Current News

Michael J. Barry, MD

Current news from the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation.

News Items

Michael J. Barry, MD

The President’s Corner: September/October 2015

I attended the 6th annual Wennberg International Collaborative (WIC) Fall Research Meeting in London September 2-4, 2015. This invitation-only meeting is a collaboration between The Dartmouth Institute (TDI) and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). The WIC is a research network committed to improving health care by examining organizational and regional variation in health care resources, utilization, and outcomes. The goal of the collaboration is to better understand the causes and consequences of unwarranted variation—that is, variation in health care not explained by differences in population needs or preferences—around the world, leading to clinical improvement and policy change. Continue reading

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Leslie Kelly Hall

The Business Case for Patient Engagement: Efficiency for the Medicare Patient

A significant challenge in serving the Medicare population is how to provide quality care while still ensuring financial stability and growth. Looking at the current state of health systems, overall they run a pretty modest profit margin of 6.5%. Overall occupancy rate is 61%, but the majority of that percentage is Medicare patients. This group of patients runs about a -5.4% margin and holds a disproportionate share of the occupied beds in the health system per hospital. What this means is that Medicare patients, whose numbers are increasing, must be managed effectively. Continue reading

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Shared Decision Making and Evidence-Based Practice Unite in Sydney

Every other year, members of the shared-decision-making community gather in a different hub of the world to discuss the evolution of patients and providers engaging in a collaborative conversation around health care decisions. This July, the gathering was quite the landmark event as shared decision making and evidence-based practice united at the first joint International Shared Decision-Making/International Society for Evidence-Based Health Care (ISDM/ISEHC) Conference in Sydney, Australia. Over 300 people from around the globe met at the University of Sydney July 19–22 to share knowledge and inspire action to improve the entire care experience. Continue reading

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Michael J. Barry, MD

Doctors Keeping Up: A Patient and Doctor Perspective

By: Michael J. Barry, MD and Patty Skolnik Editor’s note: The following exchange is a conversation between Patty Skolnik and Michael Barry regarding the current controversy about physicians’ maintenance of their licensure and certification. Patty Skolnik is the founder and … Continue reading

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Michael J. Barry, MD

The President’s Corner: July/August 2015

In a 2012 report for The King’s Fund, Foundation cofounder Al Mulley and colleagues described the problem of misdiagnosis of patients’ preferences. “Preference misdiagnosis” may be the most common form of medical error in health care. It can occur when a person has more than one medically reasonable course of action open to him or her. A clinician, sometimes supported by recommendations from clinical practice guidelines, may prescribe or withhold a treatment based on what the evidence best supports and what he or she thinks the patient would want. However, research shows that among fully informed patients who understand a certain treatment’s possible benefits and risks, some would want that prescribed treatment, and some would not want that treatment prescribed. While there is evidence that preference misdiagnosis occurs, its epidemiology and solutions have not been well described. Continue reading

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