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New York State Wants To Dictate What Doctors Can Wear

From AMA Medical News:

New York physicians may have to take off their neckties, jewelry, wristwatches and long-sleeved white coats when caring for patients if a bill under consideration in the state legislature becomes law.

The bill, proposed in April in the state Senate, calls for a “hygienic dress code council” within the New York Health Dept. to consider advancing a ban on neckties and requiring physicians and other health professionals to adopt a “bare below the elbow” dress code in an effort to slash hospital-acquired infections.

Even though there’s no data that this does anything to reduce hospital acquired infections.

But that doesn’t matter.

So why stop there? I say, doctors should do the ultimate for their patients: the Full Monty.

*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Wes*

Organized Medicine Is Out Of Touch With How Practicing Physicians Feel About Obamacare

There is a widespread discrepancy between the opinions of organized medical group leaders in the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the American College of Physicians (ACP), and  practicing physicians.  AMA, AAFP, and ACP are part of organized medicine.

These organizations supported the healthcare reform law in 2010 and continue to support the legislation. I believe they have taken this position because they want a seat at the table as implementation of the legislation moves forward. President Obama has not paid attention to them so far and there is little evidence that he will in the future.

In March of 2010, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi famously said, “We have to pass the [health care] bill so that you can find out what is in it.”

Most physicians are starting to realize the implications of President Obama’s Healthcare Reform Act (ACA) (Obamacare). They are terrified about the implications for the practice of medicine.

Organized medicine is still not disenchanted with President Obama’s Healthcare Reform Act. Charles Cutler, MD, chair of the ACP Board of Governors said recently,  “The medical community recognizes that so much of the ACA is good.” Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Repairing the Healthcare System*

Health Insurance Coverage And Leaving The Hospital Against Medical Advice

There is a huge myth being unknowingly  perpetrated against the general public when it comes to their rights and responsibilities as a patient.  It’s a myth that I can remember hearing as far back as my first few weeks of clinicals during medical school.  It was a constant presence during my residency training and even now, as a private practice hospitalist I hear misinformation being handed down day after day, month after month.

This myth is perpetrated by doctors, nurses, and therapists of all kinds.  What is this myth?  That their health insurance company will not pay for the care provided if they want to leave against the medical advice of their physician.

Will my insurance company pay if I leave against medical advice (AMA)? Yes.  They will pay.  Medicare and Medicaid pay for services that are medically necessary.  For example, if you go to the ER and the doctor recommends a CT scan of your chest and you decline, this does not mean the insurance company will deny payment for your visit to the emergency room.  This is what  the informed consent process is for.  If you have been admitted for a medical condition that requires hospitalization and your care plan meets Medicare medical necessity muster, your care will be paid for whether you leave the hospital when your physician believes it is safe or not.   Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The Happy Hospitalist*

Obama Is Not Reforming Healthcare The Right Way

Last year’s “Doctor Fix” was passed the last week congress was in session in 2010. This was after the medical profession was held in suspense for 9 months.

The “Doctor Fix” was supposedly the result of President Obama making a deal with the AMA for the AMA’s support. He was going to pass a real “Doctor Fix” in 2011 by repairing the defective sustainable growth rate formula (SGR). Nothing has been done about this by President Obama in 2011. The cumulative physician reimbursement reduction of 25% was suspended until January 2012.

Physicians face a 29.5% Medicare Pay Cut in January 2012. Four and one half percent was added to last year’s cumulative physicians reimbursement reduction. The reduction was calculated into the CBO’s cost score for President Obama’s Healthcare Reform Act.

Last week an official with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services unveiled the 29.5% rate reduction for 2012 in a recent letter to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission. This will become another distraction for physicians and the media as President Obama stalls for time. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Repairing the Healthcare System*

Lying: A Way Of Life In The Medical Profession

In his last post, DrRich analyzed whether the young Wisconsin doctors who stood out on street corners proudly offering fake “sick excuses” to protesting teachers were engaging in an act of civil disobedience. DrRich respectfully kept an open mind on this question, but after careful deliberation concluded that it is very unlikely that their actions constituted classic civil disobedience as espoused by Thoreau or Gandhi.

Instead, these doctors were, in a professional capacity, lying. They did not lie in any truly malicious way, however. They lied because they have been trained to believe in a higher cause than mere professional ethics, namely, the cause of social justice. They lied in full confidence that telling lies to advance such a noble cause is a natural duty of the medical profession. They never expected to be criticized for it (except perhaps by Rush Limbaugh and sundry teabaggers and the like), and they almost certainly will be stunned into indignant incoherence if they end up actually receiving the full punishments their actions allow.

But what really interests DrRich is the near-perfect silence we have seen from the mainstream news media regarding this sad episode. While it’s easy to find stories about the phony sick excuses all over Fox News and conservative websites, major outlets like the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, CBS and NBC — sources one might expect to express at least some sympathy for these doctors and their work to advance a just cause – have reported next to nothing about it. When a left-leaning mainstream outlet does report on the episode (for instance, this article appearing in the Atlantic), rather than expressing any support for the Wisconsin doctors, they express at least mild dismay. It seems plain to DrRich that the mainstream media wish the whole thing hadn’t happened, and that perhaps their silence might help it go away as soon as possible.

So here we’ve got a small cadre of youthful and idealistic physicians, behaving in a manner entirely consistent with what they’ve just learned during their medical training, and not only are they facing formal investigations and potential punishment, but also the very people and organizations whom they were surely counting on for support have retreated into an embarrassed silence, or worse, criticism. What gives? Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The Covert Rationing Blog*

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