Sharing some love for the NHS

The most notable way the U.S. differs from other industrialized countries is the absence of universal health insurance coverage – Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, 2014 Update: How the U.S. Health Care System Compares Internationally, the Commonwealth Fund, executive summary   This summer I took my 11-year-old twins to England to visit family and we ended […]

An American doctor experiences an NHS emergency room

You know it’s going to be one of those days when one of the first tweets on vacation inquires about the closest hospital. Victor, one of my 11-year-olds, had something in his eye courtesy of a big gust of wind outside of Westminster Abby. He was complaining enough to let me flip his eyelid and […]

The VA tragedy exposes the dark side of medical metrics

The Veteran’s Administration is under fire for covering up deaths. Men and women who were eligible for care languished on impossibly long waiting lists and even worse when some died waiting for care their deaths were covered up. This is horrific and everyone wants to know how this tragedy could have happened? Veteran’s hospitals have […]

Does texting for wait times compromise emergency care?

On our recent road trip I was amazed by the number of billboards (from several health care systems and hospitals) advertising texting for emergency room (ER) wait times. My first thought was if you can text, how emergent is it? This was quickly followed by the concern that the option/advertising of texting about wait times might make the […]

Raise cigarette taxes $2 a pack to pay for new lung cancer screening guidelines

The U.S. Preventative Services Task force has issued a new recommendation: annual CT scan screening for lung cancer for high-risk smokers between the ages of 55 and 80. Who is a high risk smoker? Anyone with a 30-pack year smoking history (meaning a pack a day for 30 years or 2 packs a day for 15 […]

10 changes to health care that could happen if Supreme Court retracts contraception mandate

The Supreme Court has taken up the contraception mandate. Despite the fact that the World Health Organization calls contraception a human right and the fact that every dollar spent here on contraception saves $4, in the United States freedom of religion means to some, “If you work for me and get insurance through my company […]

The Affordable Care Act facilitates State-level abortion restrictions

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) legislation regarding abortion does not take effect until 2014. Under the ACA, insurers who participate in health insurance exchanges will be free to offer plans with abortion services or not. Individual plans can also choose their degree of abortion coverage (life of mother/rape/incest, have broader coverage for genetic anomalies, or […]

The one horror story that’s missing when Canadians talk about health care

I just spent a week in Canada. Most days were spent enjoying the glory that is a Manitoba summer on the sandy shores of lake Winnipeg, the kids playing in the water and building sandcastles while the parents chatted. As often happens, when people find out that I’m a doctor, the conversation turns to medicine. […]

Messing with reproductive health, Texas style

The Texas Women’s Health Program provides uninsured low income women between the ages of 18 and 44 with Pap smears, STD screening, breast exams, and contraception. Under a rule adopted March 14, 2012 WHP providers must certify they do not “perform or affiliate with an entity that performs or promotes elective abortions.” As the Federal […]