Physicians, Business, Professional and Information Technology Communities

 Networking to Restore Accountability in HealthCare & Medical Practice

  Tuesday, January 27, 2004

MedicalTuesday refers to the meetings that were traditionally held on Tuesday evenings where physicians met with their colleagues and the interested business and professional communities to discuss the medical and health care issues of the day. Mondays and Fridays were busy days in most medical practices, and on Wednesdays and Thursdays physicians traded half days off to compensate for the night and weekend work. Thus, MedicalTuesday was the only day of the week that most physicians could get together. As major changes occurred in health care delivery during the past several decades, the need for physicians to meet with the business and professional communities became even more important. However, proponents of third-party health care felt these meetings were counter productive, and they essentially disappeared. Rationing was introduced in this country through government-controlled HMOs, Medicare, Medicaid, under the illusion that this was free enterprise. Instead, the consumer (patient) lost all control of personal health care decision making, the very antithesis of freedom.

MedicalTuesday has reestablished the network between physicians and the business and professional communities using the world wide web. We have included the Information Technology community because of its important application in the provisions of health care. Recently, the governments involvement with the InfoTech community through HIPAA produced disastrous results. Patients are recognizing that with this government control, their private and confidential information is made available, without their knowledge, to government bureaucracies that should not be involved in health care. In addition, the free exchange of health care information between doctors and health care providers necessary for a patients health and welfare is being obstructed.

If this newsletter has been forwarded to you or you have not been on our email list and would like to continue to receive these free messages on alternate MedicalTuesdays, please go to www.MedicalTuesday.net and register to receive the newsletter as well as access the archives and other member-only features. You may invite your friends to receive this newsletter and forward this message to a friend. You might also consider subscribing to the companion HealthPlanUSA quarterly newsletter designed to make HealthCare more affordable for all Americans and their employers.  If you do not wish to receive these messages, you may unsubscribe at the same site by clicking on the Remove Me link at the end of the text.

In This Issue:
1. Women's Growing Purchasing Power May Speed Us to Accountable HealthCare
. HSAs: The Most Important Legislation of 2003
. NCPA President John Goodman Also Celebrates the HSA Law in a Brief Analysis
. This Weeks Review of Socialized or
Single-Payer Medicine NHS Hospitals in Italy
. Medical Gluttony or Excessive Costs of Third Party or Entitlement HealthCare
. The MedicalTuesday Recommendations for Restoring Accountability in HealthCare & Government

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1. Women's Growing Purchasing Power is the Biggest Economic Trend of the Decade
Joanne Cleaver, in the featured article in Entrepreneur (www.entrepreneur.com), What Women Want, tells us that women want attention to detail, product design, the right choice not endless choices, to understand what they are buying, and services that they can understand. With women's earning power escalating, not only do they control more than half of all wealth, they control 80 percent of all household purchases. They are 38 percent of small business owners. Nearly half of adult women are solely responsible for household savings. The New York Times Magazine featured the article Women Opt Out which maintained that many women, having gained management heights in the business world, have Opted Out of the corporate struggles to return to the more traditional role of rearing, nurturing and raising the next generation of Americans and citizens of the world. Last week, Anna Quindlen gave her own story in her Newsweek editorial. (http://www.newsweek.org/id/3868018/)  At age 30, she suddenly had the urge to give up her New York Times position and have a family, which was to be a short detour in her career path. She placed a magnet in the kitchen that said MOM IS NOT MY REAL NAME. During those decades she continued to write as a journalist from 9 to 3 while her children were in school. Now she recognizes that the most important title she ever had was Mom and is proud of what she's leaving to this world. Although she still writes from 9 till 3, she says, Three rooms empty, full of the ghosts of my very best self. Mom is my real name. It is. It is. The world will be a much better place because of it.

As a father of daughters, I have watched them work twice as hard as their pinstriped counterparts to achieve equal income and status. Im grateful that these inequalities are diminishing. The concept that's frequently missing in discussions concerning identical status for men and women, is that women are more accountable with financial details. They have saved families from financial ruin in their management of household income. In the corporate world, they have also become astute money managers. Although they have frequently been cast as compassionate socialists, they have learned that cost containment is extremely important. Costs can never be contained if every worker or individual citizen is able to write an unlimited check from either the corporate health care account or the government health care account. They understand that accountability can never be handed over to a third party and only the consumer can account for every expenditure. Many of the leaders in accountable health care are women. We predict that women will also be at the forefront of accountable health care in the purchase of family health care, regardless of their career path. Is there anyone better than the mother in determining when her child and family really need to see a doctor or when a little aspirin and fruit juices for a day or two will suffice. That one small step in personal accountability will save at least 30 percent of all health care costs. America will again show the world how health care can be made available to everyone without the need for rationing.

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2. HSAs Are the Most Important Legislation of 2003
Feldstein weighs-in on HSAs in The Wall Street Journal last week. He calls it "the most important piece of legislation of 2003." He says, "The new HSA law (a part of the recent Medicare reform bill) eliminates the preferential subsidy for comprehensive insurance by giving the same tax treatment to individuals who set aside income to pay cash for a larger share of their own health care." He provides an illustration of how they work by citing premiums for a California Blue Cross family policy. He says a plan with a $1,000 deductible ($500 each for two family members) costs $8,460 in annual premium, while a plan with a $5,000 deductible ($2,500 each for two family members) costs $3,936, for a premium savings of $4,524, which can be deposited into the HSA. [Actually the savings are even better than that. Since a family that buys its own coverage gets no tax deduction for the premium, they are better off minimizing their premium payment and maximizing the HSA deposit.] To read the whole article please see (subscription required): http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB107447362821704871,00.html.

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3. NCPA President John Goodman also Celebrates the HSA Law in a Brief Analysis.
Dr Goodman of the National Center for Policy Analysis places the flexibility of health care expenses in perspective by pointing out that Americans could easily double our health care spending on beneficial services. He says "There are more than 900 diagnostic tests that can be done on blood alone, and one doesn't need too much imagination to justify, say, $5,000 worth of tests each year." He maintains that health care must be rationed, but there are only three ways to do it - impose it from the government, use managed care techniques, or "allow individuals to make their own choices between health care and other uses of money, through a vehicle such as HSAs." He concludes that HSAs should appeal to liberals who want an alternative to HMO rationing and to conservatives who want an alternative to government rationing. See: http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba/ba464/.  (If math is not your strong suit, please note that if every American obtained $5,000 worth of lab tests annually, that would add $1.5 trillion to our health care costs per year--doubling our present expenditure to 30 percent of our GDP with no improvement in health.)

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4. This Week's Review of Socialized or Single-Payer Medicine--NHS Hospitals in Italy
In a recent issue of The Lancet (www.thelancet.com), Italian health minister Girolamo Sirchia has drawn up a bill entitled "Fundamental Principles in the National Health Service" which seeks to phase out the super manager role of regionally appointed general managers in hospitals. The crux of the reform is the hospital appointment of one chief doctor as clinical coordinator, nominated by fellow heads of departments. The new role will be to advise general managers in clinical governance matters and develop diagnostic and therapeutic strategies, paying particular attention to whether clinical objectives such as the reduction of waiting lists are being achieved. Sirchia said its main objective was to allow doctors to become much more involved in . . . clinical activity and strategic decisions. . We are aiming to correct the dysfunction and misuse of power that has often led to head doctors being marginalized in the management of clinical activity. The other measure was to increase the pensionable age for chief doctors to 70 years from 65 years because they complete their training later than other professions. This came under fire from the head of the doctors union who was otherwise satisfied with the new proposals stating, Finally the doctor is going back on a level plain with the general manager. We will continue to make sure that doctors are not dominated by their local managers or constrained by economic criteria that insist on telling them that they're prescribing or spending too much. The bill still has to pass through the Italian senate and parliament and may find resistance. Some still feel that lay ministers should have more power in taking care of patients than doctors.

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5. Medical Gluttony or Excessive Costs of Third-Party or Entitlement HealthCare
I saw a patient last week whom I first saw three years ago as a homeless patient on welfare, living under a tarp behind a bar, obtaining drinking water and taking showers at the local YMCA. Two years ago, he gave up his tarp and moved into an old car which offered greater shelter from the weather. Last year he got a job as a truck driver making $33,000 per year, had clean clothes, a nice car and a cell phone. His pulmonary function tests had improved dramatically. This year I noted that he still has his welfare card and is still on social security disability income. I asked him how he had managed to have three sources of benefits. He said that when his five-year disability term expired in 2002,  he made sure he got a five year extension; therefore, his next disability evaluation would be in 2007. He said he was able to keep his Medicaid card and benefits because he had no private health insurance. Thus, he received nearly $3,000 a month driving a truck, $700 a month from welfare, and a Medicaid card, an unlimited health care credit card. (Use of this card is essentially writing a check on the government treasury.)

This just points out again that the federal government can never finely tune entitlements. People will always manipulate them to their own financial benefit at taxpayers expense. Health care and welfare entitlements should be state or local programs, solely. The federal government should limit its concerns to areas of national interest, such as the departments of state, defense, treasury and justice. Human greed will always exceed human need and covering such costs will never be sustainable.

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 6. MedicalTuesday Supports These Efforts in Restoring Accountability in Medical Practice by Restoring the Doctor & Patient Relationship Unencumbered by Bureaucracy:

PATMOS EmergiClinic - www.emergiclinic.com - where Robert Berry , MD, an emergency physician and internist, provides prompt care for many of the injuries and illnesses treated in Emergency Rooms at a fraction of their cost. To see how Medicare treats doctors who don't participate in the rules and regulations, click on Medicare's absurd impact on PATMOS . Congratulations to Dr Berry for a Wall Street Journal Front Page & Center article, Pay-as-You-Go MD: The Doctor Is In, But Insurance Is Out. To read, see http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB10680718663821200-search,00.html.

Dennis Gabos, MD, President of the Society for the Education of Physicians and Patients (SEPP), www.sepp.net, for making efforts in Protecting, Preserving, and Promoting, the Rights, Freedoms and Responsibilities of Patients and Health Care Professionals, with a special page for our colleagues in nursing. Several free newsletters are available. Be part of protecting and preserving what is right with American Healthcare physicians, nurses, pharmacists, psychologists, all health professionals, and all concerned individuals are urged to join.

Dr Vern Cherewatenko for success in restoring private-based medical practice which has grown internationally through the SimpleCare model network, www.simplecare.com.  Any patient or provider may become a member of SimpleCare.

Dr David MacDonald started Liberty Health Group, www.LibertyHealthGroup.com, to assist physicians in controlling their own medical benefit costs for their staff and patients. He is available to speak to your group on a consultative basis.

Robert J Cihak, MD, former president of the AAPS, and Michael Arnold Glueck, M.D, write an informative Medicine Men column that is now at NewsMax. Please log on to read or subscribe at http://www.newsmax.com/pundits/Medicine_Men.shtml.

Dr Richard B Willner, President, Center Peer Review Justice Inc, reports his latest success story and the secret of helping doctors keep their medical license. Doctors are daily reviewed, suspended, lose their medical licenses, and go to jail on trumped up charges that most attorneys don't understand. Stay posted at http://www.peerreview.org.

The Association of American Physicians & Surgeons (www.AAPSonline.org), The Voice for Private Physicians Since 1943,  representing physicians in their struggles against bureaucratic medicine and loss of medical privacy. The AAPS News written by Jane Orient, MD, is archived on this site providing valuable information on a monthly basis. Their official organ is the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, with Larry Huntoon, MD, PhD, a neurologist in New York , as the Editor-in-Chief. The website is a cyberspace library of books of interest, brochures, the journal, as well as congressional testimonies, fraud, economics, action alerts, and health care news.

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URL References for your perusal or study at leisure. You may want to Bookmark these or add to your Favorites.

Single-Payer Initiatives:  http://www.healthcarecom.net/EditorialNov94.html
David Gibson, MD, National Health Care Consultant: http://www.healthplanusa.net/DavidGibson.htm
Single Payer: http://www.healthplanusa.net/DGSinglePayer.htm
Why are the uninsured, uninsured: http://www.healthplanusa.net/DGUninsured.htm
What's behind health care costs: http://www.healthplanusa.net/DGRisingHealthCareCosts.htm
Pharmacy costs: http://www.healthplanusa.net/DGPharmacyCosts.htm

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Tammy Bruce: The Death of Right and Wrong (Understanding the difference between the right and the left on our culture and values.) http://www.townhall.com/bookclub/bruce.html
Reviewed by Courtney Rosenbladt

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Stay Tuned to the MedicalTuesday.Network and Have Your Friends Do the Same
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If you would like to participate in this informational campaign on behalf of your patients or the HealthCare community, please send your resume to Personnel@MedicalTuesday.net.

If you would like to participate in the development of the affordable HealthPlan for All Americans and their employers, please send your resume to Personnel@HealthPlanUSA.net.

We appreciate the international response we are receiving and look forward to meeting some of you at international meetings. Apparently, professionals throughout the world look up to America to solve the health care problems without government enslavement. With your help we can do this.

Del Meyer

Del Meyer, MD, CEO & Founder


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