policy

History Of Healthcare In America #3: Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton has been a strong advocate of healthcare reform. As seen in this video, his state of the union address focused on the dire need for the whole political system, from the legislative to executive branch, to focus on bringing about a healthcare system that is sustainable and reliable. Given the problems and consequences that had begun to arise since the past several years at the time, including increased costs and malpractice, healthcare was a top priority issue.     Healthcare is one of the hottest topics in discussion today. But how exactly did the American healthcare system come to be? What were some of the dynamic modifications and transformations it went through in order to embody its present form?   Rather than looking at it from a purely chronological and historical perspective, let’s analyze the progression of healthcare from a political viewpoint. The politics and policymaking around this topic has been marked by constant debate and controversy. Our presidents have been some of the most vocal advocates on this matter, shaping the course of healthcare over the past several decades.   Thus, in the course of the next several articles, we will be looking at short clips from presidents, both recent and past (yet undoubtedly notable). My hope is to gain a better understanding of the past, present, and hopefully the future of healthcare. Who knows, we...

History Of Healthcare In America #2: George Bush

In comparison to Obama, George Bush presents a healthcare approach in this video that reveals the generally conservative viewpoint that the Republican Party has adhered to in terms of limited aid from the federal government with more responsibility and independence for the consumers. Furthermore, it presents itself as a culmination of the constant battle between two stark sides on the issue of healthcare over the past several decades: federally-sponsored versus privately-driven services.     Healthcare is one of the hottest topics in discussion today. But how exactly did the American healthcare system come to be? What were some of the dynamic modifications and transformations it went through in order to embody its present form?   Rather than looking at it from a purely chronological and historical perspective, let’s analyze the progression of healthcare from a political viewpoint. The politics and policymaking around this topic has been marked by constant debate and controversy. Our presidents have been some of the most vocal advocates on this matter, shaping the course of healthcare over the past several decades.   Thus, in the course of the next several articles, we will be looking at short clips from presidents, both recent and past (yet undoubtedly notable). My hope is to gain a better understanding of the past, present, and hopefully the future of healthcare. Who knows, we might just find the solution that everyone’s...

History Of Healthcare In America #1: Obama

Healthcare is one of the hottest topics in discussion today. But how exactly did the American healthcare system come to be? What were some of the dynamic modifications and transformations it went through in order to embody its present form?   Rather than looking at it from a purely chronological and historical perspective, let’s analyze the progression of healthcare from a political viewpoint. The politics and policymaking around this topic has been marked by constant debate and controversy. Our presidents have been some of the most vocal advocates on this matter, shaping the course of healthcare over the past several decades.   Thus, in the course of the next several articles, we will be looking at short clips from presidents, both recent and past (yet undoubtedly notable). My hope is to gain a better understanding of the past, present, and hopefully the future of healthcare. Who knows, we might just find the solution that everyone’s been looking for.     1. Obama Our current president has probably been one of the strongest figures to influence the current state of the American healthcare system. Despite of inheriting the 2008 financial downturn as one of the primary crises, he nevertheless delivered on fulfilling his campaign promise to ensure affordable healthcare to each and every American. While he has still not achieved the goal in its entirety, his efforts have brought about...

Psychotherapy Use is Declining: How Does That Make You Feel?

I shadowed a psychiatrist, Dr. D, about a year ago. I didn’t know how it was going to work. Trust between patient and psychiatrist seemed central to the whole practice of psychotherapy. I was worried that, even as a ‘shadow’ lurking in the corner, I would breach the insulated environment that likely required multiple sessions to create.     It turns out I didn’t have to worry about this because Dr. D was doing consults that day—which were far from intimate, compared to the psychotherapy sessions I expected to see. It involved us going from bed to bed, as Dr. D asked each patient with a history of psychiatric issues general questions about their mental health. As the day of consults went on, I started to wonder whether or not psychotherapy was as relevant as it used to be. Perhaps the image of a patient lying down on a couch and sharing their feelings with a note-taking psychiatrist was more outdated than I thought. Dr. D confirmed my suspicions. He explained to me that many of today’s psychiatrists do not utilize psychotherapy as a dominant form of treatment. Instead, in addition to performing consults, a modern psychiatrist relies more heavily on prescribing psychotropic medications like Zoloft, an antidepressant, or Chlorpromazine, an antipsychotic.   The numbers support the trend Dr. D described. According to a 2010 study in the American...

HIPAA Compliant Text Messaging for your Smartphone: Would you use it?

In a world where every 1 in 5 people owns a smartphone, it comes as no surprise that healthcare, a commodity that matters to all, is interested in staking their claim in new technology. That being said, there are many concerns that healthcare organizations have surrounding the heavy implementation of technology in their practices, hospitals and especially between physicians and patients. One major concern is security: patient information is extremely sensitive and with the rate of identity theft in healthcare increasing: last year the Identity Theft Resource Center reported that up to 43% of identity theft for 2013 was medical or healthcare theft, outranking other common institutions like banking and education. The market is rife with products that claim to be secure enough for a healthcare organization, but this can be difficult to verify. The companies responsible for creating some of the top notch EMR’s on the market have also piloting projects around “mobile health” but physicians and hospital administration remain wary. One company, though, purports a well-marketed solution: qliqSoft, founded by Krishna Kurapati, is creating mobile applications specifically designed for use in healthcare settings, by physicians and between physicians. Secured text messaging in the form of qliqConnect, is available on mobile phones, tablets and desktops on both Windows and Mac OS and has a HIPAA and HITECH compliant sticker.   The product is designed to create faster communication...

An Explanation of Childhood Obesity: An Infographic

A Rapper Turned Doctor is Remixing Healthcare in the Most Refreshing Way

Being a thought leader ain’t easy. So I’ve chosen to be a thought follower. But every now and then I write down some thoughts, mostly stolen, and someone publishes them. The AAMC Reporter recently published just such a piece. BUT…they edited out all the horrible humorous bits. So I’ve included the unmolested version here. And I’m even gonna throw in Turntable Health Cribs, a quick MTV walkthrough of our clinic, courtesy of Fremont East Studios. Shazaam! Video Source Rebooting Primary Care by ZDoggMD For the better part of a decade, I practiced inpatient hospital medicine at a large academic center (the name isn’t important, but it rhymes with Afghanistan…ford). I used to play a game with the med students and housestaff: let’s estimate how many of our inpatients actually didn’t need hospitalization, had they simply received effective outpatient preventative care. Over the years, our totals were almost never less than 50%. For my fellow math-challenged Americans: that’s ONE HALF! Clearly, if there were actually were any incentives to prevent disease, they sure as heck weren’t working. In a country whose care pyramid is upside down—more specialists than primary care docs, really?—we’re squandering our physical, emotional, and economic health while spending more per capita than anyone else. Four percent of our healthcare dollars go towards primary care, with much of the remaining 95% paying for the failure of primary care. (The missing 1%? Doritos.) Worse still, the...