Meet the only neurosurgeon in southern Illinois
"After only four days in business, Dr. Allan Gocio can point to three operations, 30 patients seen and two more surgeries scheduled this week."

The NY Times talks about Medicare pay-per-performance
I still think that the biggest obstacle would be physicians turning away the sickest patients to help their performance measures.

The demand for concierge practices isn't there
"Doctors and health care researchers aren't sure why more patients aren't joining faster. With insurance premiums skyrocketing, working-class and middle-class people may not want to pay more for medical care. And, even for those who can afford the fees, people may not be as unhappy with medical care as doctors believed, especially if they're healthy, as are most patients of primary care doctors."

No surprise: PhRMA criticizes the AARP study showing the increase in drug wholesale prices
"The PhRMA study examined both brand-name and generic prescription drug prices published by the Consumer Price Index. According to PhRMA, the study shows that prescription drug price increases have been lower than overall medical cost increases . . ."

So, PhRMA's defense is that their price increases are not as bad as the overall inflation ...

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Alaska is jumping on the malpractice cap bandwagon
Although I think the climate and location has more to do than malpractice premiums in attracting doctors to the state.

A student dies from lidocaine overdose by applying 10% lidocaine gel to her legs before a hair removal treatment
The medical director of the spa is being investigated for allowing the spa to dispense the gel without a prescription.

A US physician in Angola chronicles the fight against the Marburg virus
"I know of cases where doctors refuse to see patients because of what this disease can do."

Urging Medicare to proceed cautiously when treading the pay-for-performance waters
Medicare just wants to see the bottom line: "I don't care how people get there. I just care that they get there."

Docs want some process measures built in: "We definitely want process measures "¦ and the current financial structure is also easier for measuring processes, because that's the way we traditionally pay people."

A difficult ...

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News flash: Dermatologists are better than non-dermatologists in diagnosing skin lesions
"Dermatologists correctly diagnosed nearly twice as many neoplastic and cystic skin lesions as nondermatologist physicians, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Dermatologists were right 75% of the time when diagnosing neoplastic and cystic skin lesions, compared with nondermatologist physicians, who were right about 40% of the time."

I guess ...

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Making the case for an individual-based health insurance system
"Today's health care plans primarily compete on price. In large part, that's because many employers seek to offer the lowest-cost health plans to their employees, which forces the health plans to offer the lowest possible rates. Many physicians and hospitals, in turn, accept reduced fees and payments in order to be the preferred providers of those health insurance plans.

On ...

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More media outlets are duped by the Republican "Physician of the Year" award
If only it were so easy to win an award.

"This illustrates how little physicians understand about what goes on in a courtroom." That was overheard in one of the discussions below. That is true. I know squat about the law - which is why I practice medicine. When discussing screening panels for malpractice cases, the same should be true for lawyers and judges. They should have no more authority when discussing medicine than I do discussing ...

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"Most of the problem is that medicine is by nature something less than an exact science - and our society can't deal with that - and our civil justice system requires docs to pay for it."
That my friends, is the bottom-line on the why there is a malpractice controversy surrounding us today. It is something that I have mentioned before (here and here).

Some medical schools are using acting classes to teach doctors to become more empathic
"I would argue that these physicians should be very well trained or most patients will see right through the act."

Prices for brand-name prescription drugs increased by 7.1% - 2.5 times the general inflation rate of 2.7% - between 2003 and 2004
Prices for generic medications increased by only 0.5% during the same period. For many common diseases (like sinusitis and hypertension), there should be no reason why generics cannot be used.

Bextra was one of the leading painkillers prescribed to student athletes across the country
Collegiate students really should be the last people who need COX-2s. They have less frequent co-morbidities that warrant these medications. I don't see why normal NSAIDs (or even COX-2 preferential medications like Lodine or Relafen) weren't prescribed instead.

A terrible irony: The ALS physician has ALS himself
"Now at the San Francisco ALS clinic Dr. Olney founded and where he treated hundreds of patients, he is now a patient. His one time student is his doctor."

David Letterman is excused from jury consideration in a medical malpractice case
"David Letterman, who lives in North Salem, reported for jury duty Monday at the Westchester County Courthouse and was considered for a medical malpractice case. He assured the doctor's lawyer that he could be fair, but was eventually excused."

Michael Chaplin looks into why a man goes into OB/GYN

GruntDoc hosts this week's Grand Rounds
Come get your weekly best of the medical blogosphere.

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