Patients Deserve a Cure for Surprise Billing – Not a Band-Aid

From ACEP:

Negotiations are continuing in Congress on legislation to end surprise billing. Everyone agrees that a federal solution is needed to protect patients. Much consideration has already been given to this issue—but there is more work to be done. Patients deserve a cure, not a short-term band-aid.

With limited time for Congress to act before year-end, rushing a quick fix into a funding bill is not the appropriate venue for ensuring an effective and appropriate solution to truly take patients out of the middle. Because of the long-term, significant impact any surprise billing solution will have on access for patients and the broader health care system, we need to encourage Congress to keep working on finding the right solution. Several committees have yet to address this issue and none of the proposals have been considered by the full House or Senate.

We need encourage Congress to be thorough and listen to all points of view. A quarter of the House of Representatives supports legislation that contains a workable independent dispute resolution (IDR) process. IDR is a proven market-based approach that brings everyone to the table, making it an efficient process where insurers and physicians can negotiate fairly and quickly, without added bureaucracy or cost.

Please send a message to your U.S. Represenative and two U.S. Senators today.  Encourage them to take a thoughtful approach to identifying a long-term solution and look to the proven success of IDR, which protects patients without impacting compromising access to care.

The Double-Edged Sword of Checklists

From Emergency Medicine News:

Not all checklists are created equal. Design is essential to an effective checklist, Dr. Catchpole said. “First, you need to work out what problem it is that you’re trying to solve. Look at outcome measures, safety incidents, observations of the work, and the challenges people have in conducting their jobs, which would be reasons why you might have bad outcomes. This involves systems analysis, looking at different ways in which human performance is affected by the system. Don’t jump straight to a checklist; try to design a system where you don’t need one. If you can’t, then a checklist might be effective.”

Ketamine Found to Rapidly Reduce Suicidal Thoughts in Depressed, Suicidal Patients in ER

From Psych News Alert:

Patients presenting to an emergency room with complaints of suicidal thoughts may experience relief from these thoughts within 90 minutes of a single, low-dose infusion of ketamine, suggests a small study in Depression & Anxiety.

While previous studies have demonstrated the potential of ketamine to reduce suicidal thoughts in patients with depression (including this 2017 paper published in the American Journal of Psychiatry), this new study examined the effectiveness of a low-dose infusion administered in an emergency department. “A single infusion of ketamine, administered in the emergency department, is a safe and feasible treatment option for depressed, suicidal patients,” wrote Yoav Domany, M.D., of Tel Aviv University and colleagues.