Author Archives: admin

Waddaya Know?

The classic Maine response to “Waddaya know?” is “Not much.  You?”  Truth be told: no one knows what really works in medicine. Testing What We Think We Know (New York Times, August 20, 2012) gives recent examples of this phenomenon: … Continue reading

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The Limits of Wellness

The premise of wellness is that if you are healthy, you will use fewer medical services and take fewer drugs.  Getting a whole group of people to be healthy (should) mean spending less on medical care.  Lest this seem forehead-thump … Continue reading

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Carrots, Sticks, Results?

The Affordable Care Act did many things to change health insurance and health care.  It made one small tweak to employer paid incentives for wellness programs: as of January 1, 2014, employers can offer employees up to 30% of the … Continue reading

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Four psychiatrists and a population health analyst

I was blessed with the opportunity to work with four psychiatrists to write the article, “Anti-Psychotic Medications in Children and Youth: A Weighty Matter“.  The article will be used by the Maine Medical Association’s Academic Detailing program to educate primary … Continue reading

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Does Health Insurance Equal Health Status?

As I wait on the edge of my seat for the Supreme Court ruling, I step back to consider how much more “health” we will have if the individual mandate survives.  There is a widespread belief that by getting more … Continue reading

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An inalienable right to a free Mercedes and a pair of sneakers

Buried in the “Bonus Matter” chapter of Super Freakonomics (by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner), is a terrific description of the health care cost dilemma. The authors respond to a question about health reform and whether it will … Continue reading

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Our next President, our next health reform?

Just as Obama was sworn into office in 2009, the book “Healthcare, Guaranteed” by Ezekiel J. Emanuel, M.D., Ph.D.  (Public Affairs Books) was published.  Dr. Emanuel is related to Obama’s former chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel.  So you might think … Continue reading

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Perhaps we could outlaw compassion

As the attorneys argue the merits and flaws of the Affordable Care Act, I am struck by the fundamental question – which has less to do with the Constitution, and more to do with the human tendency to compassion for … Continue reading

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The most revealing health number

Which is the most revealing number about a person’s health? A)     Height and weight B)     Number of chronic illnesses C)     Blood pressure D)     Annual salary

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Power Struggle: Insurers and Hospitals

Recently, the perils of low Medicaid and Medicare payments have been in the headlines.  Hospitals and physicians trot out the cost-shift tale: when Medicaid and Medicare cut their payments, private payers have to pay more to make up the difference.  … Continue reading

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