It took covid-19 to give millions of Americans the option of telling their doctor about their aches and pains by phone.
But now that more doctors and patients are returning to in-person appointments, policymakers across the country are divided over how much taxpayer money to keep spending on phone appointments. Although they were a lifeline for Medicaid and Medicare patients who don’t have the technology for video visits, critics say they don’t provide the same level of patient care and aren’t worth the same price.
In California, the Democratic-controlled legislature wants the state’s Medicaid program for low-income people — called Medi-Cal — to keep paying for phone calls at the same rate as for video and in-person visits, a policy that began during the pandemic. But Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s budget plan directs Medi-Cal to reduce the rate.
Medi-Cal paid for a whopping 2.4 million phone appointments from March 1, … Read the rest
Promise: “Double the number of drive-through testing sites, invest in next-generation testing, including at home tests and instant tests, so we can scale up our testing capacity by orders of magnitude.”
Before vaccinations were widely available, covid-19 tests were considered one of the few tools to help control the spread of the coronavirus.
That’s why then-candidate Joe Biden promised during the 2020 presidential campaign to boost the United States’ testing capacity as one way he would “beat covid-19.”
Specifically, Biden’s campaign website promised that, if elected, he would “double the number of drive-through testing sites” and “invest in next-generation testing, including at-home tests and instant tests, so we can scale up our testing capacity by orders of magnitude.”
KHN has teamed up with our partners at PolitiFact to analyze Biden’s promises during the 2020 presidential campaign. Now that Biden has been president almost five months, we checked how he has … Read the rest
People who retire early suffer from accelerated cognitive decline and may even encounter early onset of dementia, according to a new economic study (Note: opens PDF) I conducted with my doctoral student Alan Adelman.
To establish that finding, we examined the effects of a rural pension program China introduced in 2009 that provided people who participated with a stable income if they stopped working after the official retirement age of 60. We found that people who participated in the program and retired within one or two years experienced a cognitive decline equivalent to a drop in general intelligence of 1.7% relative to the general population. This drop is equivalent to about three IQ points and could make it harder for someone to adhere to a medication schedule or conduct financial planning. The largest negative effect was in what is called “delayed recall,” which measures a person’s ability to remember something … Read the rest
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The Food and Drug Administration found itself in the hot seat this week when it approved a controversial new drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease with scant evidence of its effectiveness.
Meanwhile, as health policy watchers wait for the Supreme Court to rule in a case threatening the Affordable Care Act, the Biden administration is reporting that a record 31 million Americans have health insurance as a direct result of the health law. And President Joe Biden seeks to gain goodwill overseas as he announces the U.S. will provide 500 million doses of covid vaccine to aid international health efforts.
This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of KHN, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Joanne Kenen of Politico and Sarah Karlin-Smith of … Read the rest
Rice University Charges Into the Future with Magnetics and Bioimplants (All About Circuits):
Advances in self-generating drug delivery systems, brain-to-brain communication, and injury mitigation technologies are just some of the newest research coming down the pipeline from Rice University.
Several research projects funded by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s (DARPA) N3 program might herald a future of highly advanced human-machine interfacing that expands the capabilities of soldiers and first responders.
This article will first overview the DARPA program and the basics of these three programs. Then, a look at the common electronics technologies that are being used in biotechnology at Rice University. Keep reading excellent article HERE, over at All About Circuits.
About DARPA’s N3 program:
Six paths to the nonsurgical future of brain-machine interfaces (DARPA):
Back in 2019, DARPA awarded funding to six organizations to support the Next-Generation Nonsurgical Neurotechnology (N3) program, first
Victoria Cooper pensaba que su consumo de alcohol en la universidad era como los de los demás. Shots en las fiestas, cervezas mientras jugaba al bowling. Tomaba más que otros y las resacas le hacían perder clases, pero así y todo pensaba que no tenía ningún problema.
“Según la imagen que tenía del alcoholismo —viejos embriagándose en un estacionamiento— yo pensaba que estaba bien”, dijo Cooper, que ahora está sobria y vive en Chapel Hill, Carolina del Norte.
Esa imagen de quiénes son los que sufren de alcoholismo, transmitida por la cultura pop, era engañosa hace más de una década, cuando Cooper estaba en la universidad. Y es aún menos representativa hoy en día.
Desde hace casi un siglo, las mujeres han ido cerrando la brecha de género en el consumo de alcohol, las borracheras y los trastornos que acarrea. Lo que antes era una proporción de 3 a 1, … Read the rest
In the 1960s, health care across the Mississippi Delta was sparse and much of it was segregated. Some hospitals were dedicated to Black patients, but they often struggled to stay afloat. At the height of the civil rights movement, young Black doctors launched a movement of their own to address the care disparity.
This story is part of a partnership that includes NPR, KHN and the Gulf States Newsroom. It can be republished for free.
“Mississippi was third-world and was so bad and so separated,” said Dr. Robert Smith. “The community health center movement was the conduit for physicians all over this country who believed that all people have a right to health care.”
In 1967, Smith helped start Delta Health Center, the country’s first rural community health center. They put the clinic in Mound Bayou, a small town in the heart of the Delta, in northwestern Mississippi. … Read the rest
Baby Boomers’ Biggest Financial Risk: Cognitive Decline (The Wall Street Journal):
For baby boomers who manage their own nest eggs, a risk is looming that has nothing to do with stock prices or interest rates.
The risk is cognitive decline, which can rob them of their judgment, often without much warning. One big mistake—or a series of smaller ones—can go unnoticed by loved ones, and potentially ravage a lifetime of hard-earned savings.
To mitigate these risks, there are things baby boomers and others can do now to prepare for any problems. In addition, big do-it-yourself investing and trading venues like Vanguard Group, Fidelity Investments and Charles Schwab Corp. are strengthening some of the ways they detect possible signs of decline. Among other things, all three firms check for clients’ difficulty navigating security protocols or need for frequent password resets. In such cases, a designated family member might be informed.
This story also ran on Los Angeles Times. It can be republished for free.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Even as most states are trying to make it harder to get an abortion, California could make it free for more people.
State lawmakers are debating a bill to eliminate out-of-pocket expenses like copays and payments toward deductibles for abortions and related services, such as counseling. The measure, approved by the Senate and headed to the Assembly, would apply to most private health plans regulated by the state.
So far this year, 559 abortion restrictions have been introduced in 47 state legislatures, 82 of which have already been enacted, said Elizabeth Nash, a state policy analyst at the Guttmacher Institute, a nonpartisan research institute that studies abortion and reproductive health care. That’s already the third-highest number of abortion restrictions adopted in a year since the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade ruling … Read the rest