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06 May

HealthDay Now: ACP Meeting on Health Wearables and Privacy

Dr. Jacqueline Fincher, president of the American College of Physicians and an internist in rural Georgia, spoke to HealthDay's Mabel Jong about the ACP's focus on privacy concerns at their annual meeting

Health News Results - 35

Your Free Cancer Screen Shows Trouble: What If You Can't Afford the Follow-Up?

Just over a decade ago, the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) made many common cancer screenings free. But a pair of new studies caution that when those free tests turn up signs of trouble, important follow-up tests may be too pricey for some patients.

The bigger concern: Some patients may forgo these expensive tests, even when they may prove lifesaving.

"With t...

Medical Paperwork: So Bad Some Folks Skip Care

Getting prior authorizations to see a specialist, dealing with errors on medical bills and even scheduling appointments can be a big hassle.

That's clear to anyone who has spent time on the phone handling issues with insurance companies or doctors' offices.

For some patients, in fact, it's a hurdle that's caused them to delay or even forgo needed medical care.

"It is the thi...

Most Older Americans Believe Health Care Workers Should Be Vaccinated: Poll

Eight in 10 older Americans think health care workers should be vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a new poll.

Among 50- to 80-year-olds, 61% of respondents said the vaccine should be required for all health care workers. Another 19% said vaccination should probably be required. The remaining 20% oppose mandatory vaccination, the findings showed.

The results are from a nation...

Health Savings Accounts Used Least by People Who Need Them Most: Poll

Tax-free health savings accounts can make it easier for Americans to pay for future health expenses, but most older adults aren't using them.

A new poll by Michigan Medicine-University of Michigan found that while nearly 1 in 5 people weren't confident that they could afford their health costs, only about 12% of people had a flexible spending account (FSA). And just 45% of people who qua...

Father and Son Caught Up in Severe Blood Shortage Hitting U.S. Hospitals

As June 28 approached, David Beverley had been "psyching himself up" for major surgery, as a lifesaving liver donor for his ailing 60-year-old father, Peter.

"But then they called us, literally the day before, and told us: 'We've got to stop this. We don't have any blood.'" the 32-year-old Utah resident said.

That's the moment when both David and Peter came into the crosshairs ...

When Deductibles Rise, More Diabetes Patients Skip Their Meds

As many Americans know, today's health insurance plans often come with high deductibles. Those out-of-pocket costs could cause harm: New research shows that 20% of people who have diabetes and high-deductible health plans regularly skip their medications.

Not keeping up with your diabetes medications comes with the potential risk of an emergency room visit or a hospitalization.

Major Medical Groups Call for Mandatory COVID Vaccination for Health Workers

All health care workers should be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, dozens of major U.S. medical groups said in a joint statement released Monday.

"Due to the recent COVID-19 surge and the availability of safe and effective vaccines, our health care organizations and societies advocate that all health care and long-term care employers require their workers to receive the COVID-1...

Cancer Survivors Fared Better Financially After Obamacare

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has eased financial struggles for younger adult cancer survivors, a new study finds.

University of Michigan researchers analyzed data from more than 20,000 participants in the National Health Interview Survey and found that cancer survivors ages 18 to 64 were less likely to delay treatments and had less difficulty paying for medications or dental care from 20...

1 in 3 Caregivers for Elderly May Be Untrained, Unscreened

A new report raises questions about the training and qualifications of many caregivers for the elderly across the United States.

The study by the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research organization, found that nearly a third of Americans who arranged for paid care of a frail elderly adult or person with dementia hired someone from outside of a regulated agency.

Known as "gray market...

How Secure Is Your Health or Fitness App?

Your health and fitness apps may have privacy issues that put your personal information at risk, researchers warn.

"This analysis found serious problems with privacy and inconsistent privacy practices in mHealth [mobile health] apps. Clinicians should be aware of these and articulate them to patients when determining the benefits and risks," lead study author Muhammad Ikram and his co-aut...

Most Editors at Leading Medical Journals Are White, Study Finds

The vast majority of editors at leading medical journals are white - with few of those influential spots going to Black or Hispanic professionals, a new study finds.

The study comes on the heels of a controversy that prompted the resignation of the editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

It all started in February when Dr. Ed Livingston, a JA...

Medicare's Penalties for Poor-Quality Dialysis Centers Aren't Helping: Study

Dialysis centers hit with financial penalties for poor performance don't tend to improve afterward, calling into question a set of U.S. federal programs intended to improve health care nationwide, a new report says.

Dialysis centers face up to a 2% reduction in their annual Medicare reimbursements if they get a low score on a set of quality measures designed by the U.S. Centers for Medica...

After Editor-in-Chief's Resignation, JAMA Journals Outline Steps to Address Racism

Reacting to recent controversy, the American Medical Association (AMA) announced Thursday a series of steps it will take to promote diversity, equity and inclusion within the medical society and its network of 12 influential journals.

Dr. Howard Bauchner, editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), is stepping down at the end of June, forced out ov...

JAMA Journals' Editor-in-Chief Steps Down After Deputy's Racism Comments

Because of controversial statements about racism made by a staff member, the editor-in-chief of JAMA and JAMA Network will step down on June 30, the American Medical Association (AMA) announced Tuesday.

Dr. Howard Bauchner, JAMA's chief since 2011, has been on administrative leave due to a JAMA podcast and tweet about structural racism in medicine that...

Many Pre-Surgery Tests Are Useless, So Why Are Hospitals Still Using Them?

Patients facing relatively simple outpatient surgeries are nonetheless being told to undergo a number of preoperative tests that just aren't necessary, a new study reports.

More than half of a group of patients facing low-risk outpatient surgery received one or more tests -- blood work, urinalysis, an electrocardiogram (EKG), a chest X-ray -- prior to their operation.

One-third of p...

It's Still Tough to Find Prices on Most U.S. Hospital Websites

U.S. hospitals have been required to make their prices public since 2019, but 18 months into the rule more than half weren't doing it, a new study finds.

In 2018, the Trump administration issued a rule requiring hospitals to publish their "chargemasters" on their websites. A chargemaster is a rundown of a hospital's services, along with their list prices - something akin to the manufactur...

Nurses Are Dying From Suicide at Higher Rates

Before the pandemic began, suicide risk was twice as high among female nurses compared with American women as a whole, a new study warns.

Even within the health care community itself, female nurses were found to be roughly 70% more likely to die by suicide than female doctors.

Why? Study author Matthew Davis said that for now, "We don't know for certain what forces are directly resp...

4 in 10 Adults Over 50 Consult Online Reviews When Picking a Doctor

Finding a new doctor can be a daunting task. For help, many older adults turn to online reviews, a new study finds.

In fact, many people rate online reviews as highly as they would a recommendation from friends and family when picking a doctor, the new research found.

"Doctors and policymakers should know that many older adults are viewing and valuing online ratings and reviews when...

Strain of COVID Care Has Many Health Professionals Looking for an Exit

After the pandemic, the next great health care challenge in the United States could be retaining highly trained doctors, nurses and scientists, a new study warns.

Up to one in five employees at an academic medical institution are considering leaving their professions because of the strains of coping with the pandemic, according to the researchers.

"It's sobering to learn that, d...

Can Fitbits Be a Dieter's Best Friend?

Looking to shed some of those pandemic pounds? A new analysis says wearables like Fitbit and Apple Watch can help people slim down.

The researchers examined studies involving commercial health wearables and adults who were overweight/obese or had a chronic health condition.

After daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity for a period between a month and a year, participants lost ...

Pandemic Is Hitting Hospitals Hard, Including Their Bottom Line

U.S. hospitals are expected to lose billions again in 2021, leaving them in dire financial shape as the COVID-19 pandemic guts the industry for a second year.

Hospitals could lose $53 billion to $122 billion in revenue in 2021, between 4% and 10% of their total revenue, according to an analysis prepared by consulting firm Kaufman Hall & Associates for the American Hospital Association.

Pandemic Taking Big Mental Health Toll on Health Care Workers

Frontline health care workers have been through tremendous challenges this past year while treating COVID-19 patients throughout the world.

It should come as no surprise that many are having trouble emotionally.

A new study looked at the impact of the pandemic on sleep and mental health among the general population and health care workers by analyzing 55 studies involving nearly 190...

Bias More Likely in Medical Journals That Accept Reprint Fees: Study

There is a longstanding fear in the scientific community that pharmaceutical companies could sway the research published in medical journals by paying them for advertising, but a new study reveals that advertising might not be the problem.

"All the available literature suggests that ad revenue should be the real concern, but that's not what we found," said study author S. Scott Graham...

Pandemic Has Half of U.S. Hospitals Operating at a Loss: Report

The COVID-19 pandemic has America's hospitals on the fiscal ropes, with many facing financial ruin without continued aid from the federal government, a new report predicts.

Average hospital margins across the nation could sink to −7% in the second half of 2020 without further help, with half of all hospitals potentially operating in the red, the American Hospital Association...

Americans Lag Behind Brits When It Comes to Health

Health care in the United States is often touted as the best in the world, but Americans seem to be in worse health than their British peers, a new study shows.

Even the richest Americans in their 50s and early 60s had higher rates of diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis and mental health problems than their wealthy British counterparts.

Those who were in the top 10%...

Pandemic Hits Primary Care Practices Hard Across the U.S.: Study

Huge declines in patient visits during the coronavirus pandemic have slashed U.S. primary care doctors' revenues, a new study finds.

As a result of decreases in office visits and fees for services from March to May during the pandemic, a full-time primary care physician will lose an average of more than $65,000 in revenue in 2020.

Overall, primary care practices nationwide s...

Don't Believe All the 'Science' on CBD Products

Cannabidiol -- commonly known as CBD -- might not be all it is touted to be, new research suggests.

Instead, existing evidence on the potential benefits of the compound found in marijuana and hemp has often been backed by industry, scientists said.

The researchers found that of 99 human CBD studies done since 2014, about 62% had some conflict of interest -- including in...

Independent Pharmacies Are Closing Down Across the U.S.

One in eight U.S. pharmacies closed in recent years, with independent pharmacies in cities taking the hardest hit, a new study shows.

Specifically, 9,654 pharmacies closed from 2009 to 2015. Independent pharmacies in both cities and rural areas were three times more likely to close than chain pharmacies.

About one in four pharmacies in urban, low-income neighborhoods closed,...

OxyContin Maker Purdue Offering Up to $12 Billion to Settle Opioid Claims

Purdue Pharma, the drug giant many have blamed for the ongoing U.S. opioid abuse crisis, has offered $10 billion to $12 billion to settle more than 2,000 lawsuits lodged against it, NBC News is reporting.

The news comes a day after the first of many pending state-driven opioid lawsuits -- this one lodged by Oklahoma -- ended in a judge ruling that the Johnson & Johnson comp...

Many Health Care Workers With Flu, Colds Still Go to Work: Study

Many health care workers are still on the job even if they have symptoms of a cold, flu or other respiratory infection, putting patients and coworkers at risk, a new study finds.

It included more than 2,700 health care workers at nine Canadian hospitals who completed online diaries whenever they had symptoms of a respiratory infection.

Half reported an acute respiratory vira...

Immigrants Make Up 1 in 4 U.S. Health Care Workers

They say good help is hard to find, and America's immigration policies could be making it even tougher in the health care field.

Immigration crackdown efforts, the border wall included, are very likely to cost the elderly and disabled the care that they desperately need, a new study argues.

More than 3 million immigrants work in the U.S. health care system, accounting for ab...

Your Virtual Doctor Will 'See' You Now

Need to see your doctor, but can't take time off from work? There's an app for that. And new research shows patients find the ability to see a doctor "virtually" convenient and satisfying.

Nine out of 10 people who had a virtual visit with a doctor said it was more convenient than other ways of getting care, and it addressed their medical needs. Only four in 10 said they would prefer...

FDA Fell Short in Preventing Fentanyl Abuse Crisis, Report Claims

Drug makers and federal regulators dropped the ball in tracking the use of a potentially deadly fast-acting form of the synthetic opioid fentanyl, putting thousands of patients at risk of a fatal overdose, a new study claims.

Transmucosal Immediate-Release Fentanyl (TIRF) drugs are approved for use in cancer patients who've developed tolerance against the around-the-clock opioids norm...

Big Pharma's Marketing to Docs Helped Trigger Opioid Crisis: Study

Aggressive direct marketing to doctors by pharmaceutical companies is tied to spurring the ongoing epidemic of opioid abuse in the United States, a new study claims.

A county-by-county analysis showed that opioid use increased in places where drug makers focused their marketing efforts, explained lead researcher Dr. Scott Hadland. He's a pediatrician and addiction researcher at Boston...

As Medical Marketing Soars, Is Regulation Needed?

Turn on prime-time TV and you'll likely see a pitch for arthritis or impotence pills, and maybe a cancer center. Advertisers spent nearly $10 billion marketing prescription drugs and medical services to the American public in 2016 -- five times what they doled out 20 years earlier, a new study finds.

Experts said the results raise questions about the influence of advertising over how ...

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