Sunday Links

PARAPLEGIC WALKS WITH HELP FROM ALEXA Very cool. Hope it doesn’t get hacked.     EVEN ONE DRINK A DAY INCREASES YOUR RISK FOR CANCER No it doesn’t. Eat right, exercise, get plenty of sleep, don’t smoke and if you do drink, do so in moderation. And don’t worry about click-bait headlines.     IUDs DECREASE RISK OF CERVICAL CANCER? The reasoning is sound. And as they are making a broad comeback, the evidence should...

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Simplicity Works

Fear complexity.   Complexity makes your system fragile to constant regulatory change.   Complexity generates costs that eat away at your gross.   Complexity creates distractions, serving itself at the expense of labor that generates actual value.   But complexity is very difficult to avoid.  It’s sexy. It makes you look important. It supports authority.   The greatest challenge I have with my clients is overcoming complexity.   Creating a recognition that complexity is an...

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Shared-Risk Success for Specialists? Cater to Your Primes

  “Tom” he said, “If it keeps me in the O.R. it’s good, if it keeps me out it’s bad.”  “Good,” he said gesturing to right, “bad,” he gestured to his left. “That’s all you need to know.”   Such was the wisdom imparted by my then new orthopedic partner when I asked him how we could best collaborate.   So I spent the next 15 years sending him the joints and the breaks and...

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Medi-Gap vs. Medicare Advantage

Regular Medicare only pays for about 80% of your covered healthcare costs. “Medi-gap” plans are separate insurance plans that pay for the rest.   They’re expensive and they can exclude you based on pre-existing illnesses, but generally pay the remaining costs of all Medicare-covered expenses.     In the past, they were the way most Medicare patients controlled their costs.   Now, they are simply the alternative to Medicare Advantage plans.   Including your Medicare...

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Your Opportunity to Become a More Than a Clinician

A large part of general medicine’s attraction is the broad skill set that is required. As an FP or Internist, you have a predilection to a broad mind.   If you wanted deep expertise in one narrow area you’d be a specialist.   And now, with your shared-risk patients, you’re actually being compensated to apply that rare predilection even more broadly. You’re getting paid to care for ALL the aspects of your patient’s health and...

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Success Codes—Diabetic Eye Edition

Time for another edition of my wildly popular “Success Codes” series. If you haven’t already, you may want to review my world-class, yet humbly simple (yes, really) explanation of RAF scoring—it’ll help you understand some of the shorthand terminology below. It’s the only one on the web written by a PCP who’s been in the trenches blocking and tackling since Medicare Advantage first arrived on the scene 20+ years ago—and done so with incredible results.  ...

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Sunday Links

CAN VIRTUAL REALITY TREAT PAIN BETTER THAN OPIOIDS? Perhaps in the short term. A holo-deck might be a different story.     CAN A SUPER MAGNET AFFECT THE IRON IN YOUR BLOOD? A fascinating video. I won’t spoil the ending.     HEART SURGERY MAY BE SAFER IF DONE IN THE AFTERNOON Small, observational study only on aortic valve replacement using troponin levels as endpoint. Not worth the headline but certainly something to look into...

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Your Biases are Being Used Against You.

This is an important month.   It begins the last MACRA/MIPS attestation period for 2017.   The last chance to “qualify” for the “benefits” of the program.   The last chance to “preserve” your revenue for 2019.   If you’re in a very small practice, you’re ok. CMS has recently increased the amount of income you can receive or the number of Medicare patients you can see and maintain an exemption from the MACRA/MIPS program....

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