The PMD Critical List: One Startup Brings Back Doctor House Calls

OCTOBER 23, 2016
Greg Kelly
Lifestyle, Personal Finance, Practice Management, Retirement, InvestingYou may have thought that doctor house calls had died out for good, but a startup is bringing the luxury back. That story tops this week’s PMD Critical List. Also making the list: Patients present to the emergency room for various ailments, but those with psychiatric problems wait the longest; the number of Latino doctors has substantially dropped in California; and women physicians share their sexism stories.
 
Why One Startup Is Bringing Back the Doctor's House Call (Fortune)
“Co-founder Nick Desai and his wife, Dr. Renee Dua, a physician, decided to launch Heal last year after a visit to the ER with their young son left them wondering why there is no easy way to get a house call from a doctor instead of spending hours in the emergency room. There’s already “a long waitlist of doctors who want to join the service.”

Risk of “Mass Exodus” of Doctors from Medicare (LifeZette)
“It really does matter how doctors get paid. The success or failure of the new payment system will profoundly influence the future of our healthcare system. And while the goals of MACRA are laudable, its implementation carries a number of unknowns and the potential for unintended consequences—for patients and doctors alike.”

Psychiatric Patients Wait the Longest in ERs (Washington Post)
“Along with the plummeting number of inpatient psychiatric beds, the number of hospital-based psychiatrists has dropped sharply. Less than 17% of the 1,700 ER physicians who were surveyed said their hospital had a psychiatrist on call to respond to psychiatric emergencies in the ER,” finds a new American College of Emergency Physicians survey.

Staggering Lack of Latino Doctors in California (Vibe)
“According to a UCLA study, the number of Latino doctors in California has dropped; between 1980 and 2010 alone, the rate plummeted from 135 doctors for every 100,000 Latinos in the US to 105. The dwindling number has since created a sense of alienation among patients and their doctors.”

America’s Favorite Cities (Travel + Leisure)
Are you a doctor who is seriously considering a personal or professional relocation? More than a few are these days. “In the annual survey, readers of all stripes evaluate hundreds of cities and towns across a range of categories, from the friendliness of the locals to the quality of the pizza. #1: Buffalo, NY.

Patient-Doctor Partnerships: a Recipe for Better Medical Care (US News & World Report)
“When communicating in a time-constrained environment, both doctor and patient can partner for better health outcomes by being clear about expectations, being prepared and focusing on the most important issues.” Since “both sides are to blame”—here are some tips for doctors and patients to improve communication.

Another Blow to Private Physician Practice—New 2,400-Page Government Rule (Forbes)
“As MACRA is implemented, the hope of financial stability and administrative relief for physicians treating Medicare patients may be short-lived. If past is prologue, physicians should prepare themselves for years of payment system revisions, modifications, and amendments that go well beyond 2019 when the Quality Payment Program’s first payment adjustments go into effect.”

Bad Air: Female Doctors Speak Out About Racism and Sexism (Time)
“Dr. Tamika Cross made headlines when she posted a troubling airplane encounter in a Facebook post: that she, a young black doctor, was turned away when she tried to provide medical care to a sick passenger.” Here are seven troubling stories from female physicians who say they experienced in-flight discrimination.

Medical Scientists Most Trusted to Act in Public’s Best Interests (Pew Research Center)
“About three-quarters or more of Americans are confident in the military (79%), medical scientists (84%) and scientists in general (76%) to act in the best interests of the public. But fewer than half of Americans report similar confidence in the news media, business leaders and elected officials,” according to a new Pew Research Center report.

Doctors Set New Screen Time Rules for Kids (CNN)
“Digital media exposure for children of all ages should be limited, according to new guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Today, in a world surrounded by digital media 24/7, defining screen time is difficult. What's most important is that families have media-free time, and when digital media is used, it's used mainly for communication rather than entertainment.”

Narcissism Can’t Be Diagnosed Through a Camera Lens (Wall Street Journal)
As 2016 presidential election nears, it’s vital to remember the ‘Goldwater rule’ that bars speculation from afar on the candidates’ health,” says this prominent physician. “As the news media spew out fragments of medical facts on public figures, the temptation for reporters, pundits and sometimes even physicians is to draw negative conclusions and make pseudo-psychiatric diagnoses.”


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