Hits and Misses

Physician and Nurse Pushing GurneyEmergency room visits increase in wake of ObamaCare.

Nanotech chip detects signs of cancer in blood protein markers.

318,000 federal workers owe $3.3 billion in back taxes.

1 in 4 Americans now consults Google before going to doctor.

California counties sue drug-makers for marketing painkillers in accordance with FDA regulation.

Comments (17)

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  1. Michael G. says:

    The statistic about 1 in 4 Americans consulting Google before going to the doctor seems to negate the first article. It seems contradictory that more people are looking up how to treat themselves before having to unnecessarily see their doctor.

    • jamietarp says:

      Perhaps there is a difference between causation and correlation.

      • Michael G. says:

        What do you mean, jamietarp?

        • jamietarp says:

          The ACA’s provision attempting to eliminate unnecessary visits to the doctor hasn’t done anything to encourage people to research answers for themselves. Rather, they are just happening at the same time together.

          • John R. Graham says:

            Thank you. I agree that Googling is surely an independent factor.

            I have written a lot of articles about the increased use of ER following increased health coverage. The research I’ve found goes back to the early 1970s in Quebec.

            I wonder if there is a explanatory relationship between Internet access and ER visits? I.e., does being able to research a symptom immediately make you more or less likely to run to the ER?

  2. Matthew says:

    “ER Visits Rise Despite Law”

    Wasn’t this already predicted for awhile now? I am surprised there are still headlines about it.

    • James M. says:

      I would think followers here are a bit more informed than the general public. We know about it because we have an interest in the state of healthcare policy. Many others are just not informed.

      • John R. Graham says:

        We’ve written about this for years. Unfortunately, the media fall for the intuitively appealing notion that more health insurance will lead to increased access to preventive care.

  3. Ava says:

    “Nanotech chip detects signs of cancer in blood protein markers”

    That’s really neat!

    • Lucas says:

      This could save a lot of people. One of the biggest problems with cancer is that we don’t catch it fast enough.

  4. Devon Herrick says:

    1 in 4 Americans now consults Google before going to doctor.

    Only 25% of Americans consult Google prior to physician visits? If you already know what’s wrong with you, I suppose that is to be expected. But I would think that 100% of Americans would Google their symptoms prior to seeking care for unknown diagnoses. A study from years back estimated that about 80% of care is — at least initially — self-care when patients treat themselves. Going to the doctor is usually a last resort.

    • Andrew says:

      It looks like they are consulting Google in order to find out the quality of doctor before they schedule an appointment. Much like a Yelp but for health care. This must make doctors uneasy, but also I bet could improve quality of care now that people can choose doctors like they choose where to eat dinner or get an oil change.

  5. Bill B. says:

    “IRS: 318,000 fed workers owe $3.3B in back taxes”

    This just in: Federal workers realize they have to pay taxes.

    • Jay says:

      They thought it was just one of the perks of the job.

    • Thomas says:

      “Workers owing back taxes included 81 at the Government Accountability Office.”

      Turns out they aren’t very accountable.

  6. Buddy says:

    “Two California counties sued five of the world’s largest narcotics manufacturers on Wednesday, accusing the companies of causing the nation’s prescription drug epidemic by waging a “campaign of deception” aimed at boosting sales of potent painkillers such as OxyContin.”

    I don’t think anyone has a shot of winning a case against Big Pharma. Especially Big Pharma narcotic companies.

  7. Steve says:

    Shopping for doctors in the same way we shop for other service providers, what a concept?! My money is on the smart patients getting better care because they realize that competition can exist in health care exactly as it does in every other area of the economy. Imagine if we had a health system that incentivized patients to shop around for the best service and lowest costs instead of the attempt to socialize medicine through ObamaCare!