Kip Piper's Health Care Blog
Medicare, Medicaid, Health Reform

A South Carolina surgeon has asked the American Medical Association to approve a national policy permitting physicians to deny medical treatment to malpractice attorneys, according to NPR's Morning Edition. This is the latest in a series of controversial steps by some physicians to blacklist patients and trial lawyers. It's unclear what...
Preventable medication mistakes in hospitals is a leading causing of death. Top patient safety experts and The Leapfrog Group have called upon hospitals to replace risky, paper-based prescriptions with computerized physician order entry (CPOE) systems. If installed in every major hospital, CPOE systems would save tens of thousands of lives...
In Consumer-Driven Health Care, Regina E. Herzlinger, a leading health care thought leader and a professor at the Harvard Business School, provides a thought-provoking look inside a new, powerful force transforming America's dysfunctional health care industry. Consumer-Driven Health Care builds on her popular 1997 book Market-Driven Health Care: Who...
  In a new study, HealthGrades, a respected leader in measuring and reporting health care quality, estimates that preventable hospital mistakes kill 195,000 Americans each year. That's twice the Institute of Medicine's 1999 estimate, which many experts observed was conservative. Fortunately, some courageous hospitals are showing their peers how to improve...
To address the enormous deficiencies in quality of health care, health care organizations need to make a business care for improvement. That is, they need to demonstrate a compelling rationale for the significant financial investments necessary to improve quality and reduce medical errors. To make decisions, businesses traditionally look at...
Health insurers, whether commercial health plans or public programs like Medicaid and Medicare, only wish to pay for care that is necessary. Every day they make decisions on what is and is not "medically necessary." Gov. Phil Bredesen has proposed a new definition of medical necessity for TennCare, Tennessee's long-troubled...
If President Clinton had to wait weeks or months for urgent bypass surgery like patients in Canada or the UK, he would be dead. Mr. Clinton's physicians said he was at serious risk of a major, life-threatening heart attack. He needed the bypass quickly and got it. In Canada, patients...
In the typical hospital, nurses spend only about 30 percent of their time on patient care. The remaining 70 percent of their long days are spent largely on paperwork. This lopsided situation is seen as a major cause of poor quality, patient dissatisfaction, nurse turnover, and operating inefficiency. Thanks to...
Escape Fire is collection of compelling speeches by one of America's leading crusaders for health care quality and patient safety - Don Berwick, MD, founder and president of the Boston-based Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Each year, IHI hosts the National Forum on Quality Improvement in Health Care. The influential annual...
There is ample evidence America has a serious problem with poor quality health care and high rates of preventable medical mistakes. Thankfully, there is no shortage of caring professionals motivated to improve care and the problems are solvable. As with any effort to improve performance, measurement is the first step...

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