The chief medical officer for Press Ganey Associates, Dr. Thomas Lee, recently posted a blog article in the New England Journal of Medicine, "The Pain That Results From Pain Management." It is no surprise that Dr. Lee takes a stand in defense of patient satisfaction surveys. His company is one of the leading companies in the medical survey industry. With the emphasis placed on the opioid epidemic ...

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Heroin-Sports-Injury Let's get this straight. I am a doctor, but I didn't cause the opioid epidemic. That is not exactly what you hear in the media these days. After all, doctors are the ones with the prescription pads, and someone must be to blame. The truth is that death from opioid abuse is on the rise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has ...

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The customer is always right, or so the saying goes. If you have ever worked in retail, you may have been frustrated by buyers who ransack neatly folded tables of sweaters and leave them strewn about like tornado wreckage. If you are in the food industry, you may be annoyed by a diner who complains his soup is too cold even as you see steam rising off the bowl. It can sometimes ...

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shutterstock_169451723 Dr. Google wants you to think he is your best friend. He is there for you day and night, no waiting rooms or office hours needed. He promises answers, and he gives them now. No testing, no lab draws. Dr. Google provides diagnoses after a few clicks on a keyboard and delivers the news in minutes, if not seconds. Dr. Google will ...

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has put its foot down, this time on the side of patients. Many hospitals charge you more for the same outpatient tests you get in your doctor’s office. Sixty-six different services are being targeted by CMS to leverage the playing field. Are the tests really all that different? We are not talking about inpatient tests that happen when you are sick enough to be ...

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The feds are at it again. Medicare is in the cross hairs with an anticipated 0.9 percent cut to Medicare Advantage plan payments in 2016. The final decision is to be made on April 6 of this year. Medicare Advantage plans are an alternative to traditional Medicare. Traditional Medicare consists of Part A (hospital) and Part B (medical) coverage.  Medicare Advantage plans (Part C) can be chosen in place of the ...

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shutterstock_109983080 There is controversy about whether or not there will be a doctor shortage in the near future. I wonder why there is so much speculation. The Association of American Medical Colleges estimates that we will be short 90,000 physicians by 2020 and 130,000 physicians by 2025. If things stay as they are now, of course there will be a shortage. The ...

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shutterstock_83971039 You treat a disease: you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you win - no matter the outcome. - Patch Adams Health care reform sounds like a great idea, in theory. Get more people the access they need. Improve the quality of health care provided. Get doctors on electronic health records so they can more easily coordinate care between specialists. ...

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The Medicare trust fund has been extended to 2030, 4 years longer than projections made just one year ago. This sounds like wonderful news until you take a closer look. The fine print reveals that this is little more than campaign rhetoric. Four years in the grand scheme means little when you look at the real numbers. More baby boomers approach eligibility age every day. In 2012, there were 50.8 million ...

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The old adage “time is money” holds true, especially in health care. Apparently the medicine time crunch spans two midnights. In October 2013, Medicare enacted a provision that changed coverage for hospitalized patients. The “two-midnight rule” states that a patient will not be covered as an inpatient unless their hospital stay is expected to cross two midnights. The end result is that many seniors are placed under observation, even if they stay ...

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