The Alternative Medicine Dilemma

Where does the average patient turn for medical advice? Well, between loaded online forums and databases, advice from friends and those dubious late-night infomercials touting miraculous benefits in "just 30 days;" health-conscious consumers have a wide spectrum of options, all claiming to help them manage their conditions. While all physicians hope that their patients seek trusted health authorities in their health matters. The reality is that the waters of what is and what isn't actually medicine gets cloudy for many patients.

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Spending Less is More Effective than Earning More

Most doctors have experienced running out of money before the month ends. Often, our first thought is the need to earn more money to make ends meet. But is increasing our income the best solution? Aren’t we already busy enough? Weren’t we just wishing we had more time off? Don’t we already make a lot of money?

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LabOratory: Quality Management of Point of Care Testing

With emerging technological innovations in healthcare, including smartphone apps, biosensors, lab-on-a chip, and wearable devices—all of which offer a closer connection to the patient—point-of-care (POC) technologies are quickly becoming part of the transformation of the healthcare landscape. The driving concept in support of point-of-care testing (POCT) is to bring testing closer to the patient and results conveniently and quickly to the provider to expedite diagnosis and subsequent treatment. POCT allows for faster clinical decisions in hospitals, physicians’ offices, ambulances, patient homes, and in the field.

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LabOratory: The Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA) - Reduced Payments to Laboratories in 2018

The Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA) includes the most extensive reform of the Medicare Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule (CLFS) since it was established in 1984. Signed into law on April 1, 2014, PAMA was intended to introduce market-based pricing to the Medicare CLFS. PAMA was passed after it was discovered by the Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General (OIG) that Medicare paid significantly more for clinical laboratory tests than commercial payers, and in some cases, Medicaid.

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LabOratory: The Waived CBC: A Game Changer?

On November 6, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted market clearance for the first ever CLIA – waived hematology analyzer for complete blood count and three-part differential testing. This analyzer, the Sysmex XW-100, is for use in both traditional and non-traditional point of care patient settings, including physician offices, community health clinics, and other healthcare facilities, allowing a wide range of support staff to provide patients with blood test results in as few as three minutes. While not intended to replace more complex laboratory hematology testing, this analyzer is the latest example of a trend to improve laboratory testing capabilities in the near-patient environment. The goal is to reduce the turn-around time for test results, thus improving the delivery of patient care.

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We need to embrace our failures

When doing scientific research, we expect to fail. In fact, we write the likelihood of negative findings into our protocols and plans. We expect things to not always work as we think they might, and we accept that we may not prove what we set out to prove.

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This physician’s keys to financial freedom

Never was I used to having money to invest; it seemed like I always found a way to make income equal expenses. Such was the life of the young, naive 20-something-year-old who had no idea how to build assets.

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HIPAA: Are you in violation?

HIPAA (Health Information Portability Accountability Act of 1996) is the privacy care act involving electronic transfer of records so that the identity of a patient remains unknown. It includes any electronic, written or oral transfer of information. When I was a kid, there was no such thing. As a grown-up medical professional, you are surrounded constantly by HIPAA. Charts are placed on doors, so the names are hidden, instead of names initials are used when referring to patients in clinical conferences, doors are shut while rounding in the hallways when the attending begins his usual discussions with residents and medical students. It is an excellent way of protecting patient ID. It can impede or delay more fruitful activities. It can also be a bit murky so when in doubt sometimes it is better to remain mum. If the good intentions behind the act don’t convince you perhaps the penalties will. Penalties are hefty and can be up to $25,000 for a violation, maximal at $50,000 or 1 year of imprisonment depending on the severity of the offense.

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5 must-haves for great physician online profiles

Patients have a lot of choices when it comes to physicians.  Making sure your online profile is up to date, complete, and contains these five items will improve the chances that a website visitor will become a patient.

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Why the cell-free fetal DNA test is a game-changer

As a practicing OB/GYN, I feel lucky to be working in a field so full of promise and with space for advancement of medical technology. Although prospects of improved fetal imaging, cervical cancer prevention, and techniques of minimally invasive surgery are game-changing, new discoveries in the genetics arena of our field strike me as simply incredible.

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Calculating The New Tax Plan Results

As the year comes to an end, congress has passed the new tax bill. This was certainly not tax reform as has been discussed, but simply a rearrangement of how they calculate our taxes. This new plan lowers tax rates but eliminates many of the items that were previously deductible. Sort of like rearranging the deck chairs of the titanic as it slowly sinks. Real tax reform might have made things so much simpler that the IRS would be able to lay off 75% of their staff, or the number of tax forms used for my personal taxes would go down to a half dozen instead of 50.

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3 Skills that Make Physicians Excellent in Business

Let’s get one thing straight: You already have kick ass skills as a physician, skills that are valuable outside of clinical care settings. So whenever my physician friends turn to me for advice on making a transition in their career, I have to remind them: It’s not about learning new skills, it’s about translating your existing skill set to new business applications. Think digital health startup CEO, chief medical officer, health care consultant. It’s all possible, and it’s easier than you think.

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Is Mobile Ultrasound the New Stethoscope?

When most of us think about ultrasound we envision a large machine with multiple wires and cords. We also typically associate it with a developing fetus. However, only about 20% of all ultrasound is used for this purpose.

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Office-Based Functional Brain Assessment: The Key to Early Intervention

On a daily basis, primary care physicians are responsible for managing a wide variety of patients. Facing patient symptoms that range from headaches to memory problems, fatigue, and anxiety, physicians are charged with determining the root cause of patients’ complaints. And, for an aging patient population fearing neurodegenerative conditions, detecting potential diseases early is critical to providing the most optimal treatment choices. The problem is that objective and sensitive cognitive assessment tools and treatment options are limited when it comes to early detection and differential diagnosis.

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LabOratory - Educating Patients About Their Lab Tests

The healthcare profession, as with every other societal institution, is changing with the times. Technological advances have changed how we diagnose, treat, monitor, and manage disease; political and social forces have changed how these services are regulated and reimbursed, and all three have influenced how these services are delivered. The laboratory profession reflects these changes as well.

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What this physician learned from teaching his kids to ride bikes

Sometimes the minuscule moment is the most relevant; the least anticipated becomes the most profound. Endless searches for wisdom and insight fade with each passing day, only to be shadowed by an unintentional conversation or event. Wisdom is profound in the simple, while often hidden, complicated or forgotten in the complex or intentional. This ironic phenomenon is as old as time, obvious in God’s creations and man’s discoveries. I’ve reached a point in my life as a father, husband, and physician where the seemingly insignificant, unrehearsed, unadulterated moments in life end up being the most profound and insightful.

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LabOratory – Shared Laboratories: What You Need To Know

The concept of shared laboratories can be defined under two separate scenarios: one is where two or more sole practicing physicians or physician group practices, collectively pool resources to fund one laboratory operation. Under this arrangement, all billing for Medicare and Medicaid use the same CLIA Number. The second scenario is one where two separate laboratories, each with their own identity and CLIA number, operate at the same physical location.

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