May 7, 2012 11:00 am
Health disparities continue to plague the U.S. health care system, but small gains are giving federal officials some hope that progress will be made in years ahead with implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality released its ninth annual National Healthcare Disparities Report and the National Healthcare Quality Report on April 20. The reports showed that although overall quality improved at a rate of 2.5% per year between 2002 and 2008, access to care did not.
May 2, 2012 12:53 pm
A long-running dispute over whether nurses should be allowed to administer anesthesia without doctor supervision has been playing out here and around the country in recent months, with some states insisting that such a move is needed to address the shortage of physicians in rural areas. The debate pits nurse anesthetists, who specialize in administering anesthesia and maintain that they are well equipped to treat patients on their own, against anesthesiologists, who are physicians and say nurses lack the necessary training.
May 2, 2012 12:21 pm
Can a doctor lie about the results of a genetic test if he or she thinks that they might lead to an abortion? The State of Arizona is considering a law that might make it possible to make the answer to that question “yes.” They are passing a law that says they are not going to accept lawsuits for wrongful births. Wrongful birth lawsuits basically say that if a doctor doesn’t offer a test, doesn’t give the results of a test, or gives them inaccurately, the doctor still can’t be sued for making that kind of decision.
April 27, 2012 9:54 am
California lawmakers are considering a new proposal that would address concerns about keeping genetic information private by making it illegal to analyze, share, or store an individual’s genetic information without that person’s written consent. The Senate Judiciary Committee in the state, which already has adopted enhanced public protections against discrimination based on genetic information, has now passed the California Genetic Information Privacy Act (SB 1267).
April 25, 2012 11:39 am
If the Supreme Court strikes down President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, don’t look to government for what comes next. Employers and insurance companies will take charge. They’ll borrow some ideas from Obamacare, ditch others, and push even harder to cut costs.
April 23, 2012 5:50 pm
An air of confusion surrounds Canada’s rules governing fertility issues, such as assisted human reproduction. Although the federal government passed a law in 2004 that tackled a wide swath of the socially and ethically controversial issues surrounding reproduction, covering everything from human cloning to payment for sperm, the law hasn’t lived up to expectations.
April 18, 2012 5:58 pm
In an opinion article published in this week’s theme edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association focusing on comparative effectiveness research, a team of Johns Hopkins University bioethicists argues forcefully for streamlining federal restrictions on at least some low-risk clinical comparative effectiveness research, instead of easing them – as is now proposed – solely for low-risk social and behavior research involving surveys, interviews and focus groups.
April 17, 2012 11:14 am
The challengers of the health insurance mandate have focused on the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. As conservative Judge Silberman held, the text giving Congress the power to “regulate commerce” does seem to include a power to mandate purchases, given 1780s dictionary definitions of “regulate.” The challengers argue that this plain meaning should nonetheless be resisted because otherwise the clause would lack any “limiting principle,” and thus could be used to force us to buy GM cars, cell phones, burial insurance, or — their favorite bugaboo — broccoli.
April 16, 2012 4:20 pm
Perched on the banks of the Potomac River, the TEDMED gathering weighed in last week on what it considered the greatest challenges facing healthcare. A meeting closely associated with the high tech-optimism of Silicon Valley and other outposts of America’s innovator class, TEDMED came east this year from it’s previous home in San Diego. The idea was to bring the gathering’s ethos and its troupe of entrepreneurs, thinkers, futurists, doers, and artists to our nation’s political capital.
April 13, 2012 2:26 pm
It’s a brave new world online. As the influence of social media widens, the lines between users’ personal and professional lives are blurring. Doctors are no exception. According to a new study published in theJournal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), violations of online professionalism are prevalent among physicians. The study found that 92 percent of state medical boards in the United States have received reports of violations ranging from inappropriate contact with patients to misrepresentation of credentials.