Canadian Premier Coming to U.S. for Heart Surgery, Hospitals Finally Competing for Patients, and a Tummy Tuck May Be Safer than Staying Obese

Best headline of 2010: Canadian Premier going to the U.S. for heart surgery.

Quality matters: A hospital specialty that improves its within-state rank by one spot experiences a 6.8% increase in patient volume. Hat tip to Jason Shafrin.

Comparative effectiveness isn’t gone: It’s in Obama’s new budget.

Geisinger doc: Tummy tuck may be safer than living with obesity.

Comments (9)

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  1. Devon Herrick says:

    The Canadian Premier is wise to seek care in the United States. More patients should compare quality ratings and traveling to a facility were the quality beats the national average. In 2004, a study from California found cardiac surgery mortality rates in the state varied from 0% to nearly 13%. The average rate nationwide is 2.9%. The best facilities have mortality rates after cardiac surgery of between 0.05% to 1%.

  2. John R. Graham says:

    With respect to Mr. Williams, I think this story will have a long life. One major question, yet unanswered, is: “who is paying for this surgery?” If it’s Mr. Williams himself, he has a real political problem, because he’s violated the so-called “social solidarity” of government monopoly over people’s access to medical services.

    If the Newfoundland health plan is paying for it, it’s even worse. People will want to know if every Newfoundlander has the same claim to go the U.S. on the taxpayers’ tab. Periodically, provincial health plans have to contract with U.S. providers because waiting lists just get too long at home. Also, when Canadians go to the U.S. and pay out-of-pocket for specialized care, there have been cases where they made claims, and even lawsuits, against their provincial health plans to reimburse them.

    I hope that the Canadian media will keep kicking at this issue.

  3. Bruce says:

    That headline is wonderful! A classic. There is nothing to add to it. As somebody prbably said (or should have said) a headline is worth a thousand words.

  4. Tyler B says:

    I heard that he is paying for the surgery himself. He is wealthy and donates his Premier salary to charity every year. Good guy that made a good choice to come to the US for good health care.

  5. Brad S says:

    As a Newfoundlander under the leadership of Premier Williams, I am here to correct any incorrect ideas about this news story. The cardiac operation that Premier Williams needs is not available in St.John’s, because it is a smaller city, and his Cardiologist here referred him to a top cardiac surgeon in the States, a very common procedure for this province. As a smaller province of Canada, we are normally the last province to receive the newest operations, in relation to all medical problems. We are the most unrecognized, and most taken advantage of by our Federal Government. Premier Williams is in the United States out of necessity, not by choice. Our Health Care System is not perfect, but none is, however, it’s free! I recently had a visit to the hospital and I was told that if I had the same treatment in the US, I would have paid $1500-$2000 out of pocket, I paid nothing. Our system is widely misunderstood by the American public, as our country is, and it is a true shame.. Thank You

  6. Donna O. says:

    I have a question for Brad S. or any other knowledgeable Canadian. As a member of the American public trying to have a better understanding of the Canadian health care system, if you were the one needing the surgery recommended for Premier Williams would you have been referred to the same top cardiac surgeon and would the surgery have been paid for by your health care system?

  7. Gary Astorino says:

    Question for Brad S. When you say its free is that because you pay it out of a tax rate that is way higher then America. Nothing is ever free someone has to pay at some point if not employee then its the employer. Government DOES NOT create wealth they take wealth and redistribute so when you say free you mean either you paid it out of your check so you can’t spend how you want or your employer had to pay additional taxes so then you can’t get raises or he has to raise his prices to compensate. People never understand this concept of government its always free money. Just like when you get a refund on your taxes its only a small return of a larger amount you already paid in not free money. People who pay nothing always complain that wealthy are getting refunds of money they paid in and they are not.

  8. Ken says:

    Maybe this will silence for awhile all the leftie writers who think that Canadians get care regardless of ability to pay.

  9. Leo Voisey says:

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