Friday, June 03, 2005

Another doctor blog

Via Gerard I found another doctor blog, The Doctor Is In. Don't let the name fool you. We don't go to the doctor because he is creative about naming a weblog. We go to the doctor because we trust his grasp of medical practice. That means he is big on facts. Really big. The more the better.
And like many high achievers, Dr. Bob knows a lot about a lot.

Dr. Bob is a physician in the Pacific Northwest, the fortunate husband of his wife of thirty years and father of three remarkable children. Blessed by the grace of God with the great priviledge of knowing His Son, and having experienced the limitless depths of His mercy, patience and forgiveness, he desires to serve Him and others well.

The most recent post is about concrete. More than you ever thought you could learn about building a bridge, and very well-written. Pictures, too.

I liked this piece from May 19.

Like tightly-written computer code, Darin’s nimble mind set the parameters, checked the variables, and executed commands in a tight loop whose efficiency and speed wasted no cycles. The Day of Vengeance arrived, with only one small ingredient missing: courage. But Darin had that algorithm factored as well: a fifth of Vodka erased all fears, drowning all doubts. By stealth of night, with watches synchronized and bottle drained, the window glass parted to usher him to glory. The mission was underway.

No one knows whether anyone heard the shattering of glass, but despite his stealth the disruption somehow caught the notice of neighbors. When the police arrived, the cause of the disturbance became evident: there was Darin, passed out on the floor, beside the untouched computer he coveted. Fate had struck a cruel blow–his celebratory blackout had arrived on the wings of Mercury rather than with the spoils of Mars. He awakened to handcuffs and an open-ended reservation at the Gray Bar Hotel.

As they used to say on Dragnet, "The names have been changed to protect the innocent." But you know the story is from real life. Well-done, too.

Reading further...

Dr. Bob has an interesting proposal addressing the crying need for health care for uninsured people. It sure beats the let-em-get-off-their-butts-and-go-to-work attitude that most comfortable Americans seem to have about the working poor.

Provide tax credits to physicians for charity care. Fund health care for the poor directly out of tax receipts.

Tax credits are preferable to bad debt deductions because they are used to directly reduce taxes, rather than taxable income. A $1 tax credit reduces your tax by $1, whereas a $1 deduction decreases it by $0.35, if you are in the 35% tax bracket, for example. If you’re a physician or other health care provider, and want to reduce your taxes, see more poor patients.
So how do you measure how much charity care a physician provides? Again, this is rather simple. All medical services are now quantified by a number called the relative value unit, or RVU. This value forms the basis for virtually all federal and private insurance reimbursement: multiply a medical service RVU by a conversion factor, and you get the dollar amount you will be paid. Computer software currently used for insurance billing almost always tracks these values, which are publically released annually by the government. Multiply the total RVUs for all charity care provided by another conversion factor, and you have your tax credit. All the components are already in place for this to work.

1 comment:

ilona said...

That is one of own favorites, his writing is superb, don't you think?

I have tagged you with a book meme- hope you haven't done it already, and I am curious to see what your choices are.