Like a good, smart doctor, morally grounded and, perhaps, influenced by compassion (hard to tell), the Chief Justice figured out a legally acceptable way for his court to do the right thing. Bravo!
Profit is not what medical care is about, or should be about. What we need is a simple, national health plan, available to everyone, with minimal paperwork and, yes, limits to care.
The unreasonable price of the medical records, combined with the delay in receiving them, exemplifies unnecessary harms patients encounter in an outdated, disjointed health care system.
The current debate about the individual mandate reminded me to post this – About a year ago, I had the opportunity to hear Wendell Potter, author of Deadly Spin – an insider’s sharp critique of the insurance industry, speak at a meeting of the New York Metropolitan Chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program. Despite […]
Dr. Donald Berwick left his position last week as head of CMS. He said this, as quoted in the WSJ’s Washington Wire, yesterday: “Maybe a real death panel is a group of people who tell health care insurers that is it OK to take insurance away from people because they are sick or are at […]
Something I learned at the MBCN conference is that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA, a.k.a. HCR), will require that private insurance companies cover the routine costs of medical care for patients participating in approved clinical trials. Medicare does so already, said Dr. Tatiana Prowell, an oncologist on the Johns Hopkins […]
Today’s New York Times features an op-ed by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, on the oncology drug shortage. It’s a serious problem that’s had too-little attention in the press: Of the 34 generic cancer drugs on the market, as of this month, 14 were in short supply. They include drugs that are the mainstay of treatment regimens […]
Recently the NEJM ran a Sounding Board piece on Bending the Cost Curve in Cancer Care. The authors take on this problem: Annual direct costs for cancer care are projected to rise — from $104 billion in 20061 to over $173 billion in 2020 and beyond.2…Medical oncologists directly or indirectly control or influence the majority […]
Today a short article in the NY Times, New Kidney Transplant Policy Would Favor Younger Patients, draws my attention to a very basic problem in medical ethics: rationing. According to the Washington Post coverage, the proposal comes from the United Network for Organ Sharing, a Richmond-based private non-profit group the federal government contracts for allocation […]
“This caught my interest because it doesn’t diminish physicians’ autonomy,” Blumenthal said. It just enables them to make decisions for their patients in the context of additional, current information. “The end goal is not to adopt technology, but to improve care.”
“The insurance market as it works today basically slices and dices the population. It says, well you people with medical conditions, over here, and you people without them, over here…
– Jonathan Cohn, Editor of The New Republic, speaking on The Brian Lehrer Show, February 16, 2010*
There’s a popular, partly true, sometimes useful and very dangerous notion that we can control our health. Maybe even fend off cancer.
I like the idea that we can make smart choices, eat sensible amounts of whole foods…