(Misfit Photographer)

Google Reportedly Testing Telemedicine Service To Give Consumers Basic Medical Information

Soon you might not have to leave the couch to find out whether or not your feverish symptoms could be related to food poisoning. While we’re not sure of all the particulars, Google is reportedly dipping its toes into the telemedicine waters. [More]

(Stephen Dickter)

Report: Billing Errors, Varying Procedure Costs Create Environment For Excessive Medical Debt

Making a trip to the doctor undoubtedly leaves many consumers’ wallets a little (or a lot) lighter. While some people going in for planned medical procedures might seek out doctors covered under their insurance to help alleviate out-of-pocket costs, a new report found that even with advances in medical policy consumers are feeling the burden of medical debt. [More]

Most Doctors Still Prescribing Antibiotics When They’re Not Supposed To

Most Doctors Still Prescribing Antibiotics When They’re Not Supposed To

Acute bronchitis is generally a result of any number of viruses, meaning that antibiotics won’t work. This is not news to the medical or scientific community, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been trying for 15 years to get doctors to stop the knee-jerk practice of prescribing antibiotics for the disease. And yet, a new study finds that some 70% of physicians are still telling patients to take drugs that don’t work. [More]

Pediatricians: Don’t Take Your Kids To Retail Clinics For Primary Care

Pediatricians: Don’t Take Your Kids To Retail Clinics For Primary Care

Sometimes you can’t get your child an appointment at the pediatrician’s office, or maybe you don’t like the idea of sitting in an emergency room for hours on end. While many parents turn to retail-based health clinics on an as-needed basis — like those at CVS, Walgreen’s or Kroger — the country’s largest group of pediatricians is warning parents not to rely solely on those clinic’s for a child’s primary care. [More]

(Jason Gooljar)

GSK Theoretically Not Going To Pay Off Docs Anymore

Giant drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline announced today that it intends to stop paying doctors to prescribe more of the company’s drugs, a move that could possibly entice other large pharma companies to do the same. [More]

(zonaphoto)

To Waive Flight Change Fee, Delta Wants To Talk To My Dying Aunt’s Doctor

Stacy doesn’t have a lot of money to throw around, but she booked a flight to visit her terminally ill aunt on the other side of the country. Then she got the flu. Spreading the disease to her fellow passengers would be bad enough, but a cancer patient certainly doesn’t need the influenza virus. Stacy rescheduled to a time when she would be less of a walking germ factory, and asked Delta whether they could waive her change fee. Sure, they said: as long as she gave them contact information for her aunt’s doctor. [More]

ProPublica's Dollars For Docs tool already lets you sort through available data from some companies.

Govt. To Publish Data On What Drug & Device Makers Pay To Individual Doctors & Hospitals

Want to know if your doctor is receiving free lunches and other perks from Pfizer, GSK or some other huge player in the pharmaceuticals or medical device business? Starting in Sept. 2014, that information will be made available to consumers courtesy of the federal government. [More]

Consumers Union: Public Needs Full Access To Database Of Problem Doctors

Consumers Union: Public Needs Full Access To Database Of Problem Doctors

In September, the Department of Health and Human Services removed the Public Use Data File of the online National Practitioners Data Bank after receiving a complaint from a doctor whose history of malpractice claims was published in a newspaper article. Public access was recently restored, but with a whole host of limitations that our cohorts at Consumers Union think need to be removed. [More]

Docs Again Warn Against TV For Kids Under 2

Docs Again Warn Against TV For Kids Under 2

Letting kids under two watch TV doesn’t provide them with any educational benefit and can cut down on the interaction with others and play time that is key to their growth, the American Academy of Pediatrics warns in a new report. [More]

Poll: 28% Of Americans Who Take Prescription Meds Resort To Risky Behavior To Save Money

Poll: 28% Of Americans Who Take Prescription Meds Resort To Risky Behavior To Save Money

With the economy and job market still stuck in “blargh,” more people are making potentially dangerous decisions about their health care, all in the name of stretching their dollar just a little bit farther. [More]

10 Questions To Ask Your Doctor During Your Visit

10 Questions To Ask Your Doctor During Your Visit

It’s important to ask your doctor questions to make sure you’re getting the best care and aren’t overpaying or getting an unnecessary treatment. In fact, your doctor wants you to ask questions. It can be hard to think of the right ones in the heat — or rather, cold — of the moment — those backless hospital gowns and all — so the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has got 10 you can print out and bring with you. [More]

Ads On Widely-Used Medical App May Wield Dangerous Influence On Doctors

Ads On Widely-Used Medical App May Wield Dangerous Influence On Doctors

Nearly half of American doctors rely on virtual assistants that fit inside their pockets. They’re smartphone apps made by Epocrates, and they help guide healthcare professionals through drug dosing and insurance information, but they also pimp out suggestions for sponsored medications. Some worry the apps may hinder doctors’ work by urging them to place sponsor dollars over patients’ needs. [More]

How To Appeal A Health Insurance Denial

How To Appeal A Health Insurance Denial

Getting your health insurance claim denied can feel like insult added to injury, but if you take these steps you can get your claim “rehabbed,” and get your money. [More]

Big Pharma Bucks Flow Into Medical Society Meetings

Big Pharma Bucks Flow Into Medical Society Meetings

While some hospitals go so far as to ban drug sales reps from stepping foot in their halls, at medical society conferences there’s hardly a square inch that can’t be sponsored by a medical product-related company, reports ProPublica. At one society meeting this week, imperial banners adorn the sides of buildings. Logos are branded hotel key cards, cellphone charging stations, and carpets. Doctors can’t go to sleep without seeing another logo waiting for them on their nightstand. The goal? To influence, subtly and not so subtly, physicians into becoming emissaries for the interests of the sponsoring companies. [More]

Vicodin: The Most Popular Prescription Pill In America's Medicine Cabinet

Vicodin: The Most Popular Prescription Pill In America's Medicine Cabinet

With the White House and the FDA dreaming up ways to curb the pain-pill problem in the U.S., we got to wondering just what are the most popular (legal) drugs in the country? Thankfully, the folks at Time.com were thinking about the same thing, because they put together a handy/dandy list of the 10 most-prescribed meds, none of which is Viagra. [More]

White House: Docs Need Training Before Prescribing OxyContin & Other Painkillers

White House: Docs Need Training Before Prescribing OxyContin & Other Painkillers

Too many doctors are writing unnecessary prescriptions for painkillers like OxyContin and fentanyl, says the White House. That’s why the administration is looking to push through legislation that would require training for physicians who wish to write prescriptions for these drugs. [More]

7 Clauses To Beware Of In Your Cruise Contract

7 Clauses To Beware Of In Your Cruise Contract

Cruise line contracts are drafted by the company’s lawyers and contain nothing in the way of consumer protection. For instance, if you get sick and the ship’s doctor treats you and you die, your family can’t sue the cruise line for malpractice. [More]

Do You Really Want To Know What Your Doctor Is Writing About You?

Do You Really Want To Know What Your Doctor Is Writing About You?

New research is looking to answer this question by studying what happens when patients have access to their doctor’s notes. [More]