Doctors in Wisconsin protests facing punishment over fake notes (Morning Read)

Wisconson protests fake doctors notesCurrent medical news and unique business news for anyone who cares about the healthcare industry.

Wisconsin doctors under scrutiny for fake notes. Blowback came quickly to the Wisconsin doctors who wrote fake doctors notes to support the recent Wisconsin protests. The University of Wisconsin Health System is looking into the physicians and a Wisconsin state senator has also promised to investigate the physicians.

The videos of physicians offering doctors notes to support Wisconsin protesters has helped make the tactic a sideshow drawing attention from the core issues in the dispute, which centers on collective bargaining and the pay and benefits of public employees. But Ford Vox points out the impact these doctors have had on the medical profession: they’ve managed to belittle a public trust between physicians, employers and patients.


I expect forthcoming complaints will center around this idea of fraudulent representation (and come from folks with obvious political agendas). Theoretically a school board official could make a complaint that their organization was financially harmed (many schools had to close due to the number of teachers at the protests, and some may have received pay on sick days). I’ll wager any complaining school board official will be a registered Republican.

Personally I think suspension or revocation of medical licenses would be quite a disproportionate response to the actual harm involved in this high-profile infraction of professional ethics.

The lasting damage is medicine’s tarnished public image, and it is in that context that the Wisconsin Medical Society should craft a swift response.

Decline in health spending permanent? The decline in medical expenses triggered by the economy is turning into a “more permanent shift in consumer behavior” that will “continue to constrain health-care demand.”

Predictions from HIMSS. The Health IT mega-conference HIMSS is supposed to be futuristic. That’s why the conference’s CEO is already declaring the laptop an ancient artifact in healthcare.

“The laptop is almost becoming a bit outdated as we move to smartphones and tablets,” Lieber said last week in a wide-ranging interview ahead of the organization’s annual conference, now underway in Orlando, Fla. Mobile is the next evolution in information technology, and we’re right on the cusp of the mobile era.

“It’s where we’re headed. It’s the future,” Lieber said. “The ability to deliver care from somewhere else [while] the patient is in still a different place, that very much is where we are headed.”

Lieber did acknowledge that some people are already there. “It’s certainly current for many. It’s the future for all,” he said.

Another good source for HIMSS news: Modern Healthcare’s HIMSS section.

Medical residents embracing the iPad. Via Casesblog.