As one of over 750,000 practicing physicians in the United States, it seems impossible that you could influence the field by advocating for change on your own. Think of what you might accomplish though, if you were to add your name to the roster of a more powerful force, a medical association with thousands of members? Wouldn’t that lend your voice real power and strength?
The medical profession has long realized the importance of continuing professional development. In the Aphorisms of Hippocrates, the first one reads: “Life is short, and Art long; the crisis fleeting; experience perilous, and decision difficult. The physician must not only be prepared to do what is right himself, but also to make the patient, the attendants, and externals cooperate.” While 2400 years ago the term continuing medical education (CME) was not yet in use, there was recognition that physicians need to continue to learn throughout their professional life. The fields of medicine and science never stop moving. New technology and research changes the industry constantly! Physicians spend anywhere from from seven to nine years studying for their profession, but that is only the beginning. They should never stop educating themselves and keeping up with advances. This is where accredited continuing medical information comes into play.
Every day, more than 115 Americans die after overdosing on opioids. This is a shocking number, especially considering that many of these opioids were prescribed by a doctor. The misuse of and addiction to opiate painkillers is a major crisis in our country that has reached epidemic proportions. Not only does it affect the health and wellness of our citizens, it impacts the social and economic welfare of our communities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the total "economic burden" of prescription opioid misuse in the United States is about $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and involvement by the criminal justice system.
Accountable care. Healthcare Infomatics. Value-based reimbursement. As medical professionals, it seems we are called on more and more to also become insurance experts. The language and logistics of health insurance grow increasingly complicated, but in order to understand the wellness and treatment options our patients may have at their disposal, we need to be educated in the terminology and vocabulary of the insurance industry.
As promised, the the most sweeping rewrite of the tax code in more than 30 years, commonly known as The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, arrived on President Donald Trump’s desk before Christmas and on the 22nd of December, he signed it into law. We have all heard that this is a major overhaul that may limit or end many deductions we currently use. How much is really changing though? And how will it affect us as medical providers?
While everyone wants to find a cure for cancer, the next best thing is early detection. There is exciting news on the cancer detection front, researchers have developed a new blood test that can detect eight common types, including the notoriously elusive liver and pancreatic cancers.
We had a very insightful and meaningful meeting on Wednesday night. Our physician community has been inundated with word soup for the past few years and just recently with the term “clinically integrated network”. Chris Emper flew in from out of town to give us very helpful definitions of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), Independent Physicians Associations (IPAs), and Clinically Integrated Networks (CINs). He then further discussed what each entity means for us as physicians. For those of you unable to attend, I wanted to provide an overview of the discussion as this topic is extremely important to our practices.
From smart refrigerators to door locks you control with your phone, virtually every aspect of our lives has gone digital. Our healthcare is no exception. Medical devices such as insulin pumps and implantable cardiac pacemakers are going “online” which means that just like computers and their networks, these devices can be vulnerable to security breaches.
Medicare Advantage plans, with their reduced or free premiums and low out of pocket costs, have been a great help to many people. According to new data, the Advantage program looks ready to have another positive year of growth in 2018.
Cardiovascular disease accounts for approximately 800,000 deaths per year in the United States or one out of every three deaths. Coronary heart disease accounts for the majority of cardiovascular disease deaths, followed by stroke and heart failure. Although deaths due to heart disease have declined over the past 10 years, it remains the leading cause of death in the US.