How Big Medicine is Putting Small Practices Out of Business – MedPage Today – by John Machata, MD – Apr 2019
Recently, the CEO of a large health care network stated: “Market forces don’t apply to healthcare.”
What an idiotic statement! If this were true, CEOs wouldn’t be receiving astronomical salaries while their cost-cutting leaves everyone doing the real work broke.
These CEOs manipulate their corporations to generate the maximum profit (which is actually their job) and their calculations definitely depend on market forces to raise prices by eliminating competition. Continue reading
Moral Failure And Health Costs: Two Simplistic Spending Narratives – Jeff C. Goldsmith – Oct 2015
This article brings up interesting ideas about the interrelated (and dysfunctional) pieces of the American healthcare system, but I can sum up the crux of the situation easily.
The medical care of our society has been taken over by corporate conglomerates which, by definition, are exclusively designed to create profits for their shareholders.
What to do about the seemingly inexorable rise in health spending has been the central health policy challenge for two generations of health economists and policymakers. Continue reading
Toilers in the Vineyard and Leadership From Behind the Curtain – By Henry Buchwald, MD, PhD – Dec 2017
Practicing surgeons, as well as surgical teachers, researchers, analysts and thinkers, are toilers in the vineyard of service and progress, in an effort to do good in a chaotic world.
- respect life and strive to preserve it.
- abhor disease and fight against it.
- are positive agents in a troubled society.
This description of what “doctoring” used to be, brings back fond memories of finding such a doctor, even more than once. We worked together, the doctors and I, I with expertise in my own body and they with expertise in what could go wrong. Continue reading
The Doctor–Patient Relationship, as Defined by Language – by Henry Buchwald, MD, PhD – Sep 2019
A lexicon or thesaurus of ambiguous, euphemistic language is probably required to understand the Orwellian (George Orwell, born Erick Arthur Blair; author of “1984,” published 1949) “Newspeak” that is engulfing our profession.
The administocracy (see below) of health care has introduced many new terms into our medical vocabulary, and as Orwell fully appreciated, words are transformative precursors of reality.
You’re not in pain, you’re just “experiencing discomfort”. Continue reading
AI-based product aims to help providers identify missed charges | Health Data Management – By Joseph Goedert – Sep 2019
It’s always interesting to look at a subject from a different point of view because it gives a more complete picture. I found this article in a publication called “Health Data Management”, which is focused on the health data and computing aspect of healthcare and has nothing to do with medical care.
This article predictably uses the generic functional term “provider” for doctors and nurses, a standardized and interchangeable version of the real people actually practicing medicine.
This is a hint of what we can expect in the future of healthcare after AI systems are embedded in every facet of our care: standardized “providers” will follow standard algorithms to diagnose and treat “standard” patients, who are all assumed to be the mythical “average human”. Continue reading
The Role of the Health Insurance Industry in Perpetuating Suboptimal Pain Management – Mar 2011
The author concludes that the outlook for chronic pain sufferers is not particularly bright, until such time that a not-for-profit single-payer system replaces the current treatment/reimbursement paradigm.
Unlike pain practitioners, health care insurers in the United States are not expected to function according to a system of medical ethics.
Rather, they are permitted to function under the business “ethic” of cost-containment and profitability.
This capitalist principle is a problem for all social services because they serve a sector of society that often cannot pay; either their jobs don’t pay enough or they are too disabled to work. Continue reading
A New Book Argues That Generic Drugs Are Poisoning Us – New York Times – By David Dobbs – May 13, 2019
This is a review of a recently published book exposing the seamy side of the “profit above all else” generic drug industry:
The Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom
By Katherine Eban
I’ve always been suspicious of generic drugs because I’ve noticed that my body sometimes reacts slightly differently to a new batch, and often reacts very differently to a switch from brand-name medications to generic. This book validates my concerns and even adds new ones. Continue reading
The Opioid Crisis Is About More Than Corporate Greed – By Zachary Siegel – Jul 2019
Nearly every step of the pharmaceutical supply chain is implicated in the soaring death rate.
But the companies claim to have been acting legally and in compliance with federal regulators like the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Was it all, technically, legal?
Of course, it was legal; pharmaceutical companies are enjoying their legal scheme of profiteering and wouldn’t do anything to endanger that privilege.
The Most Important Problem in the World – Medium – by James Gamble – Mar 2019
The most important problem in the world is a reasonable sounding provision of the corporate law that governs most major U.S. companies.
The rule: corporate management and Boards of directors are obligated by law to make decisions that maximize the economic value of the company.
This is how you end up with absurdities like this: 400% price hike for drugs is ‘moral requirement’. It’s frightening to be at the mercy of such ruthless entities making our health unaffordable, yet this is what corporations were created to do. Continue reading
Opinion | Americans Need Generic Drugs. But Can They Trust Them? – NY Times – By May 2019
Technicians used initial hidden tests to get preliminary results, which then guided them as they tinkered with the test settings.
Then they retested in the plant’s official system to get the desired results showing that the drugs fell within specifications. Those drugs with altered test results could then be released to patients.
During his 27 months in India, of the 38 drug plants he inspected, Mr. Baker found fraudulent or deceptive data in 29 of them. Continue reading