Medical Marijuana: Advocates are pushing forward a California ballot initiative that would create a Board of Medical Marijuana Enforcement to oversee the state’s burgeoning industry, Lisa Leff reports for the Associated Press. We’re imagining the snacks at board meetings.
Health Reform: California Healthline’s Dan Diamond highlights five health reform issuesfor reporters and policymakers to watch closely in 2012. First among them: the Supreme Court review of health reform’s constitutionality.
Medicare: Scammers create intricate webs of Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Reporting on Health - The Reporting on Health Daily Briefing*
Last week, Speaker Boehner announced that the House and Senate have agreed on a two month extension of current Medicare payment rates, the payroll tax cut, and unemployment benefits.
My understanding is that the agreement has the House accepting the Senate’s proposal to extend the payroll tax break, unemployment insurance benefits, and current Medicare payment rates through the end of February, along with an agreement with the Senate to appoint a House-Senate conference committee to begin negotiations on a longer-term extension. It remains unclear exactly when the votes in the House and Senate will take place, and at least in the Senate, it will require unanimous consent by all Senators. If it passes both the House and Senate, Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at The ACP Advocate Blog by Bob Doherty*
With regard to physicians’ support for medical malpractice reform, the times they are a changin’. These iconic words of Bob Dylan, who has now reached the 8th decade of life, apply to the medical liability crisis that traditionally has been a unifying issue for physicians.
The New York Times reported that physicians in Maine are going soft on this issue, but I suspect this conversion is not limited to the Pine Tree State. Heretofore, it was assumed that physicians as a group loathed the medical malpractice system and demanded tort reform. The system, we argued, was unfair, arbitrary, and expensive. It missed most cases of true medical negligence. It lit the fuse that exploded the practice of defensive medicine. Rising premiums drove good doctors out of town or out of practice.
What happened? The medical malpractice system is as unfair as ever. Tort reform proposals are still regarded as experimental by the reigning Democrats in congress and in the White House. The reason that this issue has slipped in priority for physicians is because Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at MD Whistleblower*
Crucial drugs are running in short supply and patients are dying as a result.
Much of the problem stem from manufacturing problems that interrupt production. There may be only one or two companies making a drug, and when something happens such as contamination, it creates huge gaps. As a result, there’s been 213 drug shortages so far this year, or two more than all of the previous year.
The shortages have forced hospitals to resort to gray market purchases. These involved third parties that may corner the market on some drugs, and resell them at exorbitant mark-ups. The practice then fuels further shortages.
And this “new” crisis has been occurring for a decade. ACP Internist ran an article 10 years ago that could run in its pages today. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*
September is Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month. Lots of folks don’t know too much about the condition, which is an irregular heart beat that can lead to serious complications such as dementia, heart failure, stroke or even death. To help spread the word, StopAfib.org presents these 10 afib facts and figures that will probably surprise even
some healthcare professionals:
- Afib affects lots of people. Currently up to 5.1 million people are affected by afib. And that’s just in America. By 2050, the number of people in the United States with afib may increase to as much as 15.9 million. About 350,000 hospitalizations a year in the U.S. are attributed to afib. In addition, people over the age of 40 have a one in four chance of developing afib in their lifetime.
- Afib is a leading cause of strokes. Nearly 35 percent of all afib patients will have a stroke at some time. In addition to leaving sufferers feeling weak, tired or even incapacitated, afib can allow blood to pool in the atria, creating blood clots, which may move throughout the body, causing a stroke. To make matters worse, Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Atrial Fibrillation Blog*