I had to check my calendar to make sure it wasn't April 1st.

Widely known as by far the most physician-unfriendly health insurer, UnitedHealth vows to improve its image to physicians.

I'll see it when I believe it. (via The Medical Quack)

Repulsive. I cringed every time I saw him use her name during the debates on Saturday.

My question to Mr. Edwards: would Medicare, his "government-run health plan", a Canadian-style single-payer system, or the NHS have approved the surgery? Answer that question first before you go blaming CIGNA.

For every health insurer horror story that is being sensationalized in the media, ask yourself if a single-payer system ...

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What happens when they get a reading wrong.

The NEJM explores the circumstances surrounding Dr. Pou in the midst of Hurricane Katrina. Kolahun comments:

That being said, she was a physician inexperienced in and untrained for working in a disaster zone. She wasn't some physician volunteering for a Doctors Without Borders mission in some remote part of the world. She was simply a physician, left to wade the metaphorical murky ethical waters in her ...

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A "competitive" salary

And why it's useless in physician job negotiations.

Yes, but barely. Some wonder why he's qualified to pitch Lipitor:

Although he has an MD, he never did an internship or residency and never practiced medicine. And his Jarvik 7 artificial heart was not a big success.

Well, thank God we're not starting from scratch.

That being said, he is quite impressive on the stump, and anyone who annoys Paul Krugman captures my attention.

Still undecided on who I'm going to vote for in the NH primary, but he's one I'm considering.

Social justice?

I'm with Panda on this one, but Graham gives it his best shot in rebuttal.

Speculation that the superstar Vioxx lawyer is lurking on medical blogs.

An argument that concierge medicine is the only way to serve the public good:

To argue that retainer-style medicine - or indeed, any innovation that somehow restores both the professional integrity of medical practice and the patient's rightful advocate - is unethical is completely wrong. It is one of the few viable pathways toward restoring the foundational (but currently obsolete) medical ethic of always placing the patient first.

. . . often give somewhat different exercise-related advice.

Snip

A circumcision is reimbursed $800.

Contrast that to an office visit where diabetes, hypertension, smoking cessation and high cholesterol is addressed - probably less than 100 bucks. Somethings wrong here.

BI-Deaconess surgeons in Boston have to take tests in a simulator to maintain certification:

CRICO/RMF, the Harvard-affiliated hospitals' liability insurer, is offering surgeons a refresher course at the Carl J. Shapiro Simulation and Skills Center at Beth Israel Deaconess. Surgeons will receive a $500 voucher for the cost of the test and another $500 rebate on their malpractice insurance from CRICO/RMF, Jones said.

The insurer has identified 145 surgeons ...

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Graham tries to take it on (good luck). Ignoring the health care policy points that we disagree on, he touches on the major reasons why primary care is dying: the reimbursement system, lifestyle, and paperwork.

The reimbursement system is the key element that is killing off the profession. The more that the public and politicians can understand this, the better off we would be. Graham writes:

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"Test every twinge"

This happens every day, in hundreds of hospitals across the country.

One of the more asinine things I've come across. Even more stunningly idiotic is this suggestion by the researchers:

Researchers asked doctors to estimate respiratory and pulse rates without looking at a second hand . . .

. . . The researchers asked 20 appropriately trained staff to evaluate different pulse and respiratory rates on a simulated patient without the use of a second hand.

Estimates ...

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Much has been made of the NEJM study regarding survival rates of cardiac arrests. DrRich wonders whether sudden death is good business for hospitals:

The healthcare system, on the other hand, thinks differently about people who are prone to cardiac arrest. These are typically individuals with chronic and expensive medical problems - most often they have coronary artery disease, diabetes, or heart failure - and their sudden death today ...

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The NHS is encouraging people to treat themselves in the name of saving money:

"Instead of going to a hospital or consulting a doctor, patients will be encouraged to carry out 'self-care' as the Department of Health tries to meet Treasury targets to curb spending," the Telegraph explained.

So when is a universal health care system not actually universal? When Britain's 60-year-old National Health Service can no longer support ...

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Robert Centor makes his choice, which means supporting retainer medicine.

And why you should care:

Many people who follow health care policy believe it may already be too late to save primary care medicine. At the very least we will have two tiers of medicine. Retainer or concierge practices that cater to the wealthy and nurse practitioners who deal with routine health matters. Emergency rooms will be filled with everyone else. Patients will shuffle from specialist to specialist with ...

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