Enjoy our most current issue of the most popular medical e-newsletter on the internet.
Blogs and Thoughts for April 13th to April 20th:
Here is what we had this past week:
- UnitedHealth Cleans Up
- Wasting Doctors’ Time
- Breaches in Patient Information
- Happy Easter!
- And Then You Have This…
- Answer This Simple Question by Pat Conrad MD
- Quote of the Week: Travis McGee
1. UnitedHealth Cleans Up
Great news for UnitedHealth! They are making some serious cash:
Shares rose 2.3% as the company raised its annual revenue and profit outlook. It now expects revenue of about $200 billion, compared with $197 billion to $199 billion previously. It also raised its forecast for adjusted earnings per share to $9.65 to $9.85, up from $9.30 to $9.60 previously.
Just think of these numbers the next time they raise your rates or deny your medication or deny your MRI or….
2. Wasting Doctors’ Time
In a new study in Health Affairs it was found that physicians log “an average of 3.08 hours on office visits and 3.17 hours on desktop medicine each day”. So, to summarize, MORE time is spend on the damn EMR!! Now the authors of the study did make a bold prediction that there is “potential for physician burnout with EHR use.” Really? Ya think? I wasn’t sure whether this would be a candidate for the “Ridiculous Study of the Week” award or not as it definitely had potential.
Why are we allowing our healthcare system to force doctors to practice medicine this way? And don’t think nurses don’t have to do the same thing. There is no proof that this hyper-documentation helps anyone. The quality metrics are bogus. The information is being sold to third parties or stolen. Doctors are miserable. Patients are unsatisfied. And yet…and yet..it continues. Why? Because it makes administrators happy. They get bonuses. They get gold stars. The hospitals brag about their data and the CEOs pat themselves on the back. Meanwhile the grunts in the trenches, doctors and nurses, continues to break down.
It is time for a change.
3. Breaches in Patient Information
HHS data shows 1800 large data breaches since 2009. This from the Health Data Management site:
The health care sector experienced almost 1,800 large data breaches involving patient information between Oct. 21, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2016, with health care organizations reporting more than 1,200 of the incidents, according to an analysis of HHS data published in JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers also found that 216 hospitals reported 257 breaches, with 33 of those hospitals experiencing more than one breach.
Even more alarming is that smaller groups don’t even have to report their breaches.
This is scary and bothersome. EMRs not only make your job worse but it puts your patients at risk. Quality indicators and useless information being asked of patients is not only a waste of time but even adds MORE information for others to steal.
I heard these paper charts are a cool new option.
4. Happy Easter!
Nothings says Easter like a bunny looking MRI.
5. And Then You Have This…
Once again I am bothered about this. This is ALL about creating confusion for the patient. It is a concerted effort by the lobbying groups behind the NPs. It devalues me and my education. It confuses the patient. And it is not good for our healthcare system.
So, to summarize, first you have this:
And then you have this:
Under this bill, an advanced practice registered nurse who has attained a doctor of nursing practice degree may use the prefix “Doctor” or “Dr.” as long as the suffix “DNP” follows the person’s name and an advanced practice registered nurse who has attained a doctor of philosophy in nursing degree may use the prefix “Doctor” or “Dr.” as long as the suffix “Ph.D.” follows the person’s name.
6. Answer This Simple Question by Pat Conrad MD
Before we move on…We all had an interesting exchange last week about the curious rise of “nurse doctors”, wherein one respondent referred to them as part of “your supporting and collaborative team.” That rhetoric is in line with this “5 Reasons to Get a Doctorate Degree in Nursing,” which apparently include research, access to better faculty posts, leadership blah-blah, and improving “the reputation and image of nurses in every area of practice.” That sounds to me like nurse-doctors proving their indispensability by implementing more quality measuring programs to further eradicate any free time for in-the-trenches nurses, but then again I don’t buy a lot of infomercial claims.
A really interesting reason given to become a nurse-doctor is – deeeep breath – this:
“The nursing view is unique. People who enter the nursing field do so to practice nursing, not because the schooling is easier than being a medical doctor. However, a nurse holding a doctorate degree can help level the playing field among medical doctors, psychiatrists, and nurses involved in a team. That is, if you were part of a project team that consisted of a medical doctor, a psychiatrist and a nurse all aimed to improve the care of patients entrusted to them, having a doctorate would “elevate” the nursing perspective to that of the other team members.” And there you have it.
We have sprayed a lot of electronic ink back and forth here over several years about the degradation, dilution, and diminution of the role and worth of the physician relative to all the other “team members.” The government, the screwed up insurance “market”, popular media, gender politics, and an unrelenting sense of egalitarian entitlement have all contributed to this. It is exhausting, depressing, and it will not stop.
So I have a simple question, one that I really hope the non-physician “team members” who follow this site will be forthright enough to answer:
Are there any roles, responsibilities, or activities that should only reside with, be reserved to, or be performed solely by actual physicians?
I await your answer.
7. Quote of the Week: Travis McGee
“I am also wary of all earnestness.”
Travis McGee, by John MacDonald
UNTIL NEXT TIME, KEEP SMILING, KEEP LAUGHING AND KEEP OUT OF THE SAMPLE CLOSET!
Douglas Farrago MDTweet