Modern medicine or major hassle? Lawmakers again consider easing doctor certification mandates

From MiBiz:

Two bills before the House Health Policy Committee would prohibit the state from requiring a doctor to maintain board certification to obtain a state medical license. It would also bar health insurers and HMOs from requiring the certification for a physician to receive reimbursement payments.

The main sponsor of the legislation, Rep. Edward Canfield, a Republican from Caro and an osteopathic family physician, argues that earning recertification from some medical boards has become a burdensome and costly process over the years.

Prior to 1990, doctors received lifetime specialty board certifications, Canfield said. Since then, organizations that grant board certification and recertification have constantly raised requirements. That started with the American Board of Internal Medicine, which decided in the 1990s it “should have a shelf life” and started issuing limited certifications, according to Canfield. More than 20 other specialty medical boards followed suit and required doctors to retake their boards every seven to 10 years. 

How 4 types of cognitive bias contribute to physician diagnostic errors — and how to overcome them

From Becker’s:

Diagnostic errors affect approximately 12 million U.S. adult patients each year, according to a 2011 study published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Such errors could harm patients and also make physicians more vulnerable to medical malpractice claims.

Various issues could lead to diagnostic errors, including misinterpretation of clinical studies, narrow diagnostic focus, inadequate or inappropriate testing, failure to adequately assess a patient’s condition, failure or delay in obtaining a referral or consult and overreliance on a previous diagnosis.

Cognitive biases — systematic errors in thinking that influence decision making and judgment — belie many of these errors, which can ultimately lead to missed or inaccurate diagnoses and patient harm, as well as lawsuits.

Medical Responses To Opioid Addiction Vary By State, Analysis Finds

From Kaiser Health News:

Location, location, location. That mantra may apply even when it comes to how opioid addiction is treated.

Specifically, patients with private insurance who are diagnosed with opioid dependency or abuse may get different medical services depending on where they live, a white paper to be released in the upcoming week by a national databank indicates.

Medical responses to opioid-related diagnoses appear to differ among the five states examined by Fair Health, a nonprofit that provides cost information to the health industry and consumers. To draw that conclusion, researchers analyzed the health insurance billing codes associated with those diagnoses.

As prices soar for heroin overdose-reversing drug, calls grow for cheaper access

From the Tribune:

When the American Medical Association annual meeting convenes in Chicago on Sunday, the powerful physicians’ lobby could push for government intervention to lower the price of the heroin overdose-reversing drug naloxone.

A resolution written by a Michigan doctor and three medical students notes the skyrocketing cost of the drug — a two-pack of auto-injecting syringes went from $690 in 2014 to more than $4,000 this year, while other forms of the drug have doubled in price — and calls on legislators and regulators to increase public access to affordable naloxone.