Category Archives: physicians & medical quality

Should Doctors Limit Medical Care To Save Money For ‘Society’?

Paul Hsieh, MD writes:

There will always be limits on who will or will not receive expensive medical treatments. We have no choice about that. But we do have a choice of whether those decisions will be made by patients based on their personal and economic priorities — or by government bureaucrats. The first protects the doctor-patient relationship. The second creates divided loyalties for doctors, who will always be serving two masters. As a doctor, I prefer the first. As a patient, you should too.

Read more: Should Doctors Limit Medical Care To Save Money For ‘Society’?.

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Paul Hsieh, MD: Why Doctors Should Not Ask Their Patients About Guns

Paul Hsieh, MD in Forbes:

Should doctors ask patients if they own guns? Currently, ObamaCare bans the federal government from using patient medical records to compile a list of gun owners. But following the Newtown, CT shootings, President Obama issued an executive order clarifying that “the Affordable Care Act [ObamaCare] does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.” The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) similarly encourages physicians to ask patients if they own firearms — in the name of protecting child safety. As a physician, I consider this advice misguided. Instead, physicians should not routinely ask patients whether they own guns, because it could compromise the integrity of the doctor-patient relationship. …

University of Chicago economics professor Steven Levitt has also warned about excessive fear mongering about gun ownership. In their best sellerFreakonomics, he and co-author Stephen Dubner note that a child is 100 times more likely to die in a swimming accident than a gun accident.

Yet the AAP does not tell parents to “NEVER bring your child to a swimming pool,” nor does it advocate “the strongest possible regulations of swimming pool ownership.” Rather, it recommends that parents supervise children around swimming pools and follow basic rules of water safety. The AAP correctly recognizes that a home swimming pool can be a genuine value to a family, provided that parents and children follow proper precautions. Similarly, a gun can be a genuine value to responsible homeowners, provided that parents and children follow proper precautions. …

A local colleague, Dr. Matthew Bowdish, has declared, “I will not undermine the Second or Fourth Amendment rights of any of my patients who are lawful gun owners. Nor will I record my patients’ gun ownership status in any medical records that could be accessed by government officials unless relevant to a specific medical issue.” This should be the credo of all freedom-loving physicians.

via Why Doctors Should Not Ask Their Patients About Guns – Forbes.

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Oklahoma Doctors vs. Obamacare – Reason.com

From Reason:

The major cause of exploding U.S. heath care costs is the third-party payer system, a text-book concept in which A buys goods or services from B that are paid for by C. Because private insurance companies or the government generally pick up most of the tab for medical services, patients don’t have the normal incentive to seek out value.The Surgery Center’s consumer-driven model could become increasingly common as Americans look for alternatives to the traditional health care market—an unintended consequence of Obamacare. Patients may have no choice but to look outside the traditional health care industry in the face of higher costs and reduced access to doctors and hospitals.


Read more: Oklahoma Doctors vs. Obamacare – Reason.com.

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5 Ways To Protect Yourself Against Obamacare

At Forbes, Denver physician Paul Hsieh explains five ways to protect yourself against Obamacare:

  1. Get a good primary care doctor, if you haven’t already done so.
  2. Use a Health Savings Account (HSA).
  3. Consider a concierge or “direct pay” physician.
  4.  Consider medical tourism, when appropriate.
  5.  Help your doctor work on your behalf.
Dr. Hsieh explains each one here.

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What Do Actual Doctors Think About Obamacare Now?

At Forbes, Scott Atlas, M.D., writes:

Meanwhile, contrary to those doctors selected to legitimize ObamaCare in the staged media event (where the White House actually handed out white lab coats to generate the image of official credibility), an overwhelming 70 percent of doctors said, even back in 2011, that they disagreed with the AMA’s position on health reform, while only 13 percent agreed with it. In fact, almost half of doctors in that survey even went so far as to say that the AMA stance on ObamaCare was the factor causing them to drop AMA membership. …

Last month, in answer to the question “Which of the following best describes your feelings about the ACA?” 55 percent of more than 3,000 doctors chose “repeal and replace” whereas 40 percent said “implement and improve” it.

What Do Actual Doctors Think About Obamacare Now? – Forbes.

via FIRM

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Democrat Evan Bayh exposes ObamaCare’s dangerous medical device tax

In the Wall Street Journal, former Indiana governor and U.S. Senator Evan Bayh (D) writes:

Medical devices have contributed to remarkable advances in numerous areas: artificial hips and knees, and devices used in the treatment of cancer, and for angioplasty, vascular surgery and in-vitro fertilization, to name a few. Many of these devices have not only improved the quality of life for patients, but also produced health-care cost savings—for instance, each time an angioplastic balloon made open-heart surgery unnecessary.

All of this is now threatened by the only law that is guaranteed to pass in Washington: the law of unintended consequences. …

For a typical company, [the] 2.3% tax on revenues equals a 15% tax on profits. W Many marginally profitable businesses will then hemorrhage red ink, since they’ll have to pay the excise tax whether they are making money or not. …

As a result of the looming device tax, production is moving overseas, good jobs are going to Europe and Asia, and cutting-edge medical devices will now be produced elsewhere for import into the U.S. …

If Congress acts soon, however, most of the harm can be forestalled. There is hope. The House—233 Republicans, joined by 37 Democrats—voted in June to repeal the tax. In the Senate, 33 Republicans are on record in support of doing the same. While no Democrat has stepped up to co-sponsor the legislation, several speak favorably in private. Even Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic Senate candidate from Massachusetts and a staunch progressive, has now come out in favor of repeal.

Read more: Evan Bayh: ObamaCares Tax Raid on Medical Devices – WSJ.com.

(via NCPA)

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ObamaCare vs. Personalized Healthcare choices

At Forbes, John C. Goodman has two articles on personalized medical care:

Personalized Healthcare Choice vs. Government Mandated Obamacare, Part 1, by John C. Goodman (Forbes, 9/18/12). Excerpt:

Personalized medicine is the future. It’s where the science is going. It’s where the technology is going. It’s where doctors and patients will want to go. Yet, unfortunately for many of us, this is not where the Obama administration wants to go.

Can Personalized Healthcare Survive Obamacare’s Medicine Assembly Line?, by John Goodman (Forbes, 9/20/12)

We are entering the age of personalized medicine, where the therapy that’s best for you will be based on your physiology and genetic makeup – and may not be right for any other patient.

Yet standing in the way of this boundless potential is an Obama administration whose entire approach to health reform revolves around the idea that patients are not unique and that bureaucrats can develop standardized treatments that will apply to almost everybody with a given condition. When former White House health adviser Ezekiel Emanuel told CNN recently that “personalized medicine is a myth,” he was fully reflecting the worldview of the authors of health reform.

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