Monday, October 9, 2017

Cancer and obesity

A Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) post dated 10/3/17 examines the relationship between cancer and obesity:

Overweight and obesity are associated with at least 13 different types of cancer. These cancers make up 40% of all cancers diagnosed. About 2 in 3 occur in adults 50-74 years old. Most types of these cancers associated with overweight and obesity increased from 2005-2014. More than half of Americans don't know that overweight and obesity can increase their risk for cancer. Many things are associated with cancer, but avoiding tobacco use and keeping a healthy weight are among the most important things people can do to lower their risk of getting cancer.
 
Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>> http://conta.cc/2za6Mdm

Monday, September 25, 2017

Many Questions Remain as Investigators Examine Broward Nursing Home Deaths

Police say a ninth person has died nearly a week after the evacuation of a Florida nursing home that Hurricane Irma left without air conditioning. 

The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills has been in business for over 30 years. It was acquired by Hollywood Property Investments in 2015 (an affiliate of South Miami-based Larkin Community Hospital). Jorge Carballo, MBA, NHA is the Administrator and the Director of Nursing is Maria Colon, RN, BSN. Attorney Gary Matzner is the facility's legal counsel. The facility is located directly across the street from Memorial Regional Hospital
The Florida Department of Health stated, "The tragic and senseless loss at Hollywood Hills Rehabilitation Center is the subject of a criminal homicide investigation by law enforcement." The legal guardian of one resident is suing the facility for negligence and reckless indifference, claiming that Hollywood Hills didn't take the proper precautions to protect their most vulnerable patients. The public relations firm representing the hospital said that multiple calls and requests for assistance were placed to Florida emergency services and utility companies after the air conditioning and electrical supply were rendered inert by Irma. Florida officials have suspended the license of the nursing home. Home officials say they used coolers, fans, ice and other means to cool the patients. When FPL workers arrived at the nursing home after the patients died, it took them approximately 20 minutes to get the center's power back up and running.
Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>> http://conta.cc/2fm3US8

Monday, August 28, 2017

8 ways to fix the Affordable Care Act

Gienna Shaw, in an August 23, 2017 post:

In this special report,  FierceHealthcare's editors-experts on the business of healthcare who cover hospitals, health systems, physician practices, insurance companies, health information technology and healthcare finance every day-outline some of the ideas, programs and reforms that hold the most potential to heal the nation's healthcare system. 

This a must-read for anyone interested in U.S. health policy.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Remarkable Increases in Alcohol Use

Bridget F. Grant, PhD, S. Patricia Chou, PhD, Tulshi D. Saha, PhD, et al report on American alcohol use in an August 9, 2017 JAMA Psychiatry post. The authors studied 12-month prevalence of alcohol use, high-risk drinking, and DSM-IV alcohol use disorder between 2001-2002 and 2012-2013. According to the authors:

In this study of data from face-to-face interviews conducted in 2 nationally representative surveys of U.S. adults, including the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions and the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions III, 12-month alcohol use (up 11.2%), high-risk drinking (up 29.9%), and DSM-IV alcohol use disorder (up 49.4%) increased for the total U.S. population and, with few exceptions, across socio-demographic subgroups.

Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>> http://conta.cc/2hZCPbv

Monday, July 31, 2017

FDA Targets Nicotine in Cigarettes

Matt Egan, reporting for CNN on 7.28.17:

The FDA said it will consider a plan to cut the amount of nicotine in cigarettes to "non-addictive" levels. The agency said it may also regulate "kid-appealing flavors" in e-cigarettes and cigars and wants to encourage "new products that may be less dangerous than cigarettes."

Cigarettes are the "only legal consumer product that, when used as intended, will kill half of all long-term users," FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement.

Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>> http://conta.cc/2hgPVRi

Thursday, July 13, 2017

CDC: Despite recent declines, opioid prescribing is still high and inconsistent across the US

The CDC, in a July 6, 2017 Vital Signs post, reports:
  • Providers in the highest prescribing counties prescribed 6 times more opioids per person than the lowest prescribing counties in 2015.
  • Half of US counties had a decrease in the amount of opioids (morphine milligram equivalents aka MME) prescribed per person from 2010 to 2015.
  • The MME prescribed per person in 2015 was about 3 times as high as in 1999.
Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>> http://conta.cc/2v4RtQv

Monday, June 26, 2017

Trump Signs VA Reform Bill

Barnini Chakraborty, in a June 23, 2017 Fox News post, reports:
President Trump on Friday signed Veterans Affairs reform legislation meant to protect whistleblowers while making it easier to fire problematic employees at the department... The Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act passed by Congress earlier this month streamlines the process to remove, demote, or suspend VA employees for poor performance or misconduct. In addition, it authorizes the VA secretary to recoup any bonuses awarded to employees who have acted improperly.
The bill enjoyed broad bi-partisan support and fulfilled a Trump campaign promise. The ongoing VA debacle is a cautionary tale for proponents of a single payer system.

Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>> http://conta.cc/2tbdS0u