Dean Ernest had been living in a nursing home about a year when his son, John, got a call last winter asking if his father was experiencing back pain and would like a free orthotic brace. The caller said he was with Medicare. John Ernest didn’t believe him, said “no” to the brace and hung up. He didn’t give out his father’s Medicare number. And yet, not just one, but 13 braces ...

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I am going to make a prediction here. No matter who we elect in 2020, Bernie or Trump or anything in between, Medicare for all is not going to happen in America. One can run an electrifying campaign on the promise of Medicare for all, or indignantly against it, but this is pure theater on both sides. I don’t know if God can make a rock so big and heavy ...

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Physicians nearing the end of their careers often mourn the loss of the hospital as it once was -- the undisputed center of the health care universe. They remember a time when every community doctor rounded on patients in the morning, and every surgery was performed in one of the hospital’s main operating rooms.

Times, like hospitals, have changed. This article looks at how the changing role of the American ...

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Admittedly, my views on funding health care have done a 180 since I left medical school. I grew up and went to university in the United Kingdom, which famously has one of the most heavily centralized socialized systems anywhere in the world. Born out of the ruins of World War 2, the core concept of the National Health Service (NHS) is to provide equitable care to the entire population, which ...

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One patient at Denver Health, the city’s largest safety-net hospital, occupied a bed for more than four years — a hospital record of 1,558 days. Another admitted for a hard-to-treat bacterial infection needed eight weeks of at-home IV antibiotics, but had no home. A third, with dementia, came to the hospital after being released from the Denver County Jail. His family refused to take him back. In the first half of this year ...

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Canada’s health care system has been a source of national pride for as long as I can remember — a view that was shattered following my experience as a patient advocate during my late father Henry’s cancer journey. The depths of perversity were made apparent to me when I was charged over $1,000 to access my father’s medical records, bringing to light a serious, long-term, systemic problem with access ...

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Arizona Medicaid Director Jami Snyder heard many complaints about enrollees missing medical appointments because the transportation provided by the state didn’t show or came too late. So this summer she hatched a solution familiar to millions of Americans looking for an efficient ride: She turned to Uber and Lyft. Arizona became the first state to revamp its Medicaid regulations to make it easier for ride-sharing companies to participate in ...

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During our family trip to Walt Disney World this past year, we got the Disney Dining Plan. It turned out to be a lot of food. On the last day of the trip, we each still had two sit-down meals and about five snacks apiece to go through. Needless to say, we ended up leaving with a bunch of soda and cheap candy and still felt sick from all the ...

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An impossible choice: your child’s health or your child’s future. This is the choice being posed to immigrant families with the proposed changes to the public charge rule.  These changes would make those using government aid -- such as food stamps, housing assistance, or Medicaid -- less likely to be granted a green card.  Under this rule, immigrant families will need to decide whether to choose health care coverage over ...

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U.S. health care spending is maddeningly high. As in fifty percent higher than what other wealthy countries spend, with no evidence we’re getting any bang for all those additional health care bucks. In 2014, the state of Maryland took direct aim at this profitless profligacy, enacting a bold (dare I say European?) approach: It gave hospitals fixed budgets to cover the costs not only of inpatient hospital care, but also outpatient care ...

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