Don’t Spend All of Your Money!

I see it every year. There’s a mad rush to have cosmetic surgery from October through December so patients have time to recover during the holidays. But then the New Year comes and consumers have no funds left over for anything else. People speak of New Year’s Resolutions and work out for a week or two but halfway through January we slide back into our......
Read more »

The New Surgeon: Are Patients at Risk?

You wake up one night with abdominal pain that starts around your navel (“belly button”) and within a few hours it moves to the lower right section of your abdomen. The pain is so significant that you can’t go back to sleep. Naturally, you make the decision to go to the ER. It’s December, right around Christmas time. The ER doctor calls the general surgeon......
Read more »

High Deductible Health Plans Make for Better Consumers of Healthcare

In the recent article by Robert Pear in the NY Times, consumers are learning that their deductibles will be higher in the Affordable Care Act (italics added by this author). This act would be more appropriately named the Accessible Care Act because for most, it will make health insurance more accessible but not more affordable.   That being said, I think the Act does something......
Read more »

Juvederm Voluma: Now Available in San Francisco

Well, it’s finally here. I wrote about the impending approval of Juvederm Voluma in a previous blog post but now it’s available right here in San Francisco.  For those of that are unfamiliar with Juvederm Voluma or want to learn more, continue reading. Juvederm Voluma is a new product from Allergan, the same company that brought you other wrinkle fighters like BOTOX Cosmetic and Juvederm......
Read more »

Note to Concierge Medicine: Watch Out for the Charlatans Among You!

As reimbursements continue to go down, especially with the Medicaid expansion across the US, and other attempts at reducing costs, more and more physicians will stop taking insurance. This comment is not an attempt to pull at American’s heartstrings with sympathy for doctor pay. It’s a statement. A statement that is anecdotally supported by a recent NY Times article about the increase in concierge medicine......
Read more »

Friggatriskaidekaphobia (Fear of Friday the 13th)

Never heard of friggatriskaidekaphobia?! It’s the fear of Friday the 13th (today, if you’re reading this on Friday the 13th, 2013). How do you come up with a word like that? Well, Frigga is the name of the Norse goddess for whom “Friday” is named in English and triskaidekaphobia is the fear of the number thirteen. But where does our Western superstition of Friday the......
Read more »

The Republican Slugfest

Last week’s NY Times article highlighting Republican’s continued efforts to mount legal challenges to the new healthcare law are embarrassing me as a Republican-leaning independent. For one, this ship has sailed. The opposition may have future victories in court but they’ll be minor in comparison to the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Act. The Affordable Care Act, for all its failings and incompetent rollout is......
Read more »

To Offer BHRT or Not to Offer BHRT?

After six months in practice here in San Francisco, I noticed many patterns in this tech-savvy, co-ed intellectual workforce. One is the request for BHRT or bioidentical hormone replacement therapy to help stave off cardiac, intellectual and emotional changes associated with aging. Because the provision of this type of medical care is not isolated to one particular medical specialty is one reason I did not......
Read more »

Industry Influence on Statin Guidelines

A couple of weeks ago when the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) came out with their 2013 Guidelines for who should and should not be on statin therapy to lower their bad cholesterol levels, I was surprised – surprised by recommendations of widespread expansion of statin use. The new guidelines recommended what amounts to one-third of American adults being placed on......
Read more »

Price Transparency in the Emergency Room

In a recent NY Times article, the costs in the ER were discussed yet again. This is an ongoing problem that shows the most expensive care is typically in the emergency room. It’s not really a new revelation but by highlighting the actual charges patients are receiving in their bills, it’s just as alarming (Coincidentally, I’m on staff at CPMC, the hospital highlighted in the......
Read more »