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Category Archives: Medicine

New GAO Reports – Antipsychotic Drug Use, Defense Acquisitions, Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, Federal Research, Information Security, Medicaid Information Technology

  • Antipsychotic Drug Use: HHS Has Initiatives to Reduce Use among Older Adults in Nursing Homes, but Should Expand Efforts to Other Settings, GAO-15-211: Published: Jan 30, 2015. Publicly Released: Mar 2, 2015.
  • Defense Acquisitions: Better Approach Needed to Account for Number, Cost, and Performance of Non-Major Programs, GAO-15-188: Published: Mar 2, 2015. Publicly Released: Mar 2, 2015.
  • Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board: Improvements Needed to Strengthen Internal Control and Promote Transparency [Reissued on March 2, 2015], GAO-15-181: Published: Jan 20, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 19, 2015.
  • Federal Research: DOE Is Addressing Invention Disclosure and Other Challenges but Needs a Plan to Guide Data Management Improvements, GAO-15-212: Published: Jan 30, 2015. Publicly Released: Mar 2, 2015.
  • Information Security: FAA Needs to Address Weaknesses in Air Traffic Control Systems, GAO-15-221: Published: Jan 29, 2015. Publicly Released: Mar 2, 2015.
  • Medicaid Information Technology: CMS Supports Use of Program Integrity Systems but Should Require States to Determine Effectiveness, GAO-15-207: Published: Jan 30, 2015. Publicly Released: Mar 2, 2015.

Kaiser – New Online Tool Gives Patients Insight Into The Cost Of Medical Care

Jay Hancock – Kaiser Health News: “Buying health care in America is like shopping blindfolded at Macy’s and getting the bill months after you leave the store, economist Uwe Reinhardt likes to say. A tool that went online Wednesday is supposed to give patients a small peek at the products and prices before they openContinue Reading

The Measles: Background and Federal Role in Vaccine Policy

CRS Report – The Measles: Background and Federal Role in Vaccine Policy. Matthew B. Barry, Section Research Manager; Jared P. Cole, Legislative Attorney. February 9, 2015. “The earliest accounts of measles date back over 1,000 years. This report presents basic  information about this infectious disease, its history in the United States, available treatments to preventContinue Reading

Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science?

National Geographic – March 2015: “We live in an age when all manner of scientific knowledge—from the safety of fluoride and vaccines to the reality of climate change—faces organized and often furious opposition. Empowered by their own sources of information and their own interpretations of research, doubters have declared war on the consensus of experts.Continue Reading

Paper – New Ideas in Invention

New Ideas in Invention by Mikko Packalen, Jay Bhattacharya. NBER Working Paper No. 20922. Issued in January 2015. “A key decision in research is whether to try out new ideas or build on more established ideas. In this paper, we evaluate which type of work is more likely to spur further invention. When recent advancesContinue Reading

Law, Ethics, and Public Health in the Vaccination Debates: Politics of the Measles Outbreak

Gostin, Lawrence O., Law, Ethics, and Public Health in the Vaccination Debates: Politics of the Measles Outbreak (February 12, 2015). JAMA Online, February 2015. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2564724 “This article explores the legal and ethical landscape of vaccine exemptions. While all states require childhood vaccinations, they differ significantly in the types of religiousContinue Reading

Data-driven journalism project revealed racial disparities in U.S. nursing homes

Jeff Kelly Lowenstein via Storybench – part of the Media Innovation track at Northeastern University’s School of Journalism:  “In 2009, while at The Chicago Reporter, I took a deep look at racial disparities in the quality of care in nursing homes in Chicago, Illinois and nationally. For a project that the Center for Public Integrity published inContinue Reading

New dosages of old drugs are used to raise their prices

New York Times (02/11/15) Meier, Barry: “Over the last 2 years, states nationwide have moved to crack down on so-called physician dispensing of prescription drugs, a practice largely limited to doctors who treat injured workers. Recent studies suggest that doctors and companies have responded by exploiting loopholes in those rules and adopting new strategies toContinue Reading

For Preventing Disease, Data Are the New Drugs

Is giving up your biological secrets too bitter a pill? By Tim McDonnell: “…A new cadre of medical researchers believes that examining the full genetic information of as many people as possible will reveal not just the cures for health problems ranging from pre-term birth to cancer and autism, but the predictive insight to preventContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Critical Technologies, Land-Use Agreements, Medicaid, Prenatal Drug Use

Critical Technologies: Agency Initiatives Address Some Weaknesses, but Additional Interagency Collaboration Is Needed, GAO-15-288: Published: Feb 10, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 10, 2015. Land-Use Agreements: Improved Data Reliability and Monitoring Needed for Department of Veterans Affairs, GAO-15-134T: Published: Feb 10, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 10, 2015. Medicaid: Additional Federal Action Needed to Further Improve Third-PartyContinue Reading

Exposure to mercury, seafood associated with risk factor for autoimmune disease

Emily C. Somers, Martha A. Ganser, Jeffrey S. Warren, Niladri Basu, Lu Wang, Suzanna M. Zick, Sung Kyun Park. Mercury Exposure and Antinuclear Antibodies among Females of Reproductive Age in the United States: NHANES. Environmental Health Perspectives, 2015; DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1408751 Science Daily: “One of the greatest risk factors for autoimmunity among women of childbearing ageContinue Reading

GAO Report – International Classification of Diseases

International Classification of Diseases: CMS’s Efforts to Prepare for the New Version of the Disease and Procedure Codes, GAO-15-255: Published: Jan 28, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 6, 2015: “The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has undertaken a number of efforts to prepare for theContinue Reading