Why more primary care doctors are referring patients to specialistsAccording to a recent study from the Archives of Internal Medicine, primary care physicians are referring more patients to specialists than ever before. In fact, the rate almost doubled in the 10-year period between 1999 and 2009. This drives up the cost of care, as specialist consults tend to be more expensive than primary care visits.  Furthermore, specialists tend ...

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Should Google censor anti vaccine claims?One of the reasons there is such a movement against vaccines is the democratization of information, perpetuated by search engines like Google. Do a search for "autism" and "vaccines," for instance, and you'll be greeted with a wealth of information linking the two, despite the fact that any connection has been scientifically disproven. A fascinating piece in Slate asks whether search ...

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Radiologists who cheat on their board exams: Whos to blame?In a widely circulated CNN article, many radiologists have been found to cheat on their board exams: "Doctors around the country taking an exam to become board certified in radiology have cheated by memorizing test questions, creating sophisticated banks of what are known as 'recalls,' ... The recall exams are meticulously compiled by radiology residents, who write down the ...

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Doctors: Dont be ashamed about going bankruptAre doctors really going broke? According to this piece from CNN Money, some are: "Doctors list shrinking insurance reimbursements, changing regulations, rising business and drug costs among the factors preventing them from keeping their practices afloat. But some experts counter that doctors' lack of business acumen is also to blame." That's all entirely true. Pressure on reimbursement, combined with a lack ...

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Place the frustration of cost uncertainty on health insurersAs we enter 2012, many patients will be changing to new insurance plans. And for a few, deductibles will be rising. One thing that's emphasized in the Affordable Care Act, however, is that preventive services would remain "free." However, consider this story of a man, who thought he wouldn't have to pay for his screening colonoscopy, instead was charged over $1,000 for ...

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How much guidance do patients want with their medical decisions?The following column was published on November 10, 2011  in Medical Economics. I recently saw two patients in my primary care clinic, each with new-onset hypertension. The first, a middle-aged executive, brought printouts from the Internet and already had researched the various treatment options for high blood pressure. During the visit, we discussed this information, and I gave my thoughts on ...

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Show doctors the value when it comes to social media and EMRsThe common perception is that older doctors are more adverse to technology, especially when it comes to electronic medical records. Recent data, however, says that isn't true. According to a study cited in American Medical News, "physicians more than 10 years out of medical school and those with higher patient volumes were more likely than younger and less busy ...

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Why a physician liaison is a short term career choiceTimes are tough for pharmaceutical reps, with many hospitals and physician offices banning their sales visits. But, there's hope for those out of a job. Consider the physician liaison. Faced with budget cutbacks, hospitals are becoming more aggressive growing their market share. They are not only buying physician practices, they want more doctors to admit, refer to and use their ...

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Solving distracted doctoring from smartphones and tabletsImagine that your neurosurgeon, during surgery, was talking on his cellphone using a headset. Unthinkable? Well, no. A recent article in the New York Times cites a case where a patient was left paralyzed and the neurosurgeon was sued, in part, for being distracted. He made 10 personal calls during the operation. The proliferation of portable electronic devices, smartphones, tablets, and ...

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Bury bad doctor reviews with a strong physician social media presenceWhen I talk about online presence to physicians, the first question I'm often asked is, "How do I remove a negative physician rating?" The short answer is, you can't. American Medical News came out with an article outlining the various legal options physicians ...

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