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State highlights: Ore. mediation for medical errors; Mich. home-help aides

State highlights: Ore. mediation for medical errors; Mich. home-help aides

A mediation program spearheaded by Gov. John Kitzhaber went into effect Tuesday, giving patients and their families an option besides suing when medical errors happen. But questions remain over how the mediation program will develop, including whether hospitals, doctors and other providers will take advantage of the program, or candidly discuss errors if they do. The result of a compromise between trial lawyers and the Oregon Medical Association approved in SB 483 last year, the Early Discussion and Resolution program is intended to cut down on lawsuits and boost the reporting of medical errors to help improve health care practices (Budnick, 7/1). [More]

Indiana seeks OK for Medicaid expansion alternative; Calif. wrestles with Medi-Cal backlog

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on Tuesday requested a waiver from the federal government to expand Medicaid coverage using a state plan that he says would promote personal responsibility. Developments in California, Oregon, Georgia and Washington state are also tracked. [More]
New study finds link between lower socioeconomic status and higher rates of peripheral artery disease

New study finds link between lower socioeconomic status and higher rates of peripheral artery disease

Previous research has established a link between lower socioeconomic status and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. In a new study led by Brigham and Women's Hospital, researchers have found that there are also higher rates of peripheral artery disease (PAD) in individuals with low income and lower attained education levels in the United States. [More]
Viewpoints: Hobby Lobby decision celebrated and panned; gender and religious politics explored

Viewpoints: Hobby Lobby decision celebrated and panned; gender and religious politics explored

In ruling 5 to 4 that "closely held" companies can refuse on religious grounds to include contraceptives in their employees' health plans, the Supreme Court has needlessly interfered with an important provision of the Affordable Care Act. And it has done more than that (7/1). [More]
Karolinska Institute Professor calls for innovative solutions for global healthcare

Karolinska Institute Professor calls for innovative solutions for global healthcare

Einstein once observed that "it is harder to crack prejudice than an atom". If he was right, then Hans Rosling is faced with a labour of Hercules. [More]
Early life stress can have lasting negative impacts on the brain

Early life stress can have lasting negative impacts on the brain

For children, stress can go a long way. A little bit provides a platform for learning, adapting and coping. But a lot of it - chronic, toxic stress like poverty, neglect and physical abuse - can have lasting negative impacts. [More]
Research roundup: Role of primary care in reducing readmissions; air transport for wounded soldiers; hospital prices

Research roundup: Role of primary care in reducing readmissions; air transport for wounded soldiers; hospital prices

Follow-up with a primary care provider (PCP) in addition to the surgical team is routinely recommended to patients discharged after major surgery despite no clear evidence that it improves outcomes. [More]
State roundup: Troubles in Kentucky; MD. hospital under review

State roundup: Troubles in Kentucky; MD. hospital under review

The team at The Upshot, a Times news and data-analysis venture, compiled six basic metrics to give a picture of the quality and longevity of life in each county of the nation: educational attainment, household income, jobless rate, disability rate, life expectancy and obesity rate. [More]
Sociologists to discuss economic inequality at ASA's Annual Meeting in San Francisco

Sociologists to discuss economic inequality at ASA's Annual Meeting in San Francisco

More than 5,000 sociologists will convene in San Francisco this August to explore ideas and scientific research relating to economic inequality and many other topics, as part of the American Sociological Association's 109th Annual Meeting. This year's theme, "Hard Times: The Impact of Economic Inequality on Families and Individuals," draws attention to the many ways in which inequality reverberates throughout American society and the world. [More]
Study proposes moving open enrollment season

Study proposes moving open enrollment season

Researchers suggest consumers are not willing to spend money on insurance in the busy fall season as they plan for the holidays so sign-ups in the spring after tax returns are received might be better. Also, a look at consumers' reluctance to shop for insurance [More]
Patient injuries mean Medicare payment penalties for some hospitals

Patient injuries mean Medicare payment penalties for some hospitals

The preliminary analysis of penalties would lower Medicare payments to these hospitals by 1 percent for a year. Elsewhere, lawmakers introduce legislation to change how hospitals that serve a large number of poor patients are affected by Medicare's penalties. [More]
Research roundup: Improving colon cancer screening; disparities in heart care; Medicaid expansion's effect on cities

Research roundup: Improving colon cancer screening; disparities in heart care; Medicaid expansion's effect on cities

This report estimated the effect of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on 14 large and diverse cities: Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Indianapolis, Columbus, Charlotte, Detroit, Memphis, Seattle, Denver, Atlanta, and Miami. [More]
First Edition: June 20, 2014

First Edition: June 20, 2014

Today's early morning highlights from the major news organizations, including reports about a new poll of showing a majority of those signing up for marketplace plans had been uninsured before and the Obama administration's decision to extend marriage benefits, including family leave, to same-sex couples. [More]

Low-income, uninsured patients feel stigma when interacting with health care providers

Some low-income, uninsured and Medicaid patients report feeling stigma when interacting with health care providers, finds a new report in The Milbank Quarterly. [More]
Viewpoints: Working for benefits; fears for a pill to prevent HIV; possible Medicaid strategy for Virginia

Viewpoints: Working for benefits; fears for a pill to prevent HIV; possible Medicaid strategy for Virginia

[Economist Robert] Moffitt noted in an email that "the work incentives in the government safety net have greatly increased over the last 20 years: less welfare payments if you don't work, and much greater government payments if you do." [More]

Research exposes "scandal" of excess deaths in children aged 0-14 in the UK

Bournemouth University research exposes the "scandal" of excess deaths in children aged 0-14 in the UK linked to the UK having the third worst income inequality and the joint lowest funded health care provision by percentage of GDP in the Western world [More]
Researchers identify muscle-building mechanism that could be important in addressing sarcopenia

Researchers identify muscle-building mechanism that could be important in addressing sarcopenia

Sarcopenia - the significant loss of muscle mass and function that can occur as we age - is associated with many chronic conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity. [More]
State highlights: New Fla. abortion restrictions; docs move to affluent areas; farmworkers' mental health in Calif.

State highlights: New Fla. abortion restrictions; docs move to affluent areas; farmworkers' mental health in Calif.

A selection of health policy stories from Florida, Wisconsin, California, Michigan, Georgia, North Carolina and Maryland. [More]
Promising way to prevent disparities in colorectal cancer screening

Promising way to prevent disparities in colorectal cancer screening

People living in poverty are less likely to be screened regularly for colorectal cancer-and more likely to develop the disease and die from it. How to end these disparities-and raise screening rates, lower disease rates, and prevent deaths? A promising way is to mail fecal immunochemical tests (a newer kind of stool test) to populations, Beverly B. Green, MD, MPH, and Gloria D. Coronado, PhD, wrote in the June 17 JAMA Internal Medicine. [More]
Low-income adolescents improve reading comprehension following 12 minutes of exercise

Low-income adolescents improve reading comprehension following 12 minutes of exercise

A new Dartmouth study shows 12 minutes of exercise can improve attention and reading comprehension in low-income adolescents, suggesting that schools serving low-income populations should work brief bouts of exercise into their daily schedules. [More]