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New Penn study examines differences in costs of end-of-life care among developed countries

New Penn study examines differences in costs of end-of-life care among developed countries

Despite widespread perception, the United States does not provide the worst end-of-life care in the world. In the first international comparison of end-of-life care practices, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and colleagues from seven countries found that the United States actually has the lowest proportion of deaths in the hospital and the lowest number of days in the hospital in the last six months of life among the those countries, according to a new study published today in JAMA. [More]
Coordinated health care not helping people with mental health conditions

Coordinated health care not helping people with mental health conditions

People who are diagnosed with mental health conditions did not see improvements in coordination and quality of care as hoped but did not experience large cuts in access as some had feared under an early alternative payment model designed to encourage coordinated health care, according to a team led by researchers from Harvard Medical School and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. [More]
Mistakes in mismatch repair genes may accurately predict response to certain immunotherapy drugs

Mistakes in mismatch repair genes may accurately predict response to certain immunotherapy drugs

In a report of a proof-of-principle study of patients with colon and other cancers for whom standard therapies failed, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center say that mistakes in so-called mismatch repair genes, first identified by Johns Hopkins and other scientists two decades ago, may accurately predict who will respond to certain immunotherapy drugs known as PD-1 inhibitors. Such drugs aim to disarm systems developed by cancer cells to evade detection and destruction by immune system cells. [More]
Johns Hopkins scientists safely use immune cells to treat multiple myeloma

Johns Hopkins scientists safely use immune cells to treat multiple myeloma

In a report on what is believed to be the first small clinical trial of its kind, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center say they have safely used immune cells grown from patients' own bone marrow to treat multiple myeloma, a cancer of white blood cells. [More]
Implementation of video-based decision aids influences care decisions in urology

Implementation of video-based decision aids influences care decisions in urology

After Group Health Cooperative implemented video-based decision aids for men with two common prostate conditions, rates of elective surgery for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and rates of active treatment for localized prostate cancer declined over six months. [More]
ACP, other health care organizations urge Supreme Court to uphold premium subsidies created by ACA

ACP, other health care organizations urge Supreme Court to uphold premium subsidies created by ACA

The American College of Physicians today - along with other health care organizations - submitted an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief to the Supreme Court of the United States in the King v. Burwell case, urging the court to uphold the premium subsidies created by the Affordable Care Act in all states. [More]
Commonwealth Fund grant to support BIDMC's work on OurNotes

Commonwealth Fund grant to support BIDMC's work on OurNotes

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center has received a $450,000 grant from The Commonwealth Fund to develop OurNotes, an initiative to promote active patient engagement in health and illness that invites patients to contribute to their own electronic medical records. [More]
Wireless Health 2014 international conference to highlight latest developments in mobile health

Wireless Health 2014 international conference to highlight latest developments in mobile health

From the benefits of wearable devices for remote patient monitoring to opportunities for big-data applications to a changing regulatory environment, the Wireless Health 2014 international conference here Oct. 29 – 31 aims to disseminate the latest advances and promising prospective developments in mobile health. [More]
Agingcare.com introduces Prescription Drug Assistance Locator tool

Agingcare.com introduces Prescription Drug Assistance Locator tool

Paying for prescription medications just got easier for families who frequent AgingCare.com, the go-to destination for family caregivers. [More]

White House 'reassessing' 2015 enrollment goals; major coverage gains made among Latinos

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said Wednesday that the health law's insurance programs have reduced the nation's overall uninsured population by 26 percent. [More]
Many see health law coverage as affordable, survey finds

Many see health law coverage as affordable, survey finds

That's most true among low-income consumers who receive subsidies to help pay their premiums, according to the Commonwealth Fund survey. [More]
Injections of anaerobic bacteria can shrink tumors in rats, dogs and human

Injections of anaerobic bacteria can shrink tumors in rats, dogs and human

Deep within most tumors lie areas that remain untouched by chemotherapy and radiation. These troublesome spots lack the blood and oxygen needed for traditional therapies to work, but provide the perfect target for a new cancer treatment using bacteria that thrive in oxygen-poor conditions. [More]
Articles describe barriers to, potential of greater adoption of complex care management

Articles describe barriers to, potential of greater adoption of complex care management

The care of patients with complex medical needs is widely regarded as one of the key factors driving increased U.S. health costs, and it is generally accepted that 10 to 15 percent of Medicare patients account for 65 to 75 percent of all Medicare spending. [More]
Viewpoints: Ryan's 'thoughtful blueprint' to end poverty; GOP challenges after health law ruling

Viewpoints: Ryan's 'thoughtful blueprint' to end poverty; GOP challenges after health law ruling

The Republican chairman of the House Budget Committee today released a thoughtful blueprint for overhauling $800 billion worth of U.S. anti-poverty programs. [More]

Obama administration, state regulators focus efforts on insurer networks

The New York Times reports that standards are being developed to protect consumers' choices of doctors and hospitals under the health law's new insurance plans. Also, the Wall Street Journal checks in on how the ranks of the uninsured are reacting to the overhaul. [More]
First Edition: July, 21, 2014

First Edition: July, 21, 2014

Today's headlines include a story about an effort by regulators to widen insurer networks, as well as a range of other health policy developments. [More]
Viewpoints: Parsing newest reports of coverage gains; 'scientific fraudsters'

Viewpoints: Parsing newest reports of coverage gains; 'scientific fraudsters'

It will take a while to understand fully how the Affordable Care Act affects the quality of health care and access to doctors in this country. [More]

Obamacare lowers uninsured rate, three studies find

According to three new studies, the health law has in its first year reduced the number of uninsured adults by between 8 million and 11 million, and the majority of enrollees report satisfaction with their plans. [More]
First Edition: July 11, 2014

First Edition: July 11, 2014

Today's headlines include coverage of surveys that offer insight into how the health law is doing in terms of reducing the nation's rate of uninsurance. [More]
Viewpoints: Turning to new legal challenges to ACA; is the law working?; Medicaid problems in N.C.

Viewpoints: Turning to new legal challenges to ACA; is the law working?; Medicaid problems in N.C.

The Supreme Court's term ended in June with another Affordable Care Act ruling, and the ACA survived largely unscathed. Burwell v. Hobby Lobby has important ramifications for women's health and religious freedom but does not invalidate a single section of the law. [More]
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