Articles matching the ‘Policy’ Category

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May 14th, 2017

Poll: Which Feature of Electronic Health Records is Most Important to Patient Care?

The first electronic medical record I used regularly — called “BICS” — initially had one purpose. It was a tool to look up a patient’s lab results. Simple, reliable, and blazingly fast, it did one thing remarkably well. Later, one of our Emergency Department doctors, who happens to have impressive coding skills, worked with a team to add a simple ambulatory medical […]


March 19th, 2017

What Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price Should Be Saying About Required Immunizations

In case you missed it, Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price said this past week that the states should make decisions about mandatory vaccination policies. Here’s the actual clip: HHS Secretary Tom Price says it should be up to states to regulate whether immunizations are required https://t.co/soyH0YpO5E — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) March 16, 2017 What’s notable here isn’t the […]


March 14th, 2017

Poll: Should We Allow 24-Hour Shifts Again For Interns?

Over on Boston’s NPR site, I wrote a piece about the decision by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to allow 24 hour (or longer) work shifts again for interns. My goal in writing the piece was to relay what I experienced doing these long shifts way back when during my internship — the good […]


July 14th, 2016

Must-Read Item: This Year’s JAMA HIV/AIDS Issue

The folks over at the Journal of the American Medical Association have been doing a periodic HIV/AIDS themed issue for years, generally around the time of the International AIDS Conference. The latest issue is out this week, and it’s terrific. Here are some highlights: In serodiscordant couples practicing “condomless sex”, there were zero transmissions if the infected partner […]


June 12th, 2016

Progress in Lyme Disease Badly Needed — Could a “Hackathon” Help?

Someone recently asked what keeps me, a specialist in Infectious Diseases, up at night. With the admission that I do all my clinical work here in the USA — a person working in the tropics would undoubtedly have a different list — several challenging patient care and public health issues came to mind. Multidrug-resistant bacteria. Endovascular infections in […]


May 22nd, 2016

Drug Prior Authorizations Are a Very Blunt Tool for Cost Containment — And They’re Annoying

Insurance prior authorizations, or prior approvals (PAs) — those dreaded forms clinicians have to fill out, usually triggered by prescribing a non-formulary drug — are much on my mind these days. And most of it has to do with three letters, specifically “TAF.” As readers of this site probably know, there are now three tenofovir alafenamide (TAF)-based coformulations […]


May 16th, 2016

Lots of College Graduations ID Link-O-Rama

For those of us living and working in Boston, we are most definitely smack dab in the middle of college graduation season — which means traffic is crazy, restaurants are booked, and energetic young adults are everywhere wearing gowns and funny hats. In other words, a good excuse for an ID Link-o-Rama: FDA advises against use of fluoroquinolones for uncomplicated […]


April 24th, 2016

Why Getting Old Isn’t Always So Terrible — and Why People with HIV Can Now Get Life Insurance

Two patient-related anecdotes, then a news item. Anecdote #1: A little email exchange I had with one of my patients recently: Hi Paul, Wondering if you got the refill request for my meds from my mail-order pharmacy — their customer service is lousy, and I can’t tell if it’s been approved. I’d like to get this settled before […]


February 13th, 2016

“Choosing Wisely” in HIV Medicine — Sensible (But Safe) Suggestions

The American Board of Internal Medicine has a noble program called Choosing Wisely®, which is both trademarked (look, I even included the “®”), and pretty darn sensible — it has the goal of “advancing a national dialogue on avoiding wasteful or unnecessary medical tests, treatments and procedures.” If you clicked on the above link, you’ll be […]


February 7th, 2016

Twelve Zika Questions, One ID Doctor’s Answers (Sort Of)

Got a Zika question? Welcome to the club — once again, as with any “new” or “emerging” infection, this is uncharted territory, and there are plenty of answers to these questions that could be summarized with 3 words: We Don’t Know. But never mind that — ever-intrepid ID doctors are most assuredly called upon as experts, even […]


HIV Information: Author Paul Sax, M.D.

Paul E. Sax, MD

Contributing Editor

NEJM Journal Watch
Infectious Diseases

Biography | Disclosures | Summaries

Learn more about HIV and ID Observations.