Health care reform is the headline-maker these days, and I give my take in a couple of recent articles.

First, Congressional Quarterly wonders if there are enough primary care doctors for every patient newly insured under a universal coverage plan (a familiar take, I must say). Anyways, here's my contribution to the piece:

The biggest problem is that primary care physicians are paid far less for their ...

Read more...

People have asked for my take on the President's "health care summit" last week.

Cautious optimism, for now.

Having all the stakeholders in one room, and apparently, agreeing that something needs to be done, is encouraging.

But, compromises will have to be made, whether it will be the insurance companies, doctors, drug companies, or patients, who will bear the brunt of the sacrifices remains to be seen.

Read more...

If both patients and doctors don't accept the changes required of their behavior, no amount of comparative effectiveness studies will cut health care spending.

Two prominent medical journalists write as much in their respective blogs.

First, the NY Times' Tara Parker-Pope notes that patients have to realize that, yes, they should demand the best care possible. However, that means, "we will have to accept that 'best' ...

Read more...

Will there ever be a scenario where doctors will accept a third-party entity restricting care to patients?

Pauline Chen talks about comparative effectiveness research, and finds that, when recommendations are transparent and based on solid evidence, some doctors will accept this more regulated paradigm.

Dr. Chen is completely right when she observes that there is a "sense that some of [a health insurer's] decisions are based not ...

Read more...

For those who don't know, every piece of work that a doctor performs is quantified and measured.

The base unit of physician work is known as the relative value unit (RVU). Most physician salaries are determined by the amount of RVUs a doctor produces in a given year, and in most cases, can range between$35 and $45 per RVU in primary care, depending on geographic location and ...

Read more...

Comparative effectiveness research is the current, trendy buzzword in the health care debate.

And certainly, doctors need an authoritative, unbiased, source in which to base their decisions on.

But, do we already have that kind of information? Why, yes, we do. It's called UptoDate.

For those who don't know, UptoDate is a peer-reviewed, evidence-based, medical encyclopedia available via DVD or online that's revised every 3 ...

Read more...

I don't believe that health care is a right.

That has been debated many times here before, but in reading the ACP's Bob Doherty, he brings up another reason I hadn't thought of.

"Once something is defined as a right," says Mr. Doherty, "it paints people who disagree as wanting to deny those same rights. This places people who have legitimate concern about the role of ...

Read more...

Currently, most physicians are paid by the number of patients they see, or the amount of procedures they do.

Pay-for-performance, a payment system where doctors are paid based on meeting patient outcome measures, is how most insurers, along with Medicare, would like to see the payment system be reformed.

But does it really improve health care quality?

Pauline Chen looks at the data, and finds precious ...

Read more...

Backed by more than $600 billion, there appears to be genuine health reform momentum.

Much of the focus has been on covering the 15 percent of Americans who are uninsured, but as Ezra Klein points out, that also means that 85 percent of the country have health insurance. In fact, 95 percent of the people who voted for Obama are insured, and as Mr. Klein quotes one ...

Read more...

Patients on Medicare and Medicaid tend to utilize the health care system more frequently.

Combined with the fact that an increasing number of physicians are closing their doors to such patients, the so-called "safety net" clinics and hospitals are finding themselves with much more work than they can handle.

In this case in California, one such clinic was seriously considering shutting its doors to Medicare. ...

Read more...

Most Popular

Join 150,000+ subscribers

Get the best of KevinMD in your inbox

Sign me up! It's free. 
close-link
✓ Join 150,000+ subscribers 
✓ Get KevinMD's 5 most popular stories
Subscribe. It's free.