Monthly Archives: May 2012

Michael J. Barry, MD

Foundation’s Response to USPSTF Final PSA Testing Recommendation

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) published their final recommendation on PSA testing in an Annals of Internal Medicine article this week. The panel advises against PSA-based prostate cancer screening for men of all ages. The rationale for this recommendation is based on the panel’s moderate certainty that the potential harms outweigh the benefits for all age groups. Based on clinical evidence from two large randomized trials evaluated by the panel, at most 1 out of 1,000 men screened will avoid dying from prostate cancer over 10 years, while many more men will be left with permanent disabilities from their treatment, such as incontinence (18 in 1,000) or impotence (29 in 1,000). Continue reading

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MaineHealth Hosts its First Conference Dedicated to Shared Decision Making

Last week, MaineHealth, an Informed Medical Decisions Foundation demonstration site, held its first conference dedicated to shared decision making (SDM). The conference, entitled “Shared Decision Making: The Patient Voice in Health Care,” featured presentations from national and local experts on SDM, and focused on bringing the patient perspective into the health care delivery system. Continue reading

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MaineHealth Hosting Shared Decision Making Conference May 17th

MaineHealth, a demonstration site of the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation, will be hosting a conference on May 17th, featuring national and local experts on shared decision making (SDM). Attendees will have the opportunity to attend a number of sessions on topics such as end of life care, risk communication, decision aids, patient engagement and preference-sensitive care. Continue reading

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Fear of Being Labeled “Difficult” May Keep Patients from Participating in Shared Decision Making

A new study published in the May issue of Health Affairs finds that some patients are concerned about being labeled “difficult” if they ask too many questions or disagree with a recommendation from their physician. “We found that patients want to participate in making decisions with their physicians, but feel vulnerable and worried that they might be perceived as too assertive, resulting in lower quality care in the future,” says Dr. Dominick Frosch, lead author of the study. Continue reading

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What Will it Take to Avoid Avoidable Care? Nothing Less than a Culture Shift Say Conference Organizers

Last week the first major medical meeting devoted to the topic of avoidable care was held in Cambridge, MA. The two-day Avoiding Avoidable Care Conference was organized by the Lown Cardiovascular Research Foundation and the New America Foundation, and co-hosted by the Institute of Medicine. Attendees included experienced, practicing clinicians from a broad range of medical specialties, along with thought leaders in health policy. Continue reading

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