Daily Rounds: Atrius-Fallon Merger Talks; Yaz-Type Pill Clot Risk; 'Patients Are Not Consumers'

Two of Massachusetts’ largest doctors groups in merger talks - The Boston Globe
Two of the state’s largest private medical practices are in talks to merge into a giant doctor-run group that would care for nearly a million Massachusetts patients and significantly escalate the pace of health care consolidation throughout the state. Atrius Health, which runs the Harvard Vanguard system and four other doctors practices, is in advanced talks with Fallon Clinic, the Worcester-based medical group. Patients would probably not see any disruption in their medical care if the practices merge. But a larger, combined organization may be able to provide more convenient medical services and could work with insurers to offer new kinds of heath care coverage to businesses with employees spread around the state. (

New birth-control pills can triple the risk of blood clots - The Globe and Mail
Women who take a new generation of birth control pills, such as Yaz and Yasmin, are two to three times more likely to develop blood clots than those who use older products like Alesse and Aviane, new research shows. Oral contraceptives all contain a synthetic form of estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) and a synthetic form of progesterone called progestin; the latter comes in various forms that distinguishes products. (Globe and Mail)

Patients Are Not Consumers -
Here’s my question: How did it become normal, or for that matter even acceptable, to refer to medical patients as “consumers”? The relationship between patient and doctor used to be considered something special, almost sacred. Now politicians and supposed reformers talk about the act of receiving care as if it were no different from a commercial transaction, like buying a car — and their only complaint is that it isn’t commercial enough. What has gone wrong with us? (

Last call for Red Cross centers -
The Red Cross plans to soon close regional “tele-recruiting” departments in Dedham and 22 other U.S. cities, laying off 116 people locally and 1,100 nationwide, the Herald has learned. The nonprofit intends to consolidate 26 existing tele-recruiting operations into three big call centers in North Carolina, Nebraska and Arizona later this year. Spokeswoman Donna Morrissey said the move will eliminate eight full-time positions and 108 part-time jobs at the Dedham center. That operation currently handles everything from setting up donor appointments over the phone to making unsolicited calls asking people to give blood. (Boston Herald)

This program aired on April 22, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


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