mark-prevLast month’s editorial by Dr. Rick Bukata re-ignited the debate over the role of board certification in emergency medicine. The American Academy of Emergency Medicine’s (AAEM) position has not changed in our 21 years of existence — you must be board certified to become a full-voting member and fellow of AAEM — period. AAEM has no control over how other EM organizations classify their members. However, we feel a call for other organizations to open their membership up to non-board-certified physicians is a step in the wrong direction. Since AAEM’s inception, supporting the value of board certification has always be a core part of our mission.

The optimism of those emergency physicians who have supported the expansion of Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act is built on the assumption that ‘some pay’ is better than ‘no pay’. And, of course, if it were that simple, they would be correct. But I would humbly submit that we need to take the problem apart a little more to see the details before drawing such conclusions.

If emergency physicians are going to have a chance at influencing healthcare policy in Washington, they’re going to need to get serious about organizing and fundraising.

We have always been clinicians, but modern emergency physicians have also become the most skilled managers in the healthcare system. It’s time we capitalize on those talents and proactively learn from the management industry.

altIn talking with physicians from all over the country, I have found that most say that charting via an electronic medical record system is the invention of the devil. Only rarely will an emergency physician say that they go faster with an EMR than with what they were charting with previously. And whenever I hear a physician assert this, I generally wonder how efficient they were in the first place.

altIndication creep seems to be the natural course for medical advancement in the United States. The FDA gives an inch of approval, and we take a mile. tPA is no different. But this article is not about the controversy surrounding the efficacy and safety of tPA. The issues with tPA have gone way beyond professional disagreements about efficacy, safety and time windows.

altIn January, it was reported that 29 children had died from influenza nationwide1. More recently, the CDC reported that through February 2 pediatric deaths had increased to 59. Such numbers cause the public to cry out that the medical community do more to prevent these catastrophes. But can these cases be prevented? As awful as it sounds, I have to say that I doubt it.

altWith Washington embroiled over whether to cut entitlements, it can be easy to lose sight of sensible ways to cut major healthcare waste. Here are six cost-cutting solutions presented by Donald Berwick which could save the healthcare system upwards of a trillion dollars.

altIt may take 700 LPs to find a subarachnoid hemorrhage, but it’s a needle-in-a-haystack worth finding.  Dr. Klauer challenges Dr. David Newman’s cost-effective approach in the SAH workup.

A recent article in the NY Times pointed to the belief that “the move to electronic health records may be contributing to billions of dollars in higher costs for Medicare, private insurers and patients by making it easier for hospitals and physicians to bill more for their services, whether or not they provide additional care”.

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