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When Less Is More: How To Improve The Quality Of Primary Care

On the NPR Shots blog, Scott Hensley writes, “Quality Prescription For Primary Care Doctors: Do Less,” about an article in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Excerpt:

“A group of docs who want to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of primary care tinkered with some Top 5 lists for of dos and don’ts for pediatricians, family doctors and internists.

After testing them a bit, they published online by the Archives of Internal Medicine. Most of the advice falls in the category of less is more.

So what should family doctors not be doing? The Top 5 list for them goes like this:

1. No MRI or other imaging tests for low back pain, unless it has persisted longer than six weeks or there are red flags, such as neurological problems.
2. No antibiotics for mild to moderate sinusitis, unless it has lasted a week or longer. Or the condition worsens after first getting better.
3. No annual electrocardiograms for low-risk patients without cardiac symptoms.
4. No Pap tests in patients under 21, or women who’ve had hysterectomies for non-malignant disease.
5. No bone scans for women under 65 or men under 70, unless they have specific risk factors.”

*This blog post was originally published at Gary Schwitzer's HealthNewsReview Blog*

FTC Shuts Down 10 Fake News Sites Promoting Acai Berry Products

On the NPR Shots blog, Scott Hensley reports: “This Just In: Fake News Is No Way To Sell Acai Berries.” Excerpt:

“Some marketers of weight-loss products containing acai berries are also purveyors of news you shouldn’t use, the Federal Trade Commission says.

The FTC has asked federal courts to put a stop to the activities of 10 different outfits that the commission alleges use “fake news websites” to tout acai berry weight-loss products.

Chances are you’ve stumbled across the sites, which often sport the logos of major mainstream news organizations, such as ABC, CNN and Consumer Reports. (See this example posted by the FTC.)

Take, for example the FTC’s complaint against Beony International LLC, a company based in San Diego.

The company allegedly ran sites with names such as “News 6 News Alerts,” “Health News Health Alerts,” and “Health 6 Beat Health News.” The sites feature purportedly objective investigative reports of acai products by reporters, who supposedly tried the stuff “and experienced dramatic and positive results.”

The blog post also includes links to examples and complaints posted by the FTC, a Consumer Reports feature on acai scams and this Better Business Bureau video warning about free trial scams.

Unfortunately, every day in our nationwide scan of health news stories, we see REAL news stories that look like advertising. So advertising that is made to look like news is not surprising.

*This blog post was originally published at Gary Schwitzer's HealthNewsReview Blog*

The New Healthcare Law: So Sad It’s Funny

Thanks to Scott Hensley over at Shots, NPR’s Health Blog, for highlighting this sad but funny video on where we’re going with healthcare. Scary what happens when theory meets reality:

-WesMusings of a cardiologist and cardiac electrophysiologist.

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

3 Things That Make A Better Doctor

On Monday, NPR’s Scott Hensley posted:

“Between the Internet and all the data insurance companies and the government collect on doctors, you’d think it would be a lot easier than it used to be to find a good one. But it’s not.”

Sound familiar around here? See his thoughts: “3 Tips For Picking A Slightly Better Doctor.”

(Thanks to friend Cindy Johnson for the tip.)

*This blog post was originally published at*

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Latest Book Reviews

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

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