PODCAST: Doctors, Money and Conflicts of Interest

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Medical Ethics – Ever on Guard
By Aaron Carroll MD, MS
I’m a doctor. My father is a doctor. My colleagues are doctors, the people I train are doctors, lots and lots of my friends are doctors.
But, that doesn’t meant that doctors sometimes aren’t blind to certain issues like their own financial conflicts of interest. Sometimes we have to poke doctors with a stick. That’s how we show our love.
Conflicts of interest are the topic of this Healthcare Triage video.




This video episode is adapted from Aaron’s NYT piece on the topic. References can be found in the links there: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/09/ups…

John Green — Executive Producer
Stan Muller — Director, Producer
Aaron Carroll — Writer
Mark Olsen — Graphics


About the Author

Dr. Carroll has published some of the seminal work on various types of health care reform, and continues to be a sought after speaker on cost, quality and access-and the Affordable Care Act and its implications for our future. Considered one of the leading pediatric informaticists in the U.S. he has received millions of dollars in grants to explore the use of information technology in health care. Dr. Carroll was the Primary Investigator on a grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to study the true impact of malpractice claims on the practice of medicine.


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Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com


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  1. NIHCM Foundation Awards $328K in Investigator-Initiated Research Grants

    Washington, DC – November 13, 2015 – NIHCM Foundation has awarded six new grants totaling more than $328,000 to support investigator-initiated health services research. NIHCM increased its funding level for the research grant program again this year, reflecting its commitment to supporting researchers in their work to improve health care through objective evidence.

    “We need to make sure researchers have the funding to pursue their best ideas—not just the ideas that happen to fit an RFP,” said Nancy Chockley, President and CEO of NIHCM Foundation. “That’s the role we’re filling with these investigator-initiated grants.”

    The 2015 grants are as follows:

    • The Prescription Opioid Epidemic: Understanding Its Complications & the Effectiveness of State Policies
    This study will collect information from officials in eight states on their policies addressing opioid pain reliever (OPR) abuse, empirically quantify a range of OPR complications, and estimate the impact of state policies on these complications. Results are expected to inform additional efforts to stem OPR abuse.

    Researchers: Stephen Patrick, Vanderbilt University
    Melinda Buntin, Vanderbilt University
    Carrie Fry, Vanderbilt University
    Christine Whitmore, Vanderbilt University

    • Improving the Effectiveness and Efficiency of High-Risk Care Management Through Machine Learning

    This study will apply state-of-the-art machine learning techniques to electronic health record data to predict which patients are likely to become high users of health care and which are likely to respond well to high-risk care management (HRCM). Results will contribute to more effective and efficient HRCM programs.

    Researchers: Ziad Obermeyer, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

    Brian Powers, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
    Rebecca Cunningham, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
    David Cutler, Harvard University
    Sendhil Mullainathan, Harvard University

    • Physician-Driven Overuse of Services for Patients with Advanced Cancer

    Building on NIHCM-funded work showing that physician practice patterns drive use of inappropriate cancer services, this study will examine the use of services for patients with advanced cancer, where patient preferences might be expected to play a larger role. Results will inform efforts to reduce use of low-value services.

    Researchers: Allison Lipitz-Snyderman, Memorial Sloan Kettering

    Katherine Panageas, Memorial Sloan Kettering
    Peter Bach, Memorial Sloan Kettering
    Elena Elkin, Memorial Sloan Kettering
    Coral Atoria, Memorial Sloan Kettering

    • Evaluation of Affordable Care Act Policies to Encourage Accurate Prices for Medicare Services

    This study will examine (1) whether provisions of the ACA have affected the process and outcomes for updating Medicare physician fees and (2) whether the methods used to determine the fiscal impact of these changes are sound. Results will help to improve the accuracy of fees for physician services.

    Researcher: Miriam Laugesen, Columbia University

    • An Empirical Investigation of Potential Manipulation in the Nursing Home Rating System

    This study will examine trends and correlations in nursing homes’ self-reported measures of quality and more objective measures from other independent sources to assess whether Medicare quality scores are inflated. Results will inform improvements to the rating system.

    Researchers: Niam Yaraghi, The Brookings Institution

    Ram Gopal, University of Connecticut
    Xu Han, University of Connecticut

    • How Do Patients Rate Experiences with Physicians Who Provide More Low-Value Services?

    This study will explore whether Medicare beneficiaries give their primary care physicians higher ratings if these physicians have a practice style characterized by more provision of low-value services. Results will help to increase the effectiveness of interventions to improve the value of health care services.

    Researchers: Prachi Sanghavi, The University of Chicago

    J. Michael McWilliams, Harvard University
    Alan Zaslavsky, Harvard University
    Aaron Schwartz, Harvard University
    Anupam Jena, Harvard University

    About NIHCM

    The National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to improving the effectiveness, efficiency and quality of the U.S. health care system by funding and conducting research and educational activities and by fostering dialogue between public and private stakeholders.


    Katie McDonald
    Communications Advisor and Coordinator
    NIHCM Foundation
    email: kmcdonald@nihcm


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