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Measure What You Manage, With Caveats: Thoughts on Surgeon Ratings

July 27, 2015 by Anne Weiler

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Last week, ProPublica caused a flurry by releasing a report of complication data for US surgeons. Using their database you can look up any surgeon and find how their patients fared on average for complications after surgery. As with any measure, it is fraught with controversy about both the accuracy of the data or whether we are measuring the right things.[read more]

Warning! Cell Phones Can Kill You!

July 27, 2015 by Michael Kirsch

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The City of Berkeley, the epicenter of New Age Goofiness, has just passed an ordinance that requires retailers to warn customers about the medical risks of devices that emit radiation, such as cell phones. If I were the cell phone companies, here's how I would fight back.[read more]

Three Research Techniques For Patient Experience Breakthroughs

July 24, 2015 by Christopher Fox

Using fieldwork techniques from anthropology sheds light on what’s working and what’s not in ways that are hard to replicate either by making assumptions or by traditional patient satisfaction surveys. Here are three such techniques you can use to develop a nuanced picture of the patient experience at the point of care and bring clues to the surface for how to make it better.[read more]

High-Deductible Insurance and Rising Bad Debt

July 24, 2015 by Phil C. Solomon

Hospitals and physician groups are carefully watching the growing popularity of high-deductible health plans (HDHP) which result in patients taking on more of a financial responsibility for their healthcare. With the out-of-pocket costs for patients increasing due to the popularity of HDHPs, and with so few purchasers taking advantage of savings plans, the risk of bad debt and charity care increases for healthcare providers.[read more]

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Addressing the Phenomenon of “Pill Mill” Doctors

July 23, 2015 by Bert Louthian

While the country seems to be in a constant debate about what effects legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana may have on our youth, it seems that not enough people are paying attention to the effects legal narcotics are having on our elderly -- or how often physicians are prescribing them.[read more]

Thrive 4-7: Teaching Wellness Skills

July 23, 2015 by Janet Kennedy

Do companies and corporations finally get the importance of wellness programs for their employees? Connie Mester is betting her startup on the idea that they are. She has taken 16 years of experience in healthcare and health insurance to found a company focused on helping individuals learn how to achieve emotional wellness.[read more]

Should Physicians Profile Our Patients?

July 20, 2015 by Michael Kirsch

Does profiling make sense for physicians? If you are trying to reduce a certain disease that is largely restricted to one segment of the population, doesn’t it make sense to target this segment rather than everyone? Profiling in law enforcement is a very sensitive issues, particularly for minorities who have been victimized by this technique. But, if we abandon the procedure entirely, are we forfeiting a tool that could keep us all safer?[read more]

The New Rules for Successful Hospital Marketing

July 20, 2015 by Stewart Gandolf, MBA

Marketing-savvy hospital administrators—and their tuned-in communications teams—are writing new rules for success in reaching, attracting and retaining patients. As the nation’s healthcare delivery system has become an ever-changing playing field, many of the “old rules” of marketing are less important—including more than a few that are now passé.[read more]