Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thursday Morning Edition

A baby in Indiana needs surgery to save his life, but the State Medicaid program won't pay for it because it's experimental. Because it's a very rare condition, and you can't do placebo surgeries on babies, it will always involve small numbers of patients, and there will never be large, double-blinded studies. Like so many other treatments for rare conditions, this allows insurers and, in this case, state Medicaid, to deny coverage because it's experimental. But based on the standard of needing large, double-blinded studies, this and many other treatments will always be experimental. This is only one example of what Advocacy for Patients sees every day.

Women's health is declining, according to a new study by the National Women's Law Center. The number of women smokers has declined, but obesity is up, as is diabetes, high blood pressure, and STDs.

A new report from the Surgeon General stresses the harm from inhaling cigarette smoke.

Is there such a thing as chronic Lyme disease? The evidence is slimmer and slimmer, although there are still doctors who believe in it.

The National Institutes of Health has proposed adding a new center to accelerate the development of new drugs and treatments.

And here's a list of the top ten technology health threats.

The Senate passed the one-year delay on the Medicare rate decrease for doctors. The House still has to pass it. However, there are large cuts to home health agency reimbursement rates taking effect on January 1, and these may well hurt consumer access to these services.

Connecticut is the fourth healthiest state in the country, according to annual rankings. Where does your state fall?

That should start your day. Have a good one. Jennifer

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