The L.A. Times reports on the financial difficulties of primary care docs in solo practices. Are large group practices the way of the future?
MartketWatch reports on how interactive video games are motivating people to get active.
The NY Times reports that large health care organizations, including health plans and physician organizations, are getting involved in the "household conversations" Obama’s health team is urging people hold around the country.
The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a blow to the tobacco industry when it ruled this week that its advertising of "light" cigarettes was misleading and people suffering smoking-related health conditions may sue on grounds of fraud, the NY Times reports.
Here’s a quick case for Web-based electronic medical records system over at Software Advice.com
Over at the Health Affairs blog, Jeff Goldsmith discusses Tom Daschle’s health care reform strategy.
MedHelp the leading online health community connecting people to medical experts, information and shared experiences, and ReliefInsite, the expert in online pain management services, announced a partnership to provide a free pain personal Pain Tracker tool to MedHelp members.
The consumer genetics company Navigenics has partnered
with Scripps, Microsoft and Affymetrix in a landmark clinical study to
assess the behavioral impact of personal genetic testing on people
who choose to receive such screenings to identify their potential risk
for developing certain diseases.
Nonprofit hospitals feel the inner-city for affluent suburbs. No margin no mission, but what happens when the mission disappears? No tax breaks?
The credit crunch is squeezing hospitals, and forcing them to delay building improvements, the NY Times reports.
The BBC reports that researchers have identified the 9,000-year-old remains of a mother and her baby discovered off
the coast of Israel as the earliest concrete evidence of human TB,.
The WSJ Health Blog reports that nearly 1 in 6 online health insurance shoppers are ‘uninsurable.’
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s reader blog has a great entry by a college-educated working individual who wonders how people making twice the minimum wage can afford health benefits for the entire family — even if the employer foots part of the bill.
Politico assesses the brain power behind McCain and Obama’s health plans.
Senators discussed this week draft legislation that would encourage more disclosure of health care costs to workers. "As long as people are insulated from the cost and just think someone
else is paying for it, then it’s easy to overlook expenses," Sen. Grassley
said. "But once they realize they themselves are paying for it, it
should spark a genuine conversation about what to do."
Health Partners published on its Website the prices for 83 procedures at its network primary care and radiology facilities in Minnesota’s seven-county metro area.
A British woman is fighting in the courts to use the sperm of her husband who died unexpectedly in the hospital last year following a routine operation. The law currently says sperm can only be used with consent for the donor. (They have laws for this stuff? Wow.)
Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel is seeking comments
on six draft interoperability specifications designed to support the
electronic exchange of health information, Health Data Management reports.
Academic medicine representatives told the Medicare Payment Advisory
Commission that medical education training needs to move into the 21st
century by focusing on IT adoption, and other clinical outcomes and quality measures, Modern Healthcare reports.
California fails to reprimand and revoke licenses of registered nurses with criminal pasts, including multiple felony convictions, ProPublica reports.
A McCain aide has said the presidential candidate would be for his health plan by cutting back the Medicare and Medicaid programs, the Wall Street Journal reports.
A computer and one expert are as effective at spotting breast cancer as the two experts who usually used to read mammograms in the UK, according to a New England Journal of Medicine study. The BBC reports that these results may help the NHS expand mammagraphy to more women without placing greater demand on the existing workforce.
Wal-Mart is the first of eight Dossia members to offer its employees a personal health record.
California will become the first state to require restaurants to post calorie information on menus. Will consumers think twice before ordering that 2,000-calorie fettuccine alfredo?
A judge ordered Medtronic and Boston Scientific to pay Johnson & Johnson $1.2 billion in a lawsuit over patent infringement on a stent. It’s quite the time to have to deal with the 10-year-old lawsuit.
Esther Dyson explains why she believes Health 2.0 companies, such as Organized Wisdom are a great investment. Dyson has been an early investor and guiding influence on many technology start-ups, including including 23andMe, Medstory (which was acquired by
Microsoft), PatientsLikeMe, Meetup, and Flickr and Del.icio.us (which both
were acquired by Yahoo!)
UPI reports on a free online tool, the CaP Calculator, designed to help clinicians bring more personalized medicine regarding prostate cancer. Here’s the group’s missions statement: "The purpose of CaP Calculator is to provide a user-friendly resource that promotes thorough, educated discussion of prostate cancer risk and outcomes between health care professionals and patients."
Healthfinder.gov launched a redesign that aims to help consumers find better information faster. The site uses everyday language to explain maladies, and steps for prevention, as well as offering users the chance to personalize it for their needs.
MedHelp.org and Drugstore.com teamed up to launch a new online feature called Ask-a-Pharmacist and is the first to focus solely on medications. In the online forum, pharmacists will answer questions related to brand drugs, generic equivalents, common uses, drug
therapy, drug interactions, possible side effects and more.
New surgery technique uses the somebody’s existing openings to allow for scarless surgery, the Washington Post reports. The new experimental procedure takes "minimally invasive to a new level."
Microsoft plans to buy back another $40 billion of its own stock — the single largest buyback in U.S. history, the Associated Press reports. Analysts say the move is an attempt to use spare cash to boost its share price.
What were they thinking? The Wall Street Journal Health Blog reports that employees at the University of New Mexico Hospital were fired after posting pictures of patients on MySpace.
Expanding health coverage isn’t enough if there are no doctors to see you. The Boston Globe reports that patients are waiting longer than ever to see a primary care doctor. What’s that you say about the awful Canadian wait times?
CHARITY: Are you an American Express cardholder? Do you want to help save children’s sight in India? ORBIS and “Kids for Sight” are asking for you and your readers help. Nyan and Lehka Pendyla, ages 9 and 7, launched a “Kids for Sight” initiative one year ago to help ORBIS establish a specialized pediatric eye care unit and training center in India. “Kids for Sight” has made it into the Top 25 of the American Express Members Project and now needs your help. For more information on “Kids for Sight” visit www.orbis.org/KidsForSight. If enough AMEX cardholders vote for the “Kids for Sight” project by September 29, it will advance into the Top 5 and be eligible to win $1.5 million in funding.
The majority of ER patients leave confused and with unanswered questions, which can contribute to medication errors and return visits, the New York Times reports. And the study published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine was among English speakers! Imagine the confusion among those with limited or no English.
Illinois is debating its certificate of need laws, following a decision by the US Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission that it hampers competition and weakens the market’s ability to contain costs, the Chicago Tribune reports. The Illinois Hospital Association president defended the law: "The state has a legitimate interest … in preventing the proliferation
of profit-seeking enterprises that seek to cherry-pick well-paying
patients or those who have good insurance coverage, leaving
full-service community hospitals to provide vitally needed but
money-losing services, such as emergency and trauma care and care for
the uninsured, that are poorly reimbursed or not reimbursed at all."
Pennsylvania politics over medical malpractice insurance subsidies threaten the existence of the state agency that monitors hospital finances, occupancy, procedures and infection rates, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.
Health Affairs has critiques of McCain and Obama’s health plans, along with a proposed comprimise by Wharton professor Mark Pauly.
Associated Press: Only 2 percent of medical students plan on going into primary care, according to survey published today in JAMA (subscription required). "I didn’t want to fight the insurance companies," said Dr. Jason Shipman, 36, a radiology resident at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., who is carrying $150,000 in student debt.
Scientific Blogging: Do you go through withdrawal if you haven’t checked your email in more than eight hours? You may be addicted to the Internet. "According to Dr. Louise Nadeau, a professor in the Department of
Psychology at the University of Montreal, mental health professionals
now have a new affliction to face: Internet addiction."
NYT Magazine: For better or for worse, social networking sites and microblogging via Twitter have increased the level of ambient awareness we have about our friends and acquaintances. "The growth of ambient intimacy can seem like modern narcissism taken to
a new, supermetabolic extreme — the ultimate expression of a generation
of celebrity-addled youths who believe their every utterance is
fascinating and ought to be shared with the world," Clive Thompson reports.
Sacramento Bee: California lawmakers still haven’t agreed on a new state budget nearly three months after it was due, making this the longest stalemate in state history. Can you say complete political failure?
Arizona Republic: Arizona’s smoking ban had little to no negative financial impact on the state’s bars and restaurants. The ban went into effect in May 2007.
The Olympian: As Washingon state debates a ballot initiative to allow euthanasia, it’s looking for guidance to the south at Oregon — the only state to allow physician-assisted suicide. "Those who choose to use legal, lethal drugs to end their lives
typically are cancer patients who are white, educated and have private
insurance," the Olympian reports.
BBC: Experts are worried about rising rates of antibiotic resistance among multiple pathogens.