Category Archives: Healthcare Reform

Tackling Two Birds With One Stone: Locums, Burnout and the Physician Shortage

Changing legislation, hospital consolidations, and the growing physician shortage all affect how physicians practice medicine today. With pressures coming from all sides, many physicians are experiencing burnout and opting to retire early, scale back their hours, or quit medicine completely as a result. But what if there was something that could help temper the nation's…
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Pain Patients Cut Off From Prescription Drugs

Earlier this year, the CDC released guidelines for prescribing opioids in response to the rapidly growing number of patients becoming addicted to prescription medication. Doctors like Dr. Ken weighed in on the subject, which you can read more about here. Since the release, reports detailing patients being abruptly cut off from their medication or having…
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National Medical License on the Horizon?

As a practicing physician, you know what it takes to obtain your state medical license. You may even have multiple. If you’re a locum tenens doctor who frequently travels state to state for assignments this is especially true. But what if there were no state licenses, and instead only one, national medical license? This is…
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Dr. Ken’s Corner: Direct Primary Care Gains Traction

By: Dr. Ken Teufel Is there such a thing as a "stress-free" way to practice medicine?  Not really.  But many primary care physicians are rediscovering the joy of practicing medicine by shifting from the stress-filled fee-for-service model to the more relaxed pace of direct primary care.  In its purest form, direct primary care cuts out…
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Dr. Ken’s Corner: First Ever Guidelines Issued for Prescribing Opioids

By: Dr. Ken Teufel Think twice before writing that prescription for a pain-relieving opioid. That's the clear, strong message from the CDC in its attempt to curb the growing "epidemic" of pain killer abuse and opioid-related deaths. According to CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., sales of opioids such as Vicodin, Oxycontin, and Percocet have quadrupled since…
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How the Stark Law Could Affect the Locum Tenens Market

By: Dr. Robert Moghim As part of the 1989 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, the Stark I provision barred physicians from making referrals which enriched themselves. Originally pertaining to clinical laboratory services, the Stark Law has been expanded over the years to include many other services. In 1993, Congress formally broadened this law through the Stark…
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Dr. Ken’s Corner: Medicare to Pay for End-of-Life Discussions

By: Dr. Ken Teufel Evidence shows that patients who have had end-of-life discussions with their physicians are more likely to die at home or in a comfortable setting, instead of in a hospital intensive care unit. Not only is this seen as a kinder, gentler way to die, it's a lot less expensive than being…
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Dr. Ken’s Corner: Retraining and Re-entry: Now There’s An Idea

By: Dr. Ken Teufel Some would argue that there are enough practicing physicians in the United States --- 767,000 at last count.  They say the problem is twofold: (1) There aren't enough doctors in the right places, and (2) There aren't enough primary care physicians, especially family doctors. More than 50,000 additional family practitioners will…
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Dr. Ken’s Corner: Is the Free Standing ER a Good Thing?

By: Dr. Ken Teufel Not to be confused with urgent care clinics, the doors to free standing emergency rooms are open around-the-clock and are expected to provide the same level of care as a hospital-based emergency room.  Staffed and equipped to take care of bona fide emergencies, from major trauma to heart attacks and strokes,…
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High Out-of-Pocket Costs Create Difficult Conversations

As patients bear more financial responsibility for their medical bills, the issue of cost and necessity are things that patients are demanding answers to. With roughly half of bills sent to collections being medical debt related, these concerns are not unwarranted, and patient’s cost sensitivity has raised concern for doctors as well. Pushing millions of…
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