Mar 09 2013

AARP Healthcare “Advice” A Sham

Professional Healthcare Practitioners and Small business Owners BEWARE!

Just What Americans Need:


Less Healthcare. More Politics.


Shame on you, AARP, and tsk-tsk to Marsha Mercer, “freelance journalist who lives in the Washington, DC area.” Neither of you appear to offer much in the way of common sense, or even the hint of a realistic viewpoint, when it comes to your manipulative and politically-charged-below-the-surface feature story that appears in the AARP March Bulletin.

Your front page hype,”Fixing The Doctor Shortage – Big Changes For Patients” (and guts of the story) deceptively suggests that the evolving physician shortage is one that’s the product of an aging doctor marketplace and by private insurers undercutting Medicare reimbursement rates. Simply not true.

Relentlessly increasing

government control is the culprit.


MEMO TO AARP: Put the premise that your article spotlights in the drawer, and start making phone calls. Ask a few hundred doctors. I have. They will tell you in so many words that relentlessly increasing government control is the culprit.

The article’s lead source, Dr. Steven Berk, is certainly a distinguished one, yet the context of his quote appears to have been quietly tucked away. Surely, Dr. Berk had more to say about the subject than thirty-six words? Could it be that the rest of his comments failed to support the sensationalist undercurrent of your story?

And how about adding the link for 2012 Physicians Foundation survey that you cited so people can check it out for themselves? Check it out hereCertainly the survey IS worth noting. Skewed, though it may be to represent the best interests of its sponsoring organizations, it seems credible enough.

So what is worth noting you ask? How about the glossed-over fact that all the alarming findings referred to have taken place since (and are compared only with) the survey of 2008? Does that strike you as worth noting?

Hmmmm! And what else happened in 2008? An increase-government-control advocate was elected president. So, are we to conclude that most of the problem we face today regarding doctor shortages and the systematic transitions in healthcare that have forced the issue are attributable to physician aging and private insurers, as the article purports? Not likely.

To Find Doctors we should be looking — instead of to state medical associations — to family, friends, neighbors, other doctors, and other healthcare professionals. After all, isn’t it TRUST we seek? Surely, it’s not more government in our lives, or politically-motivated state medical associations trying to justify their membership fees.

Let’s remember that –far and away– the single greatest reason that the vast majority of Americans seek any (even including ER) medical care is to get reassurance. Reality, even for seniors, isn’t a TV hospital show. It’s seeking reassurance.

Oh, and please: FORGET about .gov websites. They are not invested in helping you. They are invested in controlling you! Go instead to private practice websites. Go to The American Academy of Family Physicians and other non-governmental professional physician credentialing organizations. And stop believing what you read in AARP propaganda.

Unless you prefer some politician to give you a diagnostic workup, prognosis, and treatment program?

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Hal Alpiar has served doctors and practice managers as a personal and professional practice development consultant nationwide in virtually every area of specialization for thirty years. He’s a former business professor and Amazon 5-star-rated author of DOCTOR BUSINESS…How to boost practice growth and build long-term relationships now (PMIC) for doctors. Hal won a national book award for his healthcare consumer work, DOCTOR SHOPPING…How to choose the right doctor for you and your family (Health Information Press). He was co-founding executive director of The Pennsylvania Heart Institute, and of Bio-Motion of America (motion analysis programs for physical therapy). Hal is also the past founder/CEO/President of e-Healthcare Ventures (NYC-based online healthcare services conglomerate) and co-founder of the NJ hospital program, Backpackers Spine Health & Strength Training. He is formerly a five-year member of the Public Affairs Committee of NCQHC (National Committee for Quality Healthcare), now Quality Forum, Washington, DC.

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Nov 29 2009

Compulsiveness Spells Business Failure

No Room In The Inn for




     Yes, you are the boss. And yes, you are expected to wear many hats.  Aside from critically important financial and operations management, your two most important hats are people-related: Customer Sales and Service, and Human Resource Management.

     In other words, on top of everything else, you need to be a shrink!  Not a treating MD-Psychiatrist, but a savvy leader who stays tuned in to your staff and each person’s needs and progress. You also need to be as Thoreau once advised: forever on the alert.

     If you observe any OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) behavior happening,  nip it in the bud before it brings your business to its knees. All of us it seems have some degree of obsessiveness and compulsiveness, but OCD is when it goes over the top. And even then, it’s legitimate, and it’s usually a treatable problem.

     What to do:  Don’t jump to conclusions. Be empathetic and understanding in approaching a suspected OCD person. Lawyers might advise including a third person in the exchange. Arrange for professional help. Check the following symptoms and consider shifting job responsibilities to a less-sensitive area pending physician feedback.   

What are some common obsessions?

  • Fear of dirt or germs
  • Disgust with bodily waste or fluids
  • Concern with order, symmetry (balance) and exactness
  • Worry that a task has been done poorly, even when the person knows this is not true
  • Fear of thinking evil or sinful thoughts
  • Thinking about certain sounds, images, words or numbers all the time
  • Need for constant reassurance
  • Fear of harming a family member or friend

What are some common compulsions?

  • Cleaning and grooming, such as washing hands, showering or brushing teeth over and over again
  • Checking drawers, door locks and appliances to be sure they are shut, locked or turned off
  • Repeating, such as going in and out of a door, sitting down and getting up from a chair, or touching certain objects several times
  • Ordering and arranging items in certain ways
  • Counting over and over to a certain number
  • Saving newspapers, mail or containers when they are no longer needed
  • Seeking constant reassurance and approval

     How common is OCD?  Some recent studies show that as many as 3 million Americans ages 18 to 54 may have OCD at any given time. It affects men and women equally.

     What causes OCD?  There’s no single, proven cause. Some research shows that it may have to do with brain chemicals that carry messages from one nerve cell to another. One of these chemicals, serotonin, helps keep people from repeating the same behaviors over and over again. Someone with OCD may not have enough serotonin. Many people with OCD can function better when they take medicines that increase the amount of serotonin in their brain.

     Are other illnesses associated with OCD?  People who have OCD often have other kinds of anxiety, like phobias (such as fear of spiders or fear of flying) or panic attacks. They may also have depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), an eating disorder, or a learning disorder such as dyslexia. Having one or more of these disorders can make diagnosis and treatment more difficult, so it’s important to talk to a medical doctor about any symptoms present.

Source:  and

The American Academy of Family Physicians

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