No, according to Panda Bear:

The Big Lie, the scare tactic used by the usual suspects in their craven lust for political power is that people need comprehensive health insurance. They most certainly do not. Most people most of the time need so little medical care that most of the money spent either by them, their employer, or the government is wasted as far as it benefits them. ...

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It has been sent to the Governor. Will he sign it?

retired doc on the JAMA-induced controversy:

I worry that we have been so guideline oriented and so herded by the views of organizations whose motives at times seem at best suspect that we really can't win.Go by the guidelines and then we learn the guidelines are thought to be bogus; don't comply with them and you are not practicing quality medicine and won't receive your bribe (a.k.a. pay for ...

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Hospital scorecards

It can be baffling:

The problem, however, is that hospitals that look great according to one data set often come up short on other scorecards. Over time, the wide variations should decline as the rating industry develops better analytical tools. But for the moment, it can all be bewildering.
(via The Antidote)

A pictorial over at Trenchdoc.

Overheard by keagirl recently.

Two MGH psychiatry residents travel to Ethiopia and find a huge need for mental health help:

Only a handful of overwhelmed doctors staff this 360-bed hospital -- not surprising given that the entire country of 75 million people has just 17 psychiatrists and 190 psychiatric nurses.

Earlier this year, two psychiatric residents from Massachusetts General Hospital traveled to the Addis Ababa hospital as the first participants in a ...

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Editorials blast the recent partial-birth abortion ruling:

"With this decision the Supreme Court has sanctioned the intrusion of legislation into the day-to-day practice of medicine," writes Dr. Jeffrey M. Drazen, the Boston-based journal's editor. Physicians are open to oversight and discussion of delicate matters, he says, but those discussions should occur "among informed and knowledgable people who are acting in the best interests of a specific patient."

The ...

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Transvaginal surgery for GI procedures may be the new minimally invasive standard. It takes some getting used to the idea:

The idea, he says, is to offer patients operations with less pain and fewer visible scars.

And the notion makes sense. Such procedures would allow surgeons to avoid cutting through a patient's abdominal wall, which contains a bounty of nerves and takes time to heal.

"The ...

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Prostate enlargement and bradycardia: the latest case from the NY Times.

Caffeinated soap

Too lazy to brew coffee?

Inventors have created a soap infused with caffeine which helps users wake up in the morning.

The soap, called Shower Shock, supplies the caffeine equivalent of two cups of coffee per wash, with the stimulant absorbed naturally through the skin, manufacturers say.

As the Cochrane Researchers have found out, it's more difficult than it seems to study improvements in hand washing.

The controversy surrounding forced psychiatric treatment rises in the wake of last week's massacre:

For Gambs, last week's shootings at Virginia Tech highlight major failings in our nation's mental health laws: Long-standing laws protecting patients' rights make it difficult for authorities and family members to intervene and order a loved one to receive treatment.

"It absolutely breaks my heart and makes me so sad that so many people died ...

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Scalpel with another real-world example:

She claimed that she discussed her symptoms with a relative in Guatemala who is a physician, and he told her to take some ibuprofen, and of course she got better. Why didn't I think of that? Time for me to start looking for some CME, I suppose.

If I was a physician in Guatemala, I wouldn't have ordered any tests either, and I ...

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CT for a UTI

Charity Doc with the last sad lawsuit, where he is accused of not obtaining a urology consult for a textbook UTI.

A choice that physicians face multiple times daily. And people still say that defensive medicine doesn't amount to much:

Having been involved in two malpractice cases"”one that resulted in a judgment against me and a second that was dismissed"”I've learned something about efforts to assign blame. Despite the ruling of negligence against me, the hospital peer review (excluded from evidence at trial) found "excellent care, well-documented." The jury ...

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Medicare fee cuts

It backs PCPs into a corner:

When costs go up, Medicare cuts fees across-the-board. Specialists respond by performing more procedures, but PCPs can't do anything but see more patients in less time.

The divergence between primary care and specialists' income is increasing, and it's troubling to see some physicians react by doing things beyond their scope of training.

EHR overcoding

Audits are increasing as EHR overdocumentation becomes more prevalent.

A cautious approach is stressed by Trisha Torrey, as she comments on the upcoming launch of Revolution Health:

Case's program, and the commentor's program, involve patients keeping their own records online. These are the systems that make me more nervous, because there are no standards, and because too many people are not savvy enough to be cautious enough about what they store online. They are fertile ground ...

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Plastic clogs: Banned



Due to static electricity that interfered with medical equipment in Swedish hospitals.

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