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Policy & Law

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

July 27, 2015 by Anne Weiler

via Shutterstock

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]

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]

Doctors 2.0 and You: Conference, Community, and Medical Association #doctors20

July 22, 2015 by Denise Silber

This was my second time attending the Doctors 2.0 and You conference in Paris. My first time was last year and I plan to attend every year from now on. Why? Short answer: The people I meet, the speakers and their presentations, information on the latest trends, and the early discussions about collaborative projects all start at the conference and then continue to mature after the conference.[read more]

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Four Life-Changing Ways To Keep Medical Costs Down

July 21, 2015 by Nik Donovic

It's no secret that medical costs in the United States are quite high. Here are four ways to keep costs down as much as possible.[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 Specialty Drug Pricing Conundrum: Caps May Raise Costs, Not Lower Them

July 15, 2015 by David E Williams

It used to require hundreds of thousands of patients taking a drug to make it blockbuster. But over the last decade drug companies have figured out that they can get to $1 billion in product sales with much smaller populations. The key: sky-high prices. So what can be done, if anything? Well, a few things.[read more]

Partners HealthCare Goes Global: Is It a Good Idea?

July 9, 2015 by David E Williams

In shift, Partners HealthCare seeking growth globally in today’s Boston Globe describes how Partners is turning its focus from dominating the Massachusetts healthcare delivery system to looking for revenue growth overseas.[read more]

Saving Relationship Medicine with Direct Primary Care

July 8, 2015 by Stephen Schimpff

The fundamental problem in health care delivery today is a highly dysfunctional payment system that leads to higher costs, lesser quality and reduced satisfaction. It also means less time between doctor and patient with the loss of “relationship medicine.” The core problem? Price controls and regulations that reduce the trust and core interactions between doctor and patient.[read more]

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The Future of E-Cigarettes in the World of Public Health

July 7, 2015 by Gal Cohen

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The popularity of e-cigarettes continues to grow with every passing year. Words like “vape” are now part of our everyday vernacular, and it’s becoming increasingly more common to see people vaping instead of smoking.[read more]

Dr. Google, I'd Like You to Meet Google Insurance Co.

July 6, 2015 by Jeanne Pinder

Google Insurance Co.? It might be right around the corner. Google has been tinkering with insurance for a few years now, and its recent activities suggest more of the same. Google’s primary source of income, of course, is advertising, and a quick look at the company’s ad revenue gives a clear picture of business opportunities to come.[read more]

How High-Deductible Insurance Fuels Momentous Healthcare Shifts

July 2, 2015 by Stewart Gandolf, MBA

Although the Affordable Care Act (ACA), in its final, amended version, has been the law of the land for slightly more than five years, the industry-shaking consequence of “healthcare reform,” continue to emerge almost daily. High deductibles are causing major shifts in healthcare.[read more]

Obamacare Subsidies Continue, Court Rules. Now Let’s Get to Work.

June 30, 2015 by Jeanne Pinder

The Affordable Care Act’s health insurance subsidies to low-income people will continue, the Supreme Court ruled. Now that we have that behind us, let’s focus on the important questions of costs — or charges, or prices, or all three — and effectiveness.The Supreme Court ruling marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of another one. There’s work to do to fix the system. Transparent markets benefit consumers. It’s time.[read more]