growth-in-administrators_opt I’m taking back medicine. If you didn’t know it left or that someone stole it, I’ll give you a pass. Medicine has been disguised for a long time now. And, when you leave the scene in camouflage, you often go unnoticed. Medicine is supposed to be the science or practice of diagnosing, treating, and preventing disease. I love medicine. There’s so much to learn. Lots ...

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Smitty greets Sully as they meet to head to work, “Hey there, Sully! How’s your wife?” Sully answers, “Oh, geez. She’s up in bed with laryngitis.” Then Smitty says, “Laryngitis?! That damned Greek!”
As you may have guessed, I am nursing a case of laryngitis, my voice muted and strained. This time, it has not stopped me from attending to my work responsibilities or other activities. It has required some adjustments though, ...

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Patients want to receive health care that is of the highest quality. Physicians want to provide it. But what is “high-quality health care?” On that, few agree. Ask most Americans and they’re unsure where to find it. They know they want to be kept healthy, have rapid access to personalized care whenever they need it and be charged only what they can afford. Ask the leaders of the national medical and surgical ...

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shutterstock_231494431 "Doctor, the patient is complaining," said my secretary in a hush-hush voice. “She has been waiting for 30 minutes.” “She” had an appointment for later in the afternoon but phoned our office about 2 hours before the scheduled time, and requested to come earlier. No emergency. No acute complaints. We always try to accommodate, and pushed to “squeeze” her in. The earlier time, ...

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shutterstock_196597025 He’s loud, brash and audacious. He’s been a celebrity for decades, a well-known businessman and reality TV star. And anyone who is even remotely following the news at the moment knows he’s also dominating headlines with his presidential run. I’m going to pause here to say that I’m not going to get into the politics of anything he has said -- no ...

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Would a single-payer national health program, at the end of the day, truly be sleeker and slimmer than our bloated and fragmented semi-private system?  Not according to Dr. Michel Accad, who takes on this important single-payer talking point in his post: “Will single-payer really reduce administrative waste?” Given that savings from reduced expenditures on billing and overhead are a core argument that single-payer advocates (myself among them) employ to advance ...

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shutterstock_164492462 Anti-Obamacare critics often claim that “every” physician they know hates Obamacare. For instance, pediatric neurosurgeon and GOP Presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson told Fox News that “he's spoken to hundreds of doctors throughout the country about the Affordable Care Act, and not one of them ‘liked’ President Barack Obama's signature health care law.” Doctors hate Obamacare, it’s alleged, because it ...

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Congress is infected with the budget-cutting bug, and building an effective immune system requires political savvy. Sometimes, it’s simple (“We bomb terrorists” or “We process Social Security checks”), but sometimes an agency struggles. Case in point: AHRQ. A House subcommittee recently voted to eliminate the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) as of Oct. 1, 2015, the start of fiscal 2016. If you hadn’t heard the news or aren’t ...

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pnhp-long-setweisbartversion-52-638 In contrast to the expected shortage of tens of thousands of physicians, there appears to be an abundance of health care administrators, at least judging by graph above. The originators of the graph -- economists and physician-activists at Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) -- invoke the administrative bloat as reason to promote a single payer system.  With a single ...

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shutterstock_125105294 The feminization of health care is fundamentally changing care delivery in the United States and it is doing so in ways that will accelerate the pursuit of improved quality and affordability. Historically, health care providers and health care leaders have been selected for and nurtured traits that are traditionally seen as “masculine” -- traits such as heroism, independence, and competition. Yet it ...

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