Health Wonk Review — The “Just the Facts, Ma’am” Edition

Hector-dragnet The story you are about to read is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

This is the city: Los Angeles, California. I work here. I carry a badge blog. My name’s Friday.

Click here (short) or here (long) for Dragnet theme music.

A crime of disorderly conduct has been committed. The U.S. health care system is the prime suspect. My partner Gannon and I will investigate.

9:07 am. Prospects for Health Reform

Friday The forces in favor of heath reform are lining up like ducks. Health Reform Starting to Quack . Dr. Glenn Laffel at Pizazz.

…but, could a rift between the two camps — on one hand the coverage expansion group and the other, the delivery system reformers — stand in the way of health reform?  VOICES OF REFORM: KFF’s Drew Altman on Keeping the Coalitions Together Joanne Kenen at The New Health Dialogue blog.

Reform efforts could create a deficit explosion that will make the cost of the current bailouts look like lunch money. Health care reform – we have to deal with costs . Joe Paduda at Managed Care Matters

While “Yes We Can” optimism about health reform is blowing across the nation, the rub is that Congress’ old-guard lobbying system remains in place. The Changes We Need . Brian Klepper at The Health Care Blog.

A recent series of articles in the NEJM discusses the primary care crisis, but fails to mention the root of the problem — the secretive, unaccountable RUC. No Such RUC – The New England Journal Takes on the Primary Care Crisis, Sort Of . Dr. Roy Poses at Health Care Renewal.

Primary care providers in newly reformed Massachusetts are abandoning ship; 440,000 new folks with insurance cards are showing up in droves looking for health care.  “Universal” health care in the U.S., anyone?  The Big Squeeze . Bob Vineyard, CLU at InsureBlog.

Professional nursing is being frozen out of all discussions, all debates, all planning and all reform. The Window is Closing . Annie at Home of the Brave.

When all else fails, eat! Help the health conscious citizenry plan on what to serve their guests when they assemble for the holiday health reform parties. Reform Health Care? Let’s Eat! Dr. Jaan Sidorov at Disease Management Care Blog.

10:14 am. The Economy Isn’t Cooperating

People are cutting back on discretionary health spending — 1 in 2 over age 45 are taking a generic or OTC medication.  The economy impacts health behaviors: more insights from AARP and the over-45s . Jane Sarasohn-Kahn at Health Populi .

What would happen to workers’ compensation claims if one or more of the big three automakers went bankrupt? Maryland officials monitoring GM solvency related to workers compensation . Julie Ferguson at Workers Comp Insider.

Medicaid is one of the largest ongoing wealth redistributions in our country’s history. Medicaid “Spreads the Wealth” (Part 1 of Little Known Medicaid Facts) . Brady Augustine at MedicaidFrontPage

Looking for a bright spot? Think how bad it would have been had the health care sector not added 52,100 jobs last month. Health Care and the Job Market . Merrill Goozner at GoozNews.

11:26 am. Are Hospitals to Blame?

Hospital hard-ball in El Paso, Texas will cost the county $800,000 more in health care spending. Tenet vs. HCA in El Paso: How Hospitals Go To War . David P. Hamilton at BNET Healthcare.

Adding non-essential services in hospitals that cater to well-to-do clients may make the hospital experience more enjoyable for those who can afford it. But fewer people will be able to afford health care at all. Hospital Bling a Bad Idea . Louise at Colorado Health Insurance Insider.

1:10 pm. The Pharma Mob

The nation’s largest and most influential lobbying group for the pharmaceutical industry is preparing to launch a multi-million dollar public relations campaign to trumpet the benefits of the free market in healthcare. Does PhRMA have credibility?  Editorials on Individual Rights in Medicine . Jared Rhoads at The Lucidicus Project.

Clinical trials are designed to focus on the drugs’ benefits, and may not include a large enough sample size to elicit serious adverse effects. Once the drug is available for widespread use, we are able to better evaluate the real safety profile of the drug. The Need for Post-Marketing Surveillance of Drugs . Jennifer Gibson, PharmD, at Brain Blogger.

The widely-used Average Wholesale Price (AWP) pharmaceutical pricing benchmark used by pharmacies and other health-care providers will probably disappear. There is no consensus on either the replacement benchmark or the timing. The Future of AWP: Ask Again Later . Adam J. Fein at Drug Channels.

2:37 pm. The Usual Suspects and Hippies

The latest research and clinical advice in depression treatment, and what reforms are needed in doctors’ practices and in government’s policies. The future of depression treatment . Sam Solomon at Canadian Medicine.

The title says it all — Winning the Nobel Prize gives you fame, fortune…and 1-2 years of added longevity . Jason Shafrin at Healthcare Economist.

These global health care blogs reflect the concerns from people of all countries and walks of life. 100 Global Health Blogs That Will Open Your Eyes . Heather Johnson at U.S PharmD.

Two approaches (group medical appointments, order-your-own-labs) to addressing the PCP shortage while adding value. Convergence of Health 2.0 and Medical Home? David Harlow at HealthBlawg.

The American Medical Informatics Association has received a $1.2 million grant to promote health informatics and biomedical education and training worldwide. Gates Foundation to fund global informatics training . Neil Versel at Neil Versel’s Healthcare IT Blog.

Wellness coaching is one of the big trends predicted for 2009 by Entrepreneur magazine. Wellness Coaching Top Trend for 2009 . Fiona Gathright at Corporate Wellness Insights.

From a policymaker’s standpoint, the time would appear to be ripe for bio-generics…but wait! Generic biologics –or Me Too Drugs 2.0? David Williams at Health Business Blog.

4:13 pm. The Suspect is Arrested. .

Dragnet10 The story you have just read is true. The subject was booked under Section 601 of the California Penal Code. On December 11, 2008 a trial was held in criminal court in and for the county of Los Angeles.  In a moment, the results of that trial.


The subject was convicted of disorderly conduct.  An appeal is pending.

11 thoughts on “Health Wonk Review — The “Just the Facts, Ma’am” Edition

  1. Great posts – by you and everyone included. Informative & entertaining at the same time – just what we need! A little comedy to lighten the sometimes-depressing mood surrounding health care.

  2. I don’t know about California but in SC, disorderly conduct gets an adolescent offender (certainly healthcare isn’t an adult) pre-trial intervention and/or community service. As excellent as SNL’s Weekend Update. Thanks for the smile.

  3. Not all solutions have to be about throwing a few billion around. For example this single step of Congress passing a safe harbor bill for physicians who utilize evidence based medicine would accomplish much at no cost. Think about it; higher quality and less variation, lower malpractice costs, and a 10% reduction in healthcare costs ($270 billion) from suits and defensive medicine. There are many programs such as this that could help transform healthcare at no cost, but create great savings.

  4. I enjoyed this post very much, thanks to the creative mind who came up with it. There are some great links here and I will be fascinated to hear the outcome of the appeal!!

  5. I agree there’s a lot of comments about reform of the health system and I strongly believe that one of the ways to reform the health system is to incorporate homecare as an alternative. These days there is a lot of equipment available to facilitate homecare as a working alternative also there is a lot of healthcare training to support people who would take on caring for people at home

  6. Loved the Dragnet spoof. Watched it in my childhood. It seems everyone agrees the American healthcare system needs reforming but every suggested solution is viciously attacked. Costs must be sucked out of the system somehow, someway. The CBO determined the Obama administration’s healthcare bill will save $138 billion over ten years. I have no idea whether that is correct or not; however, those proposing alternatives or changes should score their suggestions and see if they came do better.

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