One of the most popular topics in health care is the idea of universal health care coverage. You know the soundbites: “Medicare for all.” “Single-payer system.” While universal coverage sounds desirable to many, some factors must be considered. In this post, I’m going to provide an aerial view of this complicated topic. My goal is to translate this issue into patient-friendly language that all of us can understand. This topic isn’t ...

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STAT_Logo Say you want to know which baseball players provide the most value for the big dollars they’re being paid. A Google search quickly yields analytics. But suppose your primary care physician just diagnosed you with cancer. What will a search for a “high value” cancer doctor tell you? Not much. Public concern over bloated and ...

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Jimmy McMillan might have been right. Mr. McMillan ran for mayor of New York City as the founder and candidate of the “Rent Is Too Damn High” Party. And while he was talking about real estate rent, he might have made a similar complaint about health care’s rent — payments made for costs over what is needed to produce a good or product. Rent is not ...

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Rudolf Virchow, a pioneering physician of the 1800s, once wrote that “politics is nothing but medicine on a large scale”. Over a century later, this nexus is as apparent as ever, and many doctors engage as practitioners of both. Twitter erupted this past fall with photos of soiled scrubs, resuscitation room floors and
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My wife and I once canoed across a glacial lake. There were twelve people in our 30-foot canoe. To reach the shore of the Mendenhall Glacier, we had to paddle two miles across a lake. All twelve of us had to paddle together to reach the shore. But what if we had different goals? What if the right side of the canoe wanted to paddle east and the left side ...

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The evolving politics of single-payer health care conflate the concepts of universal coverage, health care on demand and free health care. To the indiscriminate progressive mind, all three are part of the holy grail. The fly in the ointment is that highly attractive and altruistic politics runs into the brick wall of reality. As Thomas Sowell — a noted Stanford economist — wrote: "The first lesson of economics is scarcity: ...

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Pay for performance (P4P) is all the rage in health care. Big Pharma led the way, and the popular press would have you believe that one can “incentivize” physicians and their clinical colleagues with as little as a sandwich and a bag of chips. Corporations have used bonuses, stock options, and commissions for years as motivators. And the government and insurance companies, although late to the party, are all in ...

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This article is sponsored by Careers by KevinMD.com. The #MeToo movement exploded into the national spotlight in October 2017 with The New York Times exposé of sexual abuse allegations against Hollywood media mogul Harvey Weinstein. It has since encouraged thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of people to come forward and share their stories of sexual harassment, sexual assault ...

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Medicare for all is one of the leading campaign issues among the Democratic presidential candidates. Michigan Rep. John Conyers first introduced the idea in Congress in 2003. It went nowhere, but as the one-time party of JFK morphed into something much further left, Medicare for all rose from the dead. Medicare for all promises universal coverage, so that no one is without insurance. Unfortunately, it is cost prohibitive, costing as much as ...

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This past June, California’s Department of Healthcare Services went live with the implementation of its non-medical transportation (NMT) benefit. NMT is described by the National Health Law Program as “transportation provided to access medically necessary services, which is provided by ordinary forms of transportation (public transportation, taxi, or any other forms of public or private transportation).” While transportation as a benefit has long existed under ...

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