Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
- “What Sweden Can Tell Us About Obamacare,” New York Times: The success of Sweden’s government-run health care system disputes the theory advanced by several ACA critics that greater government involvement in health care will be disastrous.
- “To Ease Shortage of Organs, Grow Them in a Lab?” AP/Sacramento Bee: Although labs will not able to construct solid organs — such as lungs or livers — in the near future, several are already producing simpler body parts such as blood vessels, windpipes and bladders.
- “You’re Already Paying for Some Undocumented Immigrants’ Health Care,” Washington Post‘s “Wonkblog”: Medicaid reimburses hospitals for emergency and maternity care for patients who would be eligible for Medicaid if they were not in the country illegally or have not legally been in the U.S. long enough to officially enroll in the program.
- “Bad Teeth, Broken Dreams: Lack of Dental Care Keeps Many Out of Jobs,” Daily Beast: Welfare recipients with severe dental problems who were offered and completed dental treatment were twice as likely to get off welfare or find a job than those who did not finish treatment, according to research.
- “Could Brain Scans Reveal the Right Treatment for Depression?” NPR’s “Shots”: A new study finds that PET scans might help determine whether a depressed patient would benefit more from antidepressants or behavioral therapy.
- “Shocking Public Health Ads That Probably Don’t Work,” American Prospect: Successful PSAs use fear but also provide a way to avoid or resolve that fear through action, such as how a drunk driving PSA in the 1980s introduced the idea of a designated driver.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that isolated human genes cannot be patented, but patents on genes that have been modified outside the body can be patented continue.
The case involves Myriad Genetics’ patents on two genes — known as BRCA1 and BRCA2 — associated with hereditary breast and ovarian cancers. The American Civil Liberties Union — on behalf of the Association of Molecular Pathology — alleged that Myriad’s patents have allowed Myriad to “dictate the cost of genetic testing, sto[p] other laboratories from creating and offering new and improved testing procedures, and made it impossible to obtain second opinions that could better inform patients of their cancer risk.”
- “Go Easy on the Soy Sauce, Bro, It Could Kill You,” NPR’s “Shots”: A salt dose ranging from 0.75 grams to 3 grams per kilogram of body weight is potentially lethal, such as in the case of a 19-year-old male who almost died after ingesting a quart of soy sauce — about 2 grams of salt for his weight — on a dare.
- “Chopped: How Amputated Fingertips Sometimes Grow Back,” NPR’s “Shots”: A new report details how the stem cells in nails help mice grow back amputated claws, and might also shed light onto why human fingertips — if cut off above the nail bed — tend to grow back.
- “What Happened to U.S. Mental Health Care After Deinstitutionalization?” Washington Post‘s “Wonkblog”: One health policy expert discusses the positive and negative effects of U.S. efforts to deinstitutionalize mental health care.
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- “Worried About Type 2 Diabetes? Walk After Every Meal,” USA Today: A new study shows that walking for 15 minutes after every meal is effective at regulating overall blood sugar in adults with pre-diabetes.
- “Childhood Cancer’s Health Woes Persist for Years,” Wall Street Journal: New research shows 95% of childhood cancer survivors suffered from a chronic health condition related either to their cancer or the treatment by age 45.
- “World’s Oldest Person Dies in Japan at Age 116,” AP/Boston Globe: Jiroemon Kimura, who had been recognized by Guinness World Records at age 115 as the oldest man ever, died Wednesday of natural causes.
On Monday, a panel of organ transplant experts — on behalf of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network — unanimously agreed against making immediate changes to a policy prohibiting children under age 12 from being placed on a waiting list for adult-donated lungs.
Instead, the panel opted to create a special appeal and review system for such cases. The panel also agreed that the policy should be amended so that transplant centers can request priority status for children under age 12 to be considered eligible for adult-donated lungs on a case-by-case basis. The special requests would be reviewed and authorized by the national Lung Review Board.
The amended policy will be effective until July 2014. Meanwhile, the committee commissioned a yearlong review of the current policy for allocating adult-donated lungs to children, with a goal of increasing children’s access to more transplants.
- “With Nurses at Risk of Compassion Fatigue, Hospitals Try To Ease Their Stress,” Washington Post: Several hospitals are launching programs aimed at helping nurses avoid emotional burnout, such as meditation classes and journal writing sessions.
- “The Doctor Will See You Now. Or the Nurse. Or the Physician Assistant,” Washington Post‘s “Wonkblog”: A survey of over 2,000 patients suggests patients would prefer to see another qualified medical provider, if a physician is not immediately available.
- “Is Caffeine Withdrawal Really a Mental Illness?” Boston Globe‘s “Daily Dose”: One expert compares caffeine to alcohol, noting that both are legal substances that can be misused and create a clinically significant withdrawal syndrome.
- “New Sunscreen Labels Designed To Shed Light on Products,” Los Angeles Times: FDA’s new guidelines on sunscreen labels will divide sunscreens into those that prevent just sunburn and those that also prevent skin cancer and early aging, among other changes.
- “National Parks To Offer Healthier Food Under New Standards,” Washington Post: The National Park Service last week introduced new food standards that will require all national parks to offer healthier menu options, including fruits, vegetables, reduced portion sizes and non-sugary drinks.
- “Disney Cracking Down on Disabled Tour Guides,” U-T San Diego: Disney has threatened to revoke guest-assistant cards and deny park entry to disabled guests who sell their right to go to the front of the line for rides.
- “One Photographer’s Experience Documenting Mentally Ill Inmates,” PBS’ “Art Beat”: Jenn Ackerman showcases what becomes of individuals with mental illnesses who have committed violent crimes.
- “The Culprit Behind High U.S. Health Care Prices,” New York Times‘ “Economix”: Uwe Reinhardt explains how American employers are to blame for the U.S. having health care prices above health systems around the globe.
- “How Nature Builds a Pandemic Flu Virus,” NPR’s “Shots”: Researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases examined previous flu pandemics to learn how a virus spreads from birds to human beings.
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BACK AND FORTH: Should Calif. Penalize Large Businesses for Attempting To Avoid the Employer Mandate?
Two California Assembly committees have approved a bill (AB 880) that would penalize large employers who reduce workers’ hours in an effort to move low-income employees off company-sponsored health care and into Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program.
The legislation is an attempt to close a “loophole” in the Affordable Care Act in which businesses with 500 or more workers could avoid providing health care benefits for their employees by ensuring workers do not exceed 30 hours per week.