Enjoy our most current issue of the most popular medical e-newsletter on the internet.
Blogs and Thoughts for March 16th to March 22nd:
Here is what we had this past week:
- The AMA Doesn’t Like the Newest GOP Healthcare Bill
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Match by ZDoggMD
- You Can Lead the Doctor to Primary care, but… by Pat Conrad MD
- Ridiculous Study of the Week: Extra Weight Predicts Poor Physical Shape
- Letting Patients Write in the EMR
- Complex Medical Algorithm: Weight Gain
- Quote of the Week: Aristotle
1. The AMA Doesn’t Like the Newest GOP Healthcare Bill
The American Medical Association, or AMA, has written a letter to congressional leaders saying it is “unable to support” the GOP health care bill.
I don’t love this bill, either, but I am sure the GOP is shaking after the AMA gave them a thumbs down.
Didn’t they support Obamacare? How did that work out? And how is that AMA membership going?
God, I love Big Ern (Ernie McCracken)
2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Match by ZDoggMD
March 21, 2017
Brilliant bit. Listen to comments from the crowd. Hysterical.
3. You Can Lead the Doctor to Primary care, but… by Pat Conrad MD
Saw a fun little story last week about a couple of California state legislators who are seeking to reverse their state’s teacher shortage. “Democratic state Sens. Henry Stern and Cathleen Galgiani introduced Senate Bill 807 to allow the state’s educators to deduct the cost of obtaining a teaching certificate from their state income taxes over five years, and to avoid paying taxes on their income until 2027.” Hey, makes sense to me: you get less of what you tax, and more of what you subsidize, every time.
So wouldn’t it make sense if the Golden State did the same for doctors? If teachers are that valuable, wouldn’t the state legislature think similarly (at least) of healers? The state is trying things like increasing residency slots, or giving away free med school tuition, neither of which have or will alleviate any primary care shortage in such an expensive place. So how about it politicians, how about some free cash for doctors?
Actually, I’m not advocating that at all. Rather than politically popular protected classes, I like seeing everyone having some skin in the game. But it is interesting that the California government is NOT proposing to throw cash at the same primary care doctors that they claim to be in such short supply. They want to home-grow more primary care docs, and “Some state lawmakers want to strengthen that foundation by expanding the roles of lower level healthcare providers, such as pharmacists and nurses.” Stop me if you’ve heard that one before.
And if you really want a knee-slapper, enjoy this ridiculous bit by Carmela Castellano-Garcia, president and CEO of the California Primary Care Association which represents 1,150 nonprofit community health centers. Her biggest worries include not enough primary care docs taking Medi-Cal (Medicaid), and not enough cultural diversity in the state’s physician workforce.
Something tells me that the dwindling supply of California primary care docs will face mandatory Medi-Cal quotas and new cultural sensitivity CME’s long before anyone throws any new money at them. Maybe the state can train teachers to do double duty as primary care responders.
4. Ridiculous Study of the Week: Extra Weight Predicts Poor Physical Shape
Yes, you read that headline right. Amazing, huh? Here are the conclusions:
Individuals who were overweight or obese when they were young and continued to gain weight had significantly worse physical capabilities 4 decades later compared with their peers whose weight remined normal, independent of other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, in a new study
And your taxpayer money probably paid for it.
5. Letting Patients Write in the EMR
Here is a brilliant concept from the Ivory Tower researchers. A few of them have decided to blow the medical chart wide open! They figured let’s let EVERYONE put stuff in there. For those that don’t know, it used to be just the doctor who wrote in the medical chart but all the new bogus regulations made it necessary to have medical assistants, front staff and scribes doing their thing in there as well. So what’s next? Patients! These researchers decided it would be awesome to let them “type their agenda into their clinic note before a visit”. Seems simple, right? Uh..no. Even as a DPC doc I don’t think I have time for this. Anyway, in this study, “a research assistant met with patients in the waiting room, provided them with a laptop with the clinic’s EHR interface, and let them type their agenda.” So, one more staff person to hire. You can afford that, right? That doesn’t matter to researchers because they don’t live in the real world.
Now the sneaky fun stuff. “The patient’s agenda remained in the notes section of the permanent visit record, adjacent to the physician’s note, in the EHR.” Can anyone else see a malpractice attorney licking his chops going through old patient charts to find some small irrelevant complaint of abdominal pain ten years ago in a colon cancer case? One where the patient refused screenings but the lawyer now says YOU missed the abdominal pain? Case closed.
In the end the “patients and clinicians agreed that the agendas improved patient-clinician communication” and it may “enhance care by engaging patients and giving clinicians an efficient way to prioritize patients’ concerns, noted the researchers.”
C’mon. Really? Let’s find some real answers to improving care instead of creating new problems.
6. Complex Medical Algorithm: Weight Gain
We were a little rough back then while doing the Placebo Journal. Sorry. 🙂
7. Quote of the Week: Aristotle
We are what we repeatedly do; excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.
UNTIL NEXT TIME, KEEP SMILING, KEEP LAUGHING AND KEEP OUT OF THE SAMPLE CLOSET!
Douglas Farrago MDTweet