Health News Review
  • Dec 20 2012

    Oregon: Just saying “No” to expensive proton beam therapy (for now, at least)

    The Oregonian reports something you don’t hear very often these days – a medical center saying “NO” – at least for now – to the medical arms race. And by dropping their plans to acquire a proton beam therapy facility, they said “NO” in a big way.   The Oregonian reports: In recent years, large medical [...]

    8 Comments
  • Dec 13 2012

    Other views on the NYT op-ed, “The 2,000 Year-Old Wonder Drug”

    Dr. David Agus, tireless promoter of his book, “The End of Illness,” and whose involvement in an ABC news story about a reporter’s coronary calcium CT scan led to the network correcting/retracting the piece, is now at it again. The New York Times published his op-ed piece, “The 2,000-Year-Old Wonder Drug,” the start of which [...]

    1 Comment
  • Nov 15 2012

    How much does an MRI cost? $295 or $3,000? Both?

    The Clear Health Costs blog published a two-part piece on the variable costs of MRI tests. Excerpt of part 1: Different facilities (hospital, radiology center, doctor’s office) charge vastly different prices for MRIs. For example, the cash price of a lumbar spine MRI at a hospital in California can reach more than $3,000, while the [...]

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  • Nov 5 2012

    Proton Beam Therapy: evaluating claims in ASTRO papers of “excellent” quality of life data

    Last week, the American Society for Radiation Oncology’s annual conference was held in Boston, and several papers were presented on proton beam therapy, and several medical centers sent out news releases about their involvement in the work.  MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston  and Loma Linda University Medical Center in California were two that we [...]

    3 Comments
  • Oct 25 2012

    Two more “more is not always better” reminders

    I know I’m late on both of these, as both were published a week ago. Late or not, I like to catch up so that I can archive good stuff on my site. An analysis by the Nordic Cochrane Center in Copenhagen led to this conclusion: “General health checks did not reduce morbidity or mortality, [...]

    1 Comment
  • Oct 24 2012

    Best health care in the world? Certainly the costliest.

    The PBS NewsHour reports on the most recent report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on global health care spending. Snapshots: NewsHour: The U.S. system is known for over-testing and over-treating, everything from CT scans and MRIs, knee replacements to coronary bypasses. How severe is the over-testing and why is it occurring? [...]

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  • Jun 1 2012

    Consumer Reports: “Health care prices are all over the map”

    A new article in Consumer Reports begins: If gas stations worked like health care, you wouldn’t find out until the pump switched off whether you paid $3 or $30 a gallon. If clothes shopping worked like health care, you might pay $80 for a pair of jeans at your local boutique and $400 for the [...]

    3 Comments 1 Star
  • May 24 2012

    Roundup of interesting health policy news stories this week

    Here are some links to some things I’ve meant to write about this week.  They caught my eye and I thought readers of this blog might find them interesting. For The Washington Post, Sarah Kliff writes about something that “could revolutionize health care…a health policy wonk’s dream.”  She explains: “a new nonprofit called the Health [...]

    2 Comments 1 Star
  • Apr 17 2012

    Incidental Economist blasts Health Affairs cancer care costs paper but praises journalist

    Aaron Carroll, blogging on The Incidental Economist was “all riled up to get angry” over a Health Affairs paper that suggested “that the higher-cost US system of cancer care delivery may be worth it.”  He wrote: So much wrong here. First of all, it uses the old “survival rate”/”mortality rate” swap that I’ve discussed here and [...]

    1 Comment 1 Star
  • Apr 2 2012

    More workplace wellness plans dangle financial rewards/penalties tied to test results

    Julie Appleby of Kaiser Health News reports, “Employers Tie Financial Rewards, Penalties To Health Tests, Lifestyle Choices.” Excerpt: Gone are the days of just signing up for health insurance and hoping you don’t have to use it. Now, more employees are being asked to roll up their sleeves for medical tests — and to exercise, [...]

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