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Public Health

Are Epiphanies the Key to Fixing Healthcare?

March 2, 2015 by Michael Dermer

epiphany / shutterstock

Perhaps epiphanies are the key to fixing the healthcare system. In an ideal world consumers would engage in healthy behaviors without any need for extrinsic rewards or other engagement tools and behavioral economic levers. Unfortunately, for many reasons, most consumers simply do not.[read more]

Measles Vaccine: A Right to Refuse Treatment

February 25, 2015 by Michael Kirsch


I recognize an informed individual’s right to refuse treatment. An adult with appendicitis has a right to refuse appendectomy, against the advice of the surgeon. But does a parent have a right to deny the measles vaccine for their kids? I don’t think so. Here’s why.[read more]

A New Protection for Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions?

February 25, 2015 by Brad Wright

pre-existing condition / shutterstock

“Under our plan, no one can be denied coverage based on a pre-existing condition.” Under the ACA, the phrase “no one” literally means “no one,” while in the Burr-Hatch-Upton proposal it means “no one who is continuously enrolled in a health plan offering at least catastrophic coverage following a one-time open enrollment period."[read more]

NASCAR's Hendrick Motorsports Takes Lead As Health Care Role Model

February 22, 2015 by Nicole Fisher

It wasn’t until the President of Hendrick Motorsports Marshall Carlson needed the help of surgeons at Boston Children’s Hospital for his daughter that an orthopedic surgeon realized a model his team, his hospital and care teams around the country needed was right in front of him: NASCAR.[read more]

Heroism in Harm's Way

February 21, 2015 by Christine Kapsa, NP, DNP

The Gun Violence Archive (GVA) is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC. The mission statement says the GVA was formed in 2013 to provide free online public access to accurate information about gun-related violence in the United States.” The number of children and teens killed or injured by firearms is startling.[read more]

Hospital Acquired Infections Are Down: But Is It Enough?

February 20, 2015 by Abby Norman

Nosocomial infections may infect as many as 1 out of every 25 hospitalized patients, according to CDC data. That’s approximately 1.7 million patients annually. Hearing these figures you might be wondering if the protocols currently in place are ineffective and in need of review. The problem isn’t with the protocols, but rather, compliance.[read more]

Pediatric HCAHPS Model, First of Its Kind

February 19, 2015 by Abby Norman

pediatrics / shutterstock

2009 survey data culled from the initial research into the development of a pediatric HCAHPS assessment showed that 6.4 million children were hospitalized that year, accounting for 17% of total hospital stays. In fiscal terms, that’s $33 billion in healthcare spending; 9% of total care costs.[read more]

2015 Means an Increase in Medicare Penalties for Readmissions

February 17, 2015 by Abby Norman

For the third year in a row, Medicare will be increasing the percent penalty for hospitals who have high readmission rates: up now to 3% in 2015. Despite efforts through the ACA and readmission reductions programs, the rate of readmissions continues to rise.[read more]

Nursing Shortage or Nursing Surplus?

February 14, 2015 by David E Williams

nursing / shutterstock

The conventional wisdom has been that we are facing a looming, massive shortage of nurses – in the hundreds of thousands in 10 or 15 years. I’ve always looked at those numbers with raised eyebrows, especially since they are often pushed by those with a vested interest in boosting the number of nursing students.[read more]

What Will a Whole Foods Health Clinic Look Like?

February 9, 2015 by David E Williams

Whole Foods founder and CEO John Mackey is maneuvering Whole Foods into the health care space. For a start, he’s inviting Whole Foods employees to a “Total Health Immersion” program that emphasizes weight loss. Next there may be plans in the works for employee medical clinics.[read more]

Healthy Hospitality — Smarter, Safer Dining Options

February 6, 2015 by Michael Sherman

The Internet and social media keep us all on our toes, so the people handling our food should be no exception. Information is more accessible than ever – and using it to make healthy dining decisions is the tastiest kind of empowerment.[read more]


Sequencing the Insurance Genome

February 5, 2015 by Edgar Wilson

personalized medicine / shutterstock

The President's Precision Medicine Initiative makes a lot of promises. But with all of the focus on the tech and modernity of personalized care, the importance of the policy challenges seems to be missing—undermining the very significance any potential success the new initiative might have enjoyed.[read more]