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Category Archives: Health Care

New Study Sheds Light on Which Seniors Are Driving the Rise in Medicare Advantage Enrollment

“A new study from the Kaiser Family Foundation counters the popular misperception that the steady rise in Medicare Advantage enrollment has been driven by members of the Baby Boom generation overwhelmingly choosing the private plans as they become eligible for Medicare.  Instead, the study finds that a majority of new enrollees in Medicare Advantage inContinue Reading

Arrival of the Fukushima radioactivity plume in North American continental waters

John N. Smith, Robin M. Brown, William J. Williams, Marie Robert, Richard Nelson, and S. Bradley Moran.  Arrival of the Fukushima radioactivity plume in North American continental waters. PNAS 2014 : 1412814112v1-201412814. “The large discharge of radioactivity into the northwest Pacific Ocean from the 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear reactor accident has generated considerable concern about the spread ofContinue Reading

Tobacco Cessation Among Users of Telephone and Web-Based Interventions – Four States, 2011–2012

Tobacco Cessation Among Users of Telephone and Web-Based Interventions — Four States, 2011–2012 – Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). January 2, 2015 / 63(51);1217-1221. Mary Puckett, PhD, Antonio Neri, MD, Trevor Thompson, J. Michael Underwood, PhD, Behnoosh Momin, MS, MPH, Jennifer Kahende, PhD, Lei Zhang, PhD, Sherri L. Stewart, PhD (Author affiliations at end of text) “Smoking causedContinue Reading

Outbreaks: Protecting Americans from Infectious Diseases 2014

“It is alarming that many of the most basic infection disease controls failed when tested. After more than a decade of focus on preparing for public health emergencies in the wake of the September 11 and anthrax tragedies, there have been troubling errors, lapses and scrambles to recreate practices and policies that were supposed to have been long considered and well established. The country spentContinue Reading

Taking Regular Vacations May Help Boost Americans’ Well-Being

Gallup: “Making time for regular trips or vacations with family and friends is linked to higher overall well-being. Americans who say they take regular trips have significantly higher well-being than those who say they do not, as measured by Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index scores, and this difference persists across all income groups. In fact, those whoContinue Reading

721 Hospitals Penalized For Patient Safety

Jordan Rau – Kaiser Health News: “Medicare is penalizing 721 hospitals with high rates of potentially avoidable mistakes that can harm patients, known as “hospital-acquired conditions.” Penalized hospitals will have their Medicare payments reduced by 1 percent over the fiscal year that runs from October 2014 through September 2015. To determine penalties, Medicare evaluated three typesContinue Reading

Department of Defense Suicide Event Report Data Quality Assessment

“The Department of Defense Suicide Event Report (DoDSER) is the system of record for health surveillance related to suicide ideations, attempts, and deaths. This assessment focused on decreasing the number of “don’t know” responses on suicide death submissions by identifying changes to policy, training, or oversight. We also examined the sharing of DoD medical information with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  Inspector General Report,Continue Reading

World Statistics Pocketbook, 2014 edition

“The World Statistics Pocketbook, 2014 edition is an annual compilation of key statistical indicators prepared by the United Nations Statistics Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Over 50 indicators have been collected from more than 20 international statistical sources and are presented in one-page profiles for 217 countries or areas of theContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Airport Privatization, Anthrax, Dodd Frank Regulations, Education, Emergency Preparedness, Ground Radar

Airport Privatization: Limited Interest despite FAA’s Pilot Program, GAO-15-42: Published: Nov 19, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 19, 2014. Anthrax: Agency Approaches to Validation and Statistical Analyses Could Be Improved, GAO-15-80: Published: Dec 19, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 19, 2014. Dodd-Frank Regulations: Regulators’ Analytical and Coordination Efforts [Reissued on December 18, 2014, GAO-15-81: Published: Dec 18, 2014. Publicly Released:Continue Reading

Updated Death and Injury Rates of U.S. Military Personnel During the Conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan

Matthew Goldberg (CBO):  “In Operation Iraqi Freedom, which ended on August 31, 2010, some 3,482 hostile deaths occurred among U.S. military personnel and 31,947 people were wounded in action (WIA). More than 1,800 hostile deaths occurred during Operation Enduring Freedom (in Afghanistan and surrounding countries) through November 2014; about 20,000 more people were wounded inContinue Reading

Medicare Provider Utilization and Payment Data: Physician and Other Supplier

“As part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to make our healthcare system more transparent, affordable, and accountable, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has prepared a public data set, the Medicare Provider Utilization and Payment Data: Physician and Other Supplier Public Use File (Physician and Other Supplier PUF), with information on services andContinue Reading

New GAO Report – College and Career Readiness, Health Care, Hurricane Sandy, Aviation Securrity

College-and-Career Readiness: States Have Made Progress in Implementing New Standards and Assessments, but Challenges Remain, GAO-15-104R: Published: Dec 12, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 12, 2014. Grant Program Consolidations: Lessons Learned and Implications for Congressional Oversight, GAO-15-125: Published: Dec 12, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 12, 2014. Grants Management: Programs at HHS and HUD Collect Administrative Cost Information butContinue Reading