medicine.

Patients as young as six-months old are showing up.

Most Popular