Health News Review
  • Mar 12 2012

    Online “Daily Deal” coupon for preventive MRI scan – disease-mongering du jour

    Some of the Groupon, Living Social, Daily Deal offerings are getting a little crazy. Here’s one I got today. The ad copy is astounding: Been dealing with a minor ache or pain? Get it checked out today! Once in a while, you may experience an enlightening moment in your life. This experience may change the [...]

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  • Mar 9 2012

    Patient POV on waste, quality of care, imaging issues

    Journalist Laura Newman, on her Patient POV blog, posts, “MR Imaging, Electronic Test Ordering Creates Waste.” She writes: Waste is what you get with rampant, uncritical use of MRI and health information technology, according to two papers out this week.  The authors of a companion editorial to one of the papers even go so far [...]

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  • Mar 5 2012

    Comparing health care costs in US and 8 other countries

    The National Journal reports on a new analysis from the International Federation of Health Plans (pdf file). Excerpts: The group’s survey of expenses for medical procedures, tests, scans and treatments in nine countries shows that Americans pay more for physician time, for scans, surgery and drugs than people in Spain, France, Germany, Argentina, Chile, Canada, [...]

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  • Feb 17 2012

    The Costly Myths about Pharmaceutical R&D

    The following is an unsolicited guest post submitted by Donald W. Light, University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey, and Rebecca Warburton, University of Victoria, Canada.  It is followed by some comments in response from Matthew Herper, the writer of the Forbes article in question. We are pleased to provide this forum for this [...]

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  • Feb 16 2012

    Key quotes from Reuters story on overtreatment

    Nothing new, just good perspective in a Reuters piece, “Stemming the tide of overtreatment in U.S. healthcare.” And some great quotes.  Examples: “I don’t trust professional societies to (set clinical guidelines) because that’s how they make money – by doing tests and procedures,” said MIT healthcare economist Dr. Jonathan Gruber; “When hospitals buy robots they [...]

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  • Feb 16 2012

    EvidenceNetwork.ca – another solid resource for journalists

    I’ve recently become aware of – and hope to collaborate and share ideas with – a Canadian website called EvidenceNetwork.ca. The founders describe this as “a non-partisan web-based project funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Manitoba Health Research Council to make the latest evidence on controversial health policy issues available to the media.  [...]

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  • Feb 6 2012

    How hospitals recoup the cost of buying robotic surgery systems

    The blogger known only as the Skeptical Scalpel (self-described as a surgeon for 40 years and a surgical department chairman and residency program director for over 23 of those years) continues his thread of posts raising questions about the proliferation of robotic surgery. The latest is entitled “Study: Robotic surgery financials explained.” It’s his take [...]

    4 Comments 1 Star
  • Jan 4 2012

    Editorials cite “crazy medicine, unsustainable public policy” with new radiation treatments

    We should not overlook the Journal of Clinical Oncology editorial (opens as pdf file) that accompanied the robotic prostatectomy side effects paper about which we’ve already blogged. That editorial – by 3 authors from the University of California San Francisco cancer center – reminds readers that the costs of robotic prostatectomy (on average, they say, [...]

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  • Nov 8 2011

    “$430 Million Proton Beam Center War” – latest chapter playing out in San Diego

    I have written many times on this blog about one shining example of the medical arms race – the slow (some would say not so slow), steady, proliferation of huge and hugely expensive proton beam radiation facilities in medical centers in the US. I have written about how the proliferation never seems to occur in [...]

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  • Oct 25 2011

    Consumer quandary on health care costs

    Two items in the news reflect the dilemma that health care consumers face on health care cost issues. The Washington Post published advice from Dr. John Santa of Consumer Reports for people with health insurance but who “are facing large deductibles and also paying an increasingly large portion of the rest of the bill.” But [...]

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