A rural hospital is fighting with a doctor . . . and losing
"The only hospital in Nashville is teetering on bankruptcy largely because, some say, it picked a fight with the wrong man: a popular local doctor, who now is referring his patients to hospitals in St. Louis and elsewhere.

Like many small-town hospitals, Washington County Hospital scrapes for every dime, and the grudge match with Dr. Thomas ...

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Man faints, dies after seeing an epidural: The wife is suing the hospital
"A California woman is suing a hospital for wrongful death because her husband fainted and suffered a fatal injury after helping delivery room staff give her a pain-killing injection.

Jeanette Passalaqua, 32, filed the suit against Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Southern California Permanente Medical Group Inc. in San Bernardino County state court last week.

In ...

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The fatal flaw of Medicare's fee-for-service reimbursement system
"In Medicare's upside-down reimbursement system, hospitals and doctors who order unnecessary tests, provide poor care or even injure patients often receive higher payments than those who provide efficient, high-quality medicine.

'It's the exact opposite of what you would expect,' said Mary Brainerd, chief executive officer of HealthPartners, a nonprofit health plan based in Bloomington, Minn. Her Medicare HMO ranked among the ...

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Toyota is building a new plant in Canada, partly because its national health care system saves money
"Canada's other big selling point is its national health insurance system, which saves auto manufacturers large sums in benefit payments compared with their costs in the United States." (via CuriousJD)

Male physicians are more likely to prescribe antidepressant medication
"Research by the Mental Health Foundation (UK) today revealed that male GPs are far more likely to prescribe antidepressants as a first treatment response to patients with mild or moderate depression than female GPs (61 per cent, compared to 37 per cent), and are twice as likely to think them effective (43 per cent, compared to 17 per cent)."

How Hollywood depicts mental illness
"Hollywood is into crazy. Mental illness, madness, obsessive behavior, multiple personalities, schizophrenia "” you name it, it's been depicted by nearly every big star, including Robert DeNiro, Sally Field, Leonardo DiCaprio, Anthony Hopkins and Barbra Streisand."

Patients lose again: The impact of losing caps in Wisconsin
"A big spike in insurance premiums could prompt some physicians in high-risk specialties such as obstetrics, neurosurgery or trauma care to stop accepting some patients or move to a state with lower malpractice premiums, health industry officials said.

Early physician retirements are another concern, as is 'defensive medicine,' which is the ordering of unnecessary medical tests to guard against ...

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Using maggots to treat diabetic foot ulcers
"For the procedure, the maggots -- about 2 millimeters each in size -- are placed on the wound, then surrounded by an adhesive foam, clear tape, and a gauze bandage.

By July 8, the maggots had swelled to twice their normal size and eaten away part of the infection. When Dowling removed the bandages two days later, Enser's foot was looking better. ...

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The Chicago Tribune takes a detailed look at the pros and cons of the hospitalist movement

A Canadian nightclub had a contest giving away free breast implants
"A woman who won breast implants at a nightclub contest ignored gospel singers protesting the event, saying she has a right to do what she wants with her body."

Compared worldwide, over 20 percent less people in the US use generic medications
"The lower number of generic alternatives available in the USA compared to those available worldwide is one of the main reasons that health care costs in the United States are the highest in the world per capita. The reason for the greater number of generic drugs available outside of the United States is that US patent laws ...

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Harvard's teaching hospitals are thinking of saying "I'm sorry" after medical errors
"Harvard Medical School's major teaching hospitals are considering adopting a sweeping disclosure policy that would establish detailed procedures for physicians to openly acknowledge medical errors and other bad results to their patients, and provide for training in apologizing."

Congress is trying to find ways to reverse the upcoming cut in Medicare reimbursement

"Handcuffs and Stethoscopes": The NY Times writes about these being dangerous times to be a pain management doctor
"As quarry for D.E.A. agents, doctors offered several advantages over crack dealers. They were not armed. They were listed in the phone book. They kept office hours and records of their transactions. And unlike the typical crack dealer living with his mother, they had valuable assets that could be seized and ...

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Congratulations to Michelle Au, for giving birth to a beautiful baby boy

The story of how the impact of a breast cancer diagnosis affects the family
"Lots of well-meaning, cheery people tell me everything is going to be fine because breast cancer turned out fine for their Aunt Louise or their cousin Helga.

But when my doctor discusses the possibility of whacking off part of my body, frying me with radiation and pumping me full of toxic chemicals that will make ...

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The push is on for malpractice health courts
"But Ellington added that the current malpractice system deprives most injured patients of access to the courts, funnels as much as half an award to lawyers and experts, generates millions of dollars in defense costs, and can prolong awards for years.

The cost of that system is driving up the costs of medical care and limiting patient access to doctors, especially ...

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Another doctor as a patient: Learning from an ordeal with ovarian cancer
"It will likely make me a better doctor for having experienced all of this."

An Australian doctor risks prosecution for giving a patient advice on euthanasia
"A MELBOURNE doctor risks prosecution after confessing he has helped a terminally ill man who wants to die.

Voluntary euthanasia activist Rodney Syme yesterday revealed he had supplied information to Steve Guest, a former state government media adviser, who has appealed for the right to die with dignity.

Mr Guest, who has inoperable cancer of the ...

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A Florida pain management doctor is sentenced 25 years
"They stood one by one, more than a dozen people, heaping praise on their beloved former family physician Dr. Denis Deonarine.

They lauded the 60-year-old Jupiter doctor for being an old-fashioned practitioner who gave patients his home phone number and spent a lot of time with them during office visits."

Another reason not to do chronic pain management. ...

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