Health related stories and news are here.
- Published on Thursday, 08 August 2013 01:20
Regular Wonkblog readers know that poor access to dental care is a national problem. By one estimate, 85 million Americans lack dental coverage. Tooth problems are leading causes of school absence, missed workdays, and emergency department use.
Dental access problems are most acute among adults. These are important for kids, too. The National Bureau of Economic Research recently released a nice working paper on this topic: "The effect of Medicaid payment rates on access to dental care among children."
(Of the 15 percent of the people in the United States who have dental insurance, most dental insurance plans only cover a few basic procedures like: a cleaning twice per year and some other basic things. And just look at the teeth of many people in the United States their teeth look like they have lived their entire life in a third world country. Also poor dental hygiene has been linked to diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other diseases.)
What Do You Think?
- Published on Thursday, 01 August 2013 18:31
Nebraska and Iowa health officials said they have traced an outbreak of cyclospora to prepackaged salads but can't yet tell consumers which brands were involved. And even though 397 people have fallen ill and 22 have been hospitalized, the Food and Drug Administration hasn't announced a recall.
State and federal laws protect the companies' identities until investigators are absolutely sure of the source of an outbreak. Even then, a public health risk still must be present for the states to reveal brand names, and a recall must be necessary for the FDA to reveal them.
Some Related Links
- Published on Wednesday, 22 May 2013 05:56
Health care expenses grew more than wages this year.
The family health care tab shows no sign of shrinking. On average, according to the latest Milliman Medical Index (MMI), a family of four covered through a typical employer health plan will pay out $9,144 this year in premiums and out-of-pocket expenses. That's up about 6.5 percent over 2012, though not as much as the prior year's increase of 7.2 percent. The 2013 rise translates into slightly more than $45 a month in higher monthly premiums and out-of-pocket expenses.
(What else is new! And just wait until they add 40 million more people to the healthcare in the United States next year. Read:
Make Everyone Get Health Insurance And The Price Of Healthcare Will Go Up for a look at what will happen to the cost of healthcare when you add milllions of new people to the healthcare system.)
What Do You Think? Lets Discuss:
- Published on Wednesday, 08 May 2013 19:18
Hospitals within the same city sometimes charge tens of thousands of dollars more for the same treatment, according to figures the government released publicly for the first time Wednesday. The federal list sheds new light on the mystery of just how high a hospital bill might go — and whether it's cheaper for uninsured patients to get the care somewhere else.
But it doesn't answer the big question: Why do some hospitals charge 20 or even 40 times more than others?
- Published on Monday, 22 April 2013 11:08
Billion dollar expansions, big paychecks
There is no doubt that drastic changes are needed in our health-care system. The United States has the most expensive health care in the world, spending over 50 percent more per capita than the next highest industrialized country.
The quality of our system is mediocre at best, with below average life expectancy and above average infant and maternal mortality, compared to Western Europe.
Does this really surprise anyone. Hospital now days are big businesses just like any other corporation. The only difference is hospitals are just non-profit entities for tax purposes. Other than that hospital are full-fledged corporations in business to make the largest profit possible.
- Published on Wednesday, 17 April 2013 23:40
Hospitals that succeed in reducing rates of surgical complications may pay an unintended financial penalty, depending on the mix of insurance carriers they're dealing with, researchers said.
Data from an unidentified 12-hospital system in 2010 indicated that the occurrence of surgical complications boosted the "contribution margin" -- the difference between gross revenues and variable costs associated with patient care -- relative to cases without complications, when they involved the 85% of patients who had Medicare or private insurance, according to Atul Gawande, MD, MPH, of Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues.
- Published on Wednesday, 27 March 2013 20:16
(Reuters) - U.S. regulators on Wednesday approved a new multiple sclerosis drug made by Biogen Idec Inc that is widely expected to become the No. 1 oral treatment for the disease, with annual sales topping $3 billion.
The drug, Tecfidera, activates a chemical pathway in the body known as Nrf2 that helps protect nerve cells from damage and inflammation. Following Wednesday's approval by the Food and Drug Administration, Biogen said it will launch the drug within the coming days.