Attitudes on cost-effectiveness and equity among medical professionals

Do medical professionals value cost-effectiveness or equity higher in clinical decision making? A recent paper in BMJ investigated this question. The following hypothetical decision-making scenario was sent to medical students, residents-in-training, and practicing physicians, to select between two colon cancer screening tests for a population. ‘A group of doctors was formed to help the government decide which of two tests to offer low-risk people. Test … Continue reading Attitudes on cost-effectiveness and equity among medical professionals

Six hospitals in Louisiana and Mississippi violate regulations protecting low-income patients

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is urging a half dozen hospitals in Louisiana and Mississippi this week to comply with federal laws and regulations designed to protect low-income patients from harsh collection practices. The SPLC discovered that the hospitals, which are believed to benefit from a tax-exempt, nonprofit status due to their mission to serve patients regardless of income, are failing to comply with … Continue reading Six hospitals in Louisiana and Mississippi violate regulations protecting low-income patients

A piece of advice for patients and families…

After a busy day in the hospital, I wanted to write a quick message to patients and their families. Hospitals are confusing places, and it’s frightening when you or a loved one is sick. So many doctors and nurses come and go, and it’s hard to keep track of who everyone is and what he/she said. I suggest that patients and family members buy an inexpensive notebook and write down the name … Continue reading A piece of advice for patients and families…

In Namibia, reflecting on health care back in the United States

I am currently in Namibia for a brief visit. While overseas, I often reflect on life back in the US. Having Internet access helps. I just read Elisabeth Rosenthal’s fine article, As Hospital Prices Soar, a Stitch Tops $500, a part of her series, “Paying Till it Hurts.” The article is astonishing. From my vantage point here in Namibia, it’s clear that the US health care system is … Continue reading In Namibia, reflecting on health care back in the United States

Metastatic colon cancer and health care reform

Two recently published stories of people struggling to get treatment for colon cancer. 1) In the New England Journal of Medicine, the story of “Tommy Davis,” from Kentucky, chronically uninsured despite working full-time 2) In the New York Times, the story of Richard Streeter, 47, a truck driver and recreational vehicle repairman in Oregon Continue reading Metastatic colon cancer and health care reform