Archive for the ‘Weekend Reading’ Category

15 Minutes With Your Doctor; Ransoming Health Records

Every week Shefali S. Kulkarni selects interesting reading from around the Web.

The New York Times: How Much Can Patients Learn In A 15-Minute Doctor Visit?
Built more like a former professional basketball player than an elementary schoolteacher nearing retirement, the patient dropped a bagful of prescription medications on the table in the examining room and fell back into a chair. He couldn’t remember what most of them were for. Several weeks earlier, he had seen a new doctor who’d prescribed several new drugs and spent much of the visit reciting a list of advice — lose weight, exercise more, stop smoking, eat more fruits and vegetables. Before he even arrived home, he realized he couldn’t recall any of the details of what the doctor had said. “I felt like I was in a Charlie Brown cartoon,” he said, recounting the visit with a laugh. “All I can remember the doctor saying was, ‘Waw, waw-waw, waw-waw’” … Faced with an impossible task, some physicians have thrown up their hands and chosen to focus on only a couple of topics at each visit. Others have resorted to handing out typed lists of the recommendations for patients to read at home. But an increasing number of doctors, under mounting pressures from insurance companies and others to prove that they are delivering quality care, are simply scrambling to cover as many of the wellness recommendations as they can, piling on the dos and don’ts in what a colleague of mine once referred to as “the grand information dump” (Pauline W. Chen, 8/16).

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Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

Religious Health Care; ‘The Big Lie’ About Expanding Medicaid

KHN’s Matthew Fleming selected these interesting articles from around the Web for weekend reading options.

The Atlantic: A Christian Alternative To Health Insurance
The Affordable Care Act has a section that exempts members of health care sharing ministries from purchasing insurance. The Amish, Mennonite, Christian Science and Indian tribe communities also are exempt from the penalty that will be incurred on Americans who fail to purchase health insurance by 2014. Since the law was passed in 2010, membership for Medi-Share and Samaritan Ministries has risen by about 40 percent.  Christian health sharing ministries are largely unregulated, except by themselves. This means members cannot go to an insurance commissioner with a complaint, rates aren’t reviewed by an independent regulator, and there is no way to ensure they are following anti-discrimination laws (Kimberly Leonard, 7/20).

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Friday, July 27th, 2012

Physicians And Assisted Suicide; Avoid Getting Sick In July

KHN’s Matthew Fleming selected these interesting articles from around the Web for weekend reading options.

ABC News: Assisted Dying: Experts Debate Doctor’s Role
Peggy Sutherland was ready to die. The morphine oozing from a pump in her spine was no match for the pain of lung cancer, which had evaded treatment and invaded her ribs. … Sutherland, 68, decided to use Oregon’s “Death With Dignity Act,” which allows terminally-ill residents to end their lives after a 15-day requisite waiting period by self-administering a lethal prescription drug. … But not all doctors are on board with the law. In the 15 years since Oregon legalized physician-assisted dying, only Washington and Montana have followed suit, a resistance some experts blame on the medical community (Katie Moisse, 7/13).

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Friday, July 20th, 2012

Keeping Parkinson’s A Secret

Every week, KHN reporter Shefali S. Kulkarni selects interesting reading from around the Web.

The New York Times: Keeping Parkinson’s Disease A Secret
When Nancy Mulhearn learned she had Parkinson’s disease seven years ago, she kept the diagnosis mostly to herself, hiding it from friends, colleagues – even, at first, her mother, sister and teenage children. After seven months, she decided she had to tell her family, and they settled into an unspoken agreement not to talk about the disease. … “I didn’t want anybody to feel sorry for me,” she said. “To have people look at you and start crying – that’s not what anyone wants.” In that, Ms. Mulhearn is hardly alone. Doctors and researchers say it’s not uncommon for people with Parkinson’s to conceal their diagnoses, often for years. But the secrecy is not just stressful to maintain; experts fear that it also may be slowing down the research needed to find new treatments  (Katie Yandell, 7/9).

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Friday, July 13th, 2012

The Man Behind The ‘Personhood’ Crusade; Atul Gawande On SCOTUS; ‘No One Dies Alone’ Program

Every week, KHN reporter Shefali S. Kulkarni selects interesting reading from around the Web.

Newsweek: Behind ‘Personhood’ Leader Keith Mason’s Anti-Abortion Crusade
In the four years since Mason launched the pro-life group Personhood USA, he has been crisscrossing the country to convince voters that the best way to overturn Roe v. Wade, the ruling that legalized abortion, is to define human embryos as people from the moment of fertilization. … Mason, the man at the heart of the maelstrom, is part preacher, part hipster. … As Mason’s team gathers signatures for the fall ballots in his most ambitious season so far, opponents are bracing for a fight. Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union, and other groups have filed lawsuits and launched extensive publicity campaign (Abigail Pesta, 6/25).

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Friday, July 6th, 2012

Native American Rehab Facility Helps Families In Ore.

Every week, KHN reporter Shefali S. Kulkarni selects interesting reading from around the Web.

The Oregonian: Native Americans Strive For Health Against Alcohol, Chaos And Trauma
Pearl Scott lifts the baby from the crib and balances the child on her hip, just as someone did with her when she was a baby 20 years ago. Her mom went through addiction treatment here in the Native American Rehabilitation Association of the Northwest’s residential center. Now Scott works for NARA, operated by and for Native Americans. She helps care for the 10 children, all 5 years old and younger, of parents in treatment. … NARA opened in 1970 solely to address alcoholism, but today provides an array of mental, social and medical services. Residents cite the cultural connection more often than any other factor as the service that helped them most in their recovery (Bill Graves, 6/26).

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Friday, June 29th, 2012

Alzheimer’s Researcher Turns To Drug She Helped Invent

Every week, KHN reporter Shefali S. Kulkarni selects interesting reading from around the Web.

The Atlantic: An Alzheimer’s Researcher Ends Up On The Drug She Helped Invent
Given her relatively young age, Dr. Rae Lyn Burke didn’t think much about her family history of Alzheimer’s disease — a grandmother and an aunt had suffered from it, but they were much older. Ironically, Burke was just in her late 50s when she started having her own symptoms of early onset Alzheimer’s. Even more ironic is that Burke had been one of the key developers of the Alzheimer’s drug bapineuzumab, which she now takes herself to reduce the progression of the disease in her own brain. … Burke figured out what compounds could be added to bapineuzumab, an antibody vaccine, that might help kick the recipient’s immune system into higher gear (Alice G. Walton, 6/19).

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Friday, June 22nd, 2012

Battling HIV In Washington; Adderall Use Among U.S. High Schoolers

Every week, KHN reporter Shefali S. Kulkarni selects interesting reading from around the Web.

Global Post / PBS NewsHour: Groups Fighting HIV In D.C. Find Lessons In Africa
On a recent day not far from Capitol Hill and the White House, about a dozen HIV outreach workers toting bright yellow duffle bags stuffed with condoms and prevention information stood outside of the Anacostia Metro station. … After a couple of hours, they had handed out hundreds of packs of condoms — and had persuaded 21 people to take an HIV test with an oral swab in a Chevy van parked nearby. “You have to know your status, man. I’d rather be safe than sorry,” said Alvern Harris, 25, as he waited for his results. “What we do is a reflection to the younger generation. If we don’t, they won’t, and that’s another generation’s curse, another generation dying” (John Donnelly and Juliana Schatz, 6/12).

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Friday, June 15th, 2012

Toobin’s Tips On SCOTUS Decision

Every week, KHN reporter Shefali S. Kulkarni selects interesting reading from around the Web.

ABC News: Health Scare: How Much Will You Pay For Health Care?
When the nurse calls my name, I head up to the check-in desk. “I’m sorry,” she says as she lowers her eyes and hands me the phone. On the other end of the line, a woman identifies herself as a “third-party intermediary” for my insurance company. She says she is calling to inform me that the procedure I am scheduled to have in just a few minutes has been approved … However, my chosen provider is more expensive than other options and may result in a higher co-payment. … I ask the obvious question: “If I stay, how much will it cost me?” Her answer is that she is not authorized to give me that information  (Liz Neporent, 6/1).

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Friday, June 8th, 2012

The Cost Of Dying; Insuring Fertility

Every week, KHN reporter Shefali S. Kulkarni selects interesting reading from around the Web.

Newsweek: Why Did Her Husband’s End-Of-Life Care Cost So Much?
During those four days Terence had his blood drawn—eight times. Urine collected at least twice. There was a CT scan of his chest and an MRI of his brain. A physical therapist dropped by several times. A nutritionist talked about cancer fatigue, decompensation, and calorie needs. Over the stay, at least 29 professionals—nurses, physical therapists, a nutritionist, and nine M.D.s—attended to his needs…But until years later, when I read Terence’s medical records, I didn’t realize that they had prodded and X-rayed and scanned and tested him even though they thought he was dying. Soon. The discharge record after his four-day stay expresses regret that they could offer no more than “comfort care.” Thirty-three days and one more hospitalization later, on Dec. 14, 2007, Terence died…And why, if all they could offer was “comfort care,” was the total bill for that penultimate four-day hospital stay $33,382. (Amanda Bennett, 5/28).

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Friday, June 1st, 2012

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