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Category Archives: Health Care

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

Altruism, Happiness, and Health: It’s Good to Be Good

Stephen G. Post – International Journal of Behavioral Medicine 2005, Vol. 12, No. 2, 66–77: “Altruistic (other-regarding) emotions and behaviors are associated with greater well-being, health, and longevity. This article presents a summary and assessment of existing research data on altruism and its relation to mental and physical health. It suggests several complementary interpretive frameworks, including evolutionary  biology,Continue Reading

Safety of Vaccines Used for Routine Immunization in the United States

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality – HHS – “Report provides important reassurances about the safety of commonly used vaccines. AHRQ Publication No. 14-E002-EF, July 2014. The report found scientific evidence that addresses several common concerns about a variety of vaccines.  For example, the report found strong scientific evidence that: There is not a link between measles, mumpsContinue Reading

Children and armed conflict – UN Report

“In 2013, children were recruited and used, killed and maimed, victims of sexual violence and other grave violations in 23 conflict situations around the world. These are some of the findings unveiled today in the Annual Report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict. “We have documented the cases of children recruited and usedContinue Reading