It is our policy to follow our policy. In the absence of a policy, it is our policy to develop a policy. - Hugh Greeley, Founder, The Greeley Company
Welcome to the December 14, 2006 edition of Health Wonk Review, a blog carnival created by Joe Paduda and friends to “highlight the best-of-the-best, to showcase studies, perspectives, and insights not available anywhere else, and to provide the broader community with a fast and simple way to stay on top of all things health policy related.”
As health policy wonks (by the way, one of the definitions of wonk is “a student who spends much time studying and has little or no social life…” However, I’m sure that’s not an accurate definition of any of this week’s contributors.) it is our job to help efficiently guide and direct the myriad of processes that come to bear in today’s complex healthcare environment.
Anyone who works in healthcare knows that everywhere you look, in every setting, there are big fat policy manuals tucked away, and long, complex documents stored electronically on web and intranet sites. Therefore, I believe that the content of Health Wonk Review has a great deal of room for future expansion.
Do your workmates come to you for opinions on policy, standards, bylaws, or interpretive guidelines? If so, consider submitting a post to a future edition of HWR! Fame
and fortune, well okay, fame, awaits you!
A fine collection of posts awaits readers this week:
Learn more about the emerging healthcare blogosphere. Envision Solutions and The Medical Blog Network have released the results of the first global survey of healthcare bloggers: Taking The Pulse Of The Healthcare Blogosphere.
Joe Paduda at Managed Care Matters weighs in on the cost/quality/patient responsibility discussion, noting that some payers and states are beginning to publish outcomes and cost data. There’s a long way to go, but the trip has begun.
Marcus Newberry of Fixin Healthcare writes in Lifestyle Chronicles about the need for balance in the health care system. Problem oriented medical care long ago entered into the realm of diminishing returns. Risk oriented health care has developed enough substance to take the lead.
David Williams from the Health Business Blog notes that being rich doesn’t necessarily mean that you get better healthcare. That’s one reason that corporate executives are interested in improving the quality and service levels of the US health care system.
David Hogberg, Senior Policy Analyst, National Center for Public Policy Research offers a link to an article on Market Driven Insurance and Health Savings Accounts and one to Bitter Medicine a discussion about Medicare and prescription drugs.
David Harlow of HealthBlawg asks “Why haven’t consumer-directed health plans taken off?”
Interested in health data on all 50 states? Losrivas share a review of a website by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Carlos Rivas goes on to draw some conclusions from highlighted data points, especially as they concern Latino Health and Universal Health Care in California. Links to further reading on Universal Health Care are provided.
InsureBlog‘s Bill Halper reports on a California county’s new initiative to cover the uninsured.Will it create more problems than it solves?
Colorado Health Insurance Insider has an opinion on What Needs to Be Done about the health care conundrum.
Health Affairs Blog highlights Rep. Bill Thomas’ last hearing as Chairman of the Ways & Means Committee. Deputy Editor Rob Cunningham reports from the hearing which examined the hot issue of Medicare’s overpayment for the medication Epogen to treat anemia in patients with end stage renal disease. Health Affairs Blog also shares disheartening data revealing that more than half of the nation’s uninsured residents are ineligible for public programs but do not have enough resources to purchase coverage.
John Coppelman of Worker’s Comp Insider discusses the case of a worker fired by The Scotts Company after a urine test revealed the presence of nicotine in violation of the company’s policy against smoking on or off the job in Where There’s Smoke, You’re Fired. Is this a violation of the worker’s privacy and civil rights?
Dr Kavokin of RDoctor interviews Hank Stern of InsureBlog, who thinks we live in fascinating times. I agree.
Matthew Holt at The Health Care Blog opines about a reporter stirring up trouble for a surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic, thinking that he might possibly do something in his own financial interests and hide that fact from patients and the Congress. Obviously those reporters don’t understand medical ethics.
Editor’s Note: The Cleveland Clinic issued a statement this week supporting Dr. Lieberman, and indicating that after review they found nothing in his intent or behavior that breached Cleveland Clinic standards.
Trusted Advisor Associates doesn’t think Pfizer slashed 20% of its sales force because of cost, but rather because they’ve become remarkably unproductive since doctors no longer trust them.
Healthcare Renwal weighs in on the NIH Leader Indicted for “Criminal Conflict of Interest” for his Relationship with Pfizer Inc.
From the UK’s Informaticopia The influential Royal Society has published it’s long awaited report into The impact of information and communication technologies on healthcare. Find out more in Digital healthcare.
John Sharp of eHealth comments on issues raised by a New EHR Business Model. Practice Fusion is offering to discount a hosted electronic health record (EHR) and then sell “de-identified data to insurance groups, clinical researchers and pharmaceutical companies.
The Healthcare Economist analyzes why large firms such as Wal-Mart and Intel are pushing for electronic medical records. Also discussed is whether or not government-controlled medical records are a viable option.
Aggravated DocSurg goes “undercover” as a policy wonk with three posts 1 / 2 / 3 that share his insights into the current state of medical staff credentialing.
Dmitriy Kruglyak of The Medical Blog Network discusses a recent brouhaha about online physician review sites. Can you trust anonymous consumer ratings? What does the future hold?
Yours truly closes with a reminder for hospital medical and administrative types to follow their bylaws, and what can potentially happen in court if they don’t.
Thanks for stopping by this edition of Health Wonk Review. I did receive a few submissions that were well written but not at all related to healthcare policy, so they were not included. The next edition, January 11, 2007, will be hosted by Health Care Renewal.