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