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Too Old To Screen

There are 37 million people in the United States are 65 and older and the  U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends against routine screening for breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer at age 75 and beyond, and advises against cervical cancer testing after 65.  But the screenings still occur.   A study published in the Dec. 12/26 issue…

Organized Weakness by Pat Conrad MD

Putting “ACO” into the search window yielded at least one (probable) pornographic reference, which is a likely harbinger of the very near future.  Fast on the heals (sic) of the widespread customer satisfactions garnered by H.M.O.’s in the 1990’s, the Obama Care law bearing down on us seeks to replicate these successes.  An Accountable Care Organization is…

The One Billion Dollar Innovation Reward

A new program called the  Health Care Innovation Challenge is being  offered by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid and will award up to $1 billion in grants for efforts to improve care and lower costs for patients with public coverage.   This could go to physicians and other health professionals, payers, local governments, community-based organizations. …

Empathy Mandate On Its Way

  A recent study described here it the American Medical News is trying to show that doctors can learn empathy from a CD-ROM program. Personally, I this is just another exaggeration for a future product sale. The study examined how often oncologists empathize when patients relay feelings such as fear, sadness or distress. About 50 oncologists…

To Join or Not to Join an ACO

    In a recent business article from the American Medical News they do a a pretty good job explaining the the dilemma doctors have on whether to join an Accountable Care Association.   The goal of an ACO is to “allow fee-for-service payments with a bonus for lowering projected total costs while maintaining or…

Medicare Disease Management Program Fails!

    According to a NEJM study, commercially-run disease management programs within Medicare neither improved the quality of care nor produced any cost savings in a randomized study.  There was only significant improvements in only 14 of 40 pilot groups.  Reductions in patient care expenditures did not come near the $400 million in fees Medicare paid…

The Elusive Medical Home

The supposed savior of family medicine is the “medical home”.  Hold on, I can’t stop laughing. Okay, the medical…….wait, still laughing…..is a method to rename what we already do so a lucky few of us can get paid the same.  Alright, there is another definition somewhere but it is truly irrelevant.  Here is some news…