Does the small difference in life expectancy statistics warrant overhauling the health care system?

The truth is that Americans live, on average, longer than people in many countries with socialized care but not as long as people in some countries. If one were to compare the EU average life expectancy to that of the average American the difference is really a matter of weeks.

But that small difference ...

Read more...

Medicare and health IT

Their recently announced Medicare/P4P rules presents a huge opportunity for health IT to capitalize.

Several readers here suggest refusing to take insurance if physicians are unhappy with reimbursement.

You can see how unrealistic that is, as this OB/GYN learns a difficult lesson when he plays hardball with the insurance companies:

While O'Flynn didn't work for Premier-owned Miami Valley Hospital, his offices were located there. When Premier couldn't strike a deal with the insurance company early this year, many of his patients ...

Read more...

Edwin Leap on the night shift. Well said:

It's time for night-workers to be treated, not as second-class citizens, but as the first class professionals they are, taking one for the team night after night so that everyone else can rest. It's time for night shift, already perilous enough, to stop being the entry level job for he inexperienced until they earn'something better.' It's time for us to ...

Read more...

Opera singers also overuse and abuse medications to cope and recover from performances:

Singers often overuse steroids in the form of cortisone to control inflamed vocal cords "” sometimes in amounts that can permanently impair their abilities, say performers and their doctors. Others drink too much. Still others snort cocaine, according to insiders.

Inability to cope sometimes turns into tragedy "” as in the case of American tenor Jerry ...

Read more...

More fire for Jacob Hacker's "Medicare-for-all" propaganda piece in last week's NEJM:

Dr. Hacker's only criticism of Sicko, it seems, is that it doesn't offer the solution he prefers, "Medicare for all". While praising Medicare Hacker has this to say about private insurance: "Insurers erect obstacles to care, hassle patients and doctors"¦." It's safe to say Dr. Hacker doesn't take care of Medicare patients. If he did he'd be ...

Read more...

More problems with Medicare's medical error P4P policy:

I am now more convinced than ever that policy is driven by money, politics and power, but I would have hoped someone would at least pay lip service to the science.
And in the NY Times, a letter with some real-world implications of the policy:
So, I admit Mrs. Jones, an elderly patient of mine, to the hospital because she ...

Read more...

A rare cause of nipple pain.

Some are saying that the inappropriately-high C-section rate is one reason:

Some researchers point to the rising C-section rate, now 29 percent of all births - far higher than what public health experts say is appropriate. Like other surgeries, Caesareans come with risks related to anesthesia, infections and blood clots.

"There's an inherent risk to C-sections," said Dr. Elliott Main, who co-chairs a panel reviewing obstetrics care in California. ...

Read more...

Do they reflect what matters to most Americans?

The WHO rankings have more to do with what liberals value in a health care system (fairness, equality, etc.) than what most Americans value in a health care system (quality, access, efficiency, innovation, convenience). Though this doesn't stop people like Mr. Moore from trying to convince everyone that these apples are really oranges.

It can be a problem when the many of the refill requests are for controlled substances.

"Save Grady"

A film to save the troubled Atlanta hospital. (via The Medical Quack)

Anna Pou speaks

She tells her side of the story to Newsweek:

I actually felt sorry for Mr. Foti. What he did was so unprecedented and is typically not done. I know he had his reasons for doing it, but I just felt sorry that he couldn't accept or respect the grand jury's decision. Most prosecutors, if they don't agree, they accept the grand jury's decision graciously. Basically he didn't show any respect ...

Read more...

A man undergoes the procedure to keep his adopted child:

A man who weighed 558 pounds when a Missouri judge prevented him from adopting a child he and his wife had taken into their home underwent gastric bypass surgery Friday in a bid to win the child back.

Gary Stocklaufer, a 34-year-old truck driver, and his wife claim a judge unfairly discriminated against them because of his weight in ...

Read more...

Is UnitedHealth playing the ACP for a bunch of fools?

UnitedHealth Group is simply responding to the request by the ACP for a "new model" of primary care by giving them what they want. But you can put lipstick on a pig all day long and it's still a pig. Whether you call it medical home, pay for performance, or just plain managed care, as long as the big insurers ...

Read more...

Should physician-bloggers be held to a higher standard?

So the question remains: should physician bloggers, including those who anonymously post, be required to meet certain standards in their postings, just as they are required to meet certain standards within their practice? If so, who becomes the upholder of these ethical guidelines?

A handy guide for patients when they see studies discussed in the media.

Make sure your informed consent forms are clear enough:

The informed consent form described the surgery as a "lumbar diskectomy and fusion with iliac crest bone graft + 'Steffe plates.' " During the surgery the physicians removed bone fragments and grafted the plaintiff's own bone to his spine. They also used cadaver bone as dowels for the bone graft. The grafted bone didn't fuse and the patient's workers' compensation carrier ...

Read more...

Walk-ins

Love 'em or hate 'em, people who show up without an appointment can help or hurt your practice:

. . . walk-ins are a fact of life in office-based medicine, so rules to deal with them are essential. Walk-in policies will vary from practice to practice, and even from physician to physician within a practice, depending on who's on call, who's looking for a heftier patient roster, and what sort ...

Read more...



She was born with osteogenesis imperfecta:

Little Sarah Morrison is so delicate she can never be hugged by her parents and she can break a bone just by sneezing.

Before she was even born, Sarah suffered 30 rib fractures and doctors said she would live just two days.

But the one-in-a-million baby, who has brittle-bone disease, will defy expectations when she celebrates her first birthday ...

Read more...

Most Popular

Get KevinMD's 5 most popular stories.