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Category Archives: Medicine

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

Anthem breach Shows Risks of “Big Data”

EPIC – “One of the largest health insurers in the country has lost millions of medical records of American consumers. The most recent breach of sensitive medical information shows the dangers of “Big Data” and the mistaken conclusion of the report of the Presidents Science Advisors, which simply assumed the benefits of data collection. EPICContinue Reading

Young adults more likely to say vaccinating kids should be a parental choice

Monica Anderson – “As the number of measles cases linked to the California outbreak climbs to over 100, health officials are urging parents to properly immunize their children, citing unvaccinated individuals as a main contributor to the disease’s spread. Some have linked the outbreak to the anti-vaccination movement – a group whose members claim vaccinations areContinue Reading

Study – Decoding sugar addiction

Separate neural circuits control sugar cravings and healthy eating, researchers find. Picower Institute for Learning and Memory. January 29, 2015 “Together, obesity and Type 2 diabetes rank among our nation’s greatest health problem, and they largely result from what many call an “addiction” to sugar. But solving this problem is more complicated than solving drugContinue Reading

CBO Report – Medicare’s Payment to Physicians

“The table, Medicare’s Payment to Physicians: the Budgetary Effects of Alternative Policies, includes estimates for several replacement and short-term alternatives to the current rules for setting Medicare’s payment rates for physicians’ services. The starting date for all of these alternative policies would be April 1, 2015.The table includes an updated estimate for H.R. 4015 andContinue Reading

FACT SHEET: President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative

January 30, 2015: “Building on President Obama’s announcement in his State of the Union Address, today the Administration is unveiling details about the Precision Medicine Initiative, a bold new research effort to revolutionize how we improve health and treat disease.  Launched with a $215 million investment in the President’s 2016 Budget, the Precision Medicine InitiativeContinue Reading

Immunologist argues that the world is making us sick

The chemicals in our everyday lives are, argues immunologist Claudia Miller, by Jill Neimark “Claudia Miller has spent 30 years hammering out a theory to explain the contemporary surge in perplexing, multi-symptom illnesses—from autism to Gulf War Syndrome—which represent a Kuhnian shift in medicine. She calls her theory “TILT,” short for Toxicant Induced Loss ofContinue Reading

Johnson & Johnson Announces Clinical Trial Data Sharing Agreement With Yale School of Medicine

News release: “Johnson & Johnson today announced that its subsidiary, Janssen Research and Development, LLC, has entered into a novel agreement with Yale School of Medicine’s Open Data Access (YODA) Project that will extend its commitment to sharing clinical trials data to enhance public health and advance science and medicine.  Under the agreement, YODA willContinue Reading

Rising Cost of Living Longer” Details Medicare Spending by Age

“A new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation takes a detailed look at per person Medicare spending by age and by service among the nearly 30 million people covered by traditional Medicare in 2011. This analysis examines the relationship between Medicare per person spending and advancing age, providing new data to inform ongoing federal budgetContinue Reading