Month: January 2015

Live From New York, It’s Saturday Night!

This week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced an ambitious goal to have 85% of payments made to doctors linked to clinical quality measures within the next two years. HHS believes that incentives should be weighted almost entirely toward quality of care instead of volume of care. I guess if you’re a patient, you could ask yourself the following question: are you currently more frustrated with (1) your quality of healthcare, or (2) your inability to get an appointment in a timely manner?

The truth is that both are equally important. And, since the latter problem will only get worse after eliminating incentives for volume, HHS is essentially betting the future of your healthcare on its own ability to assess and manage quality. Oh, gosh, I just read that sentence again, and nearly collapsed thinking about it.

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We Live in a World of Mostly Bogus Certifications

“Certification is the universal scam.”

I read that in one of James Altucher’s books. If you don’t know who he is, don’t worry, I didn’t know his name twelve months ago either. As it turns out, the Google search phrase that is most likely to take you to his website is, “I want to die.” When I learned this, I thought he must be a physician counseling those with severe depression. As it turns out, he’s not a physician at all. But, he’s helped a lot of people. In fact, you should go read a post on his webpage after finishing this one.

Regardless, Altucher is right.  Certification is the universal scam, at least in medicine right now.

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I Bet Papa Helps God with the Weather

In the mind of a child, life is perfect.

Ok, I’ll give it to you. Children fight with their siblings over ridiculous things like being first in line to leave the house. They fuss about having to wear their jacket when it’s 50 degrees, and then complain of being cold when you don’t make them put it on.

But, in the mind of a child, life is perfect, because on so many days, life just makes more sense.

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In Search of a Meaningful Life

Meaningful. Having a serious, important, or useful quality.

You know this word because you want it to define your life. Nearly all of us, at some point, will seek a more meaningful existence. Most wish our jobs were that way too.

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We Need More Disney in Medicine

This isn’t a debate about vaccines.

The fight here has nothing to do with that. For the record, I strongly support the concept of vaccination. Public health is better in the 21st Century because of it. Measles? Mumps? Oh, I can find you in the United States, but we aren’t living our lives every day petrified of an outbreak. Smallpox? Polio? Where did you go? Not here, that’s for sure. And, what if you had lived in West Africa in mid-2014? A proven vaccine for Ebola would have been a godsend.

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