News Worth Reading!

News Worth Reading!

Dining Out Made Safer with 15 Precautions.

Goodier, R. (November 23, 2018). Dining out with food allergies may be safer with at least 15 precautions. Health News. Retrieved

A survey of people with food allergies who dine out has found they use several strategies for safe dining, according to Dr. Leigh Ann Kerns, a pediatric allergist and immunologist at Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital.

“Family members spend a lot of time reading labels and reducing chances of cross contamination in the home, but it is more difficult to prevent unintentional exposures in restaurants due to poor understanding of food allergy, miscommunication, and possible cross contamination of ingredients,” Dr. Kerns said.

Her team surveyed 39 people with food allergies and based on the responses compiled a list of 25 strategies to use when dining out. The results were reported November 16, 2018 at the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology's annual conference. The top five food allergy protection strategies are: Speak to waiter on arrival (80 percent), order food with simple ingredients (77 percent), double-check food before eating (77 percent), avoid restaurants with higher likelihood of cross-contamination (74%), and review ingredients on a restaurant website (72 percent).

 Chinese Researcher Claims First Gene-edited Babies

Marchione, M. (November 26, 2018). Chinese researcher claims first gene-edited babies. AP News. Retrieved

A Chinese researcher claims that he created the world’s first genetically edited babies with twin girls whose DNA was altered with a powerful new tool capable of rewriting human DNA. If true, it would be a leap of science and ethics. A U.S. scientist shared he took part in the work in China, however this method of gene editing is banned in the United States. The U.S. bans the use as the DNA changes can pass to future generations or harm other genes. The researcher, He Jiankui of Shenzhen, said he altered embryos for seven couples during fertility treatments, with one pregnancy resulting thus far. He said his goal to bestow an ability to resist possible future infection with the AIDS virus. Currently, there is no independent confirmation of He’s claim or published works.


2018 Biggest Health Stories

Pearl, R. (December 18, 2018). Becker’s Hospital  Retrieved

Robert Pearl, MD, the former CEO of Oakland, Calif.-based Permanente Medical Group, outlines five of the biggest healthcare issues of 2018.

1.  The 2018 midterm elections. Healthcare was ranked the No. 1 priority among voters during the midterm elections in November: more than 70 percent of Americans support a single-payer system.

2.  Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination and women's healthcare. Justice Brett Kavanaugh's appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court this fall ignited a slew of questions about how the court might rule on issues of women's rights.

3.  Presidential powers and the ACA. … By shrinking the enrollment period and withdrawing funding for marketing and outreach programs, the Trump administration contributed to ACA enrollment declining in all 39 participating states …

4.  Drug prices continue to soar. Skyrocketing drug prices continue to be an issue for consumers with drug price hikes already announced for 2019.

5.  Amazon, Apple and others disrupting the industry. Dr. Pearl claims each business giant aims to disrupt certain aspects of the industry on their own. He cites Amazon's foray into the pharmacy space, Berkshire's moves into the insurance industry, and JP Morgan's steps into IT, privacy and security.

Dr. Pearl states, “Looking back on 2018, so much positive progress could have been made," Dr. Pearl writes. "We could have reined in drug prices. We could have begun a five-year financial reform plan to move healthcare from fee-for-service to comprehensive pay-for-value. We could have required electronic health record companies to open their Application Processing Interfaces (APIs), making it easier for doctors to share data and improve clinical quality. But we didn't." "Next year won't be much different," he adds. "I predict that a decade from now we will look back on 2018 and 2019 as missed opportunities, moments in history when our nation recognized the problem, but did little to prevent the inevitable and painful healthcare crisis that will come.”


15 Physician Specialists Most in Demand

 Gooch, K. (December 05, 2018). 15 physician specialists most in demand.  Retrieved

Ever wonder which physician specialties are in most demand for 2018? Where does Radiology rank? According to Doximity, a clinician social network, the top 15 specialties in demand are:

1. Family medicine

2. Internal medicine

3 Emergency medicine

4. Psychiatry

5. Obstetrics and gynecology

6. Neurology

7. Radiology

8. Gastroenterology

9. Geriatrics

10. Pediatrics

11. Anesthesiology

12. Urology

13. General surgery

14. Orthopedic surgery

15. Pulmonology


Hospital Prices: Full Cost Lists Must Be Published from January 1, New Federal Rule Says

Gander, K. (December 27, 2018). Hospital Prices: Full Cost Lists Must Be Published From January 1, New Federal Rule Says. Retrieved

Starting Jan. 1 every hospital in the U.S. will be required to list prices for procedures and services as part of a new federal regulation. The new law, called the Inpatient Prospective Payment System rule will require hospitals to make medical records easily accessible by patients. Currently, under the Affordable Care Act hospitals release public price lists but starting in 2019 they will be required to post these prices in an online format that can be downloaded to computers. These prices must be updated yearly and apply to rehabilitation facilities, psychiatric hospitals and critical access hospitals.

Seema Verma, the CMS administrator, said: “We are just beginning on price transparency. But there's some concern that the price lists could cause confusion, according to health care business news website Modern Healthcare. The prices on a hospital's posting may not match those paid by their insurance provider. What a patient pays depends on a variety of factors — your insurance policy, deductibles, and co-pays making the posted sticker price of a procedure fairly unhelpful.


How Google Cloud's Health Care Advisor Thinks Data and Machine Learning Can Transform Health Care, Without Privacy Risks

Berry, E. (December 30, 2018). CNBC. How Google Cloud's health care advisor thinks data and machine learning can transform health care, without privacy risks. Retrieved

In 2018, Toby Cosgrove the past president of Cleveland Clinic Foundation (CCF) became an executive advisor to the Google Cloud health care team. He's bringing some of the lessons learned to help his new employer effect big changes to health care. Some companies offer incentives for employees to get healthy. Cosgrove said that when he was running CCF, the hospital system implemented approaches that made a difference. According to Cosgrove, CCF's rate of health care costs was going up 7.5 percent a year a decade ago. Cosgrave said initially, there was pushback on these policies. Eventually, people started seeing results and got on board. He stated his employees lost an average of 5 lbs. per person and saw a 20 percent reduction in sick days.

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