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- From Ninth Graders to Health Care Elites: A Communications Lesson on the Power of Engagement
- What’s Next in Health Care Part II: Price Transparency – is it the Holy Grail?
- Accountable Health Care: The Silent Health Care Reform
- The FDA Likes Facebook? The AMARC Hysteria
- The Need for a Medical Surge
- Health Care: Now What
- The Real Hospital Quality Measures
- Happy Healthy Weight Week?
- Personalized Medicine – from Complexity to Clarity
- APCO Forum: What’s Next in Food
Monthly Archives: May 2012
A borough in London where life expectancy is nine years lower than the national average due to unhealthy diets and lack of exercise has become the first in the United Kingdom to restrict the number of local takeaway outlets. The move by officials at the London Borough of Haringey follows announcements by the UK national government to set a minimum price for a unit of alcohol. It is hoped this will prevent retailers from selling cheap alcohol and will reduce the health and social impacts that excessive drinking places on the public purse.
Posted on Tuesday, May 29th, 2012 By HealthScope
On May 6, 2012, François Hollande was elected president of the French Republic. The first Socialist president since the end of François Mitterand’s mandate in 1995, 57-year-old Hollande is quite a new face since he has not occupied a ministerial position before – even if he has been a key figure in the French political arena for a long time. He focused his electoral campaign on the theme of “change is happening now” and the importance of breaking with the past. On May 16, Marisol Touraine was appointed minister for social affairs and health within the government headed by Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. She is an expert in her field and was in charge of social affairs and health care in Hollande’s campaign staff. Depending on the outcome of the general elections for the National Assembly (French Lower House) on June 10 and 17, the current government may only be transitory. Indeed, depending on which party wins the majority of seats in the Assembly, Hollande and his government may have either free hands to implement their policies (left-wing majority) or may have to rule together with the opposition party UMP (right-wing majority). In the meantime, however, the government will be handling ordinary business issues, and no major reform in the health care sector should be announced in the coming weeks.
Posted on Friday, May 25th, 2012 By HealthScope
When Massachusetts governors talk about health care legislation, it’s not just the people in Massachusetts whose ears perk up. Yesterday was no different. Speaking at an annual Boston Chamber of Commerce event yesterday, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick defended the idea of government promoting near-universal health care, even as he called on lawmakers, health care providers, and the business community to work jointly on controlling cost.
Posted on Wednesday, May 16th, 2012 By Katie Payne
When I was a kid back in the 1970s, we had physical education (PE) class once a day. We filled a full hour running around playing dodge ball, red rover and tag. We ate our share of junk food, but few of us were overweight, and almost none of us struggled with lifestyle-induced diseases. It’s no secret that during the past two decades, physical education in schools has been drastically cut back. Today my fourth-grade son has gym class once a week, and recess – the one chance to get moving – has been cut back to fewer than 20 minutes a day. The shift away from PE was intended to save money and allow school systems to dedicate more time and resources to “important” core subjects like math, science and English.
Posted on Friday, May 11th, 2012 By Kirsten Thistle
On May 10, China’s National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Health, and State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine released their 2012 National Pricing Guidelines for Medical Services. The revised guidelines, first published 2001 and then revised in 2007, designate the medical services China’s hospitals and medical centers are allowed to provide and details the services included within each treatment area. Any service not included on the list is theoretically not allowed to be provided for a fee. The new list greatly expands the allowed medical services to more than 9,300 items—more than doubling the 4,355 medical services listed in the 2007 version.
Posted on Thursday, May 10th, 2012 By HealthScope
In celebration of National Nurses Week, we here at APCO gathered a few stories about our favorite nurses. As it turns out, many of them happened to be our mothers. Join us in celebrating the amazing men and women on the front lines of medicine by sharing your own memories in the Comments section below. My [...]
Posted on Thursday, May 10th, 2012 By HealthScope
Over the past month, pundits have speculated insatiably about the Supreme Court’s upcoming decision on health care reform. If the mandate or the entire law falls, there will be tremendous uncertainty about which direction our health system is headed moving forward. How will we expand coverage to the uninsured? How will we contain ever-increasing costs? The answers to these questions will have serious implications for both the future of the health system and—in many people’s minds—the future of the nation itself. The prospect of going back to the drawing board on health reform is striking fear into the hearts of the health policy community. It may be more difficult than ever to make legislative progress against fixing our dysfunctional system. The game has changed significantly since the 2009 debates on the Affordable Care Act. We are now working against more than two years of intense public dialogue and political hyperbole about health policy. Positions on health reform have become a core part of how the public has defined our presidential candidates and the political parties in the face of the 2012 elections. Lines in the sand have already been drawn. Should the Court strike down the mandate and/or other components of the law, the likely outcome will be political gridlock.
Posted on Monday, May 7th, 2012 By Polly Webster
The upcoming Supreme Court decision regarding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act has captured the attention of Washington – and for good reason. The case involves two very significant issues. First, the two parties have very different and seemingly irreconcilable visions for reforming our health care system. After the loss of the political fight, Republicans took it to the courts, and now the Supreme Court will be the arbiter of the debate begun in 2008. The second – and larger – issue concerns the parameters of the federal government’s authority to regulate commerce in the United States. This has led Washington to the greatest of parlor games – making odds on how the Supreme Court will rule. And while this may produce endless conversations, it’s also important to understand how the political system and health care industry will react to whatever the Court decides.
Posted on Thursday, May 3rd, 2012 By Bill Pierce
“Do you think nitrites are dangerous?” As friendly as Trader Joe’s cashiers are, I have to admit I was a little taken aback by the question. I hadn’t even noticed the bacon I had picked up had “Nitrite Free” stamped across the front. He explained to me he’s joined an online “conspiracy group” (his words, not mine) that believes nitrites are harmful to a person’s health. He apparently isn’t bought into the idea as he doesn’t understand the scientific studies they’ve shown him. And there it was – a breath of fresh air. Someone with no scientific training who is willing to admit he doesn’t understand scientific studies. How many of us actually do? It takes years of training and actual scientific practice to fully appreciate the implications of a study, yet everyone these days seems to be a health expert.
Posted on Tuesday, May 1st, 2012 By Erica DeWald