Happy birthday to the Health business blog
The Health business blog turns one today. I’ve really enjoyed blogging –it’s been a great outlet for testing out ideas and also for meeting people. I read the health care news more closely than I used to; that’s been useful in my consulting work. When someone asks me if I’ve seen an article, chances are I have seen it and blogged on it. I only regret that I don’t have nearly enough time to be as thorough as I’d like in my posts.
Here are my favorite posts by month for the last year:
March 2005: Air ambulances: costly, dangerous, slow?
It’s counterintuitive, but true. Air ambulances don’t really get people to the hospital faster, and they are super expensive and pricey. I’ve come back to this topic a couple of times.
April 2005: Hospital adds patient blogs to its website
This I thought was kind of a dumb idea: Have patients blog about their experiences under the watchful eyes of the hospital. In particular, it was tasteless and clumsy of the hospital to include advertising for bariatric surgery on the cancer blog. I just checked back and it doesn’t look like anyone has posted to the blogs in months.
Although the US health care system is a mess, there’s a pretty strong consensus that things are worse in the socialized systems. But it’s interesting to note that general practitioners in the UK make more than their counterparts in the US.
June 2005: Grand Rounds XL
The highlight of June was when I hosted Grand Rounds, if for no other reason than that I got 10,000 hits as a result. For some reason it got top billing on a big, conservative political blog, which drove a lot of people in my direction. Once they read my socialism post (see above) they decided not to come back.
While I was in the hospital when our child was born, my colleague Karen Donovan wrote this piece about how care for dying babies was becoming more humane. A sad topic, but an important one.
August 2005: Can your concierge practice do this?
One of my periodic rants against concierge medicine. There has to be a better way.
September 2005: Medical students easily influenced by drug companies
The biggest danger of pharmaceutical marketing is that doctors tend to underestimate how much they are influenced by it. Rather than throwing up restrictions to marketing, I’d like to see medical schools do a better job of helping students understand what’s going on.
October 2005: Is there a $200/month insurance solution?
Mass. Governor Mitt Romney asked Blue Cross to come up with a prototype health plan that could be offered for $200 per month. The plan raised copays and deductibles, especially for high cost services such as ER visits and imaging. It also did away with certain state mandates, like coverage for in vitro fertilization. An interesting exercise.
November 2005: Over the top
Some health plans are using gory videos to discourage patients from undergoing expensive surgery procedures. Grab your popcorn!
December 2005: Stocking stuffer?
For her 17th wedding anniversary, Jeanette Yarborough wanted to do something special for her husband. In addition to planning a hotel getaway for the weekend, Ms. Yarborough paid a surgeon $5,000 to reattach her hymen, making her appear to be a virgin again.
I’m not kidding, folks.
January 2006: Let me tell you about this guy
There’s nothing like sitting in a room full of doctors and having an investment banker like Ben Conway jump to his feet and rescue a choking victim.
February 2006: Talk about deal flow!
Brigham and Women’s Hospital kept faxing confidential medical records to an investment bank even after they were asked repeatedly to stop. Once the Boston Herald wrote an article about it the hospital somehow came to its senses.
A week or so ago I actually received an email that was clearly intended for someone’s doctor. I replied to the sender and let her know she had the wrong guy.
Thanks for your readership and please keep coming back!March 1, 2006