The downturn in the economy is hitting the industry hard. (via Tony Youn)

ABC News details their potential risk of catching disease:

While the nightmare of confinement within a restrictive sect in West Texas may be over for more than 400 children in Texas, the outside world may present them with unique health threats.

A dozen of the children have already been identified as being infected with chickenpox, and experts fear that the outbreak could be seen by the sect's members ...


John Mahon: "A well-educated patient is easier to treat. A badly educated patient is very difficult to treat."

Fat Doctor: "Today, three patients covered the mouthpieces on their landline or mobile phones and asked me to come back in 10 or 20 minutes. They know me. They know I am their treating physician. Presumedly, they are all sick enough to be in the hospital."

Is it because of caps to non-economic damages?

Want to get my take?

I have received e-mails about various topics people want me to blog about.

Instead, I'll periodically post this open thread to solicit topics. Suggest some topics and links on the comments of this post, or you can e-mail me.

I'll choose a few to put into my regular "My take" feature.

(thanks to Ezra for the idea)

Listen to MedPac

Will Medicare listen to its own advisory committee?

Health care winds up costing more when there's lots of specialty care, but outcomes aren't necessarily better. Having more primary-care docs, on the other hand, does tend to improve outcomes, a briefing document prepared for the meeting pointed out. Yet the payment system in this country tends to favor specialists, which is part of the reason fewer young docs are going ...


"Pole sign"

The number of IV poles by your bed is correlated with mortality.

Pretty cool statistical visualization.


A cult-like mentality.

Should those words be banished from the ED?

Roy Poses: "So here is another example of medical school faculty, whose titles imply that they are supposed to teach and conduct other academic pursuits as their main responsibility, instead are expected to 'support' their work with 'external funds,' in this case, derived from their own clinical practice. This leaves them with no time to actually act like faculty."

Is it feasible in America?

Dr. Wes: "The implications of what happens to an industry when price pressures mount were certainly plain to see. The 'safety checks' and maintenance of our plane had clearly suffered cutbacks."

A marketing problem

Robert Centor: "I believe we are losing the marketing competition. Each subspecialty attracts donors and advocates for their disease (or diseases). We are all familiar with the American Heart Association, the March of Dimes and the American Cancer Society. We are not flashy. We do not play solos, rather we conduct our patients' health care. We can play all the instruments, but we do ...


Pro-suicide web pages

Seems they've got the edge in search engine optimization.

And believe it or not, I agree with what he says:

What to do? Well, more doctors, for one thing. And more incentives to go into primary care. Primary care shouldn't pay like a specialty. But it could be attractive because it erases your medical debt (say in return for three years of practicing in an underserved community), you get more control over your hours, and you get to ...


1) Every few weeks or so, there is an "ED overcrowding story" detailing the crisis and its associated horrors.

My take: The story never seems to change, and always seems worse than the last one.

This is indeed a serious problem. Overcrowding leads to rushed treatment and missed diagnoses, not to mention that care in the emergency venue is often the most expensive.

The obvious ...


If I Had - Polyuria and Polydipsia - Dr. Constantin Polychronakos, MD
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According to a new analysis:

A lot of the waste is attributed to some favorite bugaboos of efficiency advocates, including ineffective use of information technology ($81-$88 billion), claims processing, ($21-$210 billion) and defensive medicine ($210 billion). Medical errors cost $17 billion and badly-managed diabetes is tied to $22 billion.

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