The United States spends almost twice as much on health care, as a percentage of its economy, as other advanced industrialized countries — totaling $3.3 trillion, or 17.9 percent of gross domestic product in 2016.
But a few decades ago American health care spending was much closer to that of peer nations.
A large part of the answer can be found in the title of a 2003 paper in Health Affairs by the Princeton University health economist Uwe Reinhardt: “It’s the prices, stupid.”
The study, also written by Gerard Anderson, Peter Hussey and Varduhi Petrosyan, found that people in the United States typically use about the same amount of health care as people in other wealthy countries do, but pay a lot more for it.
Telemedicine isn’t just for rural areas without a lot of doctors anymore.
In the last few years, urban areas all over the country have been exploring how they can connect to patients virtually to improve access to primary care and keep people from calling 911 for non-urgent problems.
In Washington D.C., Mary’s Center, a community health center, is piloting a program to provide primary care virtually to Medicaid patients who can’t make it in to any of their clinics. Sometimes there are mobility or childcare issues, some people may not be able to get time off of work. Others simply don’t want to go.
Dennis Lebron Dolman was in the latter group. He went to a health screening fair over the summer, where Mary’s Center medical assistant Grace Kelly took his blood pressure. It was dangerously high: 180 over 100 — stroke-level high. He had no idea it was that bad.
Scientists in the United Kingdom and China find that a new drug for type 2 diabetes may protect the brain from damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease, after testing it in mice.
In a new paper published in the journal Brain Research, the researchers explain how the “triple-action” drug resulted in a significant reversal of memory loss in mice that were genetically engineered to develop human-like Alzheimer’s disease.
The new drug “holds clear promise of being developed into a new treatment for chronic neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease,” says study leader Christian Hölscher, a professor in the Faculty of Health and Medicine at Lancaster University in the U.K.
Alzheimer’s is a brain-wasting disease that accounts for 50–75 percent of cases of dementia, which is a condition wherein people gradually lose their ability to think, remember, make decisions, hold a conversation, and look after themselves.
The searing abdominal pain came on suddenly while Dr. Rana Awdish was having dinner with a friend. Soon she was lying in the back seat of the car racing to Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, where Awdish was completing a fellowship in critical care.
On that night nearly a decade ago, a benign tumor in Awdish’s liver burst, causing a cascade of medical catastrophes that nearly killed her. She nearly bled to death. She was seven months pregnant at the time, and the baby did not survive. She had a stroke and, over the days and weeks to come, suffered multiple organ failures. She required several surgeries and months of rehabilitation to learn to walk and speak again.
Helpless, lying on a gurney in the hospital’s labor and delivery area that first night, Awdish willed the medical staff to see her as a person rather than an interesting case of what she termed “Abdominal Pain and Fetal Demise.” But their medical training to remain clinically detached worked against her. Later, in the intensive care unit, she overheard her case being discussed by the surgical resident during morning rounds.
Republicans have ripped a big hole in Obamacare. But there is a way to avoid chaos in the health-insurance markets on which millions of Americans depend, if states act quickly to undo the damage.
Democrats based Obamacare on a careful trade-off. The government would no longer tolerate insurance companies denying sick people coverage or needed care. But Congress would also mandate that all Americans carry adequate health-care coverage, as long as they could afford it, in order to ensure that people did not sign up for insurance only when they got sick.
At the recent Universal Health Coverage Forum in Tokyo, world leaders gathered to discuss how to make quality health care available for all people (UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 aims to achieve this by 2030).
At least half of the world’s population still does not have access to quality essential services to protect and promote health. It is estimated that 800 million people are spending at least 10 percent of their household budget on out-of-pocket health care expenses, and nearly 100 million people are being pushed into extreme poverty each year due to health care costs.
Being diagnosed with a serious illness doesn’t just lead to doctors’ appointments and hospital stays; it can blow a hole in a person’s life that sends shock waves into the lives of friends and family, particularly their caregivers. America’s health care system, with its obsession with technology, has largely ignored the problems of very sick people that aren’t medical and even some that are, such as pain and the side effects of treatment.
The fast-growing field of palliative care aims to reduce the suffering and improve quality of life for people with serious illness and assist their families. Palliative care is now a medical specialty, but in practice it is delivered by teams that include physicians, nurses, social workers, and chaplains.
The Trump administration — reversing guidelines put in place under President Barack Obama — is scaling back the use of fines against nursing homes that harm residents or place them in grave risk of injury.
The shift in the Medicare program’s penalty protocols was requested by the nursing home industry. The American Health Care Association, the industry’s main trade group, has complained that under Obama, inspectors focused excessively on catching wrongdoing rather than helping nursing homes improve.
When Bella Doolittle heard her diagnosis last February of early-onset Alzheimer’s, she sat in the car outside the doctor’s office and cried. “He said, ‘Well, we figured out what’s going on with you and this is it.’ And I’m like, ‘No it’s not.’ ”
Doolittle’s husband, Will Doolittle, sits next to her on the couch, recalling how she grilled the doctor. “You asked, ‘How long does this take? How long do I have?’ And he said, ‘On average, eight years.’ That really upset you.”
“That really pissed me off,” Bella says, laughing now at the memory. “Absolutely. I mean, I was pretty devastated. I’m like, eight years? I’m not even wrinkly yet.”
It was a secret experiment. There was a graduate student, a housewife, a painter, a pediatrician, a psychiatrist and three psychologists. Using fake names, they went out to 12 hospitals across the country and claimed to hear voices. Their mission was to see what would happen.
What they found rocked psychiatry.
David Rosenhan, a psychologist at Stanford University, published the results of the experiment in a 1973 issue of the journal Science. “On Being Sane in Insane Places” would become one of the most influential studies in the history of psychiatry.
According to Rosenhan, each of what he called the “pseudopatients” told hospital staff about hearing voices that used the words “empty,” “hollow” and “thud.” The pseudopatients claimed the voices were difficult to understand but sounded as if they came from the same sex as that of the fake patients. Other than making claims about voices and giving themselves phony names and false occupations, the pseudopatients — Rosenhan among them — made up nothing else. None of them had any significant history of mental illness.
Devon Rising shakes his head and tries to cover his face with his hands. It’s time to get his few remaining teeth cleaned, and he fusses for a bit.
Gita Aminloo, his dental hygienist, tries to calm him by singing “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” the classic children’s song.
Rising, 42, is mentally disabled and blind. He has cerebral palsy and suffers from seizures.
While much of corporate America will enjoy a tax cut in the new year, one industry is getting a tax increase it has fought hard but so far unsuccessfully to avoid.A 2.3% excise tax on medical device manufacturers went back into effect Monday after a two-year hiatus. It was originally imposed in 2013 as one of several taxes and fees in the Affordable Care Act that pay for expanded health insurance under the law.The tax was strongly opposed by the $150 billion a year industry that produces everything from catheters to heart stents to artificial joints.
The pain clinic tucked into the corner of a low-slung suburban strip mall was an open secret.
Patients would travel hundreds of miles to see Dr. Andrzej Zielke, eager for what authorities described as a steady flow of prescriptions for the kinds of powerful painkillers that ushered the nation into its worst drug crisis in history.
At least one of Zielke’s patients died of an overdose, and prosecutors say others became so dependent on oxycodone and other opioids they would crowd his office, sometimes sleeping in the waiting room.