Category Archives: Healthcare

Patients Suffer as Private Companies Profit

Patients Suffer as Private Companies Profit – Kaiser Helath News – Jan 2018

Marcela Villa isn’t a big name in health care — but she played a crucial role in the lives of thousands of Medicaid patients in California.

Her official title: denial nurse.

It’s hard to believe how brazenly these companies serve mercenary functions. Any other company would have called her an “Approval Nurse”, even doing the exact same job.

Each week, dozens of requests for treatment landed on her desk after preliminary rejections.   Continue reading

4 disturbing trends in health care

4 disturbing trends in health care – Praveen Suthrum | KevinMD | Aug 2018

I agree with the author that health care is changing dramatically and not necessarily in a good direction. This article points out some fundamental issues that must be addressed before any “progress” can be made.

It’s easy to get excited about technological advances such as nanobots that swim in blood to deliver drugs or 3-D printers that print human tissues. However, in our enthusiasm to find the next fix, we are failing to notice the ground slipping underneath the health care industry.

Here are four trends that are changing health care but on the surface are too unsexy for us to care about.   Continue reading

Medicare: Where to send your healthcare complaints

QIO Program: Beneficiary and Family Centered Care – Quality Improvement Organizations – a PDF document for people on Medicare

Here is an organization to whom you can direct your complaints about the lack of pain management and abandonment of care.

Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ QIO Program is one of the largest federal programs dedicated to improving health quality at the community level.

This network of experts in quality improvement…

…but not pain management improvement…   Continue reading

Pain Deniers Endangering Lives

Pain Deniers – from “Pulse Voices”  where both those providing and receiving healthcare write about their experiences.

The stabbing pain in my abdomen jolted me awake at 3 a.m.

Four broken bones, giving birth to two babies, gallstones – all minor aches compared to this. At the hospital they found no reason for my pain. The blood tests were normal. I had no fever. They sent me home.

It went away, and then it happened again two days later.   Continue reading

Our Broken Healthcare System

Our Broken Healthcare System: How Scared Should We Be? | Medpage Today – by David Nash, MD, MBA, FACP – Oct 2018

I see so many current problems in so many aspects of our society arising from the supreme focus on profits when capitalism is allowed to run amok without any social constraints.

Our healthcare industry values patients only as consumers and manipulates us to “need” moneymaking services like surgeries, or lucrative products like the latest medications.

In An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back, author Elisabeth Rosenthal, MD, argues that our health care system focuses less on health and more on profitability — and supports the premise with compelling anecdotal illustrations of what is wrong.   Continue reading

Artificial Intelligence, Back Pain, and the Cleveland Clinic

Artificial Intelligence, Lower Back Pain, and the Cleveland Clinic  – By Chuck Dinerstein — December 20, 2018

Two physicians from Cleveland Clinic write almost breathlessly about how artificial intelligence will revolutionize the treatment of back paina highly remunerative area to physicians that has no one ascendant, best treatment regimen.

What is so troubling, at least to me, about the vaporware they are peddling is both their confidence in its application, and the way cost pervades their view.

I’m glad someone else is pointing out what I’ve observed as well: all aspects of healthcare are more and more beholden to financial interests instead of medical ones.   Continue reading

Without pain relief, patients driven to despair and suicide

As doctors taper or end opioid prescriptions, many patients driven to despair, suicide – By Elizabeth Llorente | Fox News – December 10

Treating America’s Pain: Unintended Victims of the Opioid Crackdown, Part 1 – The Suicides

The national opioid crisis propelled a crackdown on prescription painkillers, causing hundreds of doctors to abruptly reduce or completely cut off their patients’ prescriptions, leaving many among the estimated 20 million Americans who suffer from daily debilitating chronic pain to consider suicide. This is the story of the overlooked victims of America’s opioid epidemic.

I’m tremendously gratified to see this series in a mass media outlet, especially Fox News, which is known for its conservative slant.   Continue reading

Researcher Requests for Inappropriate Analysis and Reporting

Researcher Requests for Inappropriate Analysis and Reporting | Annals of Internal Medicine | American College of Physicians | Oct 2018

Here is the verbatim abstract of a sad truth about the corruption of scientific research by, what else, money.

The previous post, Statisticians Asked to Commit Scientific Fraud, discussed the results in more detail and I’m showing this is mainly as a reference. If anyone has access to the full paper, I’d love to see it.

Background:
Inappropriate analysis and reporting of biomedical research remain a problem despite advances in statistical methods and efforts to educate researchers. Continue reading

Statisticians Asked to Commit Scientific Fraud

1 in 4 Statisticians Say They Were Asked to Commit Scientific Fraud – By Alex Berezow — October 30, 2018

This article definitely points toward a sad truth, but the sample of 390/522 statisticians from whom they “received sufficient responses” doesn’t look like a representative sample at all.

Only someone who’s been in this situation themselves would answer a survey about  “inappropriate requests”. For those who haven’t, they would only check some box saying “it hasn’t happened to me” and then the rest of the survey would be pointless to fill out because it wouldn’t apply to them.

Without access to a full explanation of how they picked their sample, I wouldn’t quote these results. However…    Continue reading

Corporate Practice of Medicine: Who Controls What?

Corporate Practice of Medicine: Medical Management Organizations and Professional Medical Corporations-Who Controls What? – Cohen Healthcare Law Group | Healthcare Lawyers | Life Sciences | FDA & FTC Law – May 2018

As more doctors are now contractors for giant medical corporations (like Kaiser) I’m seeing more restrictions (like how many patients/day and minutes/patient) placed on them by those corporations.

To me, this is clearly the “corporate practice of medicine” and it seems to fit the definitions of what’s not allowed, so I don’t understand why it’s allowed.

The Corporate Practice of Medicine (CPM) doctrine continues to befuddle, beleaguer, and bewilder healthcare companies seeking to venture with physicians and non-physician entrepreneurs.  Continue reading