Physician satisfaction: Seeing both sides of the debate

Students of the obvious might consider the topic of physician satisfaction one of mere folly. The “rich doctor” label is an easy one, and the recent Medicare data dump, which revealed hordes of physicians who were doing quite well, thank you, only strengthened it. Yet, when one moves past intuition, into analytical thinking, the contentment […]

Six initial impressions of the Medicare payment disclosure story

What a day it was for medical news. After much legal wrangling, specifically by the Wall Street Journal, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released detailed data on payments to 825,000 US physicians in 2012. It was called a “data dump.” Wow. Was it ever. The story was front page news in US […]

The simple reason the medical-home study failed…

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This week, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a comprehensive study that has major health implications. Major because the negative findings should change how Americans think about health and healthcare. Plus, the findings validate a belief this doctor holds as truth. First my belief, then the study. One blog is enough for […]

Blaming Obamacare is the wrong diagnosis

The Wall Street Journal began the week by publishing a provocative essay in which a young man suggested Obamacare kept his mother from getting appropriate medicine for her cancer. The writer crafted a poignant story about his mother, who sounds like a good person with a bad disease. Mainstream media buzzes with these types of stories. […]

Dronedarone (Multaq), clinical guidelines and patient safety

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(What follows is a brief introduction for a post I wrote over at Medscape/Cardiology. The link is at the bottom of the page.)  It is appropriate to worry about medical errors and patient safety. Here the low-hanging fruit is plentiful: antibiotic stewardship, automated notification of drug interactions and attention to hand washing all join a […]

The truth about early diagnosis — this is more than just a Mammogram story

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The British Medical Journal published a monumental study on screening mammography this week. It’s garnered a ton of media coverage because the findings provocatively question the sacrosanct idea that early detection of breast cancer saves lives. Imagine that…Imagine if the entire pink machine was misguided. Of course, for people who have been willing to squint […]

When doctors meet with hospital administrators…

The meeting was remarkable. It’s not normal to get nine cardiologists to sit down with this many important hospital people. There was a CEO and CFO, two vice presidents, and a ‘consultant,’ a man who sported a nice suit but said no words. We gathered to discuss major issues in healthcare, things like budgets, pro […]

In the treatment of pain, OPIOID helps caregivers weather the regulatory storm

Dr. James Patrick Murphy

What follows is a guest post. James Patrick Murphy, MD, MMM is board-certified in Pain, Addiction, and Anesthesiology. He is President of The Greater Louisville Medical Society and the Course Director for OPIOID — Optimal Prescribing Is Our Inherent Duty. Dr Murphy, a friend, writes on the matter of optimal prescribing of pain therapy. It’s […]

The danger of grading doctors…

It goes without saying that caregivers are not interchangeable. Quality matters. What else is there other than our health? From the day I began as a doctor, the absence of a legitimate meritocracy has been a source of inflammation. In 1996, when I started private practice, referrals depended too much on old-boy networks. In 2014, […]

Doctors play an important role in improving US healthcare woes

Elisabeth Rosenthal, a reporter with the New York Times, is doing American doctors a favor. Her series, Paying Till it Hurts, is forcing us to face our role in the US healthcare problem. That’s a good thing, because, as it goes in the practice of Medicine, the first step to achieving good outcomes is identifying […]

Dear Senator/Representative — US healthcare needs more knowledge

If you had to write a one page memo to a Senator/Representative detailing the one thing they could do to improve US healthcare, what would it be? For me, it’s improving the wastefulness of our system. Here is my attempt at a memo: Comparative Effectiveness Research is a win-win: Knowledge always is. US healthcare is […]