Insurance Companies Already Hitting New Lows in 2017

Welcome 2017. After the first business week of the year has concluded, it is time to share the newest way insurance companies have hit a new low. An elderly couple came in for a visit a few days ago with letters in hand from their Medicare (Dis)Advantage Insurance Contractor. The letters told me that two medicines they are taking have cheaper and equally effective alternatives that I should prescribe for them to save money. The problem is that that statement was absolutely false! One medicine is levothyroxine, a generic thyroid hormone that she needs to treat an underactive thyroid. The … Continue reading

Ridiculous Study of the Week: Diabetes and Sugar by Douglas Farrago, M.D.

This snippet is stolen from Dr. Doug Farrago’s Authentic Medicine Blog. I think I might apply for federal funding for a study I have been thinking of.  I have a hypothesis that gravity makes things fall to the ground…. Michael A. Ciampi, M.D. Oct 3, 2016 I pulled this from the article: New research by scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, and sponsored by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, suggests that consuming too much dietary sugar could set off a process in the body that leads to prediabetes and type 2 … Continue reading

Why I Do Not Support The American Academy of Family Physicians

For many years, in fact since I was a newly minted physician in my internship, I was a proud member of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).  I felt that it was an organization that was all about supporting the rights and privileges of family doctors like myself.  I thought that it would help advocate for its member physicians and their patients. Several years ago, I realized how wrong I was.  Like many other big organizations, it became too wrapped up in politics and advancing its own interests above those of the people who they are supposed to represent, … Continue reading

The Dry Tortugas and Being a Deplorably Good Physician by Dr. Marilyn Singleton

This is a brilliant piece by my friend, Dr. Marilyn Singleton.  She is both a doctor of medicine and a doctor of law.  She does a fantastic job at calling out the political establishment for what they have done, and are planning to do to health care in America.  Not only will you not be able to keep your doctor, but your doctor will not be able to keep his/her practice open after they are done. This article comes from The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) website, Michael A. Ciampi, M.D.   By Marilyn Singleton, MD, JD Hillary … Continue reading

Direct Primary Care vs. Concierge Medicine

Michael A. Ciampi, M.D.   I often I talk to people who don’t understand Direct Primary Care (DPC) and try to educate them about it.  Very often, when I tell them that in a DPC practice, we expect payment from our patients directly rather than submit bills to an insurance company, they snicker and accuse me of being a greedy concierge doctor who is only affordable for rich patients. I do my best to smile, bite my tongue, and try to explain the model to them, assuming they are willing to listen and learn about an exciting way to deliver health … Continue reading

FIRST THE BREXIT, NOW THE DREXIT?

  There is a lot of attention being paid to the surprise move by the people of the United Kingdom who last week voted to exercise their right to opt out of the European Union, aka “The Brexit.”  Those who benefit from maintaining the status quo are shocked and aghast.  They should not have been so unprepared for the result.  When you oppress a free people long enough and make them do things that they know are against their own self interest, and may even bring about the end of their own existence as they know it, at some point, … Continue reading

Electronic Medical Records:The Potemkin Village of Healthcare

I truly believe that the 12 page boilerplate notes generated by a hospital EMR system for a problem that would have been a paragraph or two in a paper chart actually will be proven to be dangerous. Because the information is not concise, it is hard for clinicians to sift through all the prefabricated chaff to find the few grains of pertinent information. Also, once erroneous information is entered into a system’s EMR, it is there for eternity. In a paper chart, you put a line through it and initial it. Problem solved. EMRs are a boon for tech companies, … Continue reading

Quality Measurements: Beware Unintended Consequences

Whenever anything is presented to us by the government, and/or corporations who work closely with the government as progress, we should be very skeptical. The whole concept of measuring “quality” in medicine and paying doctors for performance is a case in point.  The article below touts a government/big insurance corporation collaboration to rate doctors on quality, so they can pay less to physicians whose patients have worse outcomes. On the surface, this sounds like a great idea.  We all want to have high quality goods and services.  On some level, it makes sense to demand some kind of measurements in … Continue reading

In America, the art of doctoring is dying

This piece appeared on Feb. 12 in the Washington Post. It is a heart-felt article written by a retiring physician who is very candid about how the art of medicine is being replaced by the mindset that it is more efficient to feign caring and use technology to replace the time honored method that physicians had relied on to diagnose patients accurately and compassionately, namely to talk to them and do a good physical examination. Unfortunately, with the demands on physician time, this is no longer possible for most to do, even if they want to.  Primary care physicians must see … Continue reading