Paying for end-of-life treatment

Speaking about which services hospitals and doctors should provide at the end of a patient’s life is always a sensitive subject.  Family members become emotional and desire any procedure which has a non-negative chance of prolonging the patients life, regardless of the cost.  This is what insurance is for, to safeguard families from calamitous medical…

‘Price Check, Neurology Wing’

“People generally don’t have a clue about what the health care they are consuming costs,” Michael O. Leavitt, the Secretary of Health and Human Services told reporters in a WebMD article (“Gov’t releases hospital prices“).  With a new initiative in hand, Mr. Leavitt hopes that consumer ignorance will soon dissipate. Yesterday, officials at the Centers…

Ode to Obesity

Reports of the increased obesity in the United States and its adverse effects on health outcomes are common. The AARP finds that 3 out of 10 American adults are obese (“Obesity in OECD countries“). MedPage Today reports that poor teenagers are more likely to be overweight than their non-poor peers (“…Teens from poorer families are…

Trials and transparency

The UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has released a scathing report criticizing the medical procedures Parexel used in testing the TGN1412 drug. In-Pharma Technologist.com (“Parexcel back in hot water…“) reports that six individuals suffered severe side effects such as organ failure swelling of body parts due to poor administration of the trials…

Father of Microcredit

On NPR’s Marketplace, my favorite radio program, there is an interesting interview with Muhammed Yunus.  Mr. Yunus is the founder and director of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh.  The bank describes itself as follows: GB [Grameen Bank] provides credit to the poorest of the poor in rural Bangladesh, without any collateral. At GB, credit is a…

Medical Service Bargain hunters?

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s (KFF) 2005 Employer Health Benefits Survey, the estimated number of firms who will offer high deductible health plans has increased to 20% in 2005.  This is up from 5% in 2003 and 10% in 2004.  Despite this increase, only 3.9% of workers–about 2.4 million in total–are covered either by a…

Naked Economist peeps at healthcare

Charles Wheelen is a respected journalist, author and lecturer. He is currently a lecturer in public policy at the University of Chicago, but he is most famous for his best selling book “Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science.” In his blog, he cites the top ten reasons why health care costs are increasing. While the…

Google Health

Fard Johnmar of the Healthcare Vox blog has written a post regarding the introduction of Google Co-op.  Google Co-op allows users to perform detailed searches regarding medical issues.  You can search by symptom, condition, medical test, etc.  Johnmar states that: What’s interesting about this service is that Google is not taking responsibility for vetting healthcare…