IN THIS ISSUE

Tony Schueth
Electronic prescribing needs standardization before it's adopted by the masses. Start with the format of formulary databases.
Frank Diamond
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana has hired a third-party patient advocacy company to look into disputes. Looks good for patient satisfaction.
Jaan Sidorov, MD
You'll spend 12 hours traveling and upward of $2,000 in tuition charges, room and board, then work twice as hard for a week when you get back.
MargaretAnn Cross
The HRA is not a new tool, but it is getting new respect. Often prodded by employers, health plans are increasingly identifying at-risk populations.
Viewpoint
Arthur Lazarus, MD, MBA
Much more research is needed to determine the full effect of drug benefit designs, says the author, an official at AstraZeneca. Quality must be the foremost concern.
Legislation & Regulation
John Carroll
CMS has implemented 10 pilot programs that may very well be viewed as a make-or-break test for disease management.
Ethics
Michael S. Victoroff, MD
Boutique medicine is dysfunctional, but probably not unethical — so long as the lucky patients understand that they're not necessarily paying for better care.
Tomorrow's Medicine
Thomas Morrow, MD
Traditional therapies predominate in wound care, but for those patients with chronic conditions, engineered skin may be a welcome relief from pain and infection.
News and Commentary