December 15, 2011 Recent News





A poll by Gallup showed that only 7% of Americans believe that the cancer screenings that are done today are too much. The rest thought they were done not enough or just the right amount. This tells what will happen to the terrible recommendations by the US Preventative Health Committee.  They will be ignored as they have in the past. 

A study from England which makes it immediately questionable states that mammography and prostate screening are more harmful than helpful.  The found that after ten years of screening that women had been harmed by finding cancers that would not be harmful or little mortality reduction.  The women of the US would never allow the stopping or reduction of mammography.  

The HealthDay headline is misleading.  It states "Are too Many Older People Screened fro Cancer?".  The article then goes on to quote the University of Connecticut study on people over 65.  This is not elderly and they should be screened for cancer.  It is not the person's age that may disqualify them from screening but their quality of life.  Many people over 75 have no or few co-morbidities and they should be screened.  They have over 10 good years of life remaining.  This is a continuation of the poor recommendations from the Preventive Health Force that had no oncologists on the committee.  

Medpage has an article about how EHR systems do not talk to each other.  They use the example of a hospital EHR for a patient in the ED not being able to be communicated in full to the patient's primary care physician.  I know of two medical groups that are combining into one and each have their own EHR that is incompatible with the other.  They have no immediate plans to switch.  Stupidity continues.  

Donald Berwick on his last day on the job stated that 20% to 30% of health spending is wasted.  He blamed the over treatment of patients, the failure to coordinate care and failure of over regulation as well as fraud. 

Is it a waste to do pelvic exams?  According to an article in the Archives of Internal Medicine, it is.  Routine pelvic exams are unnecessary and give false information when screening for early ovarian cancer, STD or prior to giving birth control.  It should never be done on well women.  Things have changed.

McKinsey and Company reported that people are already losing their insurance in preparation for Obamacare.  Small HMOs are going out of business since there is no way they they can come up to the percentage necessary to be spent on medical care.  Also child only plans are being phased out in many states.  The report goes on to say that Medicare Advantage plans will put in higher copays or reduce benefits.      Top  


If not for Obamacare the physician run hospitals could and would expand which would mean more trade and hospital jobs.  However, the powerful AHA would have competition and that they do not like.   

New York's Westchester Hospital is attempting to rebuild it's cardiovascular program after 14 members defected to another hospital.  This has it the cardiology numbers at the hospital hard.   

A 23 member neurosurgical team has left Doctor's Hospital in Coral Gable, Florida, for Larkin Community Hospital in South Miami.  Doctor's Hospital is a Baptist Hospital and would not comment on the major physician leaving due to Baptist wanting larger organization and the doctor wanting more control.  

Steward Healthcare, a for profit organization, has raided another hospital.  This time they got 90 physicians from Partners HealthCare in Boston.  This is the second one in one month.  It earlier got a 150 person organization from Beth Israel.

As a follow-up to the above stories, a new study showed how physicians are waking up in mid practice years to find they are very unhappy and want more out of life.  The problem is the amount of time and money they have spent getting to their unhappy state.  They do not have the skills to retrain or replace their income.  They become less compliant and more critical or what is happening to and by them.  They have few people to discuss this with and this leads to depression and maybe substance abuse.  Most of the stress and burnout has occurred in the last three years.  There are a few hospitals that are starting to put in resources for this burn out.  

How could this happen.  A hospital in Kolkata (Calcutta), India, had 94 people burn to death when the employees fled leaving their patients and hospital guards stopped people from entering the hospital to help out.  Six hospital directors were charged with culpable homicide.  The AMRI Hospital was rated one of the best in the city but had no fire drills. 

Wyoming Medical Center has lost millions in present, future and past Medicare funding.  It has lost its "sole community provider"  status.  It must repay CMS over $15 million and not get the proposed $8 million it was supposed to obtain.  This happened after a surgical center opened and did 8% of the community business.     Top


MD Anderson Health has a new president who came from Dana-Farber in Boston.  One of the first thing he did was bolster his cancer drug development.  He did this by hiring 55 scientists from his alma mater Dana-Farber.  MD Anderson pledged $75 million to the new Institute that the new scientists would work.  

Deloitte has a new study that shows 75% of physicians are pessimistic about the future of medicine in this country.  This vast majority feel Obamacare will not help the patients or healthcare in general.  The physicians look to the increasing costs of practice as well as the more restrictions and rules that will occur.  This is mostly coming from the older (over 50) surgical specialists.    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 information presented.