Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tuesday Tidbits

Big meeting with the Insurance Commissioner today, but first, the news:

People with pre-existing conditions are stuck in high risk pools until 2014 -- assuming the health reform law still stands by then. Although the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan that was part of health reform provides comprehensive benefits at a reasonable cost, you can only enroll if you've gone without insurance for six month -- so if you were in a state high risk pool, you can't switch to the better, cheaper PCIP unless, of course, you're willing to go without insurance for 6 months, which is a fast track for bankruptcy for people with pre-existing conditions.

Obama Administration lawyers filed their second brief in the Supreme Court's health reform case -- this one on the issue of whether the rest of the law can survive if the individual mandate is struck down.

Aetna has followed WellPoint and will be providing extra payments to doctors to manage and coordinate care in New Jersey and Connecticut. These are the kinds of innovations we need to try to see if we can drive down cost.

New websites allow you to search for side effects of medications. One company is called AdverseEvents. The other is Clarimed. They do charge to sign up for them, but the charge may be worth it.

What's a nurse to do when the patient is violent? Did you know that physical assault is the third most common fear nurses have?

Acupuncture helps control pain. The idea isn't to abandon traditional therapy; it's to supplement it with acupuncture. Interesting. I do know some patients who swear by it.

Utah is considering a surcharge on Medicaid recipients who smoke cigarettes.

Strokes are becoming more common in young people.

An interesting new book says we under-treat the poor and over-treat the wealthy. So what's the solution?

Unexplained high fevers can be a sign of something serious, so don't ignore them.

Fascinating new research on how we humans came to be as we are, and to populate the earth.

An interview with a researcher who has spent his life trying to understand the immune system.

Doctors are migrating to providing services that are lucrative, like cosmetic surgery, which is never covered by insurance. I don't know -- if I were having plastic surgery, I think I'd want an expert plastic surgeon.

A medical mystery that took years to solve, and in the end, no real answers.

Art as a way to deal with emotional trauma due to domestic violence.

Here in Connecticut, the public option - SustiNet -- is still here and its proponents are still pushing.

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

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