The following is part of a series of original guest columns by the American Medical Association. by J. James Rohack, M.D. All eyes are on the Senate Finance Committee this week as they prepare to vote to move health reform legislation forward. The AMA is committed to health reform, and as the process moves to the Senate floor, it’s crucial that the Senate include permanent repeal of the current Medicare ...

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Originally posted in MedPage Today by Emily P. Walker, MedPage Today Washington Correspondent In its much-anticipated cost estimate, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said the Senate Finance Committee's healthcare reform bill would cost $829 billion over 10 years and begin to drive down the federal deficit after that first decade. medpage-today The price tag is lower than Sen. Max Baucus' (D-Mont.) previous ...

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When I was a kid in Odessa my Dad and I went to see The Sound of Music at least 17 times in the span of 3 months. Remember that song sung by the nuns when Maria is late for the vespers, "How do you solve the problem like Maria?" One nun says "She's an angel", another one counters "She's a demon", when the voice of reason from Mother Superior ...

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When the patient safety field began a decade ago with the publication of the IOM report on medical errors, one of its first thrusts was to import lessons from “safer” industries, particularly aviation. Most of these lessons – a focus on bad systems more than bad people, the importance of teamwork, the use of checklists, the value of simulation training – have served us well. But one lesson from ...

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Originally posted in MedPage Today by Emily P. Walker, MedPage Today Washington Correspondent The Senate Finance Committee finished work on its healthcare reform bill in the wee hours of Friday morning, paving the way for a committee vote next week. medpage-today After considering hundreds of amendments, the committee is now waiting for a cost-estimate from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) before it ...

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by Marie Cooper I have been in senior executive management in both managed care and a major hospital system. I find the hysteria over "reform" bitterly amusing because it is so misdirected. The real problem with health care in America? Greed, indifference and incompetence, pure and simple. But not in the places everyone is pointing. Insurer side Insurance companies have to maximize their revenue because they answer to their boards. They ...

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by Esther Buddenhagen, MSW I write as a lay person concerned about the gap between what many people should receive and what they actually receive. The question of good medical care for ordinary people is being buried not only by insurance issues but by failure to come to terms with what primary care should be about. Even Atul Gawande, who is particularly good at making distinctions between good and ...

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Health reformers often cite the Mayo Clinic as a model for how all medical practices should look like. It's often mentioned by the President, and indeed, studies do back up their claims of higher quality, lower cost, care. But in a recent piece from the Washington Post, some are questioning whether the stellar results from the Mayo are due to demographics. The Mayo Clinic has a very low Medicaid patient ...

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by Gary R. Gibson, MD, FACP In his 2007 book Critical, Tom Daschle said lawmakers were "flummoxed" when attempting to craft specific reform legislation. They seem flummoxed again as they fail to recognize the primacy of the patient-physician covenant and try to analyze a complex problem without a suitable conceptual model. The formula below represents a valid conceptual model describing health care costs. "E" is expressed in monetary units ...

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Two things are missing from the bustling conversations on health care reform jamming the Internet highway. First, where among the finger-pointing anecdotes and critical analyses of our “broken” American medical system are the stories and discussions of all that is right? Second, where is our sense of hope? I’ve experienced American health care from an unusual, yet useful, vantage: that of a physician with chronically recurring cancer. From both sides of ...

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