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Following evidence-based guidelines won't protect you from malpractice Print E-mail
Written by Karen S. Sibert, MD | KevinMD   
Tuesday, 16 June 2015 00:00

The best way to avoid being sued for malpractice is to make certain that all your patients are happy and all their outcomes are good.

Reality is seldom so rosy. Patients aren't necessarily happy even when their clinical outcomes are as good as they can get. In the event of an undesired outcome, an unhappy patient may easily become a litigious one. A 2011 study in the New England Journal of Medicine estimated that 36 percent of physicians in low-risk specialties such as pediatrics, and 88 percent of physicians in high-risk surgical specialties, would face a malpractice claim by the age of 45. Those percentages climb to 75 percent of physicians in low-risk specialties and 99 percent of physicians in high-risk specialties by the age of 65.

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Those Dumb Physicians Aren't Getting the Job Done Print E-mail
Written by Jordan Grumet, MD | In My Humble Opinion   
Thursday, 11 June 2015 00:00

The insurance company insisted that they would be saving money in the end. So they sent the PA (physician assistant) to my patient's house. They didn't take into consideration that I was just there a week before. Or that I made home visits on a regular basis. In fact, they didn't even inform me about the appointment.

My patient later told me that the exam was exhaustive. The PA, who incidentally graduated school the day before and had never seen an actual patient as a licensed practitioner, poked and prodded the ninety year old woman for over an hour. He asked her about drugs and sexually transmitted diseases. He examined every joint and performed a Babinski test.

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Is the "Managed Care Cartel" Squeezing Your Bottom Line? Print E-mail
Written by Valerie Shahriari | Healthcare Reimbursement Blog   
Wednesday, 10 June 2015 14:14

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal on May 27, 2015, antitrust lawsuits in federal court allege that 37 independently owned companies are functioning as a cartel in the healthcare space.

Who are the 37 independently owned companies? All Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies as well as the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. These claims have now been consolidated into two lawsuits, one of which represents health care providers who allege that decreased competition is resulting in lower payments for providers. It's obvious that providers and healthcare businesses are feeling the squeeze of decreased payments but a costly and lengthy antitrust lawsuit is far from the best way to fight back.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 June 2015 17:16
3 changes that can improve maintenance of certification Print E-mail
Written by David Troxel, MD | KevinMD   
Tuesday, 26 May 2015 00:00

Physicians are struggling to adapt to a sea change in the health care delivery system. Solo physician practices are disappearing, small group practices are merging to become larger, and large group practices are being acquired by hospitals and integrated delivery systems. All of this is occurring in a milieu of decreased fee-for-service reimbursement from government and private insurers, bundled payments and pay for performance, increased levels of student loan debt, pressure to increase productivity (five patients per hour instead of just four), an increasingly difficult regulatory environment, frustration with electronic health records, and re-examination by specialty boards to renew 10-year time-limited certification.

Unfortunately, these external pressures aren't lessening.

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Access to Care Print E-mail
Written by Danielle Ofri, MD   
Thursday, 21 May 2015 00:00

"Doctor, it's taken so long to get this appointment with you." This is the opening line of so many medical visits these days, and I find myself constantly apologizing to my patients for the delay. Even though both the patients and I know that it's a systemic issue, it's still front and center in our personal interaction. They are frustrated that they can't get a timely appointment, and I'm aggravated because too many medical issues pile up in the interim, making the visits we do have massively overburdened.

The difficulty with access to medical care has been extensively highlighted at the VA hospital system, but is endemic to our entire medical system, even for patients with good insurance plans.

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Oldest Working Nurse Turns 90 Print E-mail
Written by Florida Health Industry Week in Review   
Tuesday, 19 May 2015 09:29

According to Today News, in a May 11, 2015 post, the oldest practicing nurse in the U.S. celebrated her 90th birthday. She works at Tacoma General Hospital in Washington.

If we don't solve our unsustainable entitlement programs soon, we might all be working until age 90.

Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>>

Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 June 2015 10:35
Are Hospitals Really Like Baseball Teams? Print E-mail
Written by Valerie Shahriari | Florida Healthcare Law Firm Blog   
Friday, 15 May 2015 15:11

On Monday, May 11, 2015 Governor Rick Scott appointed 9 people to a Commission meant to examine the economics of health care and hospitals in Florida. It has been noted by many in the healthcare industry that none of the 9 appointed individuals are hospital executives. Governor Scott is drawing criticism not only for the lack of healthcare experience in the majority of the appointments but also for the contributions to political campaigns that the appointees have made over the last couple of years. One of the members of the new Commission is Carlos Beruff, a homebuilder who is the president of Medallion homes and will be the Chairman of the new committee. Campaign records show that he donated over $100,000 to Republican candidates including $80,000 that went to Gov. Scott and his Let's Get to Work committee.
The appointment comes on the heels of a letter sent by Governor Scott to the Florida Hospital Association. In the letter, Governor Scott proposes revenue sharing among Florida hospitals if the Low Income Pool is not extended by the US Department of Health and Human Services. The letter has gained much attention in the media as the Governor likened the sharing of revenue to how large market baseball teams share revenues with small market basketball teams. The Governor has requested that hospitals submit 3 models by May 22 so that the Commission can consider them on May 26.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 June 2015 14:30
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