Archive for April, 2014

Americans Pay Way More For This Than People In Other Countries

April 26, 2014 Leave a comment

As anyone who’s ever paid a health insurance premium or a hospital bill knows, medical care is expensive. What Americans may not know is that residents of other countries don’t pay nearly as much for the same things.

The latest data from the International Federation of Health Plans, an industry group representing health insurers from 28 countries including the United States, once again illustrates that American patients pay the highest prices in the world for a variety of prescription drugs and common procedures like childbirth and hospital stays.

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Everyone seems to know this except the Republicans in Congress.


Survey Estimates Net Gain of 9.3 Million American Adults with Health Insurance | RAND

April 12, 2014 Leave a comment

Early survey evidence indicates that the Affordable Care Act has already led to a substantial increase in insurance coverage. Consistent with the ACA’s design, this gain in insurance has come not only from new enrollment in the marketplaces, but also from new enrollment in employer coverage and Medicaid.

Despite all of the flaws in the Affordable Care Act , one has to marvel at the many positive improvements in healthcare since the ACA’s passage.  I have said many times that Barack Obama’s legacy will not be that he was the first African American President but that he raised the level of debate in this country on many issues, including healthcare.

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Health Care Nightmares

April 12, 2014 Leave a comment

Obamacare is doing just fine. But America is not, thanks to the ugliness brought out into the open by the debate on health reform.

I am a big fan of Paul Krugman.   He’s smart (a Nobel Prize winner in economics), and he’s not afraid to speak out.

The flatworlders will not stop until healthcare reform is dead.  It’s sad and it’s a horrible waste of money, not to mention the real harm being done to the uninsured, underinsured, and the poor in general. The flatworlders have elevated lies and fear to the level of facts and debate; they still rejoice at their momentary and fleeting victory of having made Galileo recant his view that the world revolves around the sun — their last real success.

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Infographic on the Evolution of Medicine

April 12, 2014 Leave a comment

An infographic summarizing the entire evolution of medicine.

Joseph Rugg‘s insight:

240 years lawyers were writing the Declaration of Independence, and doctors were using leeches.  Only one of these learned professions has advanced much over the last 2 centuries.

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Physician Compensation Strategy

April 11, 2014 Leave a comment

This new infographic from the Healthcare Inteilligence Network  is a good summary of the issues to deal with in the physician compensation decision making process:

12 Questions to Guide a Physician Compensation Strategy

A successful physician compensation strategy includes organizational goals, governance and physician engagement, according to Cynthia Kilroy, senior VP of provider strategy and business development, Optum.

This new infographic from the Healthcare Intelligence Network features 12 questions to guide the implementation of a physician compensation strategy for healthcare organizations. Addressing all three areas of the strategy can improve satisfaction while creating an environment and structure that supports transparency and enables quality and efficiency.


9 Measures of ACO Success

Via: Healthcare Intelligence Network

Physicians and their Employment Agreements

April 7, 2014 Leave a comment

I have posted in the past on the various issues and minefields facing physicians when getting their employment agreement — especially those physicians newly emerging from residency and fellowship programs and entering the so-called “real” world.

In a post yesterday on the blog, “Only an attorney can operate on your employment agreement”, the author reminds physicians of the need to have a healthcare lawyer assist them in reviewing any proposed employment agreement. 

The AMA has also published materials to assist physicians in reviewing their employment agreements.

As physician practice models continue to evolve, there will be increased pressure on physicians to accept what is offered.  However, most of the time, problematic provisions are negotiable.  And even when they are not, a lawyer can help the physician understand the risks in “taking or leaving it.”

Just as regular people should not try to evaluate their own health situation without help from a physician, physicians should seek professional advice themselves when presented with legal documents.  Contracts have meaning and failing to understand what one is signing is like taking someone else’s medication.  Benjamin Franklin’s saying that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” applies to legal situations as much as to medical ones.

The merging of MDs and DOs: A unification of training standards

April 5, 2014 Leave a comment

From the blog:

More than a century of American medical history was turned on its ear recently by the announcement that the groups that accredit medical residencies will unify their standards. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you failed to understand the significance (or notice at all). But this should be viewed as good news across the land. As someone who trains doctors from both traditions, I certainly welcome a more level playing field.

It’s about time that there are common standards for MDs and DOs.  After all, don’t all states treat allopathic and osteopathic physicians the same and expect them to provide comparable healthcare to their patients?  Don’t PI lawyers sue them on the same grounds when there is a bad patient outcome?



Medibank Private to push benefits of preventive healthcare

April 5, 2014 Leave a comment

MEDIBANK Private has been given the go-ahead to launch a co-ordinated attack on the costly chronic disease burden by promoting the benefits of user-pays and preventive health schemes that could result in lower premium increases.

Healthcare and controlling healthcare costs have become global concerns for the West. What is going on in the East — is health and healthcare better, or is concern over healthcare an unaffordable luxury for countries whose economies are woefully behind and desperately trying to catch up?

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New Hopes for Apple’s HealthBook | HL7 Standards

April 5, 2014 Leave a comment

Leonard Kish offers his thoughts on the promise of Apple entering the mHealth arena, which will put a spotlight on squarely on user experience.

There are a zillion health and exercise monitoring apps.  All are relatively young, because the smart phone platform is relatively young.

So my question is — are people actually getting healthier?  If they are, is the better health the result of the apps or the result of our near obsessive interest (with or without real results) in getting healthier?

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Physician Joint Ventured Pharmacies Require Guidance

April 5, 2014 Leave a comment

The pressure is intense on physicians to find additional sources of revenues to balance their losses as a result of reduced reimbursement and other moves to reduce healthcare costs.

In return, physicians are pressuring compounding pharmacies and other healthcare providers for ways to participate in the income stream that physicians and their scripts and referrals produce. There are those who want to put their hands in the pockets of others, and the result is a perfect storm that must be carefully monitored by the legal advisers to physicians and to compounding pharmacies to make sure that EVERYONE complies with the regulatory requirements.

And this is a very fluid environment — what may be acceptable today may not be tomorrow — the OIG’s concerns with PODs and the company-model for anesthesia in ASCs are instructive to physician owned pharmacies..

Florida Healthcare Law Firm Blog

Final-ACO-Rules Florida physicians are being approached to become owners of pharmacies to which they may refer, often compounding pharmacies, but may be unaware of the regulatory issues involved.  Physicians need to be aware of the core laws that apply, which include the Florida Patient Self Referral Act (FPSRA), the Florida Anti Kickback Statute , the Patient Brokering Act and the Federal Investment Interest Safe Harbor.

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