Policy, Ethics, Education Archives - Page 5 of 9 - PulmCCM
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Policy, Ethics, Education Articles

Apr 172012
 
Most oncologists dump end-of-life talks on other MDs (Ann Intern Med)

(image: Plioz.com) Ever cared for that patient with metastatic cancer in your ICU, intubated for acute respiratory failure and surrounded by a bewildered and stressed family who cope by emotionally blaming you, the intensivist, because “He just saw his oncologist last week, and he said everything was OK!”? Forcing you to begin painful end-of-life discussions [… read more]

Apr 122012
 
Release the data on Relenza and Tamiflu, Cochrane implores Pharma (NYT)

Antiviral drugs oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza) made big bucks for Roche and GSK respectively during the H1N1 influenza pandemic: Roche reportedly sold  about $3 billion of Tamiflu in 2009. Although sales have dropped off precipitously, the drugs are still recommended by CDC for serious cases of seasonal influenza. But do Relenza and Tamiflu even [… read more]

Apr 112012
 
Lack of ICU beds has no effect on mortality ... in Canada? (Arch Intern Med)

What happens when the “Rapid Response Team” is called for an acutely deteriorating patient, but there’s no ICU bed available to send her to? In Alberta, Canada, not much, apparently. Henry Stelfox, Brenda Hemmelgarn, and Braden Manns analyzed 3,494 consecutive patients with “Code MET (medical emergency team)” rapid-response activations in Calgary between 2007 and 2009. [… read more]

Apr 052012
 

A large proportion of primary care doctors were easily fooled by numbers that seemed to support cancer screening, but were actually irrelevant. Just as bad, they ignored data supporting screening that would genuinely save lives, in a questionnaire simulation published in the March 6 Annals of Internal Medicine. 412 primary care docs were given surveys testing [… read more]

Apr 052012
 

The Joint Commission (previously called “JCAHO”) launched its new “Tobacco Cessation Performance Measure Set” on January 1, 2012. Like most New Years’ resolutions, we all promptly ignored it. But it’s time to pay attention — your hospital might be. Wasn’t there already a smoking cessation performance measure? Yes, in 2004 hospitals were required to report the proportion [… read more]

Apr 022012
 

This post was featured on KevinMD.com; an excerpt follows. “Full code” is the universal default status for patients who haven’t chosen otherwise. Yet I suspect most physicians believe this policy is wrong. We feel in our hearts we’re doing harm when we perform CPR on poor souls whose bodies are trying to naturally end their [… read more]

Apr 012012
 

You might think you’re just writing a prescription and signing your name. But the innocent ink (or pixels) you leave behind in your daily routine turns into liquid gold for an entire industry that makes big profits from understanding and interpreting your behavior to pharmaceutical and insurance companies. As Lawrence Gostin points out in a [… read more]

Mar 252012
 

“The average length of medical training could be reduced by about 30% without compromising physician competence or quality of care,” writes Ezekiel Emanuel, Obama’s former health care advisor who’s now back at University of Pennsylvania in a big-thinker job spanning ethics, economics and medicine. In a JAMA essay with co-author Viktor Fuchs, they opine that [… read more]

Mar 192012
 

This post was featured on KevinMD.com; an excerpt follows: An essay in JAMA by Vinay Prasad (Northwestern of Chicago), Adam Cifu (U. of Chicago) and John Ioannidis (Stanford) should be required reading for every medical student, resident, and to pass every board certification exam in any specialty. In my humble opinion. John Ioannidis became one [… read more]

Mar 182012
 

Sleep docs don’t come off looking so hot in this recent NPR story, which paints some of them as opportunistic plunderers of the nation’s health care dollars, over-ordering expensive sleep studies to make a buck. As reporter Jenny Gold points out, the number of sleep studies performed in the U.S. has quadrupled over the past [… read more]

Mar 142012
 

The National Lung Screening Trial (NSLT) showed a 20% reduction in death from lung cancer, but with a number needed to screen of 320 to prevent one death, a false-positive rate of 96% and each abnormal scan generating costs of ~$45,000, the risk / benefit / cost accounts are far from settled. Few insurers (e.g. [… read more]

Feb 272012
 

“Medical identity theft” — theft of your unique identifiers to perpetrate Medicare or insurance fraud — may be on the rise, according to the Federal Trade Commission. There were 12,000 cases of medical identity theft reported by patients or doctors between 2007-2009. A JAMA article by Shantanu Agrawal and Peter Budetti describes one hapless victim’s [… read more]

Feb 172012
 
Tobacco warnings, free speech, and "in-activist" judges (NEJM)

Legal eagle Kevin Outterson explains the latest twists in the saga of the FDA’s quest to get large, scary pictures on every cigarette package under its new regulatory muscle of the 2009 Obama-authorized Tobacco Control Act. R.J. Reynolds sued, and federal judge Richard Leon took their side in November 2011, deciding to apply the more [… read more]

Feb 162012
 

Do you conduct original investigations in respiratory medicine? Are you tired of publishing your work in The New England Journal of Medicine, Science and Nature? Well, Lancet has been feeling left out. They’d like to publish your manuscript(s) in a September 2012 issue to coincide with the European Respiratory Society meeting. They’ve issued a call for [… read more]

Feb 112012
 

My post featured on KevinMD: Obama health reform adviser Ezekiel Emanuel has been writing regularly in the lay and medical press to soften up physicians and the public for the coming of the mysterious accountable care organizations. But are rank-and-file docs buying the party line? Will physicians buy into ACOs? (KevinMD) http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2012/02/physicians-buy-acos.html

Feb 102012
 

The Cochrane Collaboration smells a rat around Pharma’s handling of its data on oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza). They’re taking the unusual step of publicly calling for Roche (Tamiflu) and GlaxoSmithKline (Relenza) to make available their data from the original clinical studies that led to approval of the two blockbuster drugs. They point out that [… read more]

Feb 082012
 

One-third of smokers try to quit each year, but few stay quit. Even with varenicline (Chantix), the most effective smoking cessation aid to date, only 10% are abstinent at one year. Anne Joseph, Steven Fu, Dorothy Hatsukami et al wonder if that’s partly because our (fee-for-service-driven) intermittent-visit model of patient care and counseling leaves craving [… read more]

Jan 292012
 

The Obama administration is about to mandate strict new reporting requirements that will, in effect, require that every gift to a doctor from a pharma or device company be recorded on a publicly accessible government website. This initiative was authorized in the federal health care law, but the details were unspecified and implementation delayed.  Senators Charles Grassley [… read more]

Jan 082012
 
Elderly critically ill who survive ICU rationing live well (CHEST)

Many argue that as a limited resource serving unlimited needs, medical care is “rationed” by definition, and ICU resources (being more limited and expensive) are simply more overtly rationed. For example, in France, ICU admission is often denied to the very elderly critically ill, explicitly because of their age (this happens in the U.K., too, probably). In the U.S., [… read more]