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Robots, Weight Loss Surgery, and a Twisted Tale Out of Baltimore

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, February 21, 2013

This may mean that accountable care organizations may have some rethinking to do if they are to get the quality and shared savings they expect.

The next surprise of the week was not a conclusion from research, but a criminal horror story from venerable Johns Hopkins, where an obstetrician gynecologist, who had practiced there since 1988, was accused in early February of secretly taking pictures of his patients with a camera inside a pen. He was found dead days later.

Now, an estimated 100 women who were treated by physician Nikita A. Levy are coming forward, seeking lawyers and lawsuits, after Baltimore police told reporters for The Baltimore Sun that they uncovered an "extraordinary" amount of evidence at Levy's Towson home.

Of course, healthcare writers who've been around as long as I have develop a cynicism that keeps surprise at bay. We've seen it all before, and often, even at some of our most prestigious medical institutions.

But I was indeed surprised by the Levy story. And I guess I'm glad that I still can be.


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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1 comments on "Robots, Weight Loss Surgery, and a Twisted Tale Out of Baltimore"


WS (2/27/2013 at 12:31 PM)
Over-treatment and unnecessary treatment are making us sicker and poorer. The medical surgical industrial complex is too driven by the "almighty dollar." We need to return to conservative treatments and stop messing with "mother nature." This will likely require a complete overhaul of the "fee for service" payment structure. Take women's health, for example. The two most overused surgeries are c-section and hysterectomy. As part of the Choosing Wisely Campaign to reduce unnecessary tests and procedures, ACOG included c-section on their list. Why is hysterectomy not on this list? This is especially suspect since a study concluded that 76% of hysterectomies don't meet ACOG's criteria for the surgery. And healthy ovaries are removed in about 73% of hysterectomies so oophorectomy is another surgery that's WAY overused. Women's organs are being removed at alarming rates - 600,000+ hysterectomies every year with 1 in 2 women having one by age 72. Just as a man's SEX organs are needed for optimal health his entire life, so are a woman's.