In the aftermath of the Charleston church shooting and the recent police incidents leading to the death and harassment of black men and women, many are calling for a national conversation on race.Read More
In England recently, a man with a serious heart ailment returned home after getting some bad news from his doctor and immediately received a follow-up phone call from one of the nurses in the doctor’s office. “Hello,” she chirruped brightly, “we’re ringing all our patients with chronic conditions to see how you are and whether you have thought about resuscitation.”
The patient immediately dropped dead from shock.Read More »
Actor Michael Sheen makes a ‘blistering’ speech about the UK National Health Service. Hurrah! If only our milksop politicians would have a bit of that passion and sincerity!
Or not.Read More »
The transformation began with the enactment of Medicare and medicaid during the Johnson years — which allowed prices to be contained as a growing percentage of bills were paid by large entities, especially the government — and the HMO act during the Nixon years — which endorsed the idea of an efficient system where experts decided on how to treat any problem, effectively setting limits on volume.
Once the tools were in place to control both price and volume, the rest was just fine tuning, which is still ongoing. The basic principles were ratified in Obamacare and are no longer under serious challenge. The change hasn’t relied entirely on government action, but reflects private sector movement in the same direction.Read More »
For better and worse, American medicine is increasingly controlled by large corporate entities and Obamacare is accelerating the transition. Observers including me who see our medicine as highly inefficient view this trend as an opportunity to impose rationality, but there are also clearly pitfalls.Read More »
Teasing out the link between moderation in health spending and subpar economic growth is a daunting but important task that could have a big and unpredictable impact on the American economy in the years and decades ahead.Read More »
Conventional wisdom holds that America faces a growing physician shortage and that one way of responding is by creating new medical schools. Starting a new school is an expensive proposition which may explain the modest number that has opened in the past decade. But now the private sector may be coming to the rescue by creating proprietary – or profit-making – schools to train physicians.Read More »
If the good news we’ve been hearing about American health costs in the past few months turns out to be the new norm – it’s too early to tell – then much of today’s political debate is wildly misguided. Consultants predict 2014 will see abnormally low inflation, again. Medicare spending per beneficiary is dropping more than previously anticipated. And new tools provided by Obamacare to constrain costs could accelerate these trends.Read More »