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More Exaggerations of the Benefits of Screening

0
February 18, 2015

Recent news stories touted a 22% drop in cancer death rates that has “spared the lives” of over 1.5 million people over the past two decades. The American Cancer Society (ACS) was attributed as explaining this drop as caused by U.S. smoking habits, extra attention to cancer prevention, improvements in various cancer treatments, and...
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Harvard Professors are Beginning to Feel the True Cost of Healthcare

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February 2, 2015

I love opportunities for a good snarky belly laugh. I got one recently. A report in the New York Times by Robert Pear talks about how several key Harvard faculty have, for years, advocated for national healthcare reforms that turned into Obamacare. As a result (among many other issues that the U.S. refuses to...
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Bad Family Medicine

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January 25, 2015

As much as I have given the ologists and other members of the dysfunctional U.S. healthcare system a hard time in previous posts, it’s only fair that I call out bad family medicine as well. I have a great example. I recently saw patient who is relatively new to the area who had seen...
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Higher and Higher Deductibles

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January 11, 2015

A recent report in USA Today disclosed the range of deductibles in the silver health insurance plans under the federal exchange of Obamacare. The authors concluded that in regions with less competition, the costs were higher. Families that make more than 250% of the federal poverty level — about $60,000 for a family of...
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Rare Humility by the News Media on Cancer

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January 8, 2015

A lot of media outlets reported a story from the journal Science that found that the majority of cancers are not the result of environmental toxins or inherited genetic defects, but are caused by totally random mutations in cells that divide rapidly and often. Good for them. The U.S. media so often uses phrases...
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Worthless Wellness Programs

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December 30, 2014

First of all, I hope everyone had a happy holiday season and I wish everyone a happy New Year’s. As my longtime readers know, there will are lots of things I hope improve in our healthcare system in 2015, but I’ll just mention one wish today. My wish is that the worthless wellness programs...
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Poor Care at Retail Clinics

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December 8, 2014

A family physician colleague, Aaron Segal M. D., told me a story that reminded me of some of the poor quality care that we hear about a retail clinics. He overheard the following conversation: Person A, “well, good luck at Minute Clinic…” Person B, “Yeah, I think it will work out. I have a...
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The Effect of Obamacare on Health Insurance Costs

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December 1, 2014

It’s the reenrollment period for the Obamacare plans. Estimates before Obamacare was created on its effects on costs were all over the map. Some pundits thought costs would come down; some pundits but costs would go up. The early returns are in, but as might be expected, the findings are all over the map....
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The Harms of Overdiagnosis – Thyroid Cancer

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November 16, 2014

The New York Times published a great story about the tremendous growth of thyroid cancer diagnoses in South Korea. It’s based on a study authored by H. Gilbert Welch, MD, a professor at Dartmouth Medical School, who has been a voice of restraint in the growth of aggressive American medicine for 3 decades. The...
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Family Medicine’s New Statement: Health is Primary

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November 9, 2014

All of the major family medicine organizations just released their vision for the future of family medicine called Health is Primary: Family Medicine for America’s Health. This report comes on the 10-year anniversary of the Future of Family Medicine Report. The report lists 7 core strategies: Family medicine’s leadership will collaborate with patients, employers,...
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