The follies of health insurance preauthorization
A few weeks ago, I saw a patient some gastro issues. So far, nothing newsworthy here since I am a gastroenterologist. I ordered a CT scan colonography, a special CT scan that is designed to view the colon in detail. It’s the CT scan version of a colonoscopy. Why didn’t I simply perform a colonoscopy, which, unlike a CT scan, would contribute to my retirement fund? That’s an easy one. Care to take a guess? The patient refused to undergo a colonoscopy. The patient had no insurance, and I don’t work for free. The CT scan was a better tool than colonoscopy to explain her symptoms. I expect that my discerning readers ...
Source: Kevin, M.D. - Medical Weblog - April 10, 2018 Category: General Medicine Authors: < a href="https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/post-author/michael-kirsch" rel="tag" > Michael Kirsch, MD < /a > Tags: Physician Gastroenterology Source Type: blogs

Senate Holds Hearing on 340B Drug Pricing Program
Conclusion Given the widespread support for the 340B program, it is likely that it is here to stay. What remains to be seen, however, is whether Congress will work to reign in the out-of-control side of it and modify it back on a sustainable path like was initially intended.       Related StoriesHouse of Representatives Holds Two-Day Hearing on OpioidsHigher Outpatient Drug Spending At 340B Hospitals, According to New AnalysisHouse Subcommittee on Health Holds Hearing on MACRA  (Source: Policy and Medicine)
Source: Policy and Medicine - April 9, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Thomas Sullivan - Policy & Medicine Writing Staff Source Type: blogs

Higher Outpatient Drug Spending At 340B Hospitals, According to New Analysis
A new analysis finds that hospitals which participate in the 340B Drug Discount Program have higher per patient outpatient pharmacy costs than their non-340B counterparts – meaning patients at 340B hospitals are prescribed more medicines and/or more expensive medicines. “There is a growing body of research showing that the 340B program is driving up costs for patients and the health care system,” said Stephen J. Ubl, president and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). “The biopharmaceutical industry has long supported the 340B program, but perverse incentives have steered it away...
Source: Policy and Medicine - April 2, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Thomas Sullivan - Policy & Medicine Writing Staff Source Type: blogs

Study: Medical Expenses Cause Close to 4% of Personal Bankruptcies--not 60%
A new study by economists Carlos Dobkin, Amy Finkelstein, Raymond Kluender, and Matthew J. Notowidigdo – “Myth and Measurement — The Case of Medical Bankruptcies” [subscription required] – challenges the conventional wisdom on the effect of medical bills on the rate of personal bankruptcy. From the study:Policymakers ’ beliefs about the frequency of medical bankruptcies are based primarily on two high-profile articles that claim that medical events cause approximately 60 percent of all bankruptcies in the United States. In these studies, people who had gone bankrupt were asked whether they’d experienced heal ...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - March 22, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Michael F. Cannon Source Type: blogs

Podcast: Interview with the Medical Director of the National Council for Behavioral Health
The National Council for Behavioral Health is made up of health care organizations across the United States, committed to the concept of all Americans having access to comprehensive, high-quality care that affords every opportunity for recovery. In this episode, Dr. Joe Parks, Medical Director for the National Council, shares facts and opinions on many topics, including the use of telepsychiatry, the homeless crisis, and the shortage of psychiatrists. He also addresses the questions of why there are so many individuals with schizophrenia in prison and how we can get all people the same quality of care, no matter their fina...
Source: World of Psychology - March 22, 2018 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Gabe Howard Tags: General Interview Psychiatry The Psych Central Show Source Type: blogs

The Barbershop Study: How an Unorthodox Study on Black Men ’ s Health Brought Down the House
This study essentially shows that a health care system that moves itself into barbershops is effective in one third of men found to have poorly controlled blood pressure.  I’m also fairly sure a pharmacist in my living room will improve my lipid profile.  And it bears repeating, that despite this herculean effort, two-thirds of black men chose not to connect with a healthcare system that was in their barbershop.  You can go ahead and put money on the odds that Harry White remains out of reach – its one you’ll win 66% of the time. I’ll also point out the study duration was six months – Harry had sho...
Source: The Health Care Blog - March 21, 2018 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: anish_koka Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

The Barbershop Study: How an Unorthodox Study on Black Men ’ s Health Brought Down the House and Where It Went Wrong
This study essentially shows that a health care system that moves itself into barbershops is effective in one third of men found to have poorly controlled blood pressure.  I’m also fairly sure a pharmacist in my living room will improve my lipid profile.  And it bears repeating, that despite this herculean effort, two-thirds of black men chose not to connect with a healthcare system that was in their barbershop.  You can go ahead and put money on the odds that Harry White remains out of reach – its one you’ll win 66% of the time. I’ll also point out the study duration was six months – Harry had sho...
Source: The Health Care Blog - March 21, 2018 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: anish_koka Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

ACA Market Stabilization Push Is On But Success Is Uncertain
By STEVEN FINDLAY A critical test in Congress comes this week in year 2 of the ACA wars. Will lawmakers do the right thing? It’s up in the air—again. Congress has until this Friday at midnight to pass a budget bill to fund the government through Sept. 30.   That bill is widely considered to be the last “must-pass” legislation before the mid-term elections. As such, it’s probably the last chance lawmakers will have to enact measures aimed at stabilizing the ACA marketplaces for 2019.   Health plans start pulling their bids together in May and June and the deadline for final submissions is in September. As of t...
Source: The Health Care Blog - March 21, 2018 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Medicine isn ’t about mechanics. It’s about the soul.
In medical school, the lessons and stories have a unifying theme that connects the threads of humanity. In medicine, I could find these stories, the feelings of loss and fear and hope and love. In the face of illness, suffering, and death, we often see the unvarnished sides of the human condition — the more raw sides of our nature hidden behind the decorum of everyday living, behind the curations of professional demands. Most of medical school — before starting clinical rotations third year — is spent in the classroom, absent from patients. As such, I made it a priority to volunteer at our school’s free clinic, whe...
Source: Kevin, M.D. - Medical Weblog - March 6, 2018 Category: General Medicine Authors: < a href="https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/post-author/johnathan-yao" rel="tag" > Johnathan Yao < /a > Tags: Education Cardiology Medical school Source Type: blogs

Fight the opioid crisis with physician assistants
With over 300,000 opioid-related deaths reported since 2000 and two million patients battling addiction today, it’s evident that more qualified medical providers are needed to care for substance abuse patients. Psychiatrists and addiction specialists are struggling to meet the demands of this high need population. The good news amid this national health care epidemic is that more than 1,200 certified PAs practicing in psychiatry work hard to help fill these care gaps. With medical education supplemented by post-graduate training by psychiatrists, PAs in psychiatry are prepared to review medication histories, engage with ...
Source: Kevin, M.D. - Medical Weblog - February 9, 2018 Category: General Medicine Authors: < a href="https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/post-author/james-cannon" rel="tag" > James Cannon, PA-C < /a > Tags: Policy Pain Management Primary Care Source Type: blogs

Senator Cassidy Introduces Legislation on 340B Program
Recently, Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy introduced the Helping Ensuring Low-income Patients have Access to Care and Treatment, (the “HELP Act”). The legislation would close loopholes in the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) 340B program and hold hospitals accountable for passing on prescription drug discounts to patients. The HELP Act would increase transparency and strengthen the reporting requirements to prevent abuse and ensure that 340B discounts are being used efficiently and to lower drug costs. The bill would prohibit any new enrollments in the 340B program for at least two years ...
Source: Policy and Medicine - February 6, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Thomas Sullivan - Policy & Medicine Writing Staff Source Type: blogs

Will Amazon Eat the Market?
By PAUL KECKLEY Last Tuesday, a trio of corporate heavy weights announced they were joining forces to fix the U.S. healthcare system. The CEOs of the three—Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Warren Buffet of Berkshire Hathaway, and Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan, vowed to create “an independent company that is free from profit-making incentives and constraints..to provide simplified, high-quality and transparent healthcare at a reasonable cost.” Details about the proposed venture are limited but it nonetheless sent shock waves across the industry. Stocks for industry mainstays like United Health, CVS, Express Scripts, Mylan and...
Source: The Health Care Blog - February 5, 2018 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

National Patient Identifiers (from Precision Medicine and the Reinvention of Human Disease)
Readers from outside the United States are probably wondering why the United States agonizes over the problem of patient identification. In many other countries, individuals are given a unique national identifier, and all medical data associated with the individual is kept in a central data repository under the aegis of the government ’s health service. A single, permanent identifier is used by a patient throughout life, in every encounter with a hospital, clinic, or private physician. As a resource for researchers, the national patient identifier ensures the completeness of data sets and eliminates many of the problems ...
Source: Specified Life - February 4, 2018 Category: Information Technology Tags: confidentiality identification medical identifier national patient identifier privacy Source Type: blogs

What Is a “ Co-Presidency ” ? Would It Work? Biden-Obama 2020
By DANIEL STONE, MD Why would the last certifiably sane occupant of the White House consider a run for the Vice-Presidency, an office that Vice-President John Nance Garner derided as “not worth a pitcher of warm spit” and John Adams scorned as “the most insignificant office that the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived?” In a word, Trump. The former President told voters in 2016 that his legacy and life’s work would be threatened by a Trump presidency. That would be doubly true of a second Trump term. Federal law poses no obstacle to the Democrats’ dream ticket. The 22nd amendment, ratified ...
Source: The Health Care Blog - January 31, 2018 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized Biden-Obama Co-Presidency Daniel Stone Democrats Source Type: blogs

Is Bank Deregulation Dangerous?
Among last week ’s news items that had colleagues asking me, “What’s your answer tothis?, ” wasa piece byQuartz’s John Detrixhe, telling its readers that, according to “300 years of financial history,” rolling back bank regulations is a good way to trigger a financial meltdown.Though you may be surprised to hear me say it, there ’s some truth to Mr. Detrixhe’s thesis. While government intervention in banking typically does more harm than good, it’s also true that, unless it’s done carefully, deregulation can itself lead to trouble. As I put it some years ago inaCato Journal article (reprinted recently...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - January 23, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: George Selgin Source Type: blogs