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]

Stick It To Doctors Who Keep You Stuck In Waiting Room

Stick It To Doctors Who Keep You Stuck In Waiting Room

Oh, those doctors, with their smug, self-important tendency to keep you stuck in waiting rooms while they play Tetris and check their Facebook. The New York Times has a remedy for what ails you, providing advice on how to get back at doctors who keep you waiting: [More]

Use Doctor Finder To Prescreen Your Doctor

Use Doctor Finder To Prescreen Your Doctor

If you’re like most people, you pick a new doctor by going through an approved list provided by your insurer and selecting someone nearby. Doctor Finder from insiderpages.com hopes to make the process less random by providing reviews for doctors and dentists. You can search by zip code, then narrow down results by your insurer, distance, gender, specialty, language, and experience. [More]

Keep Your Hands On Your Urine If You Go To LabCorp

Keep Your Hands On Your Urine If You Go To LabCorp

Mike was sent to LabCorp for some routine medical tests last week, and what he found was an understaffed, overcrowded dump where patients were arguing that their urine samples were missing, or in one instance stolen while the patient watched. This could just be one badly managed lab, but the Internet is swimming in LabCorp complaints around the country that all repeat the same problems. [More]

Whistleblower Nurse Acquitted

Whistleblower Nurse Acquitted

The West Texas nurse who went on trial this past Monday for reporting a doctor to the state board was found not guilty after just an hour of deliberation, reports the New York Times. The jurors who spoke to the Times after the case said it seemed pretty cut and dried to them. Now the nurse’s lawyers are focusing on their civil lawsuit against the county, the sherrif, the county attorney–who is described in the article as the surgeon’s personal attorney as well–and the hospital administrator who fired the nurse for going over his head. Hooray for whistleblowers! [More]

Whistleblower Nurse On Trial For Reporting Doctor To State Board

Whistleblower Nurse On Trial For Reporting Doctor To State Board

Update: After four days, the nurse was acquitted. [More]

Protect Yourself From Unexpected Fees At Medical Clinics

Protect Yourself From Unexpected Fees At Medical Clinics

An anonymous reader wrote to us to ask what he should do about unexpected bills from a medical clinic. He chose the clinic precisely because he can’t afford hospital bills in the hundreds of dollars, and was led to believe that there’d be no out-of-pocket cost. It turns out there was. [More]

Your Medical Records: Ask For Them!

Your Medical Records: Ask For Them!

Hospitals can be slow to respond for health records, writes CNN, which can cause serious problems if you’re moving a patient from one facility to another. Here are steps from that article on how to make sure you get your data as quickly as possible. [More]

How To Make Sure Your Next Plastic Surgery Is Safe

How To Make Sure Your Next Plastic Surgery Is Safe

If you’re dumb, you forget that plastic surgery is surgery with an extra word in front of it, a doctor tells CNN in their article on getting nip/tucked safely. As with any surgery, there’s no real way to make it completely safe, but here are five tips from their article that you should follow to improve your odds. In fact, they’re probably good tips for any kind of surgical procedure. [More]

Swine Flu Self-Assessment Saves You Worrying

Swine Flu Self-Assessment Saves You Worrying

Do you have H1N1 flu? Probably! Aaaugghh! But before you haul your feverish butt to a clinic or a doctor, consider taking this free online flu self-assessment test from Emory University. It probably could have been combined into a one-page flowchart, but that’s not as much fun as pressing YES/NO buttons.

How Would Health Care Reform Affect You?

How Would Health Care Reform Affect You?

Consumers Union has put together a breakdown of the health care bills in Congress to let you see how they would affect you, based on your age and what kind of insurance you currently have (if any). It’s an interesting tool to see what the various proposed changes are.

Great, Your Doctor Is Talking About You On Facebook

Great, Your Doctor Is Talking About You On Facebook

Apparently the new generation of med students aren’t as concerned as you might like them to be about sharing your medical information on Facebook or Twitter, says Time.

Pfizer Must Pay Record $2.3 Billion Fine For Sneaky Drug Marketing

Pfizer Must Pay Record $2.3 Billion Fine For Sneaky Drug Marketing

Haters of Big Pharma, rejoice! Pfizer has been smacked with a $2.3 billion (yes, with a B) civil penalty which includes a $1.2 billion criminal fine after they did some very, very bad things while promoting painkiller Bextra and other drugs. That’s the largest criminal fine in American history. Let’s hope they’re proud!

Doctor J. Marcus Solves Your Expensive Health Care Problem

My mom would like his advice.

Reminder: Make Sure Medical Procedures Are Covered Before You OK Them

Reminder: Make Sure Medical Procedures Are Covered Before You OK Them

Nick suffers from back pain and thought he’d seek chiropractor care for some pain relief. What he got in return was the sting of a nasty hospital bill because his insurance wouldn’t pay for his x-rays, even though the nurse and doctor assured him the scans would be covered.

http://consumerist.com/2009/06/11/vermont-gets-tough-on/

Vermont Gets Tough On Doctor/Pharma Relationships The new law “bans drug companies-and manufacturers of medical devices and biological products, such as vaccines-from paying for gifts, including meals and travel, to physicians, hospitals, nursing homes, pharmacists, and health plan administrators. Any allowable payments drug companies make to doctors, such as those for legitimate educational purposes, will be posted in a database on a public website maintained by the Vermont Attorney General.” [Consumer Reports Health]