Health, Health policy, Role of information

Why are medical care guidelines kept behind journal paywalls?

Think you and your doctor can access the latest expert knowledge about your medical condition?  Think again. Imagine you have cancer and receive chemotherapy. You develop a complication--a life-threatening blood clot, the second leading cause of death in cancer patients after the cancer itself. You’re frightened. What should your doctor do to save your life?… Continue reading Why are medical care guidelines kept behind journal paywalls?

Health, Health policy

Pre-existing condition: a palatable term for government sanctioned discrimination

We tend to think of health care as complicated.  Here’s a little secret:  it’s not.  It’s only evolved to be a complex system because we’ve made it that way.  When a physician sees a Medicare patient, an estimated 130,000 pages of rules and regulations influence that relationship. The Affordable Care Act and it’s supporting regulations… Continue reading Pre-existing condition: a palatable term for government sanctioned discrimination

Blood Clots, Health, Health policy

Direct to consumer thrombophilia testing approved–a good thing?

On April 6, 2017, the FDA  approved marketing of 23andMe Personal Genome Service Genetic Health Risk tests for 10 diseases or conditions.(FDA Press Release 4-6-17) No prescription or physician needed. These are the first direct-to-consumer tests authorized by the FDA that provide information on an individual’s genetic predisposition to certain medical conditions.  Among them, hereditary… Continue reading Direct to consumer thrombophilia testing approved–a good thing?

Health policy, Politics

Snapshot of how immigration policy impacts healthcare

Immigrants are an integral part of our health care system.  I'll let the statistics speak for themselves: Nationally, 1 in 4 physicians, 1 in 5  nurses and home health aides and 1 in 6 dentists & pharmacists are foreign-born. (Reference source 1, source 2 ) Women account for 75% of these foreign-born health care employees and are… Continue reading Snapshot of how immigration policy impacts healthcare

Blood Clots, Health policy

*EXCLUSIVE* Flawed federal reports used for health policy and funding decisions

  This week, several national news organizations ran a story on a new CDC study which showed rural Americans were more likely to die from the top 5 causes of death than their urban counterparts. Per the study, "the five leading causes of death in the United States during 1999–2014 were heart disease, cancer, unintentional injury,… Continue reading *EXCLUSIVE* Flawed federal reports used for health policy and funding decisions

Blood Clots, Health policy

If everything is called a ‘crisis’ or ‘epidemic’, is anything?    What gets the most attention (and funding) isn’t what is most likely to kill you.

Crisis.  Epidemic.  Public health treat.   These words are routinely bandied about to describe a host of conditions that can kill you.  A quick Google news search of January 6, 2017 returned nearly 4 million results of headline making ‘epidemic’ articles; the top 4 topics:  opioids, flu, stress and gun violence. Without reading a single word,… Continue reading If everything is called a ‘crisis’ or ‘epidemic’, is anything?    What gets the most attention (and funding) isn’t what is most likely to kill you.

Blood Clots, Health policy, Role of information

Fishing for patient plaintiffs

My caller id revealed I received numerous calls in the past few weeks from multiple phone numbers and area codes, but all with the same name of "Xarelto Claims".  Of course, I knew from the start this had to be one of those 'Have you been harmed?' law firms but as a patient advocate, I… Continue reading Fishing for patient plaintiffs

Blood Clots, Health policy, Politics

Blood clot facts relevant to the 2016 Presidential campaign

One Presidential candidate has a history of venous thromboembolims (VTE). How relevant is that to the campaign and have past Presidents had this condition?