4 disability insurance details physicians often overlook

Compared with other professionals, physicians generally have a strong understanding of the critical importance that disability insurance plays in their overall plans for financial well-being and security.

But research from AMA Insurance Agency finds there are some disability insurance details—ones that can make a big impact on covering your bottom line should the need arise—that lots of doctors may overlook. Mike Hegwood is director of brokerage marketing at AMA Insurance Agency Inc., which is licensed as an insurance producer in all 50 states. He took time to review with this writer four of those fine points, and why they matter.

My latest for the AMA. The whole shebang.

90% who need substance-use disorder treatment don’t get it

The AMA, the American Society of Addiction Medicine and others are taking part in National Addiction Treatment Week to promote the reality that substance-use disorder is a chronic medical disease for which there are evidence-based treatments to support recovery.

The AMA has detailed the road ahead in “Confronting the Opioids Epidemic in Our Communities,” an advertisement that is being published in news outlets across the country.

My latest for the AMA. The whole shebang.

Born yesterday

My dad was born yesterday, 70 years ago. A lifelong die-hard Cubs fan who reared me to be the same, he taught me to keep score and to watch out for the hit and run.

When the Cubs went up 3-1 against the Marlins back in ’03, he shelled out for Champagne. Game six came the day after he turned 54.

Finally — after the College of Coaches, Brock-for-Broglio, 1969, 1984, letting Maddux get away — the National League pennant was close at hand. Then we endured those soul-crushers together and kept the bubbly corked.

I waited a couple of years before drinking the Champagne to celebrate with my then-wife Karen the first pennant win for her hometown Houston Astros. Pa was not happy about that one.

“Dad,” I said, trying to explain, “we can’t wait around for the Cubs. Even Champagne goes bad eventually.”

So how could I ever forget where Pa was on that overdue November night when Anthony Rizzo squeezed Kris Bryant’s toss for the final out?

Well, he sat alone in his bedroom, tucked neatly inside of a plastic bag, nestled in an urn with a lovely Oriental pattern that his wife had picked out. In another room, she watched a soap opera on TV.

Die-hard Cubs fan, indeed, for more than 24,000 days. He died, hard — small cell carcinoma of the prostate — 190 days short of tasting the ultimate victory and embracing his only child.

Why the AMA’s standing up for LGBTQ rights in the Supreme Court

Oral arguments were held today in the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The case involves a funeral-home director who was fired after informing the owner that they planned to begin a gender transition. The legal question at issue is whether the 1964 Civil Rights Act’s Title VII protections apply to sexual orientation and gender identity.

Earlier this year, the AMA filed an amicus brief in the case arguing that they do and should, and AMA President Patrice A. Harris, MD, MA, today published an op-ed in The Advocate urging the Supreme Court justices to “do the right thing” in the case.

My latest for the AMA. The whole shebang.

How to improve screening for social determinants of health

A recently published survey finds that about one in four hospitals and one in six physician practices screen their patients for social conditions that affect health, such as food access, housing stability, utility and transportation needs, and interpersonal violence.

Results of the cross-sectional survey of 2,300-plus physician practices and nearly 800 hospitals were published in JAMA Network Open, and they highlight barriers to discovering the factors outside the exam room or hospital wall that can affect health or interfere with patients’ engagement in their clinical care.

My latest at the AMA. The whole shebang.