The PMD Critical List: State Malpractice Cap Ruled Unconstitutional

A Florida court has ruled a state medical-malpractice cap to be "unconstitutional." That story tops this week's PMD Critical List. Also on the list, large healthcare systems push telemedicine, and new research suggest the small, independent medical practices still have a fighting chance.

A Florida court has ruled a state medical-malpractice cap to be “unconstitutional.” That story tops this week’s PMD Critical List. Also on the list, large healthcare systems push telemedicine, and new research suggest the small, independent medical practices still have a fighting chance.

Florida's Medical-Malpractice Damage Caps Are “Unconstitutional” (Orlando Sentinel)

Weary doctors might like the idea of heading Florida way for the good weather, tax friendliness, and as a step closer to retirement, but be warned. A high state court has removed Florida's medical-malpractice damage cap on pain and suffering damages in personal injury cases. (Jeb Bush enacted the caps.)

60% of Physicians Still in Small Practices (HealthLeaders Media)

Although the trend is against them, “physicians in small, independent practices (fewer than 10 MDs) are still in the majority.” Researchers say it isn’t “over for solo physicians, but it's the bottom of the ninth and you are behind.” Hope for extra innings?

“Dr. Skype” Makes a House Call (The New York Times)

The nation’s healthcare “systems and insurers are rushing to offer video consultations for routine ailments, convinced they will save money and relieve pressure on overextended primary care systems in cities and rural areas alike.” Some doctors “enjoy the less hurried pace.”

The 5 Most Frugal Habits of the World's Richest People (Inc.)

What hard-working physician wouldn’t want to become wealthy? And “most wealthy people got to where they are today by living frugally, saving carefully, and living below their means.” Here are some “surprising” thrifty tips.

Primary Care Doctors Are Earning More (Forbes)

Thanks to simple supply and demand—PCPs are realizing a modest bump in average annual salary (up 3.6% last year to $241,273). Still, “becoming a specialist is a really great investment, and that helps explain why the great majority of US medical school graduates” select that path.

80% of Doctors Admit to Treating Patients While Sick (Time)

Playing off the clique: “doctors make the worst patients,” it seems they have ample reason to be. Even when they’re feeling ill, they go to work. And they suit up, JAMA found, “despite recognizing that this choice puts patients at risk.”

10 Mistakes Even Good Doctors Make (Newsmax)

Here’s a quick and entertaining read on medical mistakes from a conservative news organization. Some errors seem fundamental; others a reach. Are they real mistakes? Only the physician knows for sure.

Paying Doctors for “End-of-Life” Patient Talks (The Washington Post)

Under Obamacare, Medicare is expected to begin compensating physicians for “advance care planning” discussions with patients. “Many doctors already have these often-difficult conversations without being paid to do so.”

“Go Set a Watchman” is Worth Reading (The New York Post)

One of the few lawyers that doctors will admit to truly liking is “Atticus Finch.” The hero of Harper Lee’s classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. It is perhaps the “Great American Novel”—and was thought to be Lee’s only book. Now a long lost story is set to hit the market. Nice review.