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A Good Goosing

Pretty soon Medicare will reduce payments by up to 1% for more than 2,200 hospitals for excess readmissions in three categories — heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia.  This makes up about two-thirds of U.S. facilities!  They will lose about $300 million next year and maybe more the year after if they don’t improve.  …

Call 911 for Mosquito Bites

A woman recently called the ambulance service to report that her 1-year-old nephew was apparently bitten by a mosquito.  She is not  alone.  “We’ve received probably half a dozen to a dozen from people who have gotten bitten by mosquitoes — no signs of symptoms — but they call 911,” said MedStar spokesman Matt Zavadsky.  I…

Your Specialist Is Your PCP

There are less and less family docs or internists specializing in primary care.   It is a fact and it will only get worse.  A new study shows that people are already adjusting.  At least 41% are getting their primary care from specialists.   Pretty soon they will be turning to auto mechanics and insurance…

Quote of the Week

“I don’t ask why patients lie, I just assume they all do.” House P.S.  I know this is COMPLETELY negative and inappropriate.  They don’t ALL lie.  A lot of them will fluff a story or hide the truth.  Please feel free to send an example in the comment section.  Just for fun. Tweet0

Burning Down The House

A new survey, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, which evaluated burnout rates nationally across different medical specialties, showed that more than four in 10 physicians across the nation said they were emotionally exhausted or felt a high degree of cynicism, or “depersonalization,” toward their patients.  Ouch.  That’s not good but if you have…

A Big Leak by Ted Bacharach MD (retired)

Physicians should help to make patients understand why medical care has become more expensive in the United States than anywhere else in the world. This has been accomplished by our HMOs, hospitals, various medical service and insurance providers with at least a little help from the pharmaceutical industry. All of these mighty entities are generous…

Recruiting For Primary Care

As you may know, I left Maine to come to Virginia to work in an urgent care center.  It was NOT how I pictured myself when I trained to be a family doctor 18 years ago but the world has changed.  I like my present job fine and there isn’t a bunch of suits looking…

Consent Form Debacle by Val Jones MD

Val Jones can be found at getbetterhealth.com and she is great medical blogger.  I have known her for a while and really respect her opinion (and humor).  She allowed me to use this piece because I begged her.   Please visit her site and check her out. Do We Really Need Another Branch Of Government…

Finally, Someone Else Is Saying It!

There is an article in the Boston Globe entitled Journal Editorial: Pay-for-peformance a faulty police in medicine.  Ya think!  I have been saying this for years.  Yes, years.  I originally called P4P something else and that was Physician Profiling.  And I still believe it.  Here are some highlights from the article: A review of seven studies…

The HCA Windfall

HCA, the hospital system which controls 163 hospitals from New Hampshire to California, has seen its profits soar recently.  There is a whole NYT article explaining their success.   Of course, the author had to bring in Bain and Romney, but this really should not be about politics.   Equity firms survive to make money.  If…