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Latest Posts

A “Dream” For Healthcare Reform

Lucien Engelen, organizer of Medicine 2.0 (Maastricht, November 2010) and TEDxMaastricht (March 2011) sent us a video message about reforming healthcare when we attended the Healthcare Social Media Camp in Berlin last week:

*This blog post was originally published at ScienceRoll*

Doctors’ Opinions And The Impending Physician Shortage

By Stanley Feld MD, FACP, MACE

Sixty three percent of physicians are unhappy with the implications of President Obama’s healthcare reform plan. The government has reduced reimbursements arbitrarily over the last decade.

Physicians have had an underlying mistrust of government healthcare policy. Congress and especially Pete Stark mistrust physicians. Pete Stark feels all physicians game the healthcare system.

I believe there is some abuse of the healthcare system by a small percentage of physicians. I also believe congress has a lack of understanding of medical practice expenses, the value of physicians’ intellectual property and skill sets. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Repairing the Healthcare System*

Healthcare Reform: The State Of The States

States are varying in their reactions to healthcare reform:

Wisconsin is creating an office of healthcare reform to develop its health insurance exchange and explain changes to constituents.

Tennessee won a court ruling to remove 100,000 from its Medicaid rolls.

— Leaders in 18 states vow to challenge the new law in court. But in Idaho, a challenger for the governor’s office proposes instead taking advantage of a federal waiver that exempts states that enact reforms that control costs and improve access better than the federal laws do. (Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, Kaiser Health News, Reuters, Idaho Reporter)

At the federal level, President Obama and supporters continue to try to sell the reforms to Americans while the opposition tries to figure out its next steps. “Soak the rich” might be one phrase to revive, but they’d do best to distance themselves from the tea-baggers, who have spiraled out of control. (The Hill, Los Angeles Times, USA Today)

*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*

Health Insurance Goes Up For Doctors, Too

Physicians aren’t exempt from the struggles with personal health insurance coverage, affordability, denied coverage, etc.  

When I finished my medical training and opened my practice 20 years ago, I had to buy individual coverage. All options included a rider that excluded coverage on my uterus and ovaries due to fibroid surgery during my training, so when I had my TAH & BSO a few years later, the entire cost came out of my pocket. Fortunately I knew how to ask for cost reductions, but still.

My husband and I are both small business individuals. I have always carried our health insurance under my name (office). Over the years we have gone to a health savings account with a high deductible to keep the cost reasonable. Fortunately, we have been mostly healthy. Last month we received a letter from Assurant Health. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Suture for a Living*

Why Medical Care Costs So Much: A Real-Life Example

The cost of medical care is high because the human body is complicated and doctors and patients hate ambiguity. The cost is high because a missed diagnosis can lead to death and a large lawsuit. The cost is high because we have many specialists who view the human body in their own tiny pieces and they want to feel 100 percent correct about their piece. Let me give you a real-life example. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*

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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