How Can We Make “Good” Choices Easier?

Changing behaviors is seldom easy. Behavioral economics and habits play a crucial role in our response, and undoubtedly, we do not fully appreciate the complexity of these issues when providing care. Often, we believe that if we merely educate an individual on what they should be doing to improve their health or incentivize them to do the “right… Read More »

Why is Screening for Social Determinants Difficult?

In the present age of healthcare, we understand that social determinants play a critical role in health and wellness, as well as influencing our ability to treat illnesses. Those who identify with issues such as food insecurity, intimate partner violence, availability or quality of housing, and the ability to pay for necessities such as utilities like heat and… Read More »

How Can Technology Impact the Ever-Changing Specialty Consultation?

Historically, a specialty consult occurred when a physician desired input and would request a specialist examine the patient either in the hospital or as a referral in the outpatient setting. Frequently, as a primary care physician, I would ask a specialist to opine on a particular patient’s situation or diagnosis. Invariably, this request would generate a discussion regarding… Read More »

How Does AI Impact Trust Between Patients and Physicians?

As we continuously increase our utilization of technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in our day-to-day healthcare delivery, understanding how this impacts trust between physician and patient is a vital consideration. Historically, the relationship between a physician and their patient held the highest degree of intimacy, privacy, and assurance. Knowing this, it is right to consider; how does one… Read More »

Are Physician Payments Being Calculated Correctly?

In examining healthcare expenditures, various factors influence costs. Although we focus a tremendous amount on overutilization, variation, and waste, unit prices are also an essential factor. For example, drug costs constitute a significant focus concerning unit pricing. However, there are other numerous inputs affecting the health services unit cost equation. One of these such areas is payments to… Read More »

Should We Re-Examine the Length of Medical Education?

Not too long ago, I recall my hospital patients repetitively inquiring, “When can I go home?” Frequently, my response was, “Not a day longer than you need to be here, nor a day shorter.” I was not trying to be audacious, but as many know, an exact time frame was not always possible since a person’s illness, and… Read More »

How Can Health Systems Help in Eliminating Health Disparities?

As our health systems continue to shift to value-based care, it has become paramount that providing quality care to not just some, but ALL we serve is essential. Therefore, focusing on the health disparities that exist is important since a lack of health equity continues to be a significant factor contributing to poor health in many communities. If… Read More »

Will Price Regulation Decrease the Availability of New Drugs?

There is an increasing concern that federal price regulation of pharmaceuticals will drive down the innovation of new products, and thus, in the end, be detrimental to the health of those we serve. Recently, a study in Health Affairs by Stern et al., “The Impact of Price Regulation on the Availability of New Drugs in Germany” analyzed the… Read More »

How Do We Measure Success When Treating Patients?

In our field, there is a continuous focus on creating an environment of accountability. Thus, if we are judged on how well we perform, outcome measures are essential to determine if success occurs. Unfortunately, often in healthcare, we focus on outcome measures that are not providing “the full picture,” or we attempt to succeed in areas that might… Read More »