Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tuesday Teasers

Get your flu shot. Now. It may even be free under health reform.

Michael Kinsley ponders whether the GOP bid to kill health reform makes sense when considered in the context of their larger philosophy and, in particular, their opposition to judicial activism.

Meanwhile, Secretary Sebelius (HHS) promises new GOP governors the flexibility they need to implement reform in ways that make sense in their state.

And it appears that there may be a deal in place to fix the Medicare physician reimbursement rate decreases that were passed long ago, that have been delayed over and over again. The press account is vague, but it looks like the money is coming from subsidies to help people buy insurance through the Exchanges. I'd worry except for the fact that so much is going to happen between now and 2014 that I'm willing to take a "wait and see" approach.

UnitedHealthcare raises price of one brand of insulin, decreases price of another. What if the expensive one works for you and the cheap one doesn't? I'll never get used to this kind of gaming by insurers.

A survey finds that doctor-patient communication leaves much to be desired -- but when it works correctly, communication can lead to better health outcomes.

A fascinating article that begins to unlock the way the brain gets creative. I'm not sure I understand all of this, but it's really interesting. And here's a real world example.

Along similar lines, here's a medical mystery for you -- one that was found out and addressed in time to save a life. So interesting -- and scary.

A new study finds that aspirin helps reduce cancer deaths. But before you start taking aspirin, consult your doctor.

Guidelines for testing for food allergies in kids are revised. This looks like a step in the right direction.

And here's a tale of one hospital's efforts to cut hospital-acquired infections. We need to figure this out; we should be able to figure this out. Here's one strategy.

Primary care providers try to spot depression, other mental health issues, using screening tools.

Ever wonder how acupuncture works? Here you go.

And that, my friends, is an awful lot to swallow on a Tuesday morning. Take your time. Jennifer

P.S. - My thoughts and prayers are with Elizabeth Edwards and her family as she moves into the final stages of her illness. You done good, sistah Elizabeth. Now, you can let go.

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