Physicians and particularly primary care doctors are reporting fewer industry ties than five years ago, according to a survey.
While 94% of doctors reported some type of perk from a drug or device maker in 2004, 83.8% did in 2009, researchers reported in the Nov. 8 Archives of Internal Medicine.
Researchers surveyed a stratified random sample of 2,938 primary care physicians (internal medicine, family practice, and pediatrics) and specialists (cardiology, general surgery, psychiatry and anesthesiology) with a 64.4% response rate. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*
The worst-kept secret in journalism circles recently was that the New York Times was planning an article critical of the Dartmouth Atlas. Among the main points in the article:
• “The mistaken belief that the Dartmouth research proves that cheaper care is better care is widespread.”
• “The atlas’s hospital rankings do not take into account care that prolongs or improves lives.”
• “Even Dartmouth’s claims about which hospitals and regions are cheapest may be suspect.”
• “Failing to make basic data adjustments undermines the geographic variations the atlas purports to show.”
The Times has also published the correspondence it had with the Dartmouth team about methodology questions.
The Dartmouth team challenges each of these criticisms. The team says the Times made at least five factual errors and several misrepresentations. They write:
“What is truly unfortunate is that the Times missed an opportunity to help educate the American public about what our research actually shows — or about the breadth of agreement about what our findings mean for health care reform.” Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Gary Schwitzer's HealthNewsReview Blog*
The final House “Manager’s Amendment to Reconcilliation“ provides $400M for hospitals located in counties in the lowest quartile of Medicare spending, adjusted for age, sex and race — but not income. Coupled with annual cuts of $10B in DSH and $1.5B for re-admissions, this is bad news for the poor and the hospitals that care for them. Mayo Clinic wins!
Note that adjustments cannot be based on counties. Urban counties are too big and economically varied. When the extremes of wealth and poverty are averaged, mean household income is 128% of average in Washington DC, 113% in LA, and 108% in Chicago (Cook County), all with dense and costly poverty ghettos. Without any poverty, mean household income in Olmsted County (home to Mayo Clinic) is the same as in LA. Very few truly poor counties will qualify for such payments. This is another example of the truism that “Poverty is the Problem; Wealth is the Solution.”
*This blog post was originally published at PHYSICIANS and HEALTH CARE REFORM Commentaries and Controversies*