Why U.S. Health Care Is So Expensive

Why U.S. Health Care Is So Expensive

This month, an article in JAMA gives us some ideas of why American medical costs are so high. The authors analyzed data from the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). The OECD maintains a huge database of economic information from most of the world’s developed countries. Their healthcare database is particularly useful to anyone […]

Inpatient Palliative Medicine Services: Making The Right Economic Projections

Inpatient Palliative Medicine Services: Making The Right Economic Projections

The demand for inpatient palliative medicine services is very high and the supply of palliative medicine physicians is rather low. When considering bringing palliative medicine services to your hospital, the real value of palliative medicine is in what does not appear on the basic accounting pro forma. A robust palliative medicine service is a multidisciplinary […]

Dying To Reduce Hospital Readmissions

Dying To Reduce Hospital Readmissions

20% of people who get admitted to the hospital require readmission within 30 days of being discharged. Medicare has taken steps to reduce these readmissions, but the unintended consequence of these steps appears to be an increase in mortality rates. Readmissions are expensive and cost Medicare about $17 billion per year. Conventional dogma holds that […]

An Epidemic Of Endocarditis

An Epidemic Of Endocarditis

Last week, I was called about triaging a patient to the intensive care unit. A 38-year-old woman had come to a rural Ohio hospital emergency department with sepsis and chest x-ray changes that looked like septic emboli. She uses intravenous heroin. The opioid epidemic in the U.S. has primarily received a lot of press because […]

The 2017 Epinephrine Shortage

The 2017 Epinephrine Shortage

Epinephrine is the most common drug used to resuscitate patients in cardiopulmonary arrest. EMS squads keep it on hand during every emergency run and hospitals contain it in their code carts. Epinephrine comes in a variety of strengths and dosing sizes but during cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the most commonly used size is the pre-filled 10 ml […]

United States Lifetime Health Costs

United States Lifetime Health Costs

The annual OECD Health Statistics 2017 report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development was released 2 weeks ago. Every year, I can spend hours reading through the database and statistics that give us enormous insight into healthcare across the planet. The OECD is a group of 35 of the most economically developed countries […]

What Is The Ideal Hospital Occupancy Rate?

What Is The Ideal Hospital Occupancy Rate?

Intuitively, you would think that the closer a commercial venture is to 100% full, the more profitable that venture would be. For example, airlines overbook their flights so that they can get as close to having all of their seats occupied. A sports venue is ecstatic when a game is sold out. So, should we try […]