April 10, 2014 |
The news that a small percentage of the country's physicians collected billions of dollars from Medicare in a single year may or may not be a testament to individual greed; some of the top recipients are under investigation for allegedly bilking the system, while others work long hours delivering costly care. But it is a powerful reminder that the program needs to stop rewarding doctors for the quantity of care they deliver rather than the quality. Happily, there's a bipartisan plan to do just that; unhappily, lawmakers haven't been able to agree on how to cover its cost.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 14, 2010 |
Dr. Clement A. Finch, a University of Washington hematologist who became known as Mr. Iron because of his pioneering research on the metabolism of that crucial metal, died June 28 at his home in La Jolla. He was 94, and the cause of death was not revealed. Iron plays a key role in many aspects of bodily function but is most important as a component of hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying component of red blood cells. When Finch began his work, clinicians could diagnose iron deficiency anemia but were in the dark about its causes.
June 18, 1995 |
Like many other expectant mothers in northern Appalachia, Janice Hay drove 100 miles to see her obstetrician. But on the winter night that her baby was born at home, 15 weeks prematurely, the drive to Burlington, Vt., would have been fatal. By the time Hay, a 37-year-old fitness instructor, got to the local hospital in an ambulance, the 1.8-pound infant wasn't breathing. Dr. Hemant Pandhi, a new general practitioner from India, began mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. In 10 minutes, Hay's newborn son, Blake, let out his first cry. "That's why I came here," said Pandhi, 46, who passed up a higher-paying offer in Albany, N.Y., to practice medicine in Ticonderoga, a logging town of 4,600 people on the Vermont border.
November 21, 2013 |
A surging share of Americans believe that doctors should do everything possible to save a life despite concerns over the costs and consequences of such intensive care. The new survey, released Thursday by the Pew Research Center, surprised doctors and bioethicists who have advocated for physicians and families to carefully weigh aggressive medical treatments for patients near death. Invasive procedures may not lengthen or improve life for the chronically ill, they warn. Many Americans agree with them: Two out of three people believe there are some situations in which a patient should be allowed to die, the survey found.
March 13, 2011 |
After the surging ocean waters spawned by Japan's magnitude 8.9 earthquake receded, the drowned were only the first victims to be counted. In the coming days, physicians and public health officials along Japan's hard-hit eastern coast can expect a second wave of tsunami victims with aspiration-related illnesses, trauma and crush wounds, as well as the threat of disease spread by contaminated water. As they tend to survivors, Japanese officials can look to the experience of health workers who ministered to victims after the massive tsunami that inundated Indian Ocean nations on Dec. 26, 2004.
August 30, 2012 |
Two healthcare heavyweights are exchanging sharper blows and more patients may be caught in the middle of this fight over medical payments. This week, the California Medical Assn., the largest physician group in the state with 35,000 members, accused health insurance giant Aetna Inc. of refusing to negotiate with member doctors or kicking physicians out of its insurance network as retaliation for a lawsuit filed last month. As a result, the association said, Aetna may be limiting patients' access to their regular doctors.
September 12, 2012 |
Doctors are supposed to help patients eat healthfully - but they're not exactly dietary angels themselves. Skipping from meeting (snacks provided) to conference (catered, with jumbo cookies) to lunch at the hospital cafeteria (sugary soda on the side), many fall into the same bad habits the rest of us do, consuming too many calories, gaining too much weight, and eating all the wrong foods. At least one group of researchers thinks it's time for this to change. Writing in the journal JAMA on Tuesday (subscription required)
August 23, 2011 |
Obstetricians and gynecologists are trained as women's health specialists. But only 14% provide abortions. The nationwide survey of 1,144 ob-gyns published Monday found a lower rate of abortion providers than a 2008 survey did, which put the figure at 22%. Other doctors, such as family practice physicians, may also provide abortions. And there is some evidence that the number of ob-gyns willing to provide abortions may increase in the future. The survey, conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago and Duke University, found that younger doctors, ages 35 or younger, were the most likely to perform abortions, compared with other age groups.