Friday, April 20, 2012

Finally Friday Edition!

I'm off today to speak at the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation's Midwest educational seminar in Chicago.  But before I go, here's the news:

48 million Americans had gaps in their health insurance last year, primarily due to job loss and job changes. That's 1 in 4 AmericansThe Affordable Care Act would change that for many.  But if we lose health reform, there will be no mechanism in place for changing this.

Guns vs. healthcare.  The House GOP's budget would eliminate subsidies to help people buy health insurance through the Exchanges, and convert Medicaid to block grants in order to avoid cuts to defense.  They agreed to those defense cuts when they negotiated the increase in the debt ceiling, but now that the trigger for those cuts is approaching, they want to renegotiate. 

Growth in health care costs declines as a result of fewer inpatient hospitalizations.

Two new pills taken in combination appear to be excellent treatment for hepatitis C, but since they're made by two different companies which are not collaborating, the combination may not make it onto the market.  That's completely pathetic.

The great Dr. Pauline Chen writes about third-year med students, who typically rotate in a series of month-long specializations that is grueling and impersonal.  Studies show that this results in a loss of empathy and compassion for patients.  Some med schools, though, are trying alternatives -- which, we hope -- will result in better doctors.

There was an increase in measles cases in 2011.  Low vaccination rates in other countries is the likely cause.  If you're traveling, make sure to have your vaccinations.

And that's all I have for you today -- a slow news day.  Watch the NY Times this week-end for a story in which yours truly is featured, photo and all, if all goes according to plan.  Meanwhile, have a great day and a great week-end.  Jennifer

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