Friday, January 6, 2012

Finally Friday Edition

No long week-end this week. Oh, well. But there's still the news:

Most hospital errors go unreported. That's fairly shocking to me considering the number of adverse events that ARE reported. You really should consider taking steps if you are going into the hospital. I just read a new book call the Patient's Checklist. It helps you to remember all the things you need to know to make sure you get in and out of the hospital no worse off than when you began.

How health reform helps to control health care costs, by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

The first round of briefs is due today in the health reform Supreme Court case. According to some experts, it will be critical for the government to explain not only why the individual mandate is within Congress's powers, but what the limit on those powers is.

The feds -- both Congress and the White House -- cut funds for heating assistance right at the start of winter, just before they left town for their holiday break. This is an outrage. It's not even a lot of money, as things go. And if you think it's not a health issue, wait until people start getting sick and have no heat.

Collaborative care -- employers, insurers, providers all working together -- may be a more efficient, effective health care delivery system.

States are asking for more funding for the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan, which covers people with pre-existing conditions until 2014, when insurers won't be able to exclude people with pre-existing conditions any more.

Arizona passed a law allowing the use of medical marijuana. The (pretty nutty) Governor sued to try to stop it from taking effect. A court threw out her lawsuit.

A Massachusetts court has found that the State cannot exclude legal immigrants from a state health plan. The court based its decision on the State Constitution, so how much this will affect other states is hard to say. But this brings Massachusetts another step closer to truly universal health care.

Shame in filling a prescription? When faced with alleged drug shortages of controlled substances or ADHD drugs, patients have to run in circles to get their meds, and some feel shame for needing them.

Is being fat a destiny? Recent articles, summarized by USA Today, discuss. I particularly recommend the NY Times article from last Sunday's NY Times Magazine.

Some employers are banning smokers from the workplace. Not just smoking, but smokers!

A hepatitis C vaccine is hopeful, but years away. A potential herpes vaccine falls short.

A recent dust up over a study reporting a way to make bird flu airborne raises the question -- how close are terrorists to being able to spread a communicable disease?

Can yoga wreck your body? Surprisingly, yes.

And that's today's news. Have a great day! Jennifer

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