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Category Archives: Health Care

Shutdown Hits Industries Nationwide

WSJ.com [paywall]: “The partial government shutdown is affecting a wide range of business and financial concerns nationwide. From a report: Shuttered government offices are stalling the approval of new loans, initial public offerings, the processing of tax documents, and the approval of new products such as prescription drugs, among other effects. While some programs are reopening on a temporary basis or providing workarounds for affected companies, most services won’t return to normal until the government fully reopens and 800,000 federal workers sift through the backlog.

Here is a round up of the impact: The partial closure of the Securities and Exchange Commission is delaying the ability of companies to open the IPO market. Companies that were seeking to list shares in January are delaying plans since the regulator has stopped reviewing and approving new and pending corporate registration statements. Airlines expect to have sluggish revenue growth in the first quarter in part because of revenue lost from government travel cancellations. Delta Air Lines Inc. Chief Executive Ed Bastian, for instance, said the shutdown would cost his airline $25 million in lost revenue from government travel. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has dramatically curtailed inspections of domestic facilities at food-processing companies during the shutdown, though unpaid inspectors have resumed work inspecting higher-risk products such as fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, seafood and dairy products.

At the Internal Revenue Service, the shutdown has created delays in getting some employer identification numbers, holding up some routine business deals. Some small-business loans are also stuck in limbo. The Small Business Administration has stopped approving routine loans that the agency backs to ensure entrepreneurs have access to funds, halting their plans for expansion and repairs and forcing some owners to consider costlier sources of cash. The government process for reviewing proposed mergers has been slowed by the shutdown, but it is still operating. Businesses that have government contracts are feeling the strain across a variety of industries, including the building of highways and bridges…”

Study – U.S. Health Care Spending Highest Among Developed Countries

Johns Hopkins: “The United States, on a per capita basis, spends much more on health care than other developed countries; the chief reason is not greater health care utilization, but higher prices, according to a study from a team led by a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researcher. The paper appears in the January… Continue Reading

A Medical-Screening Checklist for Older Adults

WSJ.com [paywall] “…A good topic to start the New Year. Figuring out just what illnesses you should be poked and prodded for, and when, is one of the most important ways you can take care of yourself. Unfortunately, many of us probably know more about the tests and shots our pets need than the ones… Continue Reading

NYT Favorite Facts of 2018

The New York Times: Our Favorite Facts of 2018. “Each day, our editors collect the most interesting, striking or delightful facts to appear in that day’s stories throughout the paper. Here are 60 of our very favorites.” Continue Reading

Dr. Google Is a Liar. Fake medical news threatens our lives.

The New York Times – Dr. Google Is a Liar. Fake news threatens our democracy. Fake medical news threatens our lives: “…While misinformation has been the object of great attention in politics, medical misinformation might have an even greater body count. As is true with fake news in general, medical lies tend to spread further… Continue Reading

Johnson & Johnson loses motion to reverse jury verdict

Follow up to previous posting – Johnson & Johnson knew for decades that asbestos lurked in its Baby Powder – Via Jurist – Johnson & Johnson loses motion to reverse jury verdict: “Johnson & Johnson lost its motion Wednesday to reverse a $4.69 billion jury verdict against them. Johnson & Johnson had asked “that the… Continue Reading

Why the World Needs to Rethink Retirement

The New York Times: “The golden years look very different depending on where in the world you are, and, increasingly, which generation you are in. Aging populations and decreasing birthrates are spurring countries across the globe to reassess how retirement works — and what needs to change in order to extend the benefits available today… Continue Reading

Researchers try to cope without HHS public medical guideline database five months after its takedown

Sunlight Foundation: “When the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research (AHRQ) shut down its National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC) in July, medical professionals who relied on the database, hosted at guideline.gov, reacted with alarm. For nearly 20 years, AHRQ’s repository of medical guidelines had served as the gold standard for clinicians, helping guide day to day… Continue Reading

Johnson & Johnson knew for decades that asbestos lurked in its Baby Powder

Reuters Investigates – Powder Keg – “Facing thousands of lawsuits alleging that its talc caused cancer, J&J insists on the safety and purity of its iconic product. But internal documents examined by Reuters show that the company’s powder was sometimes tainted with carcinogenic asbestos and that J&J kept that information from regulators and the public….J&J… Continue Reading

Mass Shootings and Mindfulness

WhoWhatWhy: “As of December 16, 2018, there had been 333 mass shootings so far this year, or almost one a day, according to the Gun Violence Archive (which defines a mass shooting as having four or more victims, killed or injured). You have to wonder why so many young men (almost always) see this as… Continue Reading

Merry Christmas – DOJ issues reg banning Bump Stocks

CNN – “The Trump administration rolled out a new federal regulation Tuesday officially banning bump-fire stocks: “Those who possess the devices, which make it easier to fire rounds from a semi-automatic weapon by harnessing the gun’s recoil to “bump” the trigger faster, will have 90 days to turn in or otherwise destroy them from the… Continue Reading

Music Therapy Can Rewire a Broken Brain

WhoWhatWhy: “Nothing brings out the grinch in some like the early debut of seasonal music when the season hasn’t even started. Reactions can of course go the other way — people weep with joy at memories attached to a song from their past. Whatever the reaction, music is powerful. Now, a small company in Massachusetts… Continue Reading