Is the end of hunger near? Is Alzheimer’s transmittable? The healthcare industry is buzzing with hot topics. Read on for the latest in healthcare this week.
HHS Issues Anti-Discrimination Rules for Transgender – Medpage Today
The Department of Health and Human services has proposed a rule that would ban insurers from excluding care coverage to patients as a result of gender transition. Titled “Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities”, the proposed rule also outlines requirements for communicating with patients who are disabled, and methods for providing assistance to those with limited English competencies. Additionally, equal treatment for women, and provisions describing sex discrimination, are also outlined. Citing a component of the Affordable Care Act, the rule will fall under section 1557, which would be expanded to describe these specified discrimination bans. Read more here.
Four Strategies To Make The Practice Of Medicine Work Better — For Both Physicians And Patients – Forbes
In this series on the physician experience, Dr. Robert Pearl outlines a four step proposal to address the contemporary needs of both physicians and patients. With the intention to increase a physician’s satisfaction with his or her career, and to improve health outcomes for the widespread patient population, Dr. Pearl references increasing frustration from within the physician role. The inability to impact the aspects of a patient’s life that severely impact their health, such as lifestyle choices and high risk behaviors, along with the ever changing health insurance, payment, and legal landscapes, continues to pose barriers for medical professionals. The four proposals initiate a doctor-led transition. Through stepping back to evaluate the big picture, and providing an outlet for physicians to examine the culture of practicing medicine, Dr. Pearl expands on the need for system wide, revolutionary change. Read more here.
Kale or steak? Change in diet key to U.N. plan to end hunger by 2030 – Reuters
In a topic that touches on a core component of global health, the UN has released a new hunger plan, that they claim is the answer to ending hunger within the upcoming decades. According to the recent study, the vegan movement, juicing, and plant based diets have become trendy in wealthy, developed cities. However, in most places in the world, middle class families are more likely to practice meat based diets. Convincing these people to adopt new habits, the UN says, is the key to eliminating hunger. The study expands on the sustainability differences between plant based diets and red meat centered diets, illustrating the abundance of resources red meat consumes, and the need to move towards cutting food waste worldwide. Read more here.
Medical Schools Teach Students To Talk With Patients About Care Costs – NPR
Medical schools are beginning to integrate the concept of patient cost into a student’s education. While most programs offer classes that deal specifically with the cost of care, forward thinking programs are beginning to engrain the discussion into everyday lessons. The changing insurance landscape, the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, and notoriously high-deductible health plans have caused doctors to rethink the way they administer treatment, tests, and medications to patients, as many patient’s medical choices are now dictated by financial constraints. While the physician inclination is to provide the highest level of care possible, it is now in the best interest of the patient to also consider the financial implications. In doing so, other procedures, medications, or processes may be considered, that are just as effective, but more monetarily considerate. However, while this generation of students may graduate with a comprehensive awareness of treatment costs, they face the prohibitive barrier of entering their profession and having to introduce the idea to older generations of physicians, who may be less open to the reformed way of determining treatment. Read more here.
‘Transmittable Alzheimer’s’ concept raised – BBC
On September 10th, Nature published findings that have taken the internet by storm this week. According to researchers in the UK, a recent study has illuminated the question of whether or not Alzheimer’s disease is possibly transmitted through surgical procedures. Autopsies completed on eight young and middle aged patients, all of whom were diagnosed with prion disease, showed a presence of amyloid β, the protein associated with Alzheimer’s. Researchers associated with the study have made statements attesting to the need to “rethink the our view of Alzheimer’s and related diseases” and the importance of reevaluating the chance of inadvertent transmissions by medical and surgical procedures that have a documented risk of transferring a prion infection. Read more here.
See you next week for another roundup of the latest in medical news from BoardVitals.