Knee replacements are booming. Between 2005 and 2015, the number of knee replacement procedures in the U.S. doubled, to more than one million. Experts think the figure might rise another sixfold in the next couple of decades because of our aging population. Since many people receiving knee replacements are elderly, Medicare picks up most of the cost of such procedures. It shouldn’t be surprising, then, that ...

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According to Wikipedia, "Productivity describes various measures of the efficiency of production. A productivity measure is expressed as the ratio of output to inputs used in a production process, i.e., output per unit of input. Productivity is a crucial factor in production performance of firms and nations." Please tell me how this relates to being a physician or a patient.  We do not produce anything.  Rather we work with individuals to ...

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I was recently by the New York Times' the Upshot to rank eight health care systems they had chosen: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. This forced me to think about a pretty fundamental question: what do we want from a health care system? What does an ideal health care system look like? I would argue that most people want a health ...

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Early yesterday morning, a 16-year-old child went missing. Early yesterday morning, a woman, in desperate anguish, put out a Facebook post with pictures of her child and asked for help. By late this morning, through the power of social media, the child was found safe. Two days ago, a Big Ten university football team played a national military academy’s football team. There was an amazing pre-game military tribute, and the half-time ...

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The debate about the future of health care rages stronger than ever. As someone who grew up and trained in a country with probably the most centrally controlled medical system in the world—the United Kingdom with her NHS—my views have admittedly done a 180 over the last decade. I am no longer as strong a believer in socialized health care as I once was, and actually believe the future for ...

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acp new logoA guest column by the American College of Physicians, exclusive to KevinMD.com. By the time you read this, Congress will be in session and hopefully not engaged in another watermelon spitting contest on health care (I’d use a urological metaphor, but there may be children in the room). If our Representatives and Senators choose to ...

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In a recent Vox interview, Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) announced his plans to allow individuals without insurance to buy Medicaid coverage. As a family doctor caring for patients on Medicaid in Senator Schatz’s home state, I cannot support such a plan. Medicare continues to be run by the federal government. In contrast, Medicaid programs are run by states. The trend in recent decades is for ...

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Twenty years ago, Congress made a commitment to its children when it created the Children’s Health Insurance Program, recognizing working parents who earned too much to qualify for Medicaid still couldn’t afford health insurance for their kids. For pediatricians who remember, the practice landscape was a great deal different then. So many children were uninsured that pediatric emergency rooms were filled with children who needed routine school physicals and regular ...

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There is a 4,300-strong grassroots movement known as “Save Our Hospital” gaining notoriety in Albert Lea, Minnesota. This story is symptomatic of the fact that hospital consolidation has slowly become a national pastime. With declining revenue under the Affordable Care Act, mergers increased by 70 percent, leaving small communities scrambling for health care access. The latest casualty in the “hospital-consolidation-for-sport” trend is Albert Lea, a small ...

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As Congress returns from its summer recess, the health care debate is sure to heat up … again. And over the past few months, the debate has had a significant impact on public opinion. A recent report describes how Americans currently view the ACA. According to national polls, over 90 percent of Americans would change the current law. Most Democrats would expand ACA coverage while most Republicans ...

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