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Category Archives: Health Care

Two New CRS Reports on Ebola

The Ebola Outbreak: Select Legal Issues, CRS Legal Sidebar, October 6, 2014: “On August 8th, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. The recent arrival in the United States of several health care workers who contracted the disease, combined with the firstContinue Reading

The Global AgeWatch Index 2014

“The world is ageing fast. By 2030, there will be more people over 60 than under 10. Already there are more adults over 60 than children under 5. The Global AgeWatch Index has been developed and constructed by HelpAge International from international data sets drawn from the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the World Bank,Continue Reading

Heroin overdose deaths increased in many states through 2012

CDC – “Heroin deaths increased sharply in many states, according to a report of death certificate data from 28 states published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in this week’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Despite these findings, still more than twice as many people died from prescription opioid overdoses as died from heroinContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Medicaid, Private Health Insurance

MEDICAID: Information on Inmate Eligibility and Federal Costs for Allowable Services, GAO-14-752R: Published: Sep 5, 2014. Publicly Released: Oct 6, 2014: “In 2013, the Medicaid program financed health care services for more than 72 million individuals, and an additional 7 million beneficiaries are expected to enroll in 2014 as a result of states choosing to expand Medicaid eligibilityContinue Reading

Vietnam’s Neuroscientific Legacy

Emily Anthes, The New Yorker: “In 1967, William F. Caveness, a neurologist and veteran of the Korean War, began building a registry of living soldiers who had suffered head trauma in Vietnam. Studies of veterans of the Second World War had suggested that penetrating head injuries could cause seizures, and Caveness, who had documented post-traumatic epilepsyContinue Reading

Don’t just sit there! Prolonged sitting linked to early mortality in women

Cornell University. “Don’t just sit there! Prolonged sitting linked to early mortality in women.” ScienceDaily. “A new study of 93,000 postmenopausal American women found those with the highest amounts of sedentary time – defined as sitting and resting, excluding sleeping – died earlier than their most active peers. The association remained even when controlling forContinue Reading

Researchers reveal prevalence of traumatic brain injuries in deceased NFL players

Mother Jones: “Yesterday, the country’s leading investigators of sports-related brain injuries released what could be their most shocking finding yet: Of the 79 deceased NFL players examined, 76 showed evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. The researchers at the Boston University CTE Center have examined, in total, the brains of 128 people who played footballContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – 202 Census, Compound Drugs

2020 CENSUS: Census Bureau Can Improve Use of Leading Practices When Choosing Address and Mapping Sources, GAO-15-21: Published: Oct 2, 2014. Publicly Released: Oct 2, 2014. COMPOUNDED DRUGS: TRICARE’s Payment Practices Should Be More Consistent with Regulations, GAO-15-64: Published: Oct 2, 2014. Publicly Released: Oct 2, 2014.

PulseNet – connecting foodborne illness cases together using DNA “fingerprinting” of the bacteria making people sick

“PulseNet connects cases of foodborne illness to potential outbreaks. PulseNet is a national laboratory network  made up of 87 laboratories−at least one in each state. PulseNet  connects foodborne illness cases together to detect and define outbreaks using DNA “fingerprinting” of the bacteria making people sick  using a standardized process called pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Every state hasContinue Reading

New Data Release from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services “A new government database that debuted Sept. 30 offers information on financial connections between doctors and teaching hospitals and pharmaceutical firms and medical device manufacturers. The open-data play by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services was mandated under provisions of the 2010 health care overhaul. The inaugural data dump covers $3.5 billion in payments fromContinue Reading

Measuring the Impact of Ebola: Will it Reach 1.4 Million?

Josh Michaud and Jennifer Kates, Kaiser Family Foundation, September 29, 2014. “More than six months have passed since Ebola was first identified in West Africa, and the scale of the crisis continues to grow. Over the last few weeks cases and deaths have increased significantly in the two most affected countries – Liberia and SierraContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Disabled Dual Eligible Beneficiaries, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

DISABLED DUAL-ELIGIBLE BENEFICIARIES: Integration of Medicare and Medicaid Benefits May Not Lead to Expected Medicare Savings, GAO-14-523: Published: Aug 29, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 29, 2014. PATIENT PROTECTION AND AFFORDABLE CARE ACT: Largest Issuers of Health Coverage Participated in Most Exchanges, and Number of Plans Available Varied, GAO-14-657: Published: Aug 29, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 29, 2014.