A Canadian-trained ophthalmologist is frustrated at the bureaucracy preventing him to operate
"I am licensed to practise in Ontario and provide service in multiple offices in the Toronto area. During an average week, I see up to 200 patients and refer four to 10 surgical cases to my colleagues with operating privileges. Those patients then have to travel a significant distance, be re-examined by another doctor and then wait weeks, ...

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The NY Times details an elaborate insurance fraud scheme where medical clinics pay people for unnecessary procedures
"Uncovering a well-constructed fraud can be very difficult, because nobody has an incentive to blow the whistle - not the doctors, not the clinic owners, not the patients receiving kickbacks and, some critics say, not even insurers, who can simply raise premiums to cover their costs."

A doctor is sued for overprescribing narcotics during an inpatient procedure
"Vinyard states in the suit her son was initially taken to W.W. Hastings Hospital on June 19, 2003. Dr. Dexter Scott accepted Vinyard for transfer to Tahlequah City Hospital for surgery to repair the fractures 3-1/2 hours after Kevin's arrived at Hastings.

The suit states Kevin's tibia and fibula, two bones in the lower leg that go from ...

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The next part of this continuing series. A look at how defensive medicine hurts patients as well:

I am not a doctor, but a patient. But I thought I'd write to you about how my recent ectopic pregnancy has driven up the cost of treatment for every single patient at my IVF clinic, most of whom self-pay due to limited insurance coverage for infertility.

Last fall, I had ...

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Some are facing difficult decisions about removing their recalled heart defibrillators
"Each assessment on surgery, doctors say, will be a personal one, based on a patient's age and health, how dependent the patient is on the device and the patient's attitudes toward risk."

A neurosurgeon quits brain surgery to do hair transplants
"'Basically I was working over 100 hours a week just to pay a malpractice premium (of) about $135,000 a year,' he says.

He was reimbursed between 25 and 40 percent of his surgical fees, and his income had already plummeted 60 percent.

Now, Dr. Ballon says he's operating on the same place, but he just doesn't go as deep. ...

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Patients in Australia are canceling surgery from doctors with ethnic names amid a patient backlash over the "Dr Death" scandal
"As the scandal unfolds, the Australian Divisions of General Practice has received reports of mounting concern among patients about the quality and qualifications of overseas-trained doctors.

It has reached a point interstate where patients are cancelling surgery due to the 'ethnic inflection' of surgeons' surnames, according to ADGP ...

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The third part of this continuing series. A reader writes:

Two big practice patterns have emerged over the past years (especially after I was sued in 2001). I order CT scans for almost any complaint and the level of my care is more intensive. Everyone with a headache gets a non contrast head CT. Everyone with any type of abdominal complaint gets a CT scan of the abdomen and ...

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Why the Democrats caved on malpractice caps in Illinois
"It finally dawned on Democrat leaders that when people, even fellow Democrats back in the precincts, weigh the relative merits of doctors and lawyers, they come to rational conclusions. A lawyer can defend them in court, maybe win them some money in a lawsuit, but only if they're alive. And it takes a doctor to fix a failing heart or do ...

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Over 90 percent of physicians admit to practicing defensive medicine
"A total of 824 physicians (65%) completed the survey. Nearly all (93%) reported practicing defensive medicine. 'Assurance behavior' such as ordering tests, performing diagnostic procedures, and referring patients for consultation, was very common (92%). Among practitioners of defensive medicine who detailed their most recent defensive act, 43% reported using imaging technology in clinically unnecessary circumstances. Avoidance of procedures and ...

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