Monday, January 30, 2017

Hsieh Forbes Column: Health Freedom For Everyone, Not Just Women

My latest Forbes column is now out, "Health Freedom For Everyone, Not Just Women".

My basic theme is that free-market reforms (not government-run health care) will best protect our medical freedoms.

From the article:
I support abortion rights and reproductive freedom rights. I love that many participants in the marches don’t want the government dictating which medical procedures women may or may not receive.

I also hope that people recognize that government-run health care will inevitably mean government controlling which medical procedures patients may or may not receive. Whenever “somebody else” pays for your health care, inevitably “somebody else” will decide what health care you do (or do not) receive.
For more details, see the full text of "Health Freedom For Everyone, Not Just Women".



Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Evolution Of Radiology

Dr. James Chang: "The evolution of radiology".

Yup, this seems about right! (Click on image to see full size version.)


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Hsieh Forbes Column: No, The Government Should Not Provide Health Insurance For All Americans

My latest Forbes piece is now out, "No, The Government Should Not Provide Health Insurance For All Americans".

I discuss a proposal from conservative health policy analyst James Capretta in which he argues, "The GOP Should Provide Health Insurance for All Americans". And I propose some alternative free-market approaches that we can start implementing in 2017.

For more details, see the full text of "No, The Government Should Not Provide Health Insurance For All Americans".

And Happy New Year to all our supporters and subscribers!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Hsieh Forbes Column: UK Vs US Aortic Aneurysm Deaths

My latest Forbes pieces is now out: "Patients With Aortic Aneurysms More Likely To Die In The UK Than The US".

I discuss a recent New England Journal of Medicine study which showed that if you have an abdominal aortic aneurysm (aka "AAA") in the US vs the UK, the UK patients have to wait longer for surgery, and the aneurysms don't get repaired until they are larger (and more at risk of rupture.)

The researchers conclude: "Rates of aneurysm rupture and aneurysm-related death were significantly higher in England than in the United States".

I also cover three natural follow-up questions:

1) Were US surgeons jeopardizing their patients by operating more aggressively than UK surgeons?

2) Did the UK nationalized health system contribute to the lower rates of appropriate surgery in the UK?

3) Will US government policies incentivize American surgeons towards more — or less — appropriate treatments?

For more details, read the full text of "Patients With Aortic Aneurysms More Likely To Die In The UK Than The US".

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Hsieh Forbes Column: How Your Doctor's Politics Affects Your Health Care

My latest Forbes piece is now out, "How Your Doctor's Politics Affects Your Health Care -- And What You Can Do About It".

I discuss the latest research indicating the doctors' own personal political biases can affect the advice they give patients in three areas -- abortion, gun ownership, and marijuana use. And strategies that patients and doctors can adopt to minimize inappropriate physician bias in the exam room.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Hsieh Forbes Column: No, There's No 'Smoking Gun' in Clinton's Doctor Letter

I have a new short Forbes piece out now, discussing a couple of issues related to Hillary Clinton's health: "No, There's No 'Smoking Gun' in Clinton's Doctor Letter".

tldr; Clinton's opponents should concentrate on her bad public policy positions, not her medical record.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Hsieh Forbes Column: How Government Quality Guidelines Hurt Transplant Patients

My latest Forbes piece is now up: "How Government Quality Guidelines Hurt Transplant Patients".

I discuss how federal government "quality guidelines" created perverse incentives to deny medical care to the sickest patients.

In particular, many transplant centers started dropping the sickest patients from their transplant waiting lists in order to keep their success rates up. Plus many hospitals rejected less-than-perfect organs out of fear of harming their federal government score cards.

As transplant surgeon Dr. Adel Bozorgzadeh said:
“If you have young guy who has a 100 percent chance of dying, but only a 30 percent chance of dying with a transplant, you would say, ‘What the hell, give the guy a chance,’” even if the operation might be risky, he said. “But if I make an argument like that, I will be under pressure from all these other stakeholders who would penalize me.”
The federal guidelines created a conflict of interest for hospitals, caught between their government paymasters and the patients they were supposed to care for.

For more details, read the full text of "How Government Quality Guidelines Hurt Transplant Patients".

(Related piece: "Doctor ‘Report Cards’ May Be Hazardous To Your Health.")




Tuesday, August 2, 2016

FIRM Website Problems Fixed

My  deepest apologies for the recent downtime of the FIRM website. And many thanks to my ex-wife Diana Brickell for fixing the DNS issues! I should be back in action soon.