A New York Times article uses an article from John Hopkins to say that the patient-physician relationships are going downhill. I doubt if anyone would argue that statement. There is little communication between the two which is partly the fault of the insurance companies. The insurers have the physicians rushing through their appointments and don't care about the relationships. The physicians need to rush in order to see the most patients they can to get paid. The physician also doesn't care about the patient as much as they used to since the patient is now basically a captive. Patients now have the internet and check out everything their physician tells them. This is a good thing as long as the physician is honest with the patient. The flip side is when the patient comes to the physician and knows what the treatment should be according to the internet. The physician may have other ideas that are more logical and cheaper. However, if the patient doesn't get what they want, they are very dissatisfied.
A group of physicians in Livermore, California are opening a new physician owned surgical center in direct competition with two competing hospitals. One hospital CEO gave the same tired spiel about having to provide care 24/7 but was attempting to get the physicians to join a joint venture with the hospital. The problem is the hospital will own 51% of the venture and therefore the inefficiencies of the hospital will spill over to the surgical center. The physicians now have an hour turn time between cases at the hospital and 13 minutes at another physician owned surgical center. Which makes better use of the physician time? Someday hospitals will learn but not soon enough. Top
The US Preventative Services Task Force is again making news for recommending PSA screening not be done for men over 75 years old. This is nonsense. Age is relative and the criteria should be would the test if it picked up a cancer of the prostate help the patient over a 10 year period. The Task Force is made up of many HMO type thinkers who really do not care about people but do care about money.
In another well thought out survey, the Commonwealth Fund found that people want healthcare reform and that their physicians should have EMRs. They polled all of 1000 adults. There is nothing to say if they asked about the payments for the reform or the EMR. There were some good comments that reflect on poor communication between physicians and physicians and patients. Based on all 1000 people polled, the Commonwealth Fund president showed her ignorance by stating that it is clear that the current healthcare system is not giving Americans the healthcare they need and deserve. She is "Sicko".
Aon predicts a 10% increase in healthcare spending in 2009. This would be the smallest increase in six years. This will continue as the population ages and uses medical care more often.
A Commonwealth Fund study shows that Americans want a "medical home" that gives them coordinated care, not filling out forms at each physician office and better physician communication. Of course, nobody wants to pay the primary care physician for doing all the coordination and since they aren't in the charity business they want to be paid for the extra work. Top
Kaiser announce that revenue increased by 7.4% but second quarter income declined by 68% and its member numbers remained flat. Their vaunted "Thrive" ad campaign is now 5 years old.
Kaiser along with Health Net and PacifiCare have agreed to offer former members new coverage regardless of preexisting medical conditions and to reimburse them for medical expenses they had to pay due to the illegal rescissions of the policies. The slime sucking attorneys that represent the plaintiffs in a suit against the companies are not happy with the California Department of Health Care sending notices directly to the patients affected. They are looking to the loss of fees and not caring about their clients. Top
In a desperate grab for money, the New York Health and Hospitals Corporation signed a 10 year contract for taking the students from St. George School of Medicine in Grenada. The school will pay the city $100 million to train these students who could not get into US schools. This may squeeze the current students who do their clerkships at the City's hospitals. The contract is also exclusive so no other Carib school may get the same deal. It is interesting that the public hospital system signed the contract a year ago but never told anyone about it until now. Watch out for another Drew/King scenario. Top
The UCLA staff continues to breach the privacy of the celebs it treats. The hospital needs to fire more people who look at records they have no right to look at.
UCLA is not alone. Many hospitals and other institutions screw up EMRs. For example, Harris County Hospital in Texas not only lost the download of 1200 HIV patients but may have broken the HIPAA law which may result in a federal fine. The health care district will pay for a credit protection program. The files were not password protected.
Hospitals are pushing EMR for physicians with the use of money. In a recent poll 75% of hospitals are either planning to or have already offering EMR subsidies. Top
DISCLAIMER: Although this
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
should consult with their own legal counsel before acting on any of the