ACP Internist's daily digest of news and events continues with delays in the Senate, progress for hospital medicine and mistletoe's evidence-based medical uses.
Health care reform
Senators may find lumps of coal in their stockings if they miss their self-imposed Christmas deadline to pass a reform measure. With the 60-vote coalition so fragile, any diva can hold up the works to wring the most out of the process. Following grandstanding by Senators Joseph Lieberman and Bernard Saunders, it's now Sen. Ben Nelson's turn to wring some provisions out of the Senate. He wants tougher abortion language. Sen. Max Baucus has said his party would work on Christmas day to reach the deadline.(Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Hill)
Health reform is needed. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey showed that 45.4 million (15.1%) were uninsured at the time of survey, 58.4 million (19.4%) had been uninsured for at least part of the year prior to interview, and 31.9 million (10.6%) had been uninsured for more than a year.
A Senate amendment By Sen. Arlen Specter would postpone for one year an increase in payments for primary care physicians. The American Academy of Family Physicians is moving to raise opposition.
In case you missed it ...
Mistletoe has an evidence-based background. It's not as poisonous as feared, and it's being examined for uses in cancer treatment. The good folks at ChiroACCESS digested the peer review literature on this decorative holiday staple.
In Wilmar, Minn., hospitalist Fred Hund, ACP Member, is featured at part of Rice Memorial Hospital's plan increase the number of primary and specialty care doctors. They'll work with local practices to increase primary care, specialty and hospital positions in the community. (West Central Tribune)
ACP members in Amarillo, Texas, are rolling out a hospitalist model to their community to ease the physician shortage there. Hospitalist Sheryl Williams, FACP, and Alan Keister, ACP Member, of Amarillo Medical Specialists, say doctors spend too much shuttling between facilities, and not having hospitalists has hindered recruitment that would ease the shortage. They've e-mailed patients to explain the changes. (NewsWest9.com)