Health Costs: In an unusual stance, a leading doctor’s group has issued ethical guidelines that include taking cost into account when recommending medical treatments for patients, Rob Stein reports for NPR’s Shots blog.
BioMed Jobs: A Texas biomedical research center that was supposed to create 5,000 jobs with a $50 million state grant has fallen far short of those goals, and the private company that received 70 percent of the money has pulled out of the project, Matthew Watkins reports for The Eagle.
Health Reform: What’s happening in health reform this year? Sarah Kliff of the Washington Post lays out some key dates for 2012.
Medicare: Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Reporting on Health - The Reporting on Health Daily Briefing*
I have written many times on this blog about one shining example of the medical arms race – the slow (some would say not so slow), steady, proliferation of huge and hugely expensive proton beam radiation facilities in medical centers in the US. I have written about how the proliferation never seems to occur in single units – rarely just one per town – but almost always two simultaneously – the medical arms race among health care institutions and providers at play.
The latest chapter is playing out in San Diego, as captured by HealthLeaders Media Online senior editor Cheryl Clark.
“As members of the debt reduction “super committee” wrestle to slice $400 billion from Medicare over 10 years, I wonder what they might say about the $430 million proton beam center war now being waged a few miles from my home in San Diego.
This nearly half a billion dollar investment in proton therapy is a big part of Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Gary Schwitzer's HealthNewsReview Blog*
As Occupy Wall Street spread across the nation, I can’t help but wonder if the same movement could occupy health care. After all, the basic tenants of the movement involve protesting against social and economic inequality, corporate greed, and the influence of corporate money and lobbyists on government. In the “Occupy” movement, there is a feeling there’s an inside game and the game is rigged.
It would seem, then, that our new health care law, written by corporate interests and heavily influenced by lobbyists, could become a ripe target for the movement. We are beginning to see Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Wes*
I must confess that I have a weakness for medical tourism. Patients have always been ready to go on a pilgrimage to find the world’s leading expert (we call it ‘key opinon leader’ now) hoping to find a cure. As long as traditional leaders in the field of Medicine have been the Germans, the French and the English -with some occasional Austrian and Spanish name in the mix- traffic of wealthy patients across Europe is nothing new.
Since we entered the antibiotics era, these leaders started to be located mainly in the United States, the cradle of modern, technology-driven Medicine. Thus hi-tech centers got ready to welcome foreign patients, building strong International Customer Support departments. A random example -by no means the only one- would be the Mayo Clinic. On their website you can see that their wealthy patients speak Arabic or come from Latin America. These healthcare services have a long tradition of client-oriented work because they work for private clients that pay for their treatment (sometimes the client is not the patient himself but his family). The important thing was never the price, but the patient. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Diario Medico*
Blue Cross just advised a twenty-six-year old woman I know that it will cut off payments for the physical therapy that was making it possible for her to sit at a keyboard for eleven hours a day. Her thirty sessions were up.
The young woman has an overuse injury to both of her arms that causes so much pain she can’t even mix up a salad dressing. “I am not getting any better,” she said. “To do that I would have to stop working or scale back the number of hours required by my job.” Those physical therapy sessions offer strengthening exercises that reduce swelling and inflammation and make it possible for her to keep working.
Shifting Medical Costs to Patients
One cannot entirely fault insurance companies for trying to clamp down on medical costs, but rather than actually lowering the underlying costs of medical services, their solution is to Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Prepared Patient Forum: What It Takes Blog*