The PMD Critical List: Zika Fears Prompt Doctors to Call for Olympic Changes

A group of more than 100 prominent physicians and professors is sounding the alarm about the dangers of holding this summer’s Olympics at the epicenter of the Zika Virus crisis. That story tops this week’s PMD Critical List. Also making the list: House calls lead to cost savings, even as the average family of four sees its health cost soaring.

A group of more than 100 prominent physicians and professors is sounding the alarm about the dangers of holding this summer’s Olympics at the epicenter of the Zika Virus crisis. That story tops this week’s PMD Critical List. Also making the list: House calls lead to cost savings, even as the average family of four sees its health cost soaring.

Doctors Say Postpone or Move Olympics (CNN)

“The summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro should be postponed or moved ‘in the name of public health’ due to the widening Zika outbreak in Brazil, more than 100 prominent doctors and professors say in an open letter to the [World Health Organization].”

Doctors’ House Calls Saving Money (Kaiser Health News)

A new experiment by Medicare, called “Independence at Home,” “is more than a nostalgic throwback to the way medicine was practiced decades ago when the doctor arrived at the patient’s door carrying a big black bag. Done right and paid right, house calls could prove to be a better way of treating very sick, elderly patients while they can still live at home.”

Do Doctors Really Die Differently? (Pacific Standard)

A new study published Journal of the American Geriatrics Society finds that doctors spend as much time in the hospital toward the end of their lives as everyone else. “If we’re expecting doctors to be a model how to die, we may need to separate what they say from what they’re actually able to do.”

When Physicians Were ‘Artisans (Kaiser Health News)

An interesting Q&A with Dr. Abraham Nussbaum about his recent book, The Finest Traditions of My Calling—in which he “makes the case that doctors and patients alike are being shortchanged by current medical practices that emphasize population-based standards of care rather than individual patient needs and experiences.”

Bill to Jail Abortion Doctors Vetoed (Newsweek)

“Oklahoma's Republican Governor Mary Fallin has vetoed a bill calling for prison terms of up to three years for doctors who performed abortions, saying the legislation would not withstand a criminal constitutional legal challenge.”

The ‘Superbug’ Doctors Are Freaking Out About Hits US (Austin 360)

Scientists have long warned that bacteria in our bodies is growing more and more resistant to antibiotics, but a new report indicates the end of antibiotics could be closer than we thought. Researchers estimate antibiotic-resistant infections could kill 10 million people each year by 2050.

Average Annual Family Healthcare Costs Reaches $25,000 (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

The average total cost of healthcare for the typical US family of four will top $25,000 in 2016, according to the Milliman Medical Index. This includes the average cost of health insurance paid by employers and employees, as well as deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses for the most common type of health plan.

What Physicians Think About the Opioid Crisis (Business Wire)

HealthTap has released a survey of nearly 1,500 doctors on their opinions on the causes of and solutions for the current opioid overdose epidemic. Doctors believe the leading cause of the opioid epidemic are easy availability of illegal sources of opioids and by making pain a “fifth vital sign.”

Softening Impact of Doctor Pay Rule on Small Practices (The Commonwealth Fund)

Medicare intends to help doctors in solo or small practices adapt to the complex demands of a new reimbursement system, a CMS official said. “Doctors could face cuts of as much as 4% in 2019 if they do poorly next year on reporting measures and other requirements of the new system, known as the merit-based incentive payment system.”

When Hospitals Buy Up Independent Physicians (Healthcare Dive)

A report about consolidation in the healthcare industry and a changing regulatory landscape that is forcing solo and small physician practices to consider giving up their independent status and teaming with a hospital or affiliated clinical group.” The number of hospital acquisition deals are 70% since 2010.