March 25, 2013
Drug use can delay college College students who use marijuana and other illegal substances, even occasionally, are more likely to leave school than students who don't dabble in drugs, new research finds. There's a strong link between marijuana use and "discontinuous enrollment," said study author Amelia Arria, director of the Center on Young Adult Health and Development at the University of Maryland School of Public Health. The same goes for other illicit drugs, she added. In a recent Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, Arria and her colleagues reported that students with high levels of marijuana use (more than 17 days a month)
March 25, 2013 |
The debate about health care in America unfortunately obscures some important areas of agreement. But the noise also masks some fundamental differences of opinion about the role of government in health care. Let's start with areas of agreement. Polls show clearly that most Americans believe that every lawful resident of this country should be able to count on some basic level of health care. And most accept that those of us able to assist others have an obligation to do so. But we differ on the role of government in determining the level of that obligation and in shaping the system.
March 25, 2013 |
Look no further than Steven Brill's "Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us," in the March 4 issue of Time, to see why there is little role, if any, for the marketplace in health care. Simply put, government must be a key player if we are ever to rein in runaway health-care costs. Brill presents a bill-by-bill description of the staggering costs associated with hospital care: An uninsured patient billed $7,997.54 for a stress test using a radioactive dye (Medicare reimbursement rate for this procedure is $554)
March 23, 2013 |
Temple University Health System is delaying a major renovation at its financially struggling Jeanes Hospital and will close an inpatient rehabilitation unit there in May. The decisions come as Temple reported a $35 million operating loss in the six months ended Dec. 31, up from $23.5 million the year before, excluding the Fox Chase Cancer Center, which Temple bought over the summer. "The operational headwinds that we encountered in the first two quarters are certainly related in part to a significant amount of change at the health system," said chief executive Larry Kaiser, who was hired two years ago to financially stabilize the system, the biggest provider of care to poor Philadelphians.
March 22, 2013
By Kathleen Sebelius This week marks the third anniversary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. For Pennsylvanians, that means a health-care system that is stronger than it was three years ago, and a future that looks even brighter. Pennsylvanians who have health insurance have benefited from market reforms and consumer protections under the law. Preventive services like mammograms and flu shots are newly accessible to 3.2 million people with private plans. More than 220,000 of the state's Medicare beneficiaries have saved an average of $753 on their medications.
March 20, 2013 |
Independence Blue Cross is hiring 100 nurses as health coaches this year, to intensify attention on members with certain chronic conditions, Richard Snyder, the health insurer's chief medical officer, said. The health coaches will be the "go-to" people at IBC for members in the program, Snyder said in a panel discussion Thursday at a meeting of the Philadelphia Health IT Circle. "This consistency ensures patient-centered coaching that is individualized and coordinated," Snyder said.
March 19, 2013 |
Having spent enough time over the last several weeks trying to prove I'd spent all of the money in my flexible spending account on medical expenses, I immediately grasped the reason Bill Marvin's business has grown so much. InstaMed , based in Center City, said last week that it had processed more than $60 billion of health-care payments through its electronic payments network - just one year after having surpassed the $30 billion mark. Based on the trends InstaMed tracks from the hospitals, doctors' offices, and insurers who use the network, Marvin said he projects "triple-digit growth" in transactions over the next year.
March 15, 2013 |
IN THE documentary "The Waiting Room," a rookie physician gets advice on how to inform parents their teen son is dead of gunshot wounds: Tell them he didn't suffer while we were working on him, says the veteran. Don't tell them he's gone to "a better place. " Though, any place would seem to be better than the waiting room of this Oakland, Calif., clinic, ground zero for treating the uninsured and the sick. Standout moment: A man with kidney failure seeking dialysis has been bounced around so long he declares that he'd rather be dead than endure any more red tape, and we believe him. So does the treating physician, who watches, speechless, on the other side of any known protocol.