August 23, 2017

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Social Risk

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Check out this JAMA Article. What it says, I think, is that if payment programs ignore the special efforts that some disadvantaged subpopulations require on the part of physicians to ensure the success of their medical care, doctors trying to provide the best care that they can for such groups will get short changed at the pay window.

I say “I think” that is what it says because, as with so many physician compensation plans, it is one thing to identify a potential problem, and another thing to try to eliminate the inequities that have been identified. Talk about partnering with community agencies and turning physicians into social workers, IMHO, does little to improve the clarity of the situation.

Bottom Line. This kind of thing always scare me. The more I hear issues like this brought up, the more I start to see the inevitability of a one payer system. NHS comes to the U.S.

As usual, stay tuned!

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August 22, 2017

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Yup, That’s What I Would Say…

Amazon

if I were the “top executive at CVS Health.” A company that has seen its stock depressed as rumors of Amazon entering the pharmacy space have circulated through the investment community.

I’d say that there is no way Amazon is going to enter into our pharmacy space. Pharmacy is too clinical, so it can’t be done by a retailer like Amazon. Besides, there are too many relationships that need to be struck with insurers. They can’t handle that!

Bottom Line. If I were a betting man, I would wager that Amazon WILL enter the pharmacy space. And do so with great ease, actually.

My next bet would be that with Amazon’s expertise in customer engagement, they will rapidly run circles around traditional pharmacies. With technology like “dash buttons, ” that Amazon uses to let you buy all kinds of things by simply pushing a button, think what they could do for patient compliance!

Stay tuned!

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August 21, 2017

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What’s in A Word?

This physician’s post supports my notion that the right answer to this question is “A lot!!!” More specifically, this blogging doctor believes that it is extremely important that his patients view the front of his office as the “reception area,” rather than as the “waiting room.” In fact, he works very hard to keep on […]

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August 18, 2017

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Indiana Doctor Murdered for An Opioid Prescription???

Yup. That’s what it says in this article. An Orthopedist refuses a prescription for an opioid to a patient complaining of chronic pain, and pays for that decision with his life at the wrong end of a gun in the parking lot. I’m not sure what to add to this story, since its horror largely […]

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August 17, 2017

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Immediate Gratification

Yup. This sort of makes sense. Check out this piece. What you will find is that as healthcare costs have gone up over recent years, employers have significantly reallocated their percentage of spending on employee benefits. Whereas the majority of their spend used to go to funding employees’ retirement, two-thirds of their investment in their work […]

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August 16, 2017

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The “Upside Down” World of Pharmaceutical Pricing

Check out this NYT story. Trust me, I couldn’t make this stuff up. Seems that in order to hold on to market share when their product is about to go generic, branded pharmaceutical companies are striking deals with payers and PBM’s that make more money, for those organizations, if patients are made to buy the […]

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August 14, 2017

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“Patient Bias???”

Today, a little more on the “Health Psychology” theme we talked about in our last blog. Check out this post. Then try to figure out whether it is physician bias, or patient bias, that accounts for more of the good and the bad behavior we see in the treatment world. Obviously, a trick question. What […]

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August 11, 2017

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The Psychology of Antibiotic Abuse

Yup. You read that right. Antibiotic abuse, not opioid abuse!!! Check out this article. Duh! What you will see in this piece is the revelation that there are multiple/documented reasons for physicians overprescribing, and patients over requesting/consuming, oral antibiotics. As I have been preaching for a long time, there is a body of knowledge, Health […]

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August 10, 2017

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Guidelines

“Dr. Bob,” the “academic internist” pictured above, makes an important point in this blog post.  All well and good, he maintains, to have carefully thought out guidelines for treating medical problems. BUT. He points out that as much thought must be given to figuring out which patients are appropriate for treatment with these guidelines as […]

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August 9, 2017

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The Good Old Days

I don’t have anything very profound to say about the picture above. Not even a URL to send you to. Nope. Just a shot of nostalgia for those of us who are old enough to have been in the pharmaceutical industry when all of those pens, and myriad other giveaways (coffee mugs, clipboards, etc.) were […]

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