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Why Price Controls Will Make Healthcare Worse

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick announced this week he has had enough of rising health care costs.

So he is proposing a novel solution: make them illegal.

Well, it’s not fair to call this idea “novel.”  Governments have tried price controls for 40 centuries.  And even though they don’t work, they keep trying.  The explanation isn’t complicated.  It’s an easy way for a politician to seem to do something about rising prices.  In this case, it won’t do much about the underlying problem, but it is a terrific way for a governor to look like a man of action. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at See First Blog*

Physicians’ Anemic Response To Healthcare Reform: Passivity Or Denial

With the turn of the calendar to the new decade, the reality of health care reform has set in for doctors and patients. Already cuts to physician salaries and patient access to care are becoming starkly apparent to those of us on the front lines of health care.

I wonder why doctors have been so ineffectual relative to the other special interests “at the table,” in the health care debate? One would think that those with the knowledge base and skill to manage their patients would be the ultimate power brokers in the efforts of health care reform. Yet here we are, watching the commoditization of our profession at the hands of lawyers and politicians in Washington, eager to avoid being perceived as the spoiler. Read more »

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

Introducing The New Medpolitics.com

A year and a half ago we unveiled Medpolitics, a website for doctors to blog about the legislative, regulatory, and public policy issues revolving around the business of medicine.

Today we’d like to present the new and much improved Medpolitics, that anyone can join and participate in using the new, more intuitive and much spiffier interface. Whether you are a health care strategist, doctor, nurse, patient, or just a citizen concerned about the state of medicine, this is the place for you to bring up debates, offer solutions, announce events, organize groups, or find friends and establish professional contacts.

Healthcare is obviously a major topic today in society, and we feel that there should be a real forum for everyone to express their views, offer new ideas, and discuss details that are often ignored by all the noise in the media. Medpolitics allows anyone to blog, post videos from YouTube, and create discussion forums by topic.

If the future of healthcare is important to you, this network will be an ideal outlet for expressing your individual voice. Registration takes seconds and you can start right away.

Link: Medpolitics.com

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

Preventive Medicine – Is It Now Politically Correct To Brush It Aside?

As a class of human beings, cardiologists do not enjoy subtlety or nuance. Indeed, the reason most of them chose to specialize in cardiology, as opposed to specializing in some other organ system, is that the heart is the most unsubtle organ in the body. Unlike, say, the liver or the kidneys or even the brain (which, after all, just sit there), the heart does something quite obvious, and furthermore it does it 50 – 100 times per minute (so that even a physician with a very short attention span is likely to notice).

So perhaps it is not surprising that cardiologists seem to have entirely failed to mark certain emerging – and quite subtle – currents in the “preventive health” movement, and accordingly, continue to unabashedly seek more and more “preventive tools,” whatever the cost, with all the sensitivity and social awareness of the cousin who obliviously shows up at the funeral of the family priest wearing a pro-choice lapel pin. Read more »

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

Doctors: Don’t Mix Medicine & Politics

Health care reform has become a deeply political subject.  And like other subjects that have become political, wading into them can be perilous.

Take two recent examples from the world of business to see what can happen.

In August, John Mackey, the CEO of the Whole Foods supermarket wrote an editorial in the Wall Street Journal on against the proposed health care reforms.  From a policy perspective his views were within the mainstream.  But from a political perspective he was sharply to the right of his customer base.  The result?  Whole Foods was hit with organized protests and boycotts.  Mackey had greatly tarnished his personal “brand,” if not that if his company.

Another CEO did something similar just a few days ago. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at See First Blog*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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