Doctors call California’s probe of opioid deaths a ‘witch hunt’ – by Cheryl Clark – Jan 2019
The Medical Board of California has launched investigations into doctors who prescribed opioids to patients who suffered fatal overdoses, in some cases months or even years later.
The effort, dubbed “the Death Certificate Project,” has angered physicians in California and beyond, in part because the doctors being investigated did not necessarily write the prescriptions that led to a death.
That makes it the most comprehensive [and perverse] project of its kind in the country. Continue reading
Structural Iatrogenesis — A 43-Year-Old Man with “Opioid Misuse” – Scott Stonington, M.D., Ph.D., and Diana Coffa, M.D. – February 21, 2019
Here’s a quick summary of a terrifying story:
“When he gets tangled in new restrictive policies on opioid prescribing, a factory worker with severe rheumatoid arthritis, whose pain must be managed for him to perform his job, ends up buying oxycodone from a friend.”
(I’ve quoted almost all the text of this case study because the NEJM is now behind a paywall with only 3 free articles a month, suddenly restricting our access to what our doctors are reading and upon which they base our treatments – just another screw being tightened on patients.) Continue reading
Why a market model is destroying the safeguards of the professions | Aeon Ideas – by Lisa Herzog – Jan 2019
The young doctor was desperate. ‘I need to talk to my patients,’ she said, ‘and give them time to ask questions. Some of them are foreign-born and struggle with the language, and all of them are in distress! But I hardly have the time to explain the essentials to them. There’s all the paperwork, and we’re constantly understaffed.’
Such grievances have become sadly familiar – not only in medicine, but also in education and care-work.
The imperatives of productivity, profitability, and the market rule.
These imperatives are all monetary with financial gain as the highest priority while ALL other outcomes are subsumed in the pursuit of profit. Continue reading
Can a Nice Doctor Make Treatments More Effective? – By Lauren C. Howe and Kari Leibowitz – Jan 2019
Here’s proof that a doctor’s demeanor and empathy for the patient has powerful effects on the results of their care.
Our research in the psychology department at Stanford University suggests that having a doctor who is warm and reassuring actually improves your health.
The simple things a doctor says and does to connect with patients can make a difference for health outcomes. Even a brief reassurance to a patient from a doctor might relieve the patient’s symptoms faster.
Yet the titans of the healthcare industry are doing their very best to make doctors just another generic and interchangeable piece of equipment in their money-making enterprises. Continue reading
Chronic pain management in medical education: a disastrous omission: Postgraduate Medicine: Vol 129, No 3 – John D. Loeser & Michael E. Schatman – Feb 2017
First, a quote from almost 4 decades ago is proven over and over again in this “opioid restriction crisis” and the “uncontrolled pain crisis”:
“The relief of suffering, it would appear, is considered one of the primary ends of medicine by patients and lay persons, but not by the medical profession.”
-Eric Cassell. The nature of suffering and the goals of medicine. N Engl J Med. 1982
The “war on drugs” has urged all kinds of non-medical self-appointed experts to target pain patients (they are much easier prey than illicit drug cartels and dealers). Continue reading
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
Authorities’ Use of Big Data May Harm—or Help—Your Chances of Investigation – By Efrem M. Grail – September 12, 2018
A former prosecutor and current defense lawyer shares strategies to help protect your practice.
This is what it has come to: lawyers are advising doctors how to practice medicine without ending up in jail.
As pain practitioners well know, two recent developments – one federal, one state – have combined to increase the risk of providers being investigated for prescribing opioids for their patients. Continue reading
Are doctors cutting back on opioids too much and too quickly? – Healthy Debate – Author: Paul Taylor – Date: March 27, 2018
I suffer from a rare and very painful genetic disorder.
For a decade, my family physician has prescribed opioid drugs to me to ease the pain. But he recently retired and I had to find another doctor.
Well, any pain patient knows what’s coming next. There are very few doctors taking new pain patients and continuing their opioid therapy, no matter how well it has worked or for how long. Continue reading
There you see how medical practice has been taken over by business, bureaucrats, and administrators whose job function it is to keep the dollars flowing in. Doctors who actually practice medicine are just a “cost center”.
Corporate Practice of Medicine – an example of its prohibition from the Medical Board of California – 2015
The following is to provide guidance to physicians on the prohibition against the corporate practice of medicine. A presentation on the corporate practice of medicine, including frequently asked questions and common concerns, was provided at the Medical Board of California’s Quarterly Board meeting on January 29, 2015.
The Medical Practice Act, Business and Professions Code section 2052, provides:
“Any person who practices or attempts to practice, or who holds himself or herself out as practicing…[medicine] without having at the time of so doing a valid, unrevoked, or unsuspended certificate…is guilty of a public offense.” Continue reading