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When I’m 64

“Will you still see me next year?” Her question threw me, as I thought the visit had gone well. She’s been my patient for the past four years. She originally came to me when her earlier physician decided to join a concierge practice. His new medical practice doesn’t take insurance and patients pay cash if they […]

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Alphabet Soup

So many letters, so little time. At least that’s what I thought when I read the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) new report on dietary intake of calcium and vitamin D. For the last three years, reports and studies began to surface indicating that most Americans were deficient in vitamin D. Experts attributed this deficiency to […]

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Safety First

Is it safe? No, this isn’t a replay from the movie “Marathon Man” (1976). It’s what several health policy experts asked about safe practices at hospitals. Researchers combed over 2,300 hospital records (2002 to 2007) of 10 random hospitals in North Carolina. What they found, reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, were 588 […]

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Unintended Consequences

Joe is a guy that never really cared about his health. He is overweight, according to any objective standard, and always attributes this to “bigger muscles” (it isn’t). He dutifully comes in once a year, but admittedly only because of his wife’s insistence. She worries about his lack of exercise, his growing abdominal midsection (“muscle”) […]

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Whoop, There It Is

It’s strange how some diseases struggle to make a comeback. When we Baby Boomer’s were infants, a little known bug caused serious respiratory infections and distress. The disease, Whooping Cough, caused by a bacterium now known as Bordetella pertussis, resulted in fever, generalized lethargy and severe coughing. As the cough persisted, it came in staccatic […]

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Accounting for Taste

Today I’m feeling like the lyrics in the country song: “Can’t explain, there’s something strange about the early Fall. It’s a comfort leaving me without a care. I remain but everything around me hears the call. And tonight, I feel a change in the air.” Only the change that I’m feeling is the sweeping health reforms brought to […]

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A Tip of Our CAHPS to Coming Clean in America

Are hospitals coming clean? An article just published in Health Affairs reveals details of a government–required survey conducted in 2008 and 2009. The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey or CAHPS (thank goodness for acronyms!) is required of all hospitals receiving and hoping to continue to receive federal funding. Analysts compared CAHPS […]

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Heard It Through the Grapevine

Occasionally a patient will come in for a visit and during discussion will ask that we run a specific blood or diagnostic test. Sometimes it’s just a matter of curiosity (“What’s my blood type?”), other times it’s because they have a friend or relative recently diagnosed with a disease and they want to be checked […]

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