Will the sale of two RI hospitals make health care better in the state?
The Incidental Economist
by Elsa Pearson Sites
1w ago
Our Lady of Fatima Hospital and Roger Williams Medical Center in Rhode Island are not doing well but their proposed sale to The Centurion Foundation is less than straight forward. The Attorney General and Department of Health recently approved the sale, but not without dozens of stipulations. Time will tell if the sale goes through and, if it does, if it’s good for Rhode Islanders. I wrote about this in The Providence Journal earlier this week. But the sale of Our Lady of Fatima Hospital and Roger Williams Medical Center doesn’t fit into the nice, clean “mergers and acquisitions are bad” box ..read more
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Clinic Efficiency: Improving Access to Care Within Resource Constraints
The Incidental Economist
by PhiYen Nguyen
2w ago
The Veterans Health Administration (VHA), operating within the constraints of a congressionally allocated budget, must focus on improving clinic efficiency as a way to meet the growing Veteran demand for care. Clinic efficiency, defined as the productivity or work rate of providers, is an important predictor of clinic operations and outcomes. Thus, optimizing aspects of VHA clinic operations can help ensure that Veterans receive consistent access to both preventative care and treatment. Recognizing the need, the Partnered Evidence-based Policy Resource Center (PEPReC) published a policy brief ..read more
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Elections Are Bad for Your Health, Research Suggests
The Incidental Economist
by Izabela Sadej
3w ago
With the 2024 presidential elections in full swing, and a debate between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump scheduled for next week, we need to talk about voter health. Politics can be stressful, and research shows it can actually also harm your health. Some of us consume political content everyday, and terms like post-election stress disorder have been coined to describe common experiences of mental, emotional, and physical discomfort after a critical election. I wrote more about this in Teen Vogue with some tips on how to mitigate election-related health consequences, incl ..read more
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Potential Inequities in Accessing Medicare Counseling
The Incidental Economist
by Izabela Sadej
1M ago
Navigating health insurance options can be difficult, and Medicare is no exception. The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) was created under the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 to help Medicare beneficiaries understand their coverage, but it’s been unclear who the program actually helps. SHIP is a federal program that provides funding to states to counsel Medicare beneficiaries on coverage choices, eligibility, and costs. It’s overseen by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), which provides grants to states that are then often distributed to local organizations ..read more
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The Drug Shortage Putting Newborns at Risk
The Incidental Economist
by Tiffany Doherty
1M ago
For some women, a simple shot during pregnancy and then right after labor can prevent a huge amount of suffering for both parents and future children. So what happens when there’s a shortage that prevents that shot from happening?    The post The Drug Shortage Putting Newborns at Risk first appeared on The Incidental Economist ..read more
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The FDA Should Stop Letting Drug Companies Skip Steps
The Incidental Economist
by Katherine O'Malley
1M ago
Recent headlines have highlighted the Food and Drug Administration’s accelerated approval program for new drugs, sowing doubt that treatments approved this way actually work. While the program has expedited many life-saving treatments for terminal and rare diseases, there are serious challenges ensuring the mandatory confirmatory clinical trials are completed after approval. What can we do to get these trials back on track? I wrote about this in The Boston Globe today: “When drugs receive accelerated approval, they go to market and companies immediately start profiting. The Office of the Insp ..read more
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The MISSION Act Scribes Pilot: Implementation and Costs
The Incidental Economist
by Elsa Pearson Sites
1M ago
Medical scribes are nonclinical support staff dedicated to clinical documentation during medical visits, allowing the provider to focus on the patient. Existing research shows that scribes can improve provider productivity and satisfaction and minimize the time they spend on documentation. When the MISSION Act passed in 2018, one section of the law required the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to conduct a two-year medical scribes pilot. The goal was to determine how medical scribes impact VHA clinic function. The pilot was implemented in emergency departments and cardiology and orthopedic ..read more
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What Kind of Exercise Is Best for Depression?
The Incidental Economist
by Tiffany Doherty
1M ago
We already know exercise is good for us, including our mental health, but we still have some questions. Like, what kind of exercise is best? And at what intensity?    The post What Kind of Exercise Is Best for Depression? first appeared on The Incidental Economist ..read more
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Oil pulling: promises so sweet, what’s it doing to my teeth?
The Incidental Economist
by Brian Stanley
2M ago
The ancient practice of oil pulling is being repackaged for the digital age. Are the lies about it getting resold as well? Oil pulling – swishing an unrefined oil in your mouth for 10-20 minutes to “pull” bacteria from the mouth has recently gained popularity on TikTok. It’s not a new concept though. Articles report that oil pulling first showed up in Ayurvedic medicine thousands of years ago. Ayurvedic medicine is a traditional medicine practice that focuses on balance and natural remedies. It’s still practiced around the world, but the evidence for it is scattered and inconclusive. This is i ..read more
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Medicare’s fiscal cliff
The Incidental Economist
by Elsa Pearson Sites
2M ago
The recent good news is that the bankruptcy date for Medicare’s hospital care coverage fund was pushed back a few years to 2036. The bad news is that this temporary reprieve is just that, plus it doesn’t even address the financial situation of the rest of Medicare. I wrote about this for the Boston Globe today: There are 67 million Americans currently on Medicare. Ninety percent of them are over 65 and the country’s population is aging quickly. By 2040, it’s estimated that 80 million Americans will be over 65. That’s an extra 13 million people on Medicare’s rolls. It’s simpl ..read more
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