Medicare and Medicaid

A happy belated Doctor's Day to all the doctors who train and work hard to care for the masses, and pediatricians in particular. A lot of hours go into not only practicing medicine, but being shoulder for distraught parents, a guiding light for confused and tired mothers, and a trustworthy confidante for children.

And speaking of pediatricians, Kaiser Health News is reporting that Donald M. Berwick, MD, MPP, FRCP, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and Health Care Policy at the Harvard Medical School and professor of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health, is President Obama’s top pick for running Medicare and Medicaid. Berwick is also President and CEO of the not-for-profit Institute for HealthCare Improvement, and no stranger to federal agencies; under the Clinton administration, he served on the Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Healthcare Industry in 1997 and 1998, and was appointed as chair of the National Advisory Council for Health Care Policy, Research, and Evaluation in 1999.

If you don’t already know of Dr. Berwick, you can peruse the IHI website to read about his work and ideas. The organization offers a variety of interesting programs and free tools, such as triggers for measuring adverse drug reactions within an organization.

I haven’t yet seen industry response to the potential appointment, but I have watched the media frenzy over a purported loophole in healthcare reform legislation regarding the coverage of children with preexisting conditions. Sebelius subsequently wrote a letter to the insurance industry making clear the intent of the bill, and the industry’s top lobbyist has indicated that insurance companies are willing to comply.

Finally, in celebration of the iPad’s arrival in stores this week, here’s a new (and free) iPhone application that brings PLoS Medicine to your fingertips. Happy reading!

A happy belated Doctor’s Day to all the doctors who train and work hard to care for the masses, and pediatricians in particular. A lot of hours go into not only practicing medicine, but being shoulder for distraught parents, a guiding light for confused and tired mothers, and a trustworthy confidante for children.