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What can doctors learn from La La Land?

Last week I finally got around to watching La La Land. As a fan of musicals, I had wanted to see it for quite some time, and before I stepped into the theater, I didn’t know what it was about nor what kinds of reviews it had been getting. Spoiler alert: Don’t read on if […]

How social media powers physician advocacy

This week is Physicians Week, and this is one in a series of interviews with members of the physician community that are bringing a variety of ideas and networks together in order to improve the relationships between physicians and between physicians and their patients. Dr. Marion Mass is a pediatrician in Philadelphia and a board […]

This doctor gives his cell number out to patients. He explains why.

Contrary to what my wife and colleagues think, it is not all about me. Well yes, I do get lonely sitting at my desk late at night, when my wife is busy, and the long-ago-moved-away kids are not available, and there is nothing running on NASCAR.  Nonetheless, it is not really about my needs.  I […]

3 myths about a single-payer system and why it’s doomed to fail

It sounds great, almost too good to be true: Coverage for all with lower costs, a broad choice of providers, and minimal paperwork. The problem is that it won’t work. For more than half a century, advocates for a government-run, single-payer approach to health care coverage have touted its potential. With debate over the Affordable […]

Going with our gut, not guidelines

His voice was gruff and his expression surly. “I don’t want any more medications.” His face was indented by deep clefts, remnants of eight decades of life hard lived. His tone was commanding and certain. I knew that he was fond of me, but I could feel his patience slipping. He neither asked about nor […]

A Tale as Old as Time: Examining Employer-PBM Rebate Relationships for Specialty Drugs

Pharmaceutical manufacturers pay billions in rebates to pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). These beastly rebates are the largest single component of the gap between a drug’s list price and the net price received by the manufacturer. But...Show More Summary

The Perspective of Time – Advice for New and Resident Physicians

The tendency to look back and impose self-criticism for the past is an all too common human tendency. A more robust strategy involves looking far ahead – not just dreaming, but making a detailed plan after careful analysis of goals,...

Deriving Value from Enterprise Systems

Much consternation has been expressed over the years regarding massive enterprise software roll-outs. There are numerous examples in virtually any industry sector one cares to look at. Years ago, when I was working as an analyst in the manufacturing vertical, … Read more ›

ACP delivers a position paper on administrative burdens

Talk with any physician and he/she will tell you how ridiculous the administrative burdens have become.  Several years ago the ACP began working on a major position paper about this issue.  Today the paper – Putting Patients First by Reducing Administrative Tasks in Health Care: A Position Paper of the American College of Physicians – appears […]

Which is Bigger: Pharma Profits or R&D Spending?

On Mar 27, 2017, Public Citizen came out with a report that claimed "Pharmaceutical Industry Profits Are Nearly Double R&D Costs in 2013, 2014 and 2015". The email announcing the report said “Even the inflated estimates of R&D reported...Show More Summary

The Context Problem Foils Pharma Online Advertising

Click on image to enlarge. Last week I came across an article about Johnson & Johnson and other pharma companies pulling their ads from Youtube because they appeared adjacent to hate speech, e.g.; an anti-Semitic clip claiming the existence...Show More Summary

My cold hands met their match

Despite living in Michigan for over 30 years, my cold hands disclose my Southern California origin. As a physician, these cold hands have touched many lives. For my pregnant patients, they usually sigh with relief as I touch their bellies, the coolness of my hands offering them respite from the inferno growing inside them. They […]

Watch who you call “paternalistic”: A physician takes exception to the New York Times

My husband and I, both anesthesiologists, enjoy our Sunday mornings together — coffee, the New York Times, a leisurely breakfast. No rush to arrive in the operating room before many people are even awake. Today, though, seeing reporter Jan Hoffman’s front-page article in the Times — “Staying Awake for Your Surgery?” — was enough to […]

Why Republicans Are Ruling With Utter Incomptence

Congressional Democrats kicked off the first term of the Obama administration having controlled the House and Senate for just two years. Consecutive landslide elections, in 2006 and 2008, left their caucuses overrun with unseasoned legislators, steeped in opposition politics and beset by conflicting priorities. Show More Summary

The General and the Refugee

The Asmara Corner Café sits on a dusty main road in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. With its weathered red façade and bright interior, the coffeehouse is a popular hangout for refugees from neighboring Ethiopia and Eritrea. On May 24...Show More Summary

Digital tools should not adversely affect the doctor-patient relationship

I did a second stint on a talk radio a few weeks ago which I really enjoyed.  The callers represent a genuine, down-to-earth view of the reality of connected health adoption.  The first time around, most callers were cautionary, raising concerns about data security and wondering about physician endorsement.  This time the theme that spontaneously […]

World Congress Manufacturers’ 340B Summit

World Congress Manufacturers’ 340B SummitMay 16-17, 2017 | PhiladelphiaJoin pharmaceutical manufacturers, thought leaders, and leading regulatory strategists at the World Congress Manufacturers’ 340B Summit, May 16-17, in Philadelphia. Show More Summary

The problem with price transparency

Transparency — including price, quality, and effectiveness of medical services– is a vital component to lowering costs and improving outcomes.  However, it is imperative transparency go hand-in-hand with financial incentives for patients and consumers; otherwise, the quest will be in vain.  The single best way of reducing costs while not worsening health outcomes is to […]

After the American Health Care Act

BY JOHN IRVINE We asked THCB’s editors and bloggers for their reactions to Friday’s news. Here are their first impressions. DANIEL STONE, MD The late UCLA Professor Richard Brown, once commented that the Clinton healthcare initiative failed because the status quo was everyone’s second choice. Some of that logic applies to today’s failure to vote

Evidence-Based Health Reform

By MARGALIT GUR-ARIE President Trump campaigned on making health care better, cheaper and available to all Americans, regardless of ability to pay. Once Mr. Trump was safely in the White House, the Republican thought leaders in Congress were quick to supply him with plans to repeal and replace Obamacare. Most were written in protest to

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