Empowering consumers to shop based on price and quality was supposed to force health organizations to compete on those terms—making health care better and more affordable.
Yet, health spending continues to rise in the U.S. Despite a groundswell of pricing and quality data being unleashed, consumers still aren’t shopping for health care like they do other goods and services. Meanwhile, proponents of consumerism have begun to publicly question its limits—and the dangers of ignoring those limits.... Read More
It's a pervasive dilemma in health care. Though the industry is in flux, and we know "business-as-usual" can't last, there’s no real urgency to change because the old way of doing things is still lucrative.... Read More
Rachel (not her real name) has been a patient of mine for more than three years. She has a borderline personality disorder that makes it extremely difficult for her to create and sustain relationships and causes significant fluctuations in mood. ... Read More
Constrained funding, constantly being asked to do more with less, increased scrutiny and an unclear roadmap for the future—health care’s constant flux is making medicine harder than it should be. And health care workers are feeling the grind. More than half of physicians report feeling exhausted and ineffective, according to a recent Mayo Clinic and American Medical Association study. And it’s even worse for trainees, according to a JAMA study that found doctors in training are more susceptible to depression than the general population.... Read More
Patients aren’t alone in their angst over soaring drug costs.
Hospitals, too, are struggling to keep up with price hikes on older, off-patent drugs—and some are having to make tough decisions about how much of these medicines to keep in stock.
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Think academic medicine is stodgy, hidebound or slow to innovate? Think again. Faculty, scientists and administrators of the nation’s teaching hospitals are actually quite progressive and optimistic about the future of medicine.... Read More
Don't expect precision medicine to bring relief from soaring health care costs.
Genetically targeting therapies to those patients most likely to benefit spares them the time and toxicity of trying ineffective drugs. That’s a good thing for patients, and in theory, a money-saver. But the economics of drug discovery suggest otherwise.... Read More
Michael Boehnke, Ph.D. has spent two decades searching for the genetic roots of type 2 diabetes, which affects more than 300 million individuals worldwide and accounts for 10 percent of U.S. health care costs. Progress may seem slow, but today, we know of more than 100 common markers for type 2 diabetes and more than 60 for glucose intolerance and insulin resistance, he says.... Read More
He’s been called a “medical mystery man,” a “super diagnostician,” and “one of the last, best hopes for people suffering from rare, debilitating and undiagnosed medical conditions.” But don’t compare him to Dr. House.... Read More
Diagnostics are “the gateway” to precision medicine. They are “absolutely critical,” and it’s critical that the science behind them be “precise, accurate and actionable,” emphasized Dean Li, M.D., Ph.D., at a University of Utah-sponsored “Frontiers in Precision Medicine” conference this month. ... Read More
In the small-town Kansas of Richard Weinshilboum, M.D.’s childhood, most of the local doctor’s patients received the same treatment when they were sick: a placebo and a comforting dose of the doctor’s hands placed where it hurt.... Read More
Cancer is the leading cause of disease-related death in children, and “10 to 30 percent of such cases are related to a genetic risk”—a cruel fate that can make families feel helpless, says pediatric oncologist Joshua Schiffman, M.D. But it’s in the genetics where hope gets a foothold.... Read More
Doctors don't have a lot of "down time," especially residents. But Erin Helms, M.D., a new mom and third year Chief Resident of the University of Utah's Family Medicine Residency Program, still makes time to read for enjoyment. And because the books she favors, whether fiction or non-fiction, focus on medicine, they "shape [her] as a learner and physician."... Read More
Author and journalist Steven Brill admits knowing very little about health care before writing his influential Time magazine exposé on inflated hospital bills. “All along I’ve had this bug to write about stuff that interests me. … the temerity to want to write about things I don’t know anything about,” said Brill, speaking at the annual conference of the Association of American Academic Medical Centers (AAMC) in Baltimore.... Read More
Rutgers Medical School is facing a challenge many medical schools are struggling with: an aging infrastructure and a need to provide more modern facilities for faculty and students. How is the school grappling with this problem? Data. Walter L. Douglas, Jr. , chief operating officer, explains. ... Read More
Cornell's curriculum needed to be updated to reflect the current needs of medical students. It wasn't easy and the change involved much resistance from faculty. The school is now two years in to this overhaul. What were the lessons learned and how is Cornell measuring success? David Warren, associate research professor explains. ... Read More
Every few years, the AAMC publishes results from research assessing public perception of medical schools and academic medical centers. The 2015 research recently concluded. Bill McInturff, co-founder of Public Opinion Strategies (POS), presented a summary of the findings at the AAMC’s Learn · Serve · Lead conference in Baltimore.... Read More
“When we have a question, we ask Siri. ‘How can I help you?’ she says…I fear this is becoming a metaphor for doctors themselves,” says Brian Hodges, M.D., Ph.D., FRCPC, speaking about humanism in medicine at the annual conference of the Association of American Medical Colleges. He asks, “Are we on our way to becoming the ‘digital doctor?’” With all the advancements that technology and cutting-edge machinery bring to healthcare, it can also slice away at opportunities for compassion and patient bonding.... Read More