The PMD Critical List: 'Alarming' Number of Doctors Busted for Bribery

Legal and medical observers are noticing a sharp uptick in the number of physicians charged with bribery and other crimes. That story tops this week’s PMD Critical List. Also making the list: Can doctors keep an $8 billion secret?

Legal and medical observers are noticing a sharp uptick in the number of physicians charged with bribery and other crimes. That story tops this week’s PMD Critical List. Also making the list: Can doctors keep an $8 billion secret?

Alarming Number of Doctors Busted for Bribery (NJ.com)

A troubling news report from New Jersey: “[W]hile officials say there is no evidence that physicians are more prone to crime than in the past, they have been in front of judges in federal and state courts with alarming frequency this past year. Officials have also raised concerns about the unusually large scope of some of the cases and the widespread extent of the problem.”

Doctors Urge Americans to Learn Tourniquet Use (USA Today)

In the wake of the deadly gun violence in Florida last week, the nation’s most well-known physician group is “recommending cops, firefighters and the general public be trained to use this highly effective and simple technique to stop bleeding caused by bullet wounds and other injuries.”

Can a Bunch of Doctors Keep an $8 Billion Secret? Not on Twitter (Bloomberg)

“In New Orleans on Monday, a major medical organization attempted a feat perhaps as hard as treating the disease doctors were there to discuss (in this case, diabetes treated with Victoza). They asked a packed convention hall of doctor-attendees not to tweet the confidential, market-moving data they had flown in to see. It didn’t work.”

VIP Syndrome: Why do the Doctors to the Stars Make Fatal Mistakes? (The Guardian)

Prince, Joan Rivers, Elvis, and Michael Jackson: “When we’re treating celebrities we have to go beyond our comfort zone,” says one doctor. “Celebrities demand much more than the average person and rightly so because they are in front of cameras and on the red carpet. But you have to know your limits. If you mess up, you have a problem.”

Local doctors Selling Practices to National Companies (Star Tribune)

In this report from Minnesota, “more physicians are consolidating through investor-owned companies to better handle cost pressures, consultants say, and to match the bargaining power of bulked-up health insurers and hospitals.” Potentially “a lot of money to be made.”

AMA Adopts Ethical Guidelines for Telemedicine (Forbes)

“After two years of debate, the American Medical Association adopted a set of ethical guidelines it hopes physicians and the telemedicine industry will use to ensure safe and effective digital doctor-patient interactions. It will allow “safe healthcare to be extended via technology.”

Doctors' Dirty Deeds (US News & World Report)

An in-depth report about problem doctors. “Disciplined doctors around the country are allowed to continue practicing medicine without informing their patients of their past misdeeds, or even that they are on probation.” Is it a doctor's responsibility to reveal such information, or the patient's responsibility to find it?

AMA to Lobby Congress Over Gun Research (MD Magazine)

“Uncontrolled gun ownership is a serious threat to public health and Congress needs to pay for research on the hot-button issue,” according to the American Medical Association. “Congress has blocked federal health agencies from the researching—or even paying for the research of—gun violence since the 1990s.”

Online Tools to Shop for Doctors Snag on Health Care’s Complexity (CNBC)

The limits of so-called “big data” on the web are becoming increasingly clear. Even when people have access to the newly available information, they may not use it. And when they do, they may not rely on the insight.” It’s hard trying to “make heads or tails out of all the quality information out there.”