Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Catron: Drug Rationing for Seniors Begins

In the 2/24/2014 American Spectator, David Catron notes that, "Drug Rationing for Seniors Begins".

The latest restrictions for Medicare patients is alarming both the political Left and the political Right.  What the government giveth, the government can taketh away.

(This should be a warning for those advocating "Medicare for all".)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Hsieh Forbes OpEd: Can You Trust What's In Your Electronic Medical Record?

My latest Forbes piece is now up: "Can You Trust What's In Your Electronic Medical Record?"

I discuss how government-mandated electronic medical records are hampering doctors' ability to practice and resulting in medical errors. I also discuss 4 concrete steps patients can take to protect themselves.

I didn't mention this in the Forbes piece, but there was a terrific drawing in the Journal of the American Medical Association from a couple of years ago by a 7-year old girl depicting her recent doctor visit:
No one was more surprised than the physician himself. The drawing was unmistakable. It showed the artist—a 7-year-old girl—on the examining table. Her older sister was seated nearby in a chair, as was her mother, cradling her baby sister. The doctor sat staring at the computer, his back to the patient—and everyone else. All were smiling. The picture was carefully drawn with beautiful colors and details, and you couldn't miss the message...

Even young children understand the effect of electronic medical records on their care.

(Note: There is some overlap in material with my earlier PJ Media piece, "The Eyes of Big Medicine: Electronic Medical Records".  But most of the content -- and the emphasis -- in this latest piece is new.)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Monday, February 10, 2014

Narrow Networks

Patients are starting to feel the pinch from ObamaCare's "narrow networks".  Two recent stories:
Los Angeles Times: "Obamacare enrollees hit snags at doctor's offices"

Megan McArdle: "'Doc Shock' Reaches the Masses" (2/6/2014)
These narrow networks will also have a less-obvious effect on doctors, as I noted in my recent Forbes piece on the new ethical pressures on physicians caused by ObamaCare:
To cut costs, many ObamaCare exchange plans also require “narrow networks” of providers, where patients may only receive treatment from a short list of approved hospitals and doctors. President Obama has repeatedly promised, “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,” but many patients are learning the hard way that this isn’t true.

Such “narrow networks” also mean that many doctors will lose long-standing relationships with patients they’ve seen for years. Instead, doctors will be increasingly reliant on the government-run exchanges for new patients. This will create a powerful incentive for physicians to adhere to any treatment guidelines mandated by the government or by government-approved insurance plans.
Megan McArdle predicts that political pressures will cause insurers to loosen these narrow networks.  But then patients will have to pay higher premiums, instead.  Either way, patients will be paying some unpleasant price for this form of "universal" health care.

Adalja on Government and Cigarettes

Dr. Amesh Adalja has a new OpEd in Forbes, "Are Controls on Cigarette Smoking A Rationing of Liberty?"

I liked how he notes both that the government overstepping its proper bounds in restricting cigarette use, but also how the government promotes tobacco production (and implicitly consumption) through farm subsidies.  And of course, these tobacco subsidies have bipartisan support.

The government is not our friend nor our protector.

For more, read the full text of "Are Controls on Cigarette Smoking A Rationing of Liberty?"

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Amerling on Physician Independence

Dr. Richard Amerling of the AAPS recently gave a short talk on how he came to write the "Physician Declaration of Independence".

Here's the text of the "Physician Declaration of Independence".

(Note: There are some important issues on which I disagree with AAPS, such as abortion rights.  But they make many excellent points about the current state-sanctioned 3rd party payor system as well as the broader issue of government seeking control over doctors.)