From the category archives:

Health Care Politics

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What Happens When Doctors Only Take Cash

April 24, 2017

From: Time.com: There are no negotiated rates, no third-party reimbursements and almost no paperwork. “We say, ‘Here’s the price. Here’s what you’re getting. Here’s your bill,’” says Keith Smith, who co-founded the Surgery Center in 1997 Source: What Happens When Doctors Only Take Cash | Time.com The linked article is medical not dental and there is […]

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Siri, Am I About to Have a Heart Attack?

January 16, 2017

From WSJ: …Technology now exists to provide cheaper and higher-quality health care, but giant roadblocks stand in the way. That technology is artificial intelligence and machine learning. The algorithms behind AI are painfully complex, but the final product is simple—think Google Translate or Amazon’s Alexa. Saying a phrase and immediately having it translated is cool. […]

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Price Transparency Is Nice. Just Don’t Expect It to Cut Health Costs

January 3, 2017

From NYT: In Los Angeles and San Francisco, one analysis found, mammography prices vary by over a factor of five — from a low of $128 to almost $700. Prices for IUDs and lower-back M.R.I.s vary by a factor of three. An examination of Massachusetts health care prices found nearly a fourfold variation in M.R.I. […]

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Inaugural List of Dentistry’s 32 Most Influential

December 14, 2016

From Incisal Edge: Very interesting. Measuring “influence” is a little like measuring love, or the water view from an apartment terrace. It’s a formula that includes a few numbers, some guesswork and a whole lot of you-know-it-when-you-see it… …Only 14 of these 32 are actually dentists, a reflection of just how diverse, broad-based and, yes, […]

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Why Luxury TVs Are Affordable when Basic Health Care Is Not

December 9, 2016

It’s not that complicated, folks. If you want good services, good products, innovative ideas, and low prices, you need competitive markets. The more you control, the higher the prices and the worse the results. Source: Why Luxury TVs Are Affordable when Basic Health Care Is Not | Foundation for Economic Education Check out the graph […]

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Flossing and the Art of Scientific Investigation

November 28, 2016

From The New York Times: Responding to This: And dentists know from a range of evidence, including clinical experience, that interdental cleaning is critical to oral health and that flossing, properly done, works. Yet the notion has taken hold that such expertise is fatally subjective and that only randomized controlled trials provide real knowledge. Source: Flossing […]

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Why insurance companies control your health care

October 14, 2016

Interesting historical look at health insurance from my hometown paper: How did the United States develop this complex insurance-based medical care system, anyhow? While critics emphasize the ACA’s shortcomings, cost and quality issues have long plagued the U.S. health care system. As my research demonstrates, we have these problems because insurance companies are at the […]

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We need to stop calling physicians “providers”

October 10, 2016

This has been a peeve of mine for years. The forces appear to be aligning to gradually push the word “doctor” out of the center and towards the periphery of health care. Whether we are talking about administrative communication or health care information technology order entry — it seems that we are no physicians or […]

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High Tech House Calls

September 30, 2016

From NYT: REMEMBER when doctors made house calls? While only a relative handful of doctors still offer them, there is growing evidence that comprehensive home medical care could be a viable alternative to the attendant woes and soaring expenses of institutional health services,… …At the heart of the home care renaissance is a combination of […]

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A Scary Obamacare Mystery

September 24, 2016

From Bloomberg: But when too few sign up, the insurer has to ask, “Who’s declining to buy insurance?” and the most likely answer is, “Healthy people who don’t expect to use it much.” The remaining pool, then, will be sicker. The lower the participation rate, the more likely it is that you’ve got a small […]

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The big ObamaCare bubble

August 27, 2016

From The Hill: Joe Cortelli, a health insurance expert from the nationwide consulting group HIG, explains:”We have done nothing to improve the outcomes of the 10% of the population that drives 80% of our claims costs. We have merely pumped billions of dollars into these [ObamaCare] exchanges masking the real problems. Unless the government can continue […]

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Another Multi Million Dollar HIPAA Settlement

August 18, 2016

From ADA News: Mississippi hospital agrees to $2.75 million settlement its investigation followed UMMC’s report of a stolen laptop. The investigation revealed that information stored on a UMMC network drive was “vulnerable to unauthorized access” via the hospital’s wireless network because users could access a directory that included 328 files containing the electronic protected health […]

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Medical benefits of dental floss unproven

August 8, 2016

From The Washington Post: The AP looked at the most rigorous research conducted over the past decade, focusing on 25 studies that generally compared the use of a toothbrush with the combination of toothbrushes and floss. The findings? The evidence for flossing is “weak, very unreliable,” of “very low” quality, and carries “a moderate to large […]

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ObamaCare Is Failing Exactly The Way Critics Said It Would

August 6, 2016

From Investor’s Business Daily: Aetna’s decision to abandon its ObamaCare expansion plans and rethink its participation altogether came as a surprise to many. It shouldn’t have. Everything that’s happened now was predicted by the law’s critics years ago. Source: ObamaCare Is Failing Exactly The Way Critics Said It Would | Stock News & Stock Market […]

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CON Commission votes to deregulate dental CT scanners

July 14, 2016

This is good: Dentists have complained for years that the 10-year rule that required a CON to purchase dental CTs only increased dental practice costs and made it more difficult to diagnose and treat patients. The cone-beam CT scanner is also fast becoming a standard tool for specialists, they said. Source: CON Commission votes to […]

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Net Neutrality: Government Control of Your Internet Service

June 25, 2016

From National Review: Title II regulations, created to police the Ma Bell monopoly, transform the Internet from a virtually unregulated, private system of networks into a quasi-public utility subject to conflicting common-carrier precedents, bureaucratic designs, and interminable waiver proceedings. Source: Net Neutrality: Government Control of Your Internet Service | National Review An interesting look at a […]

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Cash-only doctors abandon the insurance system

June 9, 2016

From CNN Money: In Wichita, Kan., 32-year old family physician Doug Nunamaker switched to a cash-only basis in 2010 after taking insurance for five years. (“Cash-only” is a loose description. Nunamaker accepts payment by debit or credit card too.)Under the traditional health insurance system, a large staff was required just to navigate all the paperwork, […]

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Hospital II

May 2, 2016

From John Stossel: Follow up to this. Last week’s column on my lung surgery struck a nerve. Many of you wished me well. Others said I deserve to die. Source: Hospital II – John Stossel Interesting responses, mostly politics with some thoughts from people in the business. Including this most important question, “How does a patient […]

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Hospitals and Dental Offices

April 28, 2016

From John Stossel, as they say read the whole thing: But as a consumer reporter, I have to say, the hospital’s customer service stinks. Doctors keep me waiting for hours, and no one bothers to call or email to say, “I’m running late.” Few doctors give out their email address. Patients can’t communicate using modern […]

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UnitedHealth Pulls Out of Obamacare

April 22, 2016

From Yahoo Finance: The Affordable Care Act suffered another jolt late last week with the news that UnitedHealth Group, the nation’s largest health insurer, was making good on its threat to pull out of Obamacare, beginning with its operations in Georgia and Arkansas. Source: UnitedHealth Makes Good on Threat to Pull Out of Obamacare – […]

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