Billing

There is no incentive for physicians to disclose pricing if health insurers don't:

Brewer says that, despite all the complexity, he could publish his rates. But why should he tip his financial hand when health plans and hospitals keep their charges under wraps. Rates should be transparent, he writes, and when "the insurers and hospitals show theirs, I'll show mine."

And worse, don't give that computer away. (via The Medical Quack)

For $800? See it to believe it.

Disability

Edwin Leap: "If you can't remember why you're on disability, you shouldn't be on disability."

How to choose a cardiologist. Notice that of these three traits, availability comes first.

It doesn't matter how good you are if your access stinks. (via Dr. Wes)

Continuing coverage from MedPage Today and the NY Times.

A grim diagnosis.

Someone in the comments here called it early. Seizures and headaches are two of the most common presenting symptoms.

Treatment options would included a combined approach of post-operative radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

Best wishes to Senator Kennedy and his family.

See what last night's episode did for amantadine. Also, a congrats to Scott Morrison who was noticed by the WSJ for his excellent analysis of every "House" episode.

Elusive diagnoses

The Happy Hospitalist is here to help.

Can the medical home deliver?

Daniel Carlat: "Why does the company believe it needs to give pens and pizzas to doctors in order to get them to prescribe their drugs? Are their products so ineffective that bribery is the key incentive for their use?"

Grief and death

What gets to this emergency physician?

Syncope

Sid Schwab: "I think fainting is nature's way of telling you to cool it. If you're too dumb to get your brain at or below heart level, your head will make the move for you."

John Welsh: "The hospitals may just have to pony up higher salaries to attract the docs they need."

I really don't see any way around it.

Google Health

TechCrunch takes a look.

I used it briefly to enter my health information. Nice interface, however somewhat simplistic. It's a good start and something Google can build from.

Dr. Crippen gives us an opinion from overseas, and WhiteCoat comments on the transfer from Cape Cod Hospital (a "Top 100 Hospital") to MGH.

Futile care

How the family can be responsible for denying a dying patient's wishes.

NY Times: "By promptly disclosing medical errors and offering earnest apologies and fair compensation, they hope to restore integrity to dealings with patients, make it easier to learn from mistakes and dilute anger that often fuels lawsuits.

Malpractice lawyers say that what often transforms a reasonable patient into an indignant plaintiff is less an error than its concealment, and the victim's concern that it will happen again."

Maybe we should show some faith in jurors:

After all the embarrassment and self-doubt my malpractice case had engendered in me, there was a juror who not only believed my defense, but trusted me enough to refer his elderly father and mother to me.

Often the two concepts are incongruent with each other. Take this example, which is the first I've heard of it:

An FP in Washington says that he's noticed a trend toward overprescription of opiates. When he questioned several physicians about their prescribing habits, they replied that pain medication addicts always pay their bills and keep follow-up appointments.

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