The Trump administration is thinking of requiring pharma companies to include price information in their ads. Here is a quick thoughtful article exploring a few reasons that information might not work as intended. It includes a summary of some of the things I’ve written about copay assistance programs, that essentially make patients insensitive to the […]
The U.S. isn’t exactly overflowing with primary care physicians. The job pays poorly compared to most medical specialties, while often requiring mastery of a fraud range of material. In fact, with expansion of insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act, many experts worried that it would become increasingly difficult for people to gain access to […]
Healthcare reimbursement in the U.S. is frighteningly complex. We have federal payers, like Medicare; state/federal payers, like Medicaid; private, for-profit insurance companies, like Aetna; private, not for profit insurers, like many local Blue Cross Blue Shield networks. Oh yes, and we have private insurance companies managing reimbursement for many Medicare and Medicaid recipients. This complexity […]
Americans are not fans of socialized medicine. Sure, some people want socialized healthcare payment, including many people who are fans of Medicare for All. But even most Bernie Sanders supporters probably aren’t in favor of socializing the entire U.S. healthcare system, thereby making hospitals and medical clinics into government property. Americans are proud of the […]
About one in fifty people reading this essay will be diagnosed with kidney cancer at some time in their life. In fact, one out of one people writing this essay has already been diagnosed with kidney cancer. (I had a small tumor removed from my left kidney not long after I turned 50.) But how many people […]
Rural hospitals have been closing at alarming rates, no longer able to bring in enough revenue to serve their communities. Fortunately, there is something both state and federal legislators can do to keep local hospitals open. State governments: if you haven’t expanded Medicaid, do it now. Under the Affordable Care Act, most of the cost of that […]
Everyone thinks of “Medicare for All” as a liberal idea, an extremely liberal one embraced by the socialist wing of the Democratic Party. It’s an idea Democrats were hesitant to embrace in the Obama era, for being too far out of mainstream political thought. It was thought of as an idea that was too easy […]
Physician reimbursement increasingly depends upon measures of healthcare quality. Physicians who fall short on quality measures now face financial penalties. But it might be quality measures, themselves, that are falling short, according to a study conducted by the American College Physicians. The study involved a panel of people with expertise in evidence-based medicine. Panelists were asked […]
Warning – the warning labels pictured below are graphic but, according to a recent study, they increase the chances that people will quit smoking. Now we need to find a way to get legal permission to use such pictures, so we can shock people out of their habits.
A fascinating study from JAMA Internal Medicine shows that hospital mortality rates decline when hospitals are being inspected by The Joint Commission, a national accrediting agency. Here’s a picture showing the research findings: Which raises the question – is there a way for hospitals to be vigilant even when they aren’t being inspected?