Who will help make decisions when an older family member is hospitalized?
January 24, 2014 Some people might find it easier to write down the care they want and the kind they prefer not to have in living wills. Others might prefer to talk more generally with their relatives about issues like life support.
A snippet of the data ProPublica obtained from the federal government about Medicare Part D, the prescription drug benefit for seniors.
January 23, 2014 After successful legal challenges, Medicare will soon begin to release data about how much it pays doctors. The details remain unknown, but three recent projects offer clues. Don't expect an app or website that will be easy for consumers to use.
January 15, 2014 Although it may be uncomfortable for patients to learn that there are profound disagreements among doctors about medicine, these differences of opinion are common.
January 11, 2014 Patients feel more satisfied with their care when their doctors take a minute to sit down beside them. But harried doctors often fail to remember niceties like that. All the memorization of medical school seems to crowd out common courtesy, especially for interns just starting to see patients.
Looks good. But maybe this time I'll stop at one.
Kjersti Magnussen /Flickr
January 7, 2014 Alcohol uses causes a lot of health problems, and most of the trouble strikes drinkers who aren't alcoholics. Something as simple as a five-question screening test and a brief chat about cutting back can help people change course. But more than 80 percent of adults say they've never discussed alcohol use with a health professional.
Almost half of high-schoolers have had sexual intercourse, but teens almost never ask their doctors about sexual health.
December 30, 2013 Teenagers would sooner die than ask about birth control or other sexual health issues at a doctor visit. But if pediatricians bring the subject up, teenagers are happy they had the chance to talk, a study finds. But one-third of doctors aren't taking the lead.
December 22, 2013 By the end of December, interns are nearing the midpoint of their first year of intense, hands-on work with patients. That's long enough for the young doctors to feel committed to their chosen career but not nearly far enough along to see the finish line.
British pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline is pledging to revamp its relationships with doctors.
December 17, 2013 Drugmakers learned long ago that deputized doctors are effective pitchmen. A doctor's dinner speech or chat over lunch with colleagues can go a long way toward changing his or her colleagues' prescribing habits. But increasing scrutiny has led to a reconsideration of the practice.
Dr. Tim Ihrig, a palliative care physician, treats Augie Avelleyra, 93, at his home in Fort Dodge, Iowa.
Courtesy of Paula Avelleyra
December 16, 2013 Dr. Tim Ihrig has almost become a member of the Avelleyra family. He's helping Augie and Phyllis, who've been married 60 years, lead the best lives they can under trying health circumstances. When Phyllis was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, Ihrig asked what she wanted from the rest of her life.
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December 14, 2013 At the dawn of managed care, worried patients wanted to know whether their doctors were getting paid more to do less. Now, as many doctors' salaries depend on how many procedures they perform, patients want to know whether their doctors are paid more to do more.
Susan Shargel, an insurance broker in San Francisco, says she's seeing health insurance plans offer fewer doctor and hospital options.
December 9, 2013 Insurers are holding down prices by including fewer doctors and hospitals in their health plans. Consumers may save money, but at the cost of more restrictions on where they can get medical care that is covered.
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That's Dr. Fido to you, pal.
December 5, 2013 The august medical journal JAMA created a kitsch masterpiece for the cover of its annual issue dedicated to medical education. A group of seven canine healers, some apparently in training, hover around a sick mutt sucking on a thermometer in a hospital bed. They look an awful lot like some poker-playing dogs from yesteryear.
A nurse's phone call at the right time can prevent a trip to the ER.
W. Steve Shepard Jr. /iStockphoto.com
November 10, 2013 Unlike airlines, hospitals don't offer perks or first class upgrades to people who frequently visit the emergency room. In fact, patients like these often get worse customer service, like the apocryphal boy who cried, "Wolf!"
An anatomical drawing shows the ligaments on the outside surface of the knee. The anterolateral ligament connects the thigh bone to the shinbone.
Courtesy of University Hospitals Leuven
November 7, 2013 Doctors have long overlooked a tiny band that connects two bones in the knee. Now Belgian surgeons say that's a mistake. The obscure structure is a full-fledged ligament. When it malfunctions, people recovering from anterior cruciate ligament injuries may run into trouble.
New York University's Langone Medical Center in New York City is considered in-network for relatively few of the health plans offered in the state marketplace.
November 2, 2013 Many health plans being offered on the New York state insurance marketplace do not include some of New York City's biggest hospitals in their networks. And across the state, many doctors say they are not yet participating in exchange plans at all.
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