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Deane Waldman
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When I decided at age nine to become a doctor, I had no idea who would be my sickest patient. Over the next 45 years I did everything required to become a good pediatric cardiologist. I earned degrees from Yale and Chicago Med. I trained at institutions such as Mayo clinic, Northwestern and Harvard. I practiced in several states and became Chief of my Division. Over the last ten years, after acquiring an MBA at Anderson Schools in New Mexico, I refocused from caring for many small, fragile patients to one big terminal patient: Healthcare. At nine years of age, I never could have known who my most critical “patient” would be.

From having experienced every aspect and phase of healthcare, my perspective is unusually broad. I have practiced in both private and academic settings. As a Chief of Pediatric Cardiology and serving on national committees, I have observed the administrative machinery up close and personal. My research activities include over $3 million in grant support and well over 100 published papers, chapters, and monographs. Not only have I been a doctor, researcher and administrator, I have also been a patient. On one particularly memorable occasion, an adverse effect from a procedure to fix a broken bone from bicycle racing landed me in an out-of-state hospital for 10 days worried that I wouldn’t have the use of my hand if I didn’t start responding to antibiotics and later, my insurance refused to pay the bills.

The combination of life and professional experiences with my knowledge of management and strategy makes me particularly qualified to help us understand why healthcare is sick and what we can do to begin healing. Medical Malprocess is my blog aimed at starting a national conversation that will lead to a process to cure healthcare.

Entries by Deane Waldman

So Right and So Wrong on Health Care

(1) Comments | Posted February 2, 2014 | 3:31 PM

I cannot remember the last time I read an article here on HuffPo (1/22/14) with so many correct statements of fact leading to so many erroneous conclusions or implications as Ben Veghte's recent piece.

Health economist Veghte offers a graph that is worrisome for all Americans, but immediately...

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Why Americans Won't Sign up for Obamacare

(3) Comments | Posted December 21, 2013 | 10:45 AM

Underlying all the talk about healthcare.gov is the presumption that its technical failures explain why people are not signing up for Obama's health insurance. The inference is, "If the website just worked right, millions would be clamoring for what Washington is selling." Not true. Not even close.

Maybe the real...

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Sebelius Lives in Alternate Universe

(2) Comments | Posted October 10, 2013 | 12:29 PM

Our U.S. Secretary of Health, Kathleen Sebelius, apparently does not live in the world that you and I inhabit. In her world, healthcare.gov - the federal platform for enrolling Americans in Obamacare insurance - is "simple and user-friendly."

She apparently lives in a universe where

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'That's Not What I Ordered!'

(2) Comments | Posted August 18, 2013 | 3:23 PM

You go to a fine restaurant and order a prime steak, or for us heart-healthy cardiologists, a grilled plank salmon. The server brings you a two-day-old charred hamburger on a moldy bun. You look at the plate and say, "That's not what I ordered." The tone of your voice and...

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Ignoring Patient Health Care

(0) Comments | Posted August 5, 2013 | 5:18 PM

As a physician trying to treat sick health care, I follow this critically ill patient closely. What do I see?

I see the "treating doctors" arguing about what the numbers mean on the patient monitor screen. They are fighting over which service should be listed as primary on the...

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Who Should We Believe?

(0) Comments | Posted April 24, 2013 | 3:15 PM

The single greatest strength of the Internet is its freedom: from censorship, expurgation, or adjustment. The single greatest weakness of the Internet is that very strength: anyone can put out anything no matter how wrong or biased.

For users of the Internet like me, who seek news and...

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Health Care's Raison d'Etre

(0) Comments | Posted April 3, 2012 | 4:00 PM

Whether you are fixated on newspapers, addicted to radio, or mesmerized by TV, you get the same clear, unambiguous message: what we want healthcare to do is to cut costs.

• "Medicare Demos [Demonstration Projects] Fall Short On Savings"
• "Cutting Costs Doesn't Cut Costs"
• "To Reduce...

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Healthcare Infected With Tapeworms: ACA, ACO, EHB and IPAB

(5) Comments | Posted March 21, 2012 | 10:49 AM

As the Supreme Court takes up the case of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), it is appropriate for me as a doctor to tell them that patient, Healthcare, has a life-threatening parasitic infestation with tapeworms. These are those ugly, evil-looking worms with teeth as in science fiction classic Dune, just...

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What If Football 'Competed' Like Healthcare?

(1) Comments | Posted March 6, 2012 | 10:43 AM

A recent online article claimed, "Competition hasn't worked in health care." With respect, the author is completely off base. Real, effective competition has never been tried in health care.

Suppose that American football competed the way that American health care "competes." What would it look like? What...

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Who's Cost-Shifting Now?

(0) Comments | Posted September 7, 2011 | 5:10 PM

Everyone agrees that healthcare spending is out of control and the cost spiral is unsustainable. The cure for this sickness seems, however, elusive.

Recently online, the ten reasons for U.S. healthcare spending were delineated. Some may seem too vague or theoretical -- like "action without evidence" --...

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Healthcare "Reform" is Greek Tragedy

(0) Comments | Posted December 3, 2009 | 9:05 AM

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There is great pressure to pass a healthcare Bill, even one as flawed as HR 3962. The new Administration has expended great political capital to do so. The public was promised healthcare reform and expects it. Everyone 'knows' how sick healthcare is in the...

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What if healthy food were cheaper?

(2) Comments | Posted October 16, 2009 | 12:27 PM

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Everyone knows that obesity is a major health problem in the USA. One estimate suggests that 30% of health care costs (actually the cost of sickness care) can be attributed to the consequences of obesity.

Obesity clearly reduces productivity. Thus from the national commercial...

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Will We Ever Hear the Message Instead of 'Shooting the Messenger?'

(1) Comments | Posted October 7, 2009 | 1:20 PM

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In ancient times, if the messenger brought the King bad news, the King might kill him. But at least the King always read the message first! Today, we don't bother. If the messenger has a foul appearance, that unfortunate is killed without even a...

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A politically incorrect and inconvenient truth you will never hear from a politician.

(8) Comments | Posted October 5, 2009 | 10:52 AM

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Neither the President nor any member of Congress will ever say it, not if they want to get re-elected. I hold no elected office and as a doctor I am obligated to tell the patient the bitter truth. Health care is not a...

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"MediCare for All" Becomes No Care at All

(20) Comments | Posted September 27, 2009 | 3:44 PM

People from Nancy Pelosi to daily bloggers are screaming "MediCare-for-All" as the answer to our health care crisis. Is MediCare the solution for us all? The answer is clear: no.

Unlike MediCaid, MediCare was never intended as an entitlement. MediCare was supposed to be self-sustaining: people would pay...

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Personal Responsibility: In Education? Yes! In Health Care? No!

(4) Comments | Posted September 12, 2009 | 12:47 PM

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Healthcare and education are so similar that we have labeled them "Twins in Trouble" in the journal Total Quality Management. Each is critically important to us as individuals and as a nation. In each, the outcomes occur years-to-decades in the future after actions we...

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Healthcare is an Unprincipled Non-System.

(3) Comments | Posted September 6, 2009 | 1:00 PM

Everyone knows (except Washington) that you cannot cure a sick anything -- patient or system - without a correct diagnosis. What is the diagnosis for sick, "broken" healthcare?

Washington apparently thinks that there is not enough money in the system because the Bill they are discussing will add $1...

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Rights With No Responsibilities?

(5) Comments | Posted September 3, 2009 | 11:41 AM

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Is there such a thing as a right without a responsibility? Our most fundamental rights to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" come - of necessity - with the responsibility not to abridge someone else's rights to life liberty, and the pursuit of...

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The Emperor Has No Clothes

(1) Comments | Posted September 1, 2009 | 10:48 AM

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I am just writing what everyone knows: the Emperor has no clothes. What is touted as health care reform isn't (going to reform health care.)

Start with basics. As enunciated by the President, health care expenditures are dragging us down. As individuals, the...

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What to Ask at a Town Hall on Health Care

(8) Comments | Posted August 28, 2009 | 12:58 PM

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Like you, I am concerned that the health care reform proposed will not fix health care. I tried to attend our local town hall meeting on health care but could not get in. I had prepared some questions in advance that I believe...

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