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The Medical Professionalism Blog

Monthly Archives: May, 2011

The Divided Self No More

The ABIM Foundation convened a group of health care stakeholders in Madison, Wisconsin to learn more about how they think and act about the “wise and effective management of limited health care resources,” as stated in the Physician Charter. When we convened this group of stakeholders in Madison, we didn’t know what exactly to expect. [...]

Medical Professionalism and Conserving Resources – Just How Much is a Trillion Dollars?

In recent weeks, headline news has been reporting on the battle to curb the federal debt.  What does this have to do with medical professionalism?

Stuck in the Muddle of Fee-For-Service Medicine

I was once at a meeting where I heard a national health business leader liken providing additional incentives in a fee-for-service system to putting broccoli on a Big Mac. His point — a volume-based reimbursement system can’t be cured by some incremental bonus plan.

The $640 Billion Question

On May 18, Victor R. Fuchs, PhD and Arnold Milstein, MD, MPH published a perspective in The New England Journal of Medicine, titled “The $640 Billion Question –Why Does Cost-Effective Care Diffuse So Slowly?”  I highly recommend reading it.

Semper Paratus: How to Help Patients Make Better Decisions About Emergency Care

Unnecessary trips to the emergency department are expensive and disruptive for doctors and patients.  They are also fairly common.  Here is a patient’s perspective on the problem, courtesy of Jessie Gruman of the Center for Advancing Health.  In the spirit of “Show Me, Don’t Tell Me,” her post includes recommendations about how clinicians and others [...]

The “R” Word: Prescription for Not Engaging Physicians in the Control of Medical Costs

Robert Brook, MD, health services researcher extraordinaire, wrote a provocative commentary in JAMA – as he is accustomed to doing – entitled “What If Physicians Actually Had to Control Medical Costs?” In his piece, Brook challenged physicians to take a lead role in addressing the cost dilemma and called on physicians to find alternative strategies [...]

Responses to the Sounds of Overtreatment

Recently, several books, articles and blog posts have been published about the perils of overtreatment, when the potential harm of a test or procedure exceeds its benefit. The question still remains: What is the medical profession doing about it?

The Sounds of Overtreatment

Most agree something needs to be done about the costs of our health care system for it to remain sustainable. According to Peter Orszag, formerly of the Congressional Budget Office, the long-term fiscal balance of the United States will be determined by the future of the rate of growth of health care services.  Government spending [...]