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APRIL 21, 2017


Copper infused linens now being used in effort to reduce infections at hospital
(The Gazette-Virginian – April 20, 2017)

As of Wednesday, Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital began using copper-infused linens and patient gowns in all inpatient rooms to reduce the incidence of health care-associated infections (HAIs). According to Hospital Marketing/Public Relations Consultant Faith O’Neil, patients will notice that the copper-infused linens have a distinctive tan or salmon color.

Inova Children’s Hospital Receives National Award for ICU Design
(American Association of Critical-Care Nurses – April 19, 2017)

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) will present the ICU Design Citation to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) at Inova Children’s Hospital in Virginia, during the 2017 National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition, Houston, May 22-25.

Why is a UVA Health System study replacing people’s cigarettes?
(Augusta Free Press – April 18, 2017)

The UVA Health System is conducting a research study to determine if exercise and reduced-nicotine cigarettes can ease the withdrawal symptoms associated with reducing nicotine dependence. The researchers will provide regular cigarettes to one group of study participants and reduced-nicotine cigarettes to two other groups. Of those two groups, one will exercise and one will not.


F.D.A. Strengthens Warnings for Painkillers in Children
(The New York Times – April 20, 2017) METERED PAYWALL

The Food and Drug Administration announced on Thursday that any child younger than 12 should not take the opioid codeine and that those 18 and younger should not take tramadol, another painkiller, after certain types of surgery. In addition, nursing mothers should avoid both opioids because they pose dangers to breast-feeding babies, the agency said.

For Doctors, A Clamp Down On Visas Could Have An Uneven Effect In The U.S.
(Kaiser Health News – April 21, 2017)

Limiting the number of foreign doctors who can get visas to practice in the United States could have a significant impact on certain hospitals and states that rely on them, according to a new study. The research, published online in JAMA this week, found that more than 2,100 U.S. employers were certified to fill nearly 10,500 physician jobs nationwide, in 2016.

Hospital Ratings Sites Give Consumers Something To Go On  
(California Healthline – April 21, 2017)

One in 25 patients develop an infection while in the hospital, according to federal estimates. Many of those infections and other medical mistakes are preventable. Nationally, an estimated 440,000 people die each year from hospital errors, injuries and infections.

AMA, Regenstrief Institute Help Increase EHR Training in Med Schools
(AMA – April 19, 2017)

With the majority of today’s physicians graduating from medical school without comprehensive training using electronic health records (EHR), the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Regenstrief Institute are collaborating to ensure more medical students and medical trainees gain real-world experience using EHRs during their training.

Video medicine is a promising industry, but it’s being exposed to the oldest problem on the internet
(CNBC – April 20, 2017)

Weird things happen on the Internet, even to doctors. These days, anyone with an Internet connection can reach a doctor at any time and from anywhere. Typically, it costs about $40 to $50 to schedule a video visit with a physician, via a crop of venture-backed mobile apps like MDLIVE and Doctor on Demand.

‘Pacemaker’ for the Brain Can Help Memory, Study Finds
(The New York Times – April 20, 2017) METERED PAYWALL

Well-timed pulses from electrodes implanted in the brain can enhance memory in some people, scientists reported on Thursday, in the most rigorous demonstration to date of how a pacemaker-like approach might help reduce symptoms of dementia, head injuries and other conditions.

Google Wants to Know How People Get Sick
(Fortune – April 19, 2017)

Verily, the Google/Alphabet arm that focuses on the life sciences, announced a big new health study in collaboration with Duke University and Stanford Medicine this morning. The study, part of Verily’s “Project Baseline” drive, will recruit around 10,000 participants and be conducted over the course of the next four years at research sites across the country.

Instead of ‘fail first,’ try ‘patients first,’ cancer doctors tell insurers

Cancer patients are locked in an intensifying struggle with insurers, who sometimes force them to try less expensive drugs before moving to more expensive ones, even against doctors’ wishes. Now the American Society of Clinical Oncology, or ASCO, is deepening its involvement in the fight, issuing a set of recommendations Tuesday that it hopes insurers will follow as they confront a growing lineup of expensive cancer drugs.

DATA: 35 Years Of American Death
(FiveThirtyEight – April 20, 2017)

Researchers have long argued that where we live can help predict how we die. But how much our location affects our health is harder to say, because death certificates, the primary source for mortality data, are not always complete.


Trump predicts victory on health care ‘next week or shortly thereafter’
(POLITICO – April 20, 2017)

President Donald Trump expressed confidence Thursday in Congress’ ability to pass legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare as well as a spending bill to avoid a government shutdown next week. He also predicted that health care legislation would pass “next week or shortly thereafter.”

White House Officials, Craving Progress, Push Revised Health Bill
(The New York Times – April 20, 2017) METERED PAYWALL

White House officials, desperate to demonstrate progress on President Trump’s promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act, are pushing to resurrect a Republican health care bill before his 100th day in office next week.

New GOP Health Proposal Could Ditch Protections For People Who Are Sick
(NPR – April 20, 2017)

House Republicans are mulling over new changes to their health care proposal, hoping to wrangle enough votes to pass a bill that would allow them to keep their campaign pledge to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

House Republican Floats Another Deal to Revive Health Care Bill
(Morning Consult – April 20, 2017)

A moderate House Republican is proposing a new deal to secure GOP votes for a health care bill that was pulled before a vote nearly a month ago, but it’s unclear whether the latest proposal would bring the party together when several previous efforts have failed.

How G.O.P. in 2 States Coaxed the Health Law to Success or Crisis
(The New York Times – April 21, 2017) METERED PAYWALL

When President Trump describes the Affordable Care Act as “imploding,” Lori Roll, an insurance agent here, does not consider it hyperbole. Only one health insurer in Oklahoma is left selling coverage through the federal marketplace, and the hospital in this city of 36,000 is not in the network.

Amid growing uncertainty, states extend deadlines to file 2018 rates
(Modern Healthcare – April 20, 2017) METERED PAYWALL

With time running out to set insurance prices and still no sign of whether the Trump administration will continue funding cost-sharing subsidies for low-income Americans, several states are giving health insurers a little more wiggle room to file 2018 rates.

Opinion: The GOP’s latest health-care plan is comically bad
(The Washington Post – April 20, 2017) METERED PAYWALL

House Republicans are apparently ready for yet another attempt to snatch health insurance away from constituents who need it. Someone should remind Speaker Paul Ryan of a saying often attributed to his legendary predecessor Sam Rayburn: “There’s no education in the second kick of the mule.”