Monday, November 26, 2018

Mergers May Increase Costs

There was an interesting article in the New York Times recently showing how many of the hospital mergers aren't reducing patient healthcare costs but are actually increasing them due to the reduced competition.  Is this surprising?  Not really.  Americans have been told over and over again how business will take care of us if we just get out of the way and let them reduce competition in the marketplace.  Time and again once the competition has been reduced (or even eliminated) the prices rise because there is nothing keeping them in check.

Here in Texas the average price increases 2010-13 were about 12% but in markets where there were major hospital mergers the prices jumped much more.  In Killeen they increased nearly 30%, in Midland they were up over 20%.

One issue we can all agree on resulting from the mid-term elections is that the cost of health care is going to become a major issue in the 2020 election.  Whether it's Democrats or Republicans, or by some miracle a coalition of both, the issue needs to be addressed and the sooner the better.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Terror In Indiana

The title isn't about some medical issue, it's the title of a true story about a feud that involved the family of an old college friend.
Brother Bob, as we've always called him, spent his career in radio but he's always been destined to be a writer.  The fact that he took his family's feud as his first book isn't a surprise but the amount of work and research he put into it is.  Everybody has heard of the Hatfield-McCoy feud but the Moody-Tolliver Feud was making headlines years before. 

I'm happy to recommend this fascinating book by a good friend!

Friday, August 24, 2018

Recharging Old Book

How does an author recharge an old (older than 5 years) book?  Like most folks when I'm looking for a book on a particular topic I search for the title with the most recent publication date.  However, that doesn't always mean I'm going to get the best book!

UnBreak Your Health is an easy-to-read and understand collection of all the therapies and treatments outside mainstream medicine today.  Some date back thousands of years, some are much newer.  While every therapy will work for someone, I doubt many will work for everyone.  That's the challenge of complementary and alternative treatments.  Even more difficult is the fact that patients/customers must take responsibility for their own health. 

The second edition is now 11 years old, it was published in 2010 in both hardcover and paperback.  I've done everything I can think of to promote it.  There are over 60 podcasts on the book's website and they're as true today as the day they were recorded.  I've been on nearly 70 radio or podcast health shows talking about it.  I've done Twitter and obviously this blog along with many other websites.  Sales have continued to slow down over time which is normal, but I'd like to reinvigorate my book because I know it can still help people find better health.

Any ideas or suggestions?

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

High-Dollar Health Care

There was a great article in the New York Times recently about how despite spending more on health care, the U.S. lags behind other nations' outcomes.  Yes, there was a time when America had the best health care in the world and at a reasonable price, but that all started to change in the 1980's.  Basically other nations had tools to hold down spending but we didn't. 

It's an interesting review of what's happened and hopefully what might happen in the future.
High-Dollar Health Care

Friday, April 13, 2018

Free Book

Susan's Search is a novella about one woman's search for the answers to her health issues and her family's search for her.  From May 1st through May 5th it's going to be available as a FREE download on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Susans-Search-Alan-Smith-ebook/dp/B015TEZHZ4/ref=sr_1_12?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1523636398&sr=1-12&keywords=Susan%27s+Search .

Enjoy!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Harry Potter and English History

I saw a fascinating TV show last night about a new exhibit at the British Museum on J. K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series of books.  The exhibit connects her work with the history of magic around the world.

What I found particularly educational was the part about Nicholas Culpeper, was an English botanist, herbalist, physician, and astrologer. His published books include the Complete Herbal (1653), which contains a rich store of pharmaceutical and herbal knowledge.  It seems the "doctors" who graduated from the Royal Academy of Medicine weren't too happy about his book since they had been the sole source of medical knowledge.  Prior to the book's publication they tried to label him a witch, without much success.  Since their charges for service almost amounted to extortion they didn't want knowledge out in the marketplace where people could find their own medicines.  But once it was published, the cat was out of the bag.

Seems like doctors really haven't changed in hundreds of years, have they?  They want to control all medical knowledge and charge exorbitant amounts of money.  Fortunately CAM practitioners work hard to keep knowledge available to all.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Time Will Tell

Mainstream medicine laughs at complementary and alternative medicine saying that it's not scientific.  They act as if they know everything and have all the answers.  They don't.  Recently a new study announced that there was a new organ in the human body called Interstitium, one of the body's largest organs.  It may explain how cancer spreads so quickly.

Just last year an Irish surgeon discovered another new organ called the Mesentery which connects the intestine to the abdomen.

If mainstream medicine knows so much how come they're still learning about the human body?  Why don't they already know about all of these organs?  Or are they afraid to admit all of their "science" doesn't know as much as they think it does?

Complementary and alternative therapies that have been beneficial for hundreds, even thousands, of years clearly have something to offer.  Maybe one of these days mainstream medicine's science will begin to understand and appreciate CAM.