The Role of Physicians in Controlling Medical Care Costs and Reducing Waste by the RAND Corporation and David Geffen, University of California Los Angeles School of Medicine, Santa Monica was just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). I do not think the JAMA should have published this article.
1.Why would the JAMA publish such an article?
2. Why are physicians blamed for all the waste in the system?
3. Why is it the physicians’ responsibility to eliminate waste when they are not the cause of the greatest percentage of the waste?
“The amount of money spent on medical care is increasing faster than the gross domestic product (GDP), and the federal deficit is increasing.”
The initial statement assumes that the government deficit is increasing because physicians control government spending for healthcare.
This is only partly correct. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Repairing the Healthcare System*
What is a patient? What do they do? What’s their role in the doctor’s office? Are they chassis on a conveyor belt? Are they puzzles for doctors to solve? Are they diseases? Are they demographics? Are they a repository for applied science?
Or are they consumers? Are they paying customers? Are they the ones in charge? Are they employing physicians for their own needs?
It depends. It depends on the situation. It depends on perspective.
Some physicians are very offended when the “consumer” and “customer” labels are applied to patients. They see this as the industrialization of healthcare. We are no longer professionals, we are made into “providers” — sort of smart vending-machine made out of flesh.
Patients, on the other hand, get offended when doctors forget who pays the bill. They see the exam room as a right, not a privilege. They think they should be the most important person in the exam room, being treated with respect rather than having to bow at the altar of doctor knowledge.
Who’s right? It depends. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Musings of a Distractible Mind*
There’s been a bit of buzz in the health blogs over President Obama’s decision last week to use the mechanism of a recess appointment to be the director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Recess appointments, for those who may not be aware, allow a President to put a nominee in place when Congress is in recess in order to have him in place without the messy process of having him approved by the Senate. True, the Senate still has to approve a recess appointment by the end of its term, or the seat goes vacant again, but it’s an excellent way to avoid having nasty confirmation fights during election years. Of course, both parties do it, and the reaction of pundits, bloggers, and politicians tend to fall strictly along partisan lines.
If you support the President, then a recess appointment is a way to get around the obstructionism of the other party. If you don’t support the President, it’s a horrific abuse of Presidential power. And so it goes. Either way, I don’t really care much about the politics of how such officials are appointed so much as who is being appointed.
The man who was appointed last week to head CMS is Donald Berwick, M.D., CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. His being placed in charge of CMS will likely have profound consequences not just for how the recent health care/insurance reform law is implemented, but for how the government applies science-based medicine to the administration of the this massive bill. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Science-Based Medicine*