Tag Archives: money

VA Privatization = Longer Waits and Higher Costs

Increased Privatization of the VA Has Led to Longer Waits and Higher Costs for Taxpayers – By Isaac Arnsdorf & Jon Greenberg – Dec 2018

For years, conservatives have assailed the United States Department of Veterans Affairs as a dysfunctional bureaucracy. They said private enterprise would mean better, easier-to-access health care for veterans

Here’s what has actually happened in the four years since the government began sending more veterans to private care:

  • longer waits for appointments and,
  • a new analysis of VA claims data by ProPublica and PolitiFact shows, higher costs for taxpayers.   Continue reading

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

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

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.

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

Detecting BS in Healthcare

Detecting BS in Healthcare – Lawton R. Burns, PhD & Mark V. Pauly, PhD – Department of Health Care Management, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania – Nov 2018

In the past several months, we have observed several notable signs of deceptive, misleading, unsubstantiated, and foolish statements—what we will call “BS” — in the health care industry.

These new signs include fraudulently marketed products from Theranos and IBM Watson,and a recent statement by the CEO of One Medical that his firm aims to take out 10 percent of U.S. health care spending — something no one has ever done (not even the Federal Government). These follow closely on the heels of other likely BS, including claims that the proposed CVS- Aetna merger will turn your local pharmacy into a neighborhood “health care hub.”

Why does this kind of behavior occur?   Continue reading

Americans do not take more pills than Europeans

Americans do not take more pills than Europeans – New York Times – By Austin Frakt – Nov. 12, 2018

I found this article an excellent explanation of how drug prices got so high here when they’re so much cheaper in other countries:

There was a time when America approximated other wealthy countries in drug spending. But in the late 1990s, U.S. spending took off. It tripled between 1997 and 2007, according to a study in Health Affairs.

Then a slowdown lasted until about 2013, before spending shot up again. What explains these trends?

By 2015, American annual spending on prescription drugs reached about $1,000 per person and 16.7 percent of overall personal health care spending.   Continue reading

Anti-Addiction Industry Corrupted by Pharma $$

Is There A Big Pharma Fox In The Anti-Addiction Hen House? – By David Marcus – January 29, 2018

The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) was founded in 1954 to study and improve the use of addictive substances in health care. In the half-century since, it has become a leading voice in the medical community with important reach into legislative and regulatory initiatives to abate the abuse of addictive drugs.

Although it casts itself as an impartial organization, there are reasons to question whether the pharmaceutical industry has undue influence that may affect the organization’s advice.   Continue reading