Blog | Monday, November 30, 2009

QD: News Every Day--trying for health care reform by Christmas


ACP Internist's daily digest of news and events continues with the crunch to pass a health care bill from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Also, do you know any doctors whose names describe their specialty? We do.

Health care reform
There isn't much consensus among legislators as they take up debate this afternoon on health care reform. But it's a slow start to a process that will take weeks. (Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal)

Outside the beltway, regional providers aren't waiting. Baylor Health Care System in Dallas, Texas, will convert its 13 hospitals and 4,500 network physicians into an accountable-care organization by 2015. The idea is to save money by coordinating all levels of health care. (Dallas Morning News)

In rural Utah, residents are underserved, but don't seem to mind. In Northeast Ohio, doctors and hospitals are ambivalent. Who's clamoring for reform, then? The people who can't afford or access decent care. (Salt Lake Tribune, Canton Repository, Winston Salem Journal, Wall Street Journal)

The Senate health care overhaul has some patient-friendly provisions added on, but also some items that will impact health care providers. In addition to measures that promote breast feeding and adolescent self-esteem, for example, are increases to DXA reimbursement, caps on what hospitals can charge uninsured patients compared to insured ones, and transparency to the prices that pharmacy benefit managers can set. (Kaiser Health News)

In case you missed it ...
Real life doctors' names: urologist Dick Chopp, psychiatrist John Looney, orthopedist Jim Hurt and ophthalmologist Kevin Blinder. Really! (By the way, ACP has two members surnamed "Doctoroff"). (American Medical News)

First-year medical students still dissect cadavers to learn anatomy. Follow them as they make their first incisions in this profile, or learn from paintings more than 200 years old that have stood the test of time. (AP, Philadelphia Inquirer)