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The Impact of Marketing Medical Malpractice

In every major metropolitan area within the United States,  you will find the names of leading medical malpractice attorneys, on TV and billboards, alerting you to their availability.  I sometimes wonder if TV and radio stations would face imminent bankruptcy if the advertising revenue from plaintiffs' attorneys and politicians was restricted on the airwaves?  As a licensed attorney for many decades, I can remember when these massive advertising campaigns by lawyers were considered illegal by the respective state bar associations.  However, as time has moved forward, we have achieved this excessive commercialization of medical malpractice. 

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Filed Under: Insider, doctor shortages, healthcare quality, patient satisfaction, changes in healthcare

Decision Fatigue in Healthcare

I once read an article that one of my colleagues left on my desk entitled "2017 Healthcare in Crisis, Needs a Revolution" by Dr. Bill Bysinger, PhD. The opening sentence of this articles states "Having been involved in healthcare since 1980, I continue to be frustrated by the lack of real change or improvement in the industry". In addition, we are confronted every day with news about what our political leaders are contemplating doing in regards to repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). For those of us who spend most of our waking hours involved in the process of healthcare, this is truly a confusing time. Which way will our federal government go? How will it affect our healthcare concerns? Hopefully, the decisions that are made will be in the best interest of the American people and our healthcare.

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Filed Under: doctor shortages, healthcare quality, patient satisfaction, changes in healthcare

Are You Aging Up or Down? How old do you Feel?

 

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Filed Under: mental status affects health, Mental Health, retirement, retirement health

The Cost of Living with Chronic Illness

The advances of medical science have been nothing short of remarkable over the last few decades. Illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes have become chronic illnesses. Proper ongoing medication and regular physician interaction have resulted in longer and healthier lives. Yet, the emotional and psychological costs of living with these disease states are just beginning to be understood in healthcare. As the grandfather of two type-I diabetics, I have watched first-hand how the disease is an ever present factor in their lives - 7/24/365. There is no escaping the constant reminder that their lives differ from that of their peers. From the monitoring of their blood glucose levels to the calculation of carbs in their diet, every event in their lives is driven by blood sugar levels -  either steady-state, too high or too low.

 

At times, I become cynical about the incentives or disincentives that stymie the clinical research so necessary to achieve real life-improving breakthroughs. We watch the prices of insulin continue to escalate to the point where there are circumstances in which a parent has to decide between insulin and adequate food or housing. I often wonder, considering the huge profits the drug manufacturers make on the sale of insulin, what role these executives play in placing speed bumps on the road to progress and breakthroughs.

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Filed Under: Insider, changes in healthcare, medical access, high-cost drugs, cancer drugs cost

Mental Health Disease - the Silent Illness

My first contact with a tangible mental illness and its implications occurred as a young lawyer trying a murder case in which my client, assigned to me by the court, was accused of murdering his wife. In the normal course, I sought a mental health evaluation of my client. I called one of the most prominent forensic psychiatrists in Detroit and asked him if he would evaluate this individual to determine if he could stand trial or if there was a mental health defense to his criminal actions. The psychiatrist visited the individual at the county jail and conducted an evaluation of the man’s mental status. The doctor called me and indicated that he was willing to testify that this individual had experienced a dissociative reaction, and during that reaction his wife had expired. The court heard this testimony and determined my client was not guilty by reason of insanity. To this day, that case and the court's decision still resonates with me. I was young and naïve and quite uncertain as to the legitimacy of the psychiatrist’s conclusion. However, in our criminal justice system, asserting the best defense available was my ultimate responsibility.

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Filed Under: Health Management, healthcare quality, changes in healthcare, mental status affects health, Mental Health