For more than 30 minutes, Robert Findley lay unconscious in the back of an ambulance next to Mercy Hospital Fort Scott on a frigid February morning with paramedics hand-pumping oxygen into his lungs. A helipad sat just across the icy parking lot from the hospital’s emergency department, which had recently shuttered its doors, like hundreds of rural hospitals nationwide. Suspecting an intracerebral hemorrhage and knowing the ER was no longer ...

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I was struck by a post by Dr. Saurabh Jha about his views of the jury system — as some of his comments mirrored things I’ve said to juries in the past. Some things he got right, which go to the core our civil justice system. Some things, however, not so much. His perspective comes from growing up in India, which doesn’t exactly have the most efficient of justice systems. And ...

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Last year, the National Rifle Association chided physicians to “stay in their lane” when it comes to gun violence. Our lane. We responded, sharing images on Twitter of bloody trauma bays and blood-soaked scrubs. Memories were stirred, like the night one of us spent in an emergency room, waiting for foster care to be arranged for an infant and toddler who were orphaned after the murder-suicide of their parents. ...

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Recently, the Pacific Business Group on Health (PBGH), L.A. Care Health Plan, and the Southwest Pediatric Practice Transformation Network (a partnership of CHOC Children’s Hospital and Rady Children’s Hospital) came together to announce some incredible news and set the table for the future. With support from CMMI, over the course of the last four years, our organizations collaborated on a major quality improvement program for both primary and specialty care. ...

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Gun violence in America is a national emergency. We are tired of suturing closed bullet holes that our society refuses to prevent. Congress should return to Washington during the August recess and legislate universal background checks for all gun sales, establish so-called red flag laws nationally, and fund gun violence prevention research. As medical providers, we are gravely concerned about the impact gun violence has on our patients. Physicians are the ...

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Colorado’s ski resort areas in Summit County have a high cost of living, among the highest in the country. The people who visit these places — Keystone, Breckenridge and Copper Mountain ­— can afford it. Many of those who live and work there can’t, especially when they get sick. In addition to expensive rent, they pay some of the steepest health insurance premiums in the nation. Hospital costs are ...

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Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) including Express Scripts, CVS Health, and OptumRX are the subject of intense criticism by virtually everyone in medicine and politics. While the purpose of PBM’s group purchasing business model was intended to contribute to lower drug costs and premiums, many of their customers have not experienced these benefits. Instead, many patients are choosing not to take their medications or take ...

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In his response to mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, President Donald Trump called for an expansion of state laws that temporarily prevent someone in crisis from buying or possessing a gun. A flurry of states have recently passed such laws — known as extreme risk protection orders — which allow a court to intervene when someone shows warning signs of impending violence. Although the laws are widely ...

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Sunlight is diminished by threatening clouds infiltrating the once azure blue sky, clouds that are framed in blackness indicating dangerous times ahead.  Nature's creatures are seeking refuge for they are wise to see the signs of impending danger.  If only man was wise enough to take cover. It was heralded as the dawning of a new age in health care for all: the electronic health record or EHR.  My interpretation and ...

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I wrote about this topic a few years back, but the recent outbreak of measles has once again ignited the debate of just what the government has the right to do or not do in compelling individual actions in support of public health. This is an old question, and it’s worth considering it in historical context. One aspect of the endless vaccine debate is the aspect of coercion some parents feel ...

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