MedSmarts

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This Health Insurance Trap Could Cost You Plenty

Health Insurance Alert: Out-of-Network Rip-Offs Much has been made in the health insurance debate surrounding Obamacare of the growing reliance by health insurers on “narrow networks” of doctors and hospitals willing to accept their discounted payments as a means of keeping healthcare costs under control. This trend preceded Obamacare, but has accelerated as insurers struggle […]

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Obama’s Feds’ Reefer Madness Marijuana Fixation

Feds’ Vestigial Marijuana Policy Still Mired in War on Drugs That’s Nixon with Elvis, not J. Edgar… It’s ironic that federal marijuana policy under admitted-former-pothead President Barack Obama reeks more of Tricky Dick Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover than Cheech and Chong. Last week brought the feds’ vestigial – as in no longer of use […]

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We Need MORE VHA Health

Whatever the VHA’s Flaws, Private Healthcare’s Worse  This post is a follow-up to my last post on the troubled Veterans Health Administration (VHA), which is under renewed scrutiny following revelations of patient treatment delays that were concealed to make some VHA services look better and generate bonuses for select administrators. This has created sufficient scandal […]

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VHA Flaws No Worse Than Private Healthcare

VHA Controversy Ignores Bigger Flaws With Private Healthcare Memorial Day seems a fitting time to weigh in on the Veteran’s Health Administration (VHA) scandal. The VHA is on the hot seat now for reported delays in scheduling patients that may have contributed to the deaths of dozens of veterans. The usual response prevails – heads […]

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Healthcare Delusions and Deceptions – Exploiting the Search for Immortality

Are YOU Getting Too Much Healthcare? An essay in the BMJ (formerly British Medical Journal) echoes much of what I report in Our Healthcare Sucks,albeit with far more eloquence and erudition. Entitled “Overdiagnosis: when good intentions meet vested interests”, the author, Dr. Iona Heath – a retired general practitioner – summarizes the ethical, political, and human […]

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Is Justina Pelletier The Canary in the Healthcare Coalmine?

America’s Healthcare System Does Much Worse Every Day Justina Pelletier Declared Ward Of State (Special Petition … http://grassfire.com/2014/02/justina/ I didn’t know much about 15-year-old Justina Pelletier’s case when I was first accosted about it in a LinkedIn group a few weeks back. My crime was not watching Fox News, which left me insufficiently exposed to […]

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Do Statins Fatten?

New Study Challenges Latest Statin Guidelines Statin drugs are the cholesterol-lowering darlings of contemporary medicine. So much so that fully half of men age 65-74 are prescribed them and one in four adults – both men and women – over 45 are taking them. An increasing proportion of these patients don’t have the established cardiovascular […]

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mammography perceptions reflect healthcare expectations

Are Medical Advances Always Wise?

Our Healthcare Needs More Zen, Less Spend This week’s New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) has a couple of reports that got me to thinking about how much our healthcare system runs on the fuel of fear – not unlike how much of the Old Testament of the Bible used fear to keep the masses in […]

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Medicare Physician Payments and Medical Errors

Medicare Over-Payments & Medical Errors Much is being made this week of the public release of physician-specific Medicare payments. Given that this has been legally prohibited for many decades by legal proceedings initiated by physicians, the backlash from physicians is predictably vociferous (see “None of Your Business: Docs React to Medicare Data Release“). One doctor […]

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Obamacare’s Unspoken Risks

Obamacare’s Better Access is a Double-Edged Sword Now that the initial deadline for health insurance enrollment under Obamacare’s mandated coverage requirement has passed, maybe we can all take a breath to consider what achieving its initial 7 million enrollment figure really represents. Its opponents have a lot riding on derailing Obamcare, one way or another […]

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