I’ve just come back from my semi-annual renewal in my belief that family medicine is the foundational solution to make healthcare more affordable in America: the interim session of the Texas Academy of Family Physicians. The most important activity at these meetings is the networking: the chance to bounce ideas and experiences off colleagues from around the state. The issue of cost came up and two colleagues in private practice told ...

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Doctors love to talk about tort reform – states passing laws to put limits on awards such as non-economic damages for harms such as pain and suffering, and on the legal process of suing a doctor for malpractice. They speak of defensive medicine – the practice of ordering extra tests, treatments, and days in a hospital to cover their medical-legal butts. Texas passed a comprehensive tort reform law in 2003 ...

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I love being a family physician. If I had to do it all over again I wouldn’t change a thing. I love the breadth of family medicine. I love being able to take care of just about every person that walks through the door. Even when another doctor is the right person to take care of a niche need, I love knowing that I was usually the person that ...

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Paul Grundy is IBM’s Director of Healthcare, Technology and Strategic Initiatives for IBM’s Global Well Being Services and Health Benefits. He has led the development of the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative, which is leading the way to create a more efficient and responsive healthcare system. Before I go any further, let me be very clear by saying that his work is hugely important and I agree with 90% of what this ...

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A commenter (I believe a physician) on one of my posts wrote the following: "I can prevent heart attacks and strokes (caused by atherosclerosis – "blockage") in people (minimal cost) who have no symptoms. If I wait for their heart attack or stroke – it costs a whole lot more." The implication is that screening and treating high cholesterol saves money in the long run. Unfortunately, the truth is the opposite. ...

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When I first stared hearing about the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) concept, I perceived it to be a euphemism. For whatever reason, the concept of primary care or family medicine hasn’t resonated with politicians, corporate benefits managers, or the general public. To me "medical home" was just a warm fuzzy term that at least gave an unknowing listener a sense of the benefits of a strong relationship with a competent primary ...

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Why is Catherine Zeta-Jones so mad? It’s a facetious question. Her husband, Michael Douglas, was recently diagnosed with throat cancer he described at “stage 4.” She was quoted by People magazine as saying, “It makes me furious they didn’t detect it earlier.” They have young children, and anyone who hasn’t personally been faced with this threat can only imagine her fear and anxiety. I suspect no number of large houses, expensive cars, ...

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