Another recent study slams the US health care system. Here are some of the numbers that are somewhat less publicized by major media (emphasis mine):

Hidden away in these charts might be indications of why the national health plan idea has been politically unpopular in the United States. Chart #60 shows the percentage of "sicker adults" who had to wait more than four weeks to see a specialist: ...

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Medication refills

Any rhyme or reason? OnThePharm thinks not.

Some are saying the AMA's "opt-out" clause for physician prescribing patterns is too subtle. With millions of dollars at stake, the AMA is caught in the middle.

Apparently he was a sound sleeper.

They're not happy with the portrayal of Canada's health care system in Sicko:

Moore started with a stunningly stupid statement that essentially told these socialized medicine ingrates to quit their whining about 18 month-long waits for gallbladder surgeries because it means they apparently live three years longer...somehow. Moore lashed out at these legitimate questions about his habit of propping up an unrealistic portrayal of a socialist utopia (or ...

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A Florida physician is guilty for providing material support to terrorists.

A report wondering if they are linked:

The debate has now largely moved on and the focus is now on outcomes and experiences in the mental health system.

For example, regardless of the higher rates of psychosis, it seems that when in contact with mental health services, outcomes for Afro-Carribean people are much worse than white people.

This is where the subtlety in the debate lies. Higher ...

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PhRMA defends itself from the heat surrounding its relationship with physicians:

Who better to know about the scientific complexities of prescription medicines than the companies that create them? Pharmaceutical experts are a key source of information for healthcare providers on side effects and new studies regarding medicines they may prescribe. Clearly, patients benefit from these exchanges. Picture the opposite. What would a patient's reaction be if a doctor shrugged ...

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Should this be routine?

More fallout from yesterday's big news about Avandia and its association with heart attacks and cardiovascular death.

Dr. Charles:
"The 43% increase in heart attacks/myocardial infarctions and the 64% increase in death from cardiovascular causes is also sensational. It is the same statistical trick the pharma companies use to promote the efficacy of their products, and the same eye-catching method the Women's Health Initiative reported when hormone replacement ...

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Hell has frozen over in NC:

In a turnaround from previous years, both doctors and lawyers are supporting a bill that would cap monetary damages at $1 million in some medical malpractice cases.

Both the North Carolina Medical Society and the N.C. Academy of Trial Lawyers support a bill, set for House debate Monday night, that caps monetary damages in negligence cases at $1 million, but only for those ...

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Could Avandia be the next Vioxx? The NEJM with some smoke. Will fire be far behind?

Rosiglitazone was associated with a significant increase in the risk of myocardial infarction and with an increase in the risk of death from cardiovascular causes that had borderline significance. Our study was limited by a lack of access to original source data, which would have enabled time-to-event analysis. Despite these limitations, ...

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Blame the media, says Gary Schwitzer:

I'm a journalist so I always look in the mirror first and I blame journalists for creating much of this confusion. The "cure" or "killer" emphasis in many stories - in order to compete for space or airtime - shows no appreciation for public understanding. Fulltime health, medical and science reporting jobs are being slashed all over the country.

Eric Novack comments on the difficulties of a single-payer system:

. . . single payer advocates like to have it both ways. On the one hand they speak of inability to get care, while simultaneously decrying that up to 50% of care is unnecessary. Which is it? Or is it both? And, again, how is it that an unelected bureaucracy, given complete authority over what care you can choose to ...

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What will we have to give up if we go to universal coverage? That's something that isn't covered by the media:

You might think that providing universal health care coverage is going to solve a big health care problem in America. If that's what you think, I'm guessing that you have not delved into the matter in any great detail . . . My first eye-opening discovery was that ...

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The usual suspects are reasons: malpractice, reimbursement and high cost of living.

One new reason is cited however. The rise of concierge practices:

Dr. Greenwald also noted another significant reason for physician shortages "“ not a physical lack of physicians, but rather many physicians changing to so-called "concierge" medicine . . .

. . . Greenwald said this means that when one doctor leaves general private practice ...

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"I recognize that there are flaws in your system, but that's not for me to correct, that's for you to correct."

It's safe to say that he won't be doing a documentary attacking Canadian health care anytime soon.

Cyberchondria

It's what you get when you add Google + hypochondriacs:

Ninety percent of hypochondriacs with Internet access become cyberchondriacs, according to Fallon. He said it's a natural progression.

Too good to be true:

Last August most members of the Medical College of Georgia's 2008 class found a $2,961 tuition refund deposited in their bank accounts. In April, though, the sweet deal turned sour. The school sent certified letters informing students it wanted the money back.

Instead of owing $18,000 in tuition for the year, these students must pay $21,000 due to an erroneous refund.

All drugs have side effects, but so does life:

Their findings surprised them. For example, taking Vioxx (rofecoxib), which was withdrawn from the market in 2004, or Tysabri (natalizumab) for multiple sclerosis was comparable to or exceeded the risk of dying in a car crash, working as a truck driver or rock climbing.

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