Daily Rounds: Docs Pay Scrutinized; Romney Attacked; Job Surge Under Health Reform; Weight Watchers Rules

Doctor Fees Major Factor in Health Costs, Study Says - "Doctors are paid higher fees in the United States than in several other countries, and this is a major factor in the nation’s higher overall cost of health care, says a new study by two Columbia University professors, one of whom is now a top health official in the Obama administration. “American primary care and orthopedic physicians are paid more for each service than are their counterparts in Australia, Canada, France, Germany and the United Kingdom,” said the study, by Sherry A. Glied, an assistant secretary of health and human services, and Miriam J. Laugesen, an assistant professor of health policy at Columbia." (

GOP candidates square off in California debate - Political Intelligence - A national political and campaign blog from The Boston Globe - "Romney’s record on health care also came under renewed scrutiny, with no candidate on the stage saying they supported Romney’s decision to support a mandate that Massachusetts residents obtain health care. When asked if anyone thought the Massachusetts health care law was a good model for other states, no one raised their hand. “It was a great opportunity for us to see what will not work, and that is an individual mandate for this country,” Perry said." (

Massachusetts Health-Jobs Surge May Signal Similar Growth under U.S. Law - Bloomberg "A rise in health-care jobs after Massachusetts instituted a universal insurance program may foreshadow national employment growth under the U.S. health overhaul, a study found.Health-care employment climbed 9.5 percent per capita in Massachusetts from December 2005 to September 2010, outpacing 5.5 percent growth in the rest of the U.S., according to an article in the New England Journal of Medicine today. New jobs in administration drove rising health-care employment, wrote Douglas Staiger, an economist at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, and colleagues." (

Piercing the Veil, More Drug Companies Reveal Payments to Doctors - ProPublica "Eight pharmaceutical companies, including the nation's three largest, doled out more than $220 million last year to promotional speakers for their products, according to a ProPublica analysis of company data." (ProPublica)

Dieters lose more on Weight Watchers than visits to doctor - "Dieters lose twice as much weight when they go to Weight Watchers than they do when they get diet advice from professionals in their doctors' offices, a new study shows. People in three countries who followed Weight Watchers lost an average of 15 pounds in a year, while dieters who got guidance from nurses and physicians lost only seven." (

AG approves Steward purchases of two community hospitals - Boston Medical News - White Coat Notes - "Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley today signed off on the sale of a pair of non-profit community hospitals, Morton Hospital in Taunton and the bankrupt Quincy Medical Center, to the for-profit hospital chain Steward Health Care System LLC. But the approvals included multiple conditions intended to safeguard patients and employees. They included a guarantee that Boston-based Steward will not sell either hospital for at least five years, that it will keep making capital improvements after five years, and that it will continue providing in-hospital psychiatric beds and other health care services of at least the same scope that the Taunton and Quincy hospitals now offer." (

This program aired on September 8, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


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