Welcome to Grand Rounds! It’s the third time we’ve hosted Grand Rounds at the Colorado Health Insurance Insider and we’re honored to be hosting again. It was a pleasure to read so many great articles for this edition. Since our blog tends to focus on health care policy and reform, I’m starting things off with the posts that pertain to that topic. Enjoy! . ……..
……Apparently, Big Pharma’s right to “free speech” trumps my right to privacy. How getting access to my prescribing information has anything to do with free speech is beyond me. In the twisted logic of the pro-business, anti-citizen Supreme Court -Speech in aid of pharmaceutical marketing ….… is a form of expression protected by the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.
…….What interests me from this ruling is that the act of collecting this information -- the prescribing physician's name and address; the name, dosage, and quantity of the medication; the date and place where the prescription was filled; and the patient's age and gender -- was considered "speech" with the justices ruling that "the creation and dissemination of information are speech for First Amendment purposes."Think about that: writing a prescription and disseminating that information is now "speech."…….
Alarmed by a shortage of primary care doctors, Obama administration officials are recruiting a team of “mystery shoppers” to pose as patients, call doctors’ offices and request appointments to see how difficult it is for people to get care when they need it.The administration says the survey will address a “critical public policy problem”: the increasing shortage of primary care doctors, including specialists in internal medicine and family practice.
…….When information gathering trumps patient care - particularly fictitious care - we've got a problem. Is this a new quality standard we can expect from our new government health care initiative?Just like scam-artists that phish for unsuspecting people's financial information online, governmental appointment phishing should not be tolerated in any way, shape, or form. It is fraud - plain and simple. ….
From White Coat Underground: Is Medicare spying on doctors?…….I disagree with my colleagues that a properly planned and implemented mystery shopper program is a bad idea for trying to improve health care. For far too long, we in medicine have been too arrogant to learn lessons from other industries that improve quality. I think we need all the help we can get to take better care of patients.
The short answer is "yes"; of course they are. Normally, if Medicare wants to check up on a doctor (rather than doctors) they simply order an audit…….It's the wrong question. A better question might be, "My blood pressure has been running high, in the 160's, but I feel OK, how soon can I see the doctor?" …
Here's an interesting development in the mesotherapy (melting fat by injection) story: as of early April 2011, the French Ministry of Health has outlawed all mesotherapy for the purpose of dissolving subcutaneous fat. Whether you call it "Lipodissolve", "mesotherapy", or "injection lipolysis"...it's no longer permitted there. The Ministry of Health views it to be a serious health risk. ………Lipodissolve methods have had a checkered past here in the USA, …..,which we've discussed in an earlier blog (link here).
This month PLoS Medicine publishes a series of articles focused on migration and health. The series provides new insights into the ways by which global movement of people influences the health of individuals and populations, and sets out policy approaches for protecting the health of those most vulnerable during the five phases of migration….. One category, that of trafficked persons, stands out as a uniquely vulnerable group that is largely ignored.Trafficked persons are defined as “individuals who are coerced, tricked or forced into situations in which their bodies or labor are exploited, which may occur across international borders or within their own country” …….
……..For the last 20 years, Dr. Brien J. Smith has tried to change how doctors and patients view epilepsy. Earlier this year, Dr. Smith, chief of neurology at Spectrum Health in Michigan, became chairman of the Epilepsy Foundation. Being elected head of a national organization does not seem unusual for a doctor who is a well-recognized authority and advocate in his or her field. What is extraordinary is that Dr. Smith knows firsthand about the disease and what his patients experience: He learned he had epilepsy when he was in high school.“Every day I see how off-base health care workers are with seizures and epilepsy,” Dr. Smith said recently. “There’s a lot of stigma attached, a lot of stereotypes regarding cognitive abilities and how seizures should look.” ……..
The 2011 American Sewing Expo is coming right up - September 23-25 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Michigan…..A staple exhibit at ASE is the annual entries in the "Show Your Support Bra Challenge." Sponsored by Coats &Clark and BurdaStyle, the contest showcases some amazing lingerie decorated by the skills of sewers across the country…..You can find the Show Your Support Bra Challenge full rules and the entry form online at the ASE site. Good luck, and good for you if you enter!