Reforming Medicaid

Free medicine = overuse:

Currently, there is little or no cost for Medicaid users in Maryland. Since health care is essentially free to them, some Medicaid beneficiaries tend to overuse the system, which drives up costs for the taxpayers who are funding the program and unnecessarily burdens Maryland's health care system.

I wonder how the child feels:

"In addition to the highly private inkling that he was not wanted by his parents, he now has official confirmation that he was born by mistake," Die Welt also said.

If it worked for a celebrity, it may not for you:

Despite the striking triumphs of the Odones and the cyclist Lance Armstrong, who defeated testicular cancer, the best advice for those who visit the Web sites of famous people to learn about diseases is still caveat emptor. What is true for celebrities may not be true for their fellow patients.

Many others feel the same way, hence the low conversion rate:

I'd estimate (conservatively) that data entry alone would require five to six minutes per patient, and we probably see 25-30 patients a day. That's about two to three hours of preliminary data entry DAILY, with zero productivity. Multiply that by five days and fifty-two weeks of managing the office that's a minimum of 520 hours and a maximum ...


Incentive to test

Bingo, David:

It is not surprising that doctors will order more tests if they profit from testing. However, even if doctors get no profits from tests a huge problem remains - doctors are ordering tests using "other people's money" and have little incentive to economize. Spending due to tests being seen as costless is likely to be much greater than spending due to doctors profiting from testing.
Even if there ...


From Say Anything:

What it boils down to is this: The vast majority of Americans who have health care coverage now would have to exchange the most responsive, most advanced, most comprehensive medical care in the world they receive now for a system that is prone to waiting lists and rationing of services, is really expensive to fund through the government and is run by the same people responsible for ...


More stories of the primary care shortage:

One townie who prefers anonymity said he has had five different primary care physicians in about 10 years at a revolving-door office owned and operated by the local hospital.

And now, for something completely different - a successful primary care practice. It is a rural practice that has significantly better Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement due to the Rural Health Clinic Services Act. Patients are happy. Doctors are happy. Funny how appropriate primary care reimbursement can do that.

Recently published UK guidelines suggest not:

Guidelines put forward by the council recommend that intensive care should not be given to babies born before 22 weeks and babies born between 22 and 23 weeks should not, in normal practice, be given intensive care unless parents make a request and doctors agree.

He was attacked as soon as he entered the room.

More from Justen Deal, the 25 year-old who exposed Kaiser's IT disaster-in-waiting. (via The Health Care Blog)

The NHS’s IT disaster

It makes Kaiser's debacle look small by comparison. (via GruntDoc)

There is a thin line between reimbursement for expenses and paying someone to donate their organs.

It can mean whether or not a hospital admission is denied by the insurance company.

Plastic surgery often follows to treat the resulting skin folds after massive weight loss.

The so-called "'low back pain of the extremities' meaning many patients with foot pain, like chronic back patients, never get better, no matter what you do."

There was no DNR order in the chart. Without one, you have to assume full code.

Once you sign an agreement, there's not much a patient can do:

Bonnie Berry was also initially charged $290. The charge was made to a credit card belonging to her sister, Martha Green.

Remember, Bonnie had a cut finger but she says the doctor told her she also has high blood pressure. "The bottom line was, he wanted an additional $1,400 and something dollars to treat me. I told ...


The vandalized hospital had hundreds of manila patient files laying around:

A neighbor last week found, lying on the street corner, a 40-page stack of patient intake forms, including names, dates of births and Social Security numbers. And a pharmacist across the street recently came across records blown into the street.

$129 for a box of Kleenex

Or in hospital-speak, a "mucous recovery system". Other bizarre hospital overcharges.

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