Medical corruption in India, “Too Much Medicine” in The BMJ, and following up on #Lown2015

March 19th, 2015


In order to bring you more of the news you want to read, RightCare Weekly summarizes and interprets three important articles and provides headlines linking to the many other articles and editorials you’ll find interesting. As always, RightCare Weekly presents articles related to moving our healthcare system toward the right care for all patients.


Join the conversation: Post your comments in our new section at the bottom of this page.



The Canberra Times reports that corruption is rampant in India’s private healthcare system, where physicians commonly receive kickbacks for referring patients for surgery or other interventions, and where overtreatment is exceedingly common. As the private healthcare system expands to meet the needs of the country’s large population—not all of whom are served by the public system— hospitals raise revenues by pushing physicians to reach high “conversion” targets, that is, referring patients to surgery and performing unneeded services. We’ve seen reporting on the consequences of such an unregulated system before, like with unnecessary hysterectomies performed in rural India. The new report calls for greater regulation of medical practices, which ought to include restrictions on the financial incentives physicians face to providing unnecessary or unwanted treatment.


The BMJ recently published a special online issue on “Too Much Medicine.” The article series (linked to the Preventing Overdiagnosis conference) includes a variety of pieces, such as a discussion of the emergence of breast cancer overdiagnosis and a reminder that overuse isn’t limited to wealthy countries. Even much poorer systems struggle with medical cultures that overvalue diagnosis. We commend The BMJ for their continued attention to overdiagnosis and overtreatment, and for giving open access to these important papers.


Our third annual conference, The Road to RightCare, held last week was a huge success. If you couldn’t make it, here’s a front page article about it from the San Diego Union Tribune and some other news posts (see conference headline below). Hundreds gathered in San Diego to hear our keynote speakers and to participate in 21 action-packed breakout sessions. Attendees also were able to sign up for RightCare Action Week in October, a special time for everyone to join in a single action to raise awareness of our broken healthcare system and lead the way to a compassionate, effective and patient-focused system. If you haven’t signed up for this important week, sign up here.  And feel free to add to our growing list of potential actions for the initiative.



Congratulations to Brandon Combs, MD, for being named the 2015 ACP Colorado Chapter Early Career Physician Award. The award is given to an outstanding early career physician in internal medicine, who is respected by colleagues for outstanding clinical skills and for being a role model in the community. Combs is a Lown Institute fellow and spearheaded the Do No Harm curriculum.



The Road to RightCare conference media coverage


Patient safety






Medical evidence


Public health


Medical education


Shared decision making


Healthcare delivery system


End-of-life care


Costs of care


Payment system


Overdiagnosis and overtreatment


RightCare Weekly is made possible through the generous support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.