A combination of rising costs and low insurance reimbursements is forcing some primary care physicians to opt-out of the insurance game completely — accepting a flat fee instead of private insurance or Medicare. For a $4,500 annual fee, patients who formerly used their insurance to pay for doctor’s visits can get 24-hour access to doctors, unhurried appointments, home visits and state-of-the-art annual physicals. Or they can find another doctor.
The New York Times says that half of doctors responding to a nationwide survey admitted to routinely prescribing placebos.
The New York Times has an interesting article about the speed at which new medical devices are approved by the FDA. The article focuses on a breast cancer treatment that is widely prescribed, but which has not been conclusively shown to be as effective as traditional radiation. [NYT]
In our post earlier today about the 65-year-old doctor who tried to use the bathroom on a recent Southwest flight and was subsequently arrested, we noted that the airline sent him an apology letter and a $100 voucher. That seemed kind of inappropriate for the situation, right? It turns out the letter was never meant for Dr. Madduri and was sent to him by mistake. According to our reader RedwoodFlyer (Sockatume also picked up on it), the letter was actually about him and was sent to all the other passengers on the flight; he was never meant to see it.
A 65-year-old urologist, born in India but living in the United States for 38 years now, was flying from his home in Missouri to a medical convention in Las Vegas on June 26th, 2008. Did you notice that “born in India” detail? Apparently his attempts to go to the bathroom angered and frightened a flight attendant, who wouldn’t tell Dr. Sivaprasad Madduri why he couldn’t use the lavatory (the pilot was using it) and who wouldn’t listen to Dr. Madduri’s explanation that he was taking a medicine that acts as a diuretic. When the plane landed he was arrested, spent the night in jail, and was told the next day to plead guilty and pay $2500 if he wanted a quick resolution.
Have you heard, cellphones are deadly. Science told us so this week when Dr. Ronald B. Herberman of the esteemed University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute realized that cellphones emit death rays that fry your brain and turn you into a baby-eating Communist, or give you cancer or whatever. Dr. Despair isn’t a downer though! Inside, 10 practical ways to keep your precious little brain safe from those ubiquitous chirping cancer slabs…
Psychiatry is nothing more than a well-funded front for big pharma, according to lawmakers investigating the field’s premier organization, the American Psychiatric Association. Unlike psychologists, psychiatrists can write prescriptions, giving pharmaceutical companies a powerful incentive to lavishly subsidize both their lifestyle and profession.
The excellent blog, Passive Aggressive Notes has a submission from a reader who rejected his chiropractor. Clay decided not to go back after the doctor refused to show him his x-rays unless Clay attended a seminar about payment plans and treatment options. A few days later he got a note that said:
Remember Brian Persaud, the Brooklyn construction worker who tried to sue a New York hospital for performing a by-the-books rectal exam on him in 2003? On Monday, a Manhattan jury tossed his lawsuit, claiming he failed to show he suffered assault and battery.
We just saw a piece on CNN about how to choose a doctor in which they suggested that people make a bunch of appointments for “a hangnail” and shop around.
The first of the new Clinic at Wal-Mart walk-in centers, as they will be called, is to open in Little Rock, Ark., in April and be run by nurse practitioners employed by the St. Vincent Health System, a three-hospital group in central Arkansas.
Barabara Antonelli was strapped onto a gurney and breathing through an oxygen mask when her doctor’s receptionist bounded up to her ambulance and said: “I hate to bother you, but could you give me the $5 co-pay?”
Several of the doctors who were involved in clinical research trials of a new back injury treatment, Prodisc, were also early investors in the product and had a financial incentive to see it succeed, reports the New York Times. This may have led to its success as a treatment being overstated.
The U.S. Institute of Medicine called on Congress today to “establish a single national resource of health information.” The resource would collect all available data on every drug in the marketplace, and be available to consumers to educate themselves about any and all possible treatments in order to make better-informed decisions with their doctors.
A 38-year-old construction worker who suffered a head injury on the job was sedated and given a rectal exam against his will, says the New York Times.
For most people, when you’re at a point in life where you need surgery, you’re not feeling exactly empowered or willing to grill your doctor on his or her exact qualifications. But you should, says—of all groups—the American College of Surgeons. Thomas Russell, the organization’s executive director and a surgeon, says, “Patients should feel free to ask their surgeon anything they want answered about the operation or the surgeon’s competency to perform it. There are no questions that should be off the table.”
The FDA has a set of specifications on proper eye care, and apparently people who buy their contact lenses online are less likely to follow those rules, reports a new study. The gap comes from having less trained, in-person medical attention and up-to-date prescriptions, and not poorer cleaning habits (although we wouldn’t recommend using dollar store saline solution just to save a few bucks).
According to a survey by the University of Chicago, 48% of doctors said “they have given at least one treatment when there was no evidence it would work.”