Medicare Patients Are in for a Surprise

Imagine you’re a Medicare patient, and you go to your doctor for an ultrasound of your heart one month. Medicare pays your doctor’s office $189, and you pay about 20 percent of that bill as a co-payment. Then, the next month, your doctor’s practice has been bought by the local hospital. You go to the […]

A.D.H.D. Medicine May “Normalize” Children’s Brains

Dr. Mark Bertin is no A.D.H.D. pill-pusher. The Pleasantville, N.Y., developmental pediatrician won’t allow drug marketers in his office, and says he doesn’t always prescribe medication for children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Yet Dr. Bertin has recently changed the way he talks about medication, offering parents a powerful argument. Recent research, he says, […]

Communication Failure From Doctors Result in Serious Issues

BETSY came to Dr. Martin for a second — or rather, a sixth — opinion. Over a year, she had seen five other physicians for a “rapid heartbeat” and “feeling stressed.” After extensive testing, she had finally been referred for psychological counseling for an anxiety disorder. The careful history Dr. Martin took revealed that Betsy […]

Doctor’s Decisions Being Influenced by Financial Forces

When we are patients, we want our doctors to make recommendations that are in our best interests as individuals. As physicians, we strive to do the same for our patients. But financial forces largely hidden from the public are beginning to corrupt care and undermine the bond of trust between doctors and patients. Insurers, hospital […]

Are Young Adults Heading to the Doctor?

I write about health and health care, but even I’m not immune to the “young and invincible” mentality. My annual dental checkup is more than six months overdue. A provision of the Affordable Care Act that took effect in 2010 aimed to make it easier for young adults to access preventive care by allowing them […]

Doctor Quality Data Unuseful to Consumers

Consumers searching this fall for the best doctor covered by their new public or private insurance plan won’t get very far on a federal database designed to rate physician quality. The Affordable Care Act requires the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to provide physician quality data, but that database offers only the most basic […]