The pundits are at it again. First it was that too many prostate cancers were being diagnosed and treated. Now it's too may breast cancers are being found on mammography and women who do not need to be treated are. I know my wife will not be one who does watchful waiting if a mass is detected in a mammogram, just like I will not watchful wait if my PSA rises.
The feds feel that physicians especially in the usual place of South Florida are gaming the system by using ultrasounds inappropriately. This may or may not be true there but I certainly hope that the Congress does not add ultrasounds to the list of MRI and CT scans now in the House healthcare proposal to be banned in physician offices. The American College of Radiology has sent word to its members for a push to outlaw office radiology. A pure turf battle since most specialty physicians can read their own special images as well as or better than general radiologists. It would seem better to have the feds get their own ship in order and go after the physicians who are actually abusing the testing, although this is harder than an across the board ban. Can you imagine an OB without ultrasound? It has become part of the physical exam for several specialties like Urology and cardiology as well. Top
I just finished reading an article in the AHLA Connection magazine on peer review. It was authored by two hospital oriented health lawyers. Since it was in the magazine, I thought it would be informative and unbiased. It actually was informative but very biased. The authors state that if judges do not agree with them "the courts may get the law wrong". They continue in this vein without any notice that they represent hospitals until the very end in the bios. The article has merit for historical information as well as to see the lack of even tempering in an article in an organizational magazine dominated by hospital attorneys. Top
The VA is the most wired system in the country with its VISTA system. They have a major problem with centralization of information and the secretary of the VA system has shut down 45 projects that were make work projects. They also state that the new computer program between the DOD and the VA is half way there. To date it is costing about $150 million.
Medscape has an article on the problems with EMR as perceived by physicians. Many EMRs are neither user friendly nor will give increased quality to healthcare. They are only for billing purposes. A physician commented that the tenets of Obama's evidence based mandate should be applied to EMRs. How many lives will be saved or altered for the better with EMRs for the money expended? The answer is in the millions per life. If this was a medicine it would never be prescribed. Another physician says the EMR may be great but not yet. If it was would the government have to use a stick and carrot to get it implemented. They did not need to do anything for physicians to use PDAs or cell phones.
The Health IT group has come up with measures that are to be in place by 2011. They are simple except for the CPOE piece and the small matter of cost in a recession. The group does not care about cost only about saving money for insurance companies and making money for hospitals. The quality components are a joke.
I received the following from one of my
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article is updated periodically, it reflects the author's point of view at the
time of publication. Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice. Readers
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