altIn this installment of "Rick's Picks" Rick Bukata discusses a couple law suits resulting from excessive emergency department wait times. Should the Joint Commission step in? 

Are you writing or thinking about writing a book? Do you want to get published but have no idea how to go about it? As someone who got my first book published last year, I can tell you it is a confusing and sometimes arduous process, but one that can be navigated with a little direction. This article is going to focus on non-fiction writing. The rules are completely different if you are writing fiction.

When the Office of Inspector General (OIG) released its 2011 Workplan – a formal announcement of the areas it plans to investigate – it boldly brought physicians under increased scrutiny for fraud, based solely on what may be an unintended consequence of the evolution of documentation technology.

altCould HHS’s new payment structure really save Medicare as much as $960 million over the next three years?

The management of patients with upper gastrointestinal bleeds (UGIB) presenting in extremis is enough to make any physician have melena. In an effort to preserve your own clothes, make your life easier by classifying the condition in terms of variceal versus nonvariceal.

Emergency physicians have historically been ambivalent about inappropriate ED utilization. We deplore it but are reluctant to address it because we believe that there may be no alternative for these patients, that excessive risk or the threat of an EMTALA violation are prohibitive, or that it may cost us practice revenue. But failing to address an issue of critical importance to our hospital customer is the first step on the path toward losing the contract.

In 2009, Emergency Physicians Monthly polled 5,000 readers online to determine if and when EPs altered the tests they ordered out of fear of litigation. The poll, which garnered 385 responses, may not have been scientifically valid, but it confirmed what most of us know intuitively – that there is a significant cost to defensive medicine. Now, the Pennsylvania College of Orthopedic Surgeons has added fuel to the fire, publishing a study that confirms the very same thing.

EPM executive editor Mark Plaster sat down with emergency medicine opinion leaders for a candid discussion about continuing medical education – do we need it, who does it best, and what would the ideal methodology look like?

24-year-old Hannah A. is “playing tag” in the front yard at 3 a.m. one cold February Sunday night during a rain storm. She slips, falls, and horribly breaks both bones in her left leg. Incidentally, she also has a nasty burn on her right forearm that she says is from a hot water scald.

altJohn Schedin was awarding of 1.8 million by Johnson & Johnson after suffering from bilateral ruptures of the achilles tendons after receiving Levaquin for bronchitis. 

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