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Category Archives: Health Care

Ken Burns new PBS documentary on Cancer

Fortune: “Cancer is the fastest growing disease on Earth. It plagues nearly 1.7 million Americans each year, and over the next two years it’s expected that more people will die from the disease than were killed in combat in all the wars the U.S. has fought — combined. These facts set the stage for the six-hour documentary “Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies,” which was executive produced by acclaimed documentarian Ken Burns and directed by Barak Goodman, and premieres on PBS Monday evening. The three-part series chronicles the comprehensive story of cancer, from its earliest description in an Egyptian scroll to the latest advancements in immunotherapy.”

New GAO Reports – Children’s Health Insurance, NASA, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute

Children’s Health Insurance: Coverage of Services and Costs to Consumers in Selected CHIP and Private Health Plans in Five States, GAO-15-323: Published: Feb 25, 2015. Publicly Released: Mar 27, 2015. NASA: Assessments of Selected Large-Scale Projects [Reissued on March 26, 2015] GAO-15-320SP: Published: Mar 24, 2015. Publicly Released: Mar 24, 2015. Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute:Continue Reading

Studying the air above oil and gas production areas in the western United States

NOAA and CIRES lead airborne field campaign to look at climate and air quality impacts: “Vast regions west of the Mississippi River are under development for oil and gas extraction, and the associated equipment has become a familiar sight on any cross-country road trip or flight.  But while one focus is on what comes outContinue Reading

Bioethics Commission Releases Gray Matters, Vol. 2

“Today, the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (Bioethics Commission) released the second volume of its two-part response to President Obama’s request related to the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative. Gray Matters: Topics at the Intersection of Neuroscience, Ethics, and Society, seeks to clarify the scientific landscape, identify common ground,Continue Reading

New GAO Reports – Aviation Security, Denali Commission, Health Care Funding

Aviation Security: TSA’s Managed Inclusion Process Expands Passenger Expedited Screening, But TSA Has Not Tested Its Security Effectiveness, GAO-15-465T: Published: Mar 25, 2015. Publicly Released: Mar 25, 2015. Denali Commission: Options Exist to Address Management Challenges, GAO-15-72: Published: Mar 25, 2015. Publicly Released: Mar 25, 2015. Health Care Funding: Federal Obligations to and Expenditures byContinue Reading

Dying in America: Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life

“For patients and their loved ones, no care decisions are more profound than those made near the end of life. Unfortunately, the experience of dying in the United States is often characterized by fragmented care, inadequate treatment of distressing symptoms, frequent transitions among care settings, and enormous care responsibilities for families. According to this report,Continue Reading

New GAO Reports – Drug Discount Program, Homeland Security, James Webb Space Telescope, NASA, Unmanned Aerial Systems

Drug Discount Program: Status of GAO Recommendations to Improve 340B Drug Pricing Program Oversight, GAO-15-455T: Published: Mar 24, 2015. Publicly Released: Mar 24, 2015. Homeland Security: Action Needed to Better Assess Cost-Effectiveness of Security Enhancements at Federal Facilities, GAO-15-444: Published: Mar 24, 2015. Publicly Released: Mar 24, 2015 James Webb Space Telescope: Project Facing IncreasedContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Border Security, DOJ Budget, Medicare, National Nuclear Security Administration, Nuclear Waste, Private Health Insurance

Border Security: Additional Efforts Needed to Address Persistent Challenges in Achieving Radio Interoperability, GAO-15-201: Published: Mar 23, 2015. Publicly Released: Mar 23, 2015. Department of Justice: Alternative Sources of Funding Are a Key Source of Budgetary Resources and Could Be Better Managed, GAO-15-48: Published: Feb 19, 2015. Publicly Released: Mar 23, 2015. Medicare: Payment MethodsContinue Reading

WHO issues assessment on carcinogenicity of five leading insecticides and herbicides

20 March 2015 – IARC Monographs Volume 112: evaluation of five organophosphate insecticides and herbicides: “A Working Group of 17 experts from 11 countries met at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) on 3–10 March 2015 to review the available published scientific evidence and evaluate the carcinogenicity of five organophosphate insecticides and herbicides:Continue Reading

Diagnostic Concordance Among Pathologists Interpreting Breast Biopsy Specimens

Diagnostic Concordance Among Pathologists Interpreting Breast Biopsy Specimens. Joann G. Elmore, MD, MPH; Gary M. Longton, MS; Patricia A. Carney, PhD; Berta M. Geller, EdD; Tracy Onega, PhD; Anna N. A. Tosteson, ScD; Heidi D. Nelson, MD, MPH; Margaret S. Pepe, PhD; Kimberly H. Allison, MD; Stuart J. Schnitt, MD; Frances P. O’Malley, MB; Donald L. Weaver, MD. JAMA. 2015;313(11):1122-1132. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.1405. [full text is available free] “Approximately 1.6 million women in the United States have breast biopsies each year.Continue Reading

Two out of 3 people with invasive cancer are surviving 5 years or more

CDC press release: “Two out of 3 people diagnosed with cancer survive five years or more, according to a CDC study published in today’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The report found that the most common cancer sites continue to be cancers of the prostate (128 cases per 100,000 men), female breast (122 cases perContinue Reading

Private industry employers spend $31.32 per hr for employee compensation in December 2014

BLS Employer Costs for Employee Compensation news release, March 11, 2015: “Private industry employers spent an average of $31.32 per hour worked for total employee compensation in December 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Wages and salaries averaged $21.72 per hour worked and accounted for 69.4 percent of these costs, while benefitsContinue Reading