Around the Mediverse: May 13, 2010
Fun tidbits, health-related and otherwise, from around the ‘tubes:
- Unconfirmed: 15th century world maps labeled the location of what would later be called “America” with the warning “Here There Be Litigiousness.” WhiteCoat links to an AMA report that looks at key differences between the US medmal system and those of other developed countries, with an eye to what differences may or may not translate into improvement in the US. Great Z’s brings us the details of a case in which drugmakers were found liable for Hep C contracted by patients whose physician reused needles when administering the drug. A guest post at KevinMD gives tips on how to survive a deposition during a medical malpractice case. Edwin Leap reminds us that a large part of being a physician is the ultimate accountability for patient care… and that this accountability has to be compensated.
- Related to accountability is trust. Coyote Blog expresses his confusion about people who distrust large corporations, but don’t extend that same skepticism to government. Hit & Run discusses survey results showing that under-30s trust government to do what’s right in higher numbers than older generations. They also hint that the usual increase in cynicism might not hold for my generation… scary thought. Continuing in the libertarian vein, Megan McArdle explains the difference between liberals and conservatives in terms of the different sets of liberties that they care about (or not). There’s also this short, but entertaining, interview with the mayor of Las Vegas… who is sponsored by a gin brand, apparently.
- The Presidential Cancer Panel recently released a report on environmental carcinogens that set off some minor controversy. Here are reactions from Science-Based Medicine, Reason’s Hit & Run blog (also here), and the Wall Street Journal Health Blog.
- Jason Shafrin at Healthcare Economist runs down the math of running into a terrorist. Bottom line: don’t sweat it.
- Greece and the Euro continue to be in the news: what does it mean for us on this side of the pond? Greg Mankiw links to an article that claims that crises such as that in Greece show that we cannot have democracy, nation-states, and globalization together. Reason talks debt, deficit, inflation, and the future of America’s fiscal situation. On a lighter note, Mark Perry shares a video showing what you can learn about economic communities if you literally follow the money.
- Hit & Run did well this past week, it seems. Here’s another post of theirs arguing that all the nutrition programs in the world won’t work if they don’t take into account the role of values, preferences, and tastes in shaping diet.
- The Health Affairs blog presents a proposal to “Reinvent The Primary Care Workweek.” Importantly, they realize that the quality of the job is at least as important as payment in getting more students to choose primary care fields. Of course, a patient load that small means that you need more people to join the ranks pretty quickly after implementing the model. Seems like a good idea, but we’ll see what happens.
- There was lots of quality blogging about insurance, as well. InsureBlog looks at Massachusetts and finds a classic example of how not to run a health insurance exchange. Prescriptions looks at what the PPACA requires of self-funded employer plans: fortunately, it doesn’t seem to be all that much, given that telling employers how to provide a benefit may well result in them not providing it in the first place (the argument is different with insurance companies). Hit & Run points out that insurance regulation involves lots of tradeoffs, even if the regulation’s proponents don’t want to admit it. Finally, David Williams at the Health Business Blog summarizes InsureBlog’s complaints about an all-too-common situation with college-provided/mandated health insurance: it’s terrible.
- Finally for this week, Scott Greenfield brings us a lengthy, compelling, and disturbing story from the Village Voice that takes an inside look into incentives and operations at the patrol level in New York City’s 81st precinct. From a political/legal/libertarian point of view, it’s frightening. If you insist on putting a health policy lens on it, call it what happens when you implement the ultimate pay-for-performance system alongside the ultimate EMR. Enjoy…