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Hit with a 6-figure surgical bill, patient challenges insurer, system

March 8, 2015 (San Diego, CA)— If Peter Drier knew then what he knows now, he might have resorted to becoming a medical tourist for relief of his herniated disc. What he discovered after his surgery in New York last year, was a fat, unreasonable bill from the assistant surgeon who performed part of his procedure. Because Drier was “morally outraged” about the $117,000 fee—especially after his insurer paid up, no questions asked—he felt compelled to find out why.

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Author of ‘The Conversation,’ other clinicians to address a better end of life

March 8, 2015 (San Diego, CA)—American end-of-life care is broken at every level, writes Angelo Volandes, MD, the author of the newly released, widely-acclaimed book, The Conversation: A Revolutionary Plan for End-of-Life Care. Doing everything medically possible for dying patients, as is often the case, might not be what they want and can lead to painful, undignified and futile measures to prolong living.

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‘Struck by our ignorance,’ the women’s health movement and the story of Our Bodies, Ourselves

March 2, 2015

By Margie Coloian

Judy Norsigian knew little about the women’s movement when she was living on a New York farm in the early 1970s. A trip back to Boston and a fortuitous introduction to a small group of women, the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective, made her realize just how hard it was for women to get good health and medical information, as well as responsive care from their doctors.

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We’re treating lab results–not patients

March 2, 2015

By Margie Coloian

What is your overall impression of the healthcare system in the United States?

We have the worst organized system in the world. In fact, you can’t invent a worse medical system. We waste hundreds of billions of dollars on unnecessary testing and treatments, at the same time that we neglect those who are truly sick. All of this while we spend twice as much per capita as any only developed nation. And we achieve lousy outcomes.

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Eliseo Medina: The organizer is a sparkplug

February 24, 2015

By David Martin

Eliseo Medina, the former international secretary-treasurer of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), is described by the Los Angeles Times as “one of the most successful labor organizers in the country” and was named one of the “Top 50 Most Powerful Latino Leaders” in Poder Magazine. Medina also leads the union’s efforts to achieve comprehensive immigration reform that rebuilds the nation’s economy, secures equal labor- and civil-rights protections for workers to improve their wages and work conditions and provides legal channels and a path to citizenship.

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First ‘Do No Harm’ awards given for describing effects of medical overuse

February 17, 2015 (Boston, MA)—The Lown Institute today announced recipients of the first national Do No Harm Project Competition, which encouraged clinical medical trainees to write vignettes, or essays, chronicling harm or near harm resulting from medical overuse. The two vignettes chosen by a panel of experts were written by Spyridoula Maraka, MD, with secondary authors Derek O’Keeffe MD and Victor Montori, MD, all from the Mayo Clinic; and Stephanie Chen, MD, from Johns Hopkins, Bayview Medical Center.

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