Medicine copayments continue to rise
"In tier 1, which includes the cheapest generic drugs, average
copayments rose to $10 in 2004 from $7 in 2000. In tier 2, for
brand-name drugs the insurer has designated as the 'preferred' choice,
average copayments rose to $21 from $13 in 2000. And for the brand-name drugs designated by the insurance company as 'nonpreferred' and placed in tier 3, the average copayment nearly doubled, ...


Teen shares medicine; school pals hospitalized
The medicine was Ativan - a benzodiazepine. I'm not sure that teens appreciate the fact that this can be a fatal medication if not used judiciously.

An essay discussing when a doctor is too old, or too young
"The old doctor stored important details about patients in memory, and nowhere else. The doctor's hesitantly typed notes recording office visits were brief and old-fashioned - a few sentences at most, difficult for anyone else to interpret.

The young doctor remembered little about each patient from visit to visit, but typed volumes, and was a big ...


Not guilty - the case against Patricia Duletsky comes to an end
This was discussed a few weeks ago. An interesting observation:

Brown argued that by agreeing to treat Martens, Duletsky was held to the same standard of care as an obstetrician or an infectious disease doctor.

Meanwhile, the defense concentrated on showing that as a family practice physician, Duletsky acted as she is trained. She called ...


medmusings hosts Grand Rounds 20 direct from Singapore
Come get your weekly best of the medical blogosphere.

Michelle Au notes the many differences - and one similarity - between a private practice and a resident's clinic

Fast-food ER service
Seen on MSNBC's Countdown:

"¢ Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Hamilton, N.J., which won the Baldrige Quality Award last week, promises ER patients will see a nurse within 15 minutes, a doctor within 30 or the room is free.

"¢ CentraState Healthcare in Freehold, N.J., offers the same.

"¢ Central Montgomery Medical Center in Lansdale, Pa., guarantees a nurse will see patients ...


This man had no idea how a 2-inch rusty nail found its way inside his neck

Coming soon: A reality show about medical care
"One person apprised of the deal said that 'Miracle Worker' would involve no games or other competition, but would instead seek to improve the lot of at least one family each episode. For example, the program's 'dream team' of physicians, who will serve as recurring characters, might arrange a heart procedure for one critically ill family member, while also securing psychological ...


Battle lines being drawn in the tort reform battle, North Carolina-style
"Doctors also say that high malpractice rates force them to practice what they call "defensive medicine," where they order unnecessary tests to provide a defense if they're sued. Several surveys show that most doctors practice defensive medicine.

Some critics of malpractice reform have suggested that extra tests might be motivated by doctors' interest in earning extra income from ...


After two weeks of hype, the big game is finally upon us. Living in New England for the past 13 years, I have been spoiled by our recent sports successes. The current Patriots run truly is something special and may not be duplicated in my lifetime.

Today, they face a strong Philadelphia Eagles squad - clearly the best team in a mediocre NFC conference. They are a ...


Maine gets onto the tort reform bandwagon

Expect visibility for erectile dysfunction ads to increase

And as you watch the Super Bowl today, remember that erections lasting more than four hours are no joke.

Next up on the horizon? Drugs for premature ejaculation:

The condition: Premature ejaculation The drug: Dapoxetine The time frame: Pending; submitted for FDA approval on Dec. 27. The novelty: Doctors and patients have long known that ...


"The thought of Medicare wasting vital resources on performance-enhancing drugs is unconscionable, especially at a time when the focus should be on providing for truly needy seniors."
Not everyone is happy with the news that Medicare is now covering Viagra.

The Boston Globe slams Pfizer and the FDA

In Gallup's annual survey on the honesty and ethics of various professionals, lawyers ranked near the bottom, along with advertisers and car salesmen.

Tort reform is working in West Virginia
"According to figures from the West Virginia Board of Medicine, the number of medical malpractice lawsuits and settlements dropped from 411 in 2001 to just 177 last year.

In 2001, lawsuit verdicts and settlements totaled $62 million. Last year, that figure had dropped to just over $25 million."

Texas-based hotel chain La Quinta Corp. has told a Kansas abortion clinic it cannot perform medical services in its rooms
"The hotel firm took the action after the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue last month called for a national boycott of La Quinta because of its relationship with a Wichita clinic run by Dr. Richard Tiller.

Operation Rescue said Tiller was placing patients in a La Quinta hotel in Wichita ...


The doctor who treats himself has a fool for a patient
Here's a story that illustrates this old saying.

Eric and Bonnie Kaplan, physically ravaged by botulism, slowly are improving in an arduous rehabilitation that will take months or even years
They are the Florida couple who were given tainted botulism.

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