Monday, June 29, 2015

Hsieh Forbes Column: 3 Good Things In Health Care Innovation

My latest Forbes column is now up, "Three Good Things In Health Care Innovation".

I highlight some under-appreciated good developments in health care, centered around the theme that innovations in processes may be less flashy than innovations in technology — but can still save lives.

In particular, I discuss the following:
1) Improvements in cardiac care
2) Improvements in matching kidney transplant donors with recipients
3) Protecting the freedom of direct pay doctors
Our current system is very mixed, with both good and bad elements. Today, I wanted to focus on some of the good elements.

For more details on each, read the full text of "Three Good Things In Health Care Innovation".

Friday, June 26, 2015

Cowen On King

Naturally, there has been an enormous amount of commentary on the SCOTUS ruling yesterday salvaging the ObamaCare subsidies.

The quote I liked the best comes from economist Tyler Cowen:
I have not been a fan of Obamacare, which I consider to be a highly inefficient form of wealth insurance. Nonetheless, had this decision gone the other way at this point we would have ended up with something worse, or ended back at “Obamacare as know it,” but only after a lot of political stupidity and also painful media coverage. So on net I take this to be good news, although arguably it is bad news that it is good news.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Bad Anesthesiologist Busted By Patient Recording

A patient planned to use his smartphone to record his post-colonoscopy home instructions. When he listend afterwards, he found that he inadvertently recorded the whole procedure, including while he was unconscious during sedation.

To his dismay, this included extremely unprofessional discussions:
But as soon as he pressed play on his way home, he was shocked out of his anesthesia-induced stupor: He found that he had recorded the entire examination and that the surgical team had mocked and insulted him as soon as he drifted off to sleep.

In addition to their vicious commentary, the doctors discussed avoiding the man after the colonoscopy, instructing an assistant to lie to him, and then placed a false diagnosis on his chart.
The patient sued and was awarded total damages of $500,000.  For more details read the full piece, "Anesthesiologist trashes sedated patient — and it ends up costing her" (Washington Post, 6/23/2015).

On a related note, I do think that patients should consider recording their conversations with doctors in an open fashion, with mutual consent.  I discuss this in my recent Forbes piece, "Why You Should Record Your Doctor Visits" (Forbes, 2/16/2015.)

(Pictured below, Dr. Tiffany Ingham, the anesthesiologist in question.  Image from Washington Post article cited above.)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Coverage Vs Care in California

Today's "coverage does not equal care" story, this time from California:

"Getting A Medi-Cal Card Doesn’t Always Guarantee Health Care" (Kaiser Health News, 6/23/2015)

(Unfortunately, the article promotes the idea that the problem can be solved by more regulatory intervention.  I suspect that will only make things worse.)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Summit At The Summit, July 20-26, 2015

The "Let My Doctor Practice" medical advocacy group will be hosting a conference July 20-26, 2015, here in Colorado.

 It is entitled, "Summit at the Summit: Conference and Interactive Webcast A National Grand Rounds on the State of American Medicine".

They will have both a live in-person conference as well as a webcast, so you don't have to travel to Colorado to see some of the sessions.

I can't attend due to important personal obligations, but the lineup looks great!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Upcoming Talk By Paul Hsieh: "How Do You Know If Your Doctor Is Any Good?"

Save the date -- June 22, 2015!

I'm pleased to announce that I'll be giving a dinner talk at Liberty On The Rocks - Flatirons on 6/22/2015. More details will be forthcoming at their website and their Facebook page, but here's the basic info.

Title: "How Do You Know If Your Doctor Is Any Good?" by Paul Hsieh, MD


How do you know if your doctor is giving you the best medical advice possible? Or offering the right care for your condition? Most patients lack the professional training to judge a doctor's qualifications, so they must rely on various proxy measures, such as referrals from other doctors, recommendations from friends, government ratings, and online reviews. We'll discuss some of the strengths and weaknesses of these measures as well as practical steps patients can take to ensure they're receiving the best care possible.

Speaker bio:

Paul Hsieh, MD, is a physician in private practice in the south Denver metro area. He received his MD from University of Michigan, and completed residency training at Washington University School of Medicine with additional fellowship training at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He writes extensively about health care policy from a free market perspective for Forbes and PJ Media.

Spoiler: You probably don't want this guy operating on you!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Doctors Afraid To Criticize ObamaCare?

This IBD editorial discusses how, "Doctors' Criticism Of ObamaCare Silenced By ACA Bureaucrats".

I've personally not felt any professional pressure to refrain from expressing political opinions online. But I do know some doctors who have. Which is why I gladly support those physicians who still have the guts and integrity to speak out on this issue. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

More Health IT Costs

Politico reports: "Health care spending billions to protect the records it spent billions to install".

From the article:
The hacking of the health records of as many as 1 in 3 Americans has awoken the health care industry to an unpleasant reality: After spending billions to install computerized documents in hospitals and networks, it now must spend billions more to make them secure...
Yet another "unintended consequence" of government-mandated electronic health records.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Hsieh Forbes Column: Would You Trust A Computer To Knock You Out?

I posted a quick weekend piece at Forbes, "Would You Trust A Computer To Knock You Out?"

This is loosely based on a talk I just gave at ATLOSCon 2015, "I, For One, Welcome Our New Robotic Overlords".

I discuss the rise of "smart" systems to augment (and potentially replace) human physicians. And why I welcome them.

And thanks to Hanah Volokh for letting me quote her!