No Flu Vaccine Shortage at U.S. Capitol
"While many elderly Americans are standing in long lines for flu shots, the vaccine is readily available for free to members of Congress and staff at the U.S. Capitol."

Upcoming Grand Rounds
codeblog is hosting next week's Grand Rounds: "To submit an entry for Grand Rounds on October 26th here on codeblog, email me at geena -at- codeblog dot com. Please put 'grand rounds' in the subject line!"

Defensive medicine as the cost of an aggressive tort industry
Chris Rangel with thorough, thoughtful analysis on defensive medicine.

Poor, uninsured don't fill emergency rooms
"More than 80 percent of patients seen in emergency rooms have health insurance and a usual source of health care such as a primary care physician." As has been previously mentioned, improving primary care access is key to alleviating ER overcrowding.

Today's story in the NY Times on chronic pain writes about the practice of some to encourage chronic pain patients to go to multiple pharmacies:

The red flags that rightly alert regulators to potential misconduct by doctors are, paradoxically, the very features that can also mark responsible care for intractable pain. These include prescribing high volumes of narcotic painkillers for extended periods, prescribing potentially lethal doses or prescribing several ...

Read more...

The Drug War
An economist defends the drug companies.

Vaccine Policies Need a Booster
More on the need for vaccine reform by Dr. Henry Miller.

Tumour diary
Fascinating and heart-wrenching diary of a BBC writer diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.

"The John Edwards Fan Club"
If you can can't beat 'em . . . (via PointofLaw).

Doctors Behind Bars: Treating Pain Is Now Risky Business
The obstacles to aggressive pain management.

Grand Rounds #4
Best of the week from the medical blogs. Come visit and spread the word.

With the influenza vaccine shortage, it is now being urged that seniors at least get the pneumonia vaccine - which is not in short supply:

The flu-shot shortage makes it more imperative for elderly Americans to get a second, often overlooked vaccine that protects against a type of pneumonia germ thatÂ’s a common complication of influenza.

Called pneumococcal vaccine, itÂ’s a one-time shot for anyone 65 or older. ...

Read more...

The USPSTF has revised their grading system for recommending periodic health examinations. In the past, only the quality of evidence was weighed. Now the magnitude of the benefit is incorporated. Here are the revised definitions for the rating grades:

The codes for the current USPSTF recommendations include A (strongly recommended, good evidence, and substantial benefit), B (recommended, fair evidence, and moderate to substantial benefit), C (no recommendation, fair to good ...

Read more...

Drug exports threaten supply, group warns
Growing Canadian resistance for "allowing the U.S. to raid our medicine cabinet".

Newsweek: Bad Medicine
Newsweek with a critical look at our health care system. It comments that neither candidates' proposals gets to the root of the problem:

But that doesn't address the real driver of medical inflation: your demand for more and more care, especially high-tech treatments.

Knowledge is Health
Much has been written here about banning direct-to-consumer advertising. This article presents an alternative view.

Vaccines, lottery-style
I know it's the fairest thing to do, but it's sad that it had to come down to this.

Vaccine liability
Carey Cuprisin writes more on the tort system being one of the factors causing the flu vaccine shortage.

Hospital using liens to collect from patients
It seems mercenary and places both the hospital and patients in a difficult position. However, if the hospital can't collect and the patient can't afford the bills, who pays for the medical care?

What primary care needs now
A look at addressing the problems in primary care.

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