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Category Archives: Health Care

Census Bureau Updates Interactive HIV/AIDS Database

“The U.S. Census Bureau today released its annually updated interactive global resource on the prevalence of HIV infection and AIDS cases and deaths. First developed in 1987, the database now holds more than 164,000 statistics, an increase of approximately 5,900 new estimates in the last year, and is the most comprehensive resource of its kind in the world. The Census Bureau database is maintained with funding from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). “The Census Bureau’s HIV/AIDS database is the world’s only resource that consolidates HIV/AIDS information for policymakers, academics and health care professionals who conduct research to help end the HIV/AIDS epidemic,” Census Bureau Director John H. Thompson said. “The Census Bureau continues to add new data, making this an ever more valuable resource.”..The tool consists of a library of statistics from more than 14,900 sources in international scientific and medical journals, individual countries’ annual HIV/AIDS surveillance reports, and papers and posters presented at international conferences. China represents 28 percent of the new records in the database, the largest increase by a single country. The menu-driven access tool enables users to search for statistical information in countries and territories across the world, as well as by subpopulation, geographic subarea (such as urban and rural), age, sex and year from the 1960s to 2013. HIV-related statistics for the United States are available separately from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

New GAO Reports – Aviation Safety, Fair Labor Standards, Indian Gaming, NTIS, Patient Protection, Small Business, Space Launch System

AVIATION SAFETY: FAA’s Efforts to Implement Recommendations to Improve Certification and Regulatory Consistency Face Some Challenges, GAO-14-728T: Published: Jul 23, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 23, 2014. FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT: Department of Labor Needs a More Systematic Approach to Developing Its Guidance, GAO-14-629T: Published: Jul 23, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 23, 2014. INDIAN GAMING: Preliminary Observations on the Regulation and Oversight ofContinue Reading

Washington Post/Kaiser Family Foundation Survey of Iraq and Afghanistan Active Duty Soldiers and Veterans

“This Visualizing Health Policy provides highlights from a survey that asked Iraq and Afghanistan active duty soldiers and veterans about whether their physical and emotional health is worse compared with before the wars, whether they personally know someone who has attempted or died by suicide, whether they experienced difficulty in transitioning back to civilian life,Continue Reading

Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review

Holt-Lunstad J, Smith TB, Layton JB (2010) Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review. PLoS Med 7(7): e1000316. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000316 “Humans are naturally social. Yet, the modern way of life in industrialized countries is greatly reducing the quantity and quality of social relationships. Many people in these countries no longer live in extended families orContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Coastal Zone Management, High Containment Labs, Medicaid, Special Education, U.S. Launch Enterprise

COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT: Opportunities Exist for NOAA to Enhance Its Use of Performance Information, GAO-14-592: Published: Jul 16, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 16, 2014. HIGH-CONTAINMENT LABORATORIES: Recent Incidents of Biosafety Lapses, GAO-14-785T: Published: Jul 16, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 16, 2014. MEDICAID: Assessment of Variation among States in Per-Enrollee Spending, GAO-14-456: Published: Jun 16, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 16, 2014. SPECIAL EDUCATION: Additional FederalContinue Reading

The 2014 Long-Term Budget Outlook

“Between 2009 and 2012, the federal government recorded the largest budget deficits relative to the size of the economy since 1946, causing its debt to soar. The total amount of federal debt held by the public is now equivalent to about 74 percent of the economy’s annual output, or gross domestic product (GDP)—a higher percentageContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Federal Workforce, Helium Program, Medicaid Payment, Military Training, VA Disability Claims Processing

FEDERAL WORKFORCE: Human Capital Management Challenges and the Path to Reform, GAO-14-723T: Published: Jul 15, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 15, 2014. HELIUM PROGRAM: BLM’s Implementation of the Helium Stewardship Act of 2013, GAO-14-751T: Published: Jul 15, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 15, 2014. MEDICAID PAYMENT: Comparisons of Selected Services under Fee-for-Service, Managed Care, and Private Insurance, GAO-14-533: Published: Jul 15, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 15,Continue Reading

White House Office of National Drug Control Policy – The 2014 National Drug Control Strategy

The 2014 National Drug Control Strategy, July 2014 “I am pleased to transmit the 2014 National Drug Control Strategy, a 21st century approach to drug policy that is built on decades of research demonstrating that addiction is a disease of the brain—one that can be prevented, treated, and from which people can recover. The pagesContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Fusion Energy, Security Force Assistance, Private Health Insurance

FUSION ENERGY: Observations on DOE’s Cost and Schedule Estimates for U.S. Contributions to an International Experimental Reactor, GAO-14-750T: Published: Jul 11, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 11, 2014. SECURITY FORCE ASSISTANCE: The Army and Marine Corps Have Ongoing Efforts to Identify and Track Advisors, but the Army Needs a Plan to Capture Advising Experience, GAO-14-482: Published: Jul 11, 2014. Publicly Released: JulContinue Reading

Informed Consent and the Differential Diagnosis

Ginsberg, Marc, Informed Consent and the Differential Diagnosis: How the Law Overestimates Patient Autonomy and Compromises Health Care (July 10, 2014). Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2464735 “The purpose of this paper is not simply to re-examine the doctrine of informed consent. The purpose, however, is to identify how the doctrine has evolved, its scope expanded,Continue Reading

Report on the Potential Exposure to Anthrax – CDC

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report today that reviews the early June incident that involved the unintentional exposure of personnel to potentially viable anthrax at the CDC’s Roybal Campus. The report identifies factors found to have contributed to the incident; and highlights actions taken by the agency to address these factors andContinue Reading

HHS IG – Special Fraud Alert: Laboratory Payments to Referring Physicians

June 25, 2014  - “This Special Fraud Alert addresses compensation paid by laboratories to referring physicians and physician group practices (collectively, physicians) for blood specimen collection, processing, and packaging, and for submitting patient data to a registry or database. OIG has issued a number of guidance documents and advisory opinions addressing the general subject of remunerationContinue Reading