Health News Review
  • Nov 15 2010

    Former Senator continues to blast MN governor on health care

    In his email newsletter, former US Senator David Durenberger, who represented Minnesota in the Senate as a Republican, again criticizes the health policy statements of current (but outgoing) Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, a Republican. Far more than just an internal Minnesota squabble, the issues and the personalities at play here have impact nationally. Excerpt of [...]

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  • Nov 1 2010

    Gov’t. agency prostate cancer screening expert resigns; meeting cancellation the reason?

    Under a blog post headline, “The meeting that wasn’t, and a surprise announcement,” federal health officer Dr. Kenny Lin announces he is leaving the support team of the US Preventive Services Task Force and resigning from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. That’s the surprise announcement. The “meeting that wasn’t,” he explains, would have [...]

  • Oct 29 2010

    Health care political rhetoric on the eve of the midterm elections

    I’m in Missouri, and I just saw a Kansas City Star story, “Brownback says health care law cost is far above official estimate.” Excerpt: “Sam Brownback and other Republican U.S. senators across the country are telling voters that the new health care law will cost $2.6 trillion — a price that wildly inflates the official [...]

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  • Oct 26 2010

    Let’s hope there isn’t political pressure on prostate CA screening recommendations

    Something doesn’t smell right about the announcement that the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force cancelled its November meeting – a meeting at which a new vote was to be taken on prostate cancer screening recommendations. I’ve been assured by some who are very close to the process that there’s nothing fishy – that it was [...]

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  • Oct 21 2010

    “A world of free lunches” – including payment for IMRT & proton beam for prostate CA

    In a New York Times column this week, David Leonhardt reflects on how “any deficit strategy needs to focus on Medicare.” Excerpt: “The treatment of prostate cancer offers a good example of the trouble with the current system. I devoted a column to prostate cancer last year, and the Health Affairs article — by Steven [...]

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  • Oct 8 2010

    The myth of death panels and not enough patient-centered care

    Joanne Kenen of the New America Foundation is one of the few journalists (so far) to write about “The National Survey of Medical Decisions…(and) a series of papers and editorials in the journal Medical Decision Making. It comes at a time when ‘patient-centered care’ is a new buzzword in U.S. medicine; ‘shared decision-making’ and development [...]

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  • Oct 8 2010

    Health care reform (not!) – Minnesota-style

    Here’s a story that has far more than Minnesota ramifications. But how do you reconcile that story – which explains that the governor, “who is considering a run for president, has made no secret of his opposition to federal health reform” and who “announced an executive order designed to keep “Obamacare” out of Minnesota” with [...]

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  • Jul 29 2010

    WSJ: Senator Slams FDA Advisory Committee’s Avastin Decision

    Only so much to say about this story. It’s about Senator David Vitter of Louisana. He says that an FDA advisory committee’s vote to revoke the approval of Roche-Genentech’s Avastin for treating breast cancer is “essentially government rationing.” The WSJ reports: New studies presented to the panel showed more side effects among women being treated [...]

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  • Jul 2 2010

    Two different tales of reviewing drugs’ cost-effectiveness from two sides of the pond

    On the Forbes blog this week: “Dendreon shares are down today on the heels of news that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will undergo a lengthy review of whether or not Provenge “is reasonable and necessary under sections 1862(a)(1)(A) and/or 1862(a)(1)(E) of the Social Security Act” and should be reimbursed by Medicare. [...]

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  • Jun 3 2010

    Scrutinizing the Dartmouth Atlas methodology

    The worst-kept secret in journalism circles recently was that the New York Times was planning an article critical of the Dartmouth Atlas. That article was published online last night. Among the main points in the article: • “The mistaken belief that the Dartmouth research proves that cheaper care is better care is widespread.” • “the [...]