Health News Review
  • Sep 23 2014

    Proton beam: should a news organization “partner” with providers to promote in the face of intense debate?

    On the same day that the Mayo Clinic co-hosted a Twitter chat about “The Role of Proton Beam Therapy in Cancer Care”….. ……Kaiser Health News published a story, “Insurers Hesitant To Cover Many Proton Beam Therapy Treatments.” Included in that story was the news that: “some insurers and disease experts say that, until there’s better [...]

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  • Jul 30 2013

    If you have low back pain, chances are increasing that you won’t be treated based on best evidence

    That’s the strong suggestion of a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, “Worsening Trends in the Management and Treatment of Back Pain.” It concludes: “Despite numerous published national guidelines, management of routine back pain increasingly has relied on advanced diagnostic imaging, referrals to other physicians, and use of narcotics, with a concomitant decrease in (nonsteroidal [...]

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  • Jan 16 2013

    Trudy Lieberman starts “Medicare Uncovered” series

    Veteran journalist and health policy specialist Trudy Lieberman has begun a new series, “Medicare Uncovered,” on the Columbia Journalism Review website. The first in the series is on “the pain from ‘skin in the game.’ ” In it, she writes: Right before Christmas, when Beltway reporters were absorbed in the fisticuffs on the edge of [...]

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  • Nov 21 2012

    As ACA unfolds, local health care turf wars erupt

    As the Affordable Care Act – the health reform bill – is shaped and defined, all sorts of “carve out your turf” battles are being waged on many levels not only in Washington, but in individual states. One caught our eye this morning:  A Denver Post story, “Suit sets up clash between day-surgery centers and [...]

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  • 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, [...]

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  • Sep 26 2012

    Noteworthy health care documentaries

    The documentary, Money & Medicine, aired on PBS last night.  The announcement on the PBS website states: Money & Medicine investigates the dangers the nation faces from runaway health care spending as well as the dangers patients face from over-diagnosis and over-treatment. In addition to illuminating the waste and overtreatment that pervade our medical system, [...]

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  • Sep 4 2012

    Use of patient decision aids may lead to “sharply lower hip/knee surgery rates & costs”

    A paper in Health Affairs (subscription required for access) shows what can be done with decision aids in clinical practice in what the authors describe as “the largest (observational study) to date of the implementation of patient decision aids in the context of quality improvement for elective surgery.” A team from Group Health Cooperative in [...]

  • Aug 30 2012

    Journal editorials this week: the magic asterisk and transparency in clinical trials

    Two journal editorials touching on different health care reform issues caught our eye. Harold DeMonaco, MS, one of our story reviewers on, thought that an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine by editor Jeffrey Drazen, MD, deserves some news attention.  DeMonaco wrote me: “Over the past five years or so, there has [...]

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  • Aug 7 2012

    Guest post: Bewitched, bothered and bewildered

    The following is a guest post submitted by Harold DeMonaco, MS, one of our expert story reviewers for  The opinions stated are his. —————————————————————————————— I, like many, read the internet version of my local newspaper.  And in doing so, I am provided with an opportunity to view the comments of my fellow residents on [...]

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  • 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 [...]

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