White Collar Unions for Healthcare Providers

June 9, 2013

I attended the tri-annual Office and Professional Employees International Union – OPEIU – conference in San Diego last week. The event is as much a gathering of the tribes as it is a working convention of the 50-plus OPEIU member unions and guilds. I took pages and pages of notes as I sat through presentations […]


Affordable Care Act: Handicapping the Players

March 20, 2013

California is set to be the flagship for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Our state has the largest contingent of about-to-be newly insured. Our state has gone all-in with regards to enrollment, technology, and spending. We are among the first states to establish our own Health Benefits Exchange. While red states with […]


Knox-Keene license is the entry ticket to the Affordable Care Act

March 13, 2013

The Knox-Keene license is about to become more important than ever before. The holder of a Knox-Keene license has the right to create and offer health plans in the California healthcare marketplace. That market is about to undergo the greatest change in 50 years. The Medicare Act that was created in 1965 changed everything about […]


The Ark and the Mothership

April 19, 2011

I have been waiting for months to write this post. I wanted to attend the April 8-10 CANference in Portland and learn what the most innovative organization in the acupuncture world has been planning before writing anything more about changes taking place in the acupuncture profession. I found out the CAN folks are building an […]


Time for Change in For-Profit Education

July 24, 2010

The most overused political phrase – “it’s time for a change” – may be finally growing some teeth when it comes to private for-profit education. The Federal Department of Education has taken a hard line position with regards to reigning in private for-profit schools, such as ITT and the University of Phoenix, that have profited […]


The BLUEPRINT for health care reform is in the May 2010 issue of Health Affairs

June 19, 2010

Health Affairs journal is the premiere journal for healthcare policy. If it appears in Health Affairs then it is generally a done deal. The May 2010 issue of Health Affairs is devoted to the reinvention of primary care. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 has triggered all sorts of projects that have […]


Has CAN figured out how to place acupuncture in the mainstream?

May 18, 2010

The Community Acupuncture Network: Grass Roots Needling Therapy The marriage of working class politics and acupuncture might on the face of it seem an unlikely match. After all, working class politics and grass roots organization conjures images of class struggle, marching in the streets and fighting for one or another form of liberation. Images of […]


Venice Family Clinic receives award for innovative Chronic Pain Clinic

October 9, 2008

Venice Family Clinic (VFC) is a long-standing community clinic with two locations in the Santa Monica and Venice neighborhoods of Los Angeles, California. Many people are surprised to learn that VFC serves a diverse and poor population of Westside adults, women and children. After all, the Westside is far better known for movie people and […]


PAs and LAcs: is there a model here?

August 20, 2008
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At the risk of reinforcing the “us” versus “them” stereotype (i.e., Eastern versus Western medicine) I describe my recent interaction with two primary care physicians who support acupuncture in principle and action. Despite this, they were flummoxed with a proposal I made to them that LAcs (Licensed Acupuncturists) should work as primary care providers (PCPs) […]


Collecting survey data online has benefits

September 6, 2007

I received an email request last week from my health insurer to complete an online survey. Providers and insurers are required to collect and report “quality” information. The process can be costly (in person hours and/or $$) if sound survey principles are employed. Insurers have deeper pockets than provider groups so outcomes for insurers often […]