I was an ICU nurse for 17 years, and it was during my last two years of my career when I was diagnosed with lung cancer. Going into and out of the hospital for my chemo sessions. Going into and out of the clinic for my follow-up appointments with my oncologist was the most harrowing times of my life. At this moment, I realized that my own health insurance refused to pay ...

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The pandemic has raised pressing questions around preventive measures, vaccines, and safe treatment, but it has also obscured one key lingering uncertainty for medical professionals: Where are all the medical malpractice claims? A variety of factors create a cloud of uncertainty around when, if ever, we will see the claims we expected from the care provided just before the pandemic, much less claims deriving from care during the pandemic of both ...

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My patient was very upset. The 34-year-old mother of two young children had come to the emergency department (ED) with abdominal pain despite her COVID-19 concerns. I had just told her that she had a benign ovarian cyst rather than the life-threatening condition that she had imagined. She was happy with the diagnosis, but she feared that her employer-supplied health insurance would not cover this “non-emergent” diagnosis. How could it ...

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It is a macabre fact. The easing of COVID shutdowns has brought back mass shootings in the U.S. With almost no packed schools, movie theaters, malls, airports, and fewer packed workplaces during the last year, mass shootings did not lead the news. Now they are back. This month's shootings at Atlanta spas and at a Boulder, Colorado grocery store have jolted the nation back into the banality and unpredictability of gun ...

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Eta was a 76-year-old woman with a recent heart attack in and out of the hospital over the last several months. Her course had been complicated by social determinants of health, in that she lacked reliable transportation for necessary follow-up, had unstable housing, and her insurance did not cover valuable care from home health agencies. These obstacles made it difficult for her and her doctors to ensure that she recovered. ...

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Primary care physicians already have a lot of competition from retail clinics, urgent care clinics and telehealth services that cater to consumers. Now they're facing a new threat from the "virtual primary care plans" that insurance companies have launched recently. These are health plans that prioritize virtual visits with doctors hired by telehealth services over in-person visits to primary care doctors. For years, some insurance companies have been offering online urgent ...

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In her February 11, 2021 press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki stated, “The president, vice president, secretary, and senators established the mutual understanding that America needs to build new infrastructure across urban and rural areas, and create millions of good-paying jobs in the process of supporting the country’s economic recovery in the months and years ahead.” What we need by the end of 2021 is a mental health infrastructure ...

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On a typical pandemic Thursday night, I found myself scrolling through TikTok.  This has turned into the guilty pleasure of my life.  Sometimes you need something to do that will make you forget about your own problems and work.  On this particular day, I came across a young woman talking about her experience in the military.  She appeared on my page, tears in her eyes, explaining her traumatic event with ...

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"Yearly physicals are usually afforded a longer time than regular visits. If I can use most of that time focusing the discussion on what a healthy life means to each of my patients and what they need to achieve it, I feel that I’ve accomplished more than doing palpation, range of ...

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From the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have observed remarkable, global cooperation as health care providers scramble to address new challenges. Leaping to one another’s aid, clinicians have deepened relationships and formed new connections, in the process solving thorny problems with extraordinary speed. From Belfast to New York, Madrid to Bergamo, Hong Kong to Cape Town, health care providers have ...

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