News, Policy & Economics

Healthcare’s Balloon-Twisters Blow It on Cost Assessments

By Erik Goldman, Editor in Chief

Like clowns at children's birthday parties, there’s a whole cadre of healthcare policy professionals who ply a statistical version of balloon-twisting

They take claims data sets and twist them into forms that purport to be evidence-based pictures of the medical system. By extension, these statistical balloon-twisters are tweaking the lives of actual practitioners and patients because federal healthcare programs and private insurers use these statistical balloon animals to shape and re-shape healthcare payment systems. 

When the balloon doggie pops--and it turns out the statistics are wrong--the tears start to flow.

AG Action Triggers New Wave Of Supplement Scrutiny

By Erik Goldman | Editor in Chief

SchneidermanNew York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's crusade against herbal products earlier this year has triggered a number of state and federal moves that could significantly change the way dietary supplements are regulated.

Cardio-Chaos: New Statin Guidelines Cause Consternation

By August West, Contributing Writer

For decades, the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, and other guardians of conventional wisdom about heart disease have urged physicians to follow rigorous "evidence-based" protocols based on defining treatment targets for LDL cholesterol, and then focusing statin prescriptions to reach these goals.

Healthcare Reform “No Birthday” For Holistic Medicine

By Gaby Zastrocky, Contributing Writer - Vol. 13, No. 4. Winter , 2013

With the re-election of President Obama, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare, will continue to roll out. In the trenches, holistic practitioners are struggling to understand exactly how the reform plan will affect them. Some are optimistic about greater inclusion of holistic modalities; others see trouble ahead.

Massive Survey Shows Many Clinicians at a Breaking Point

By Erik Goldman
According to a new survey of more than 13,500 US doctors by the Physicians' Foundation, over 80% feel medicine is in decline, 77% are pessimistic about the future, and over half are planning major changes in their practices. That's a poor prognosis for the future health of the nation's healthcare systems.

“A Burning Desire to Fix the System” Catching Up with Matthew Heineman, Director of “Escape Fire”

By Erik Goldman

Filmmakers Matthew Heineman and Susan Froemke spent the last 3 years creating "Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare," the most thorough and engaging healthcare documentary yet produced.

Holistic Primary Care caught up with Mr. Heineman, on the eve of Escape Fire's 12-city theatrical release, and prior to a pecial screening for attendees at HPC's 2012 Heal Thy Practice conference.


Influential Herbal Researcher Faces Blog-Prompted Academic Inquiry

By John Otrompke
A prominent and widely respected scientist who has published milestone articles on the healing properties of herbs such as turmeric, is facing a university investigation partially as a result of criticism by bloggers from websites like Retraction Watch. The case underscores the ambiguous role of unrefereed blogs in mediating science and influencing scientific reputations.