Change, Communication, Health, Role of information

Where are the promised COVID-19 Public Health Education Ads? (PSAs)

Press release on WhiteHouse.gov website Have you seen the television ad featuring celebrities encouraging you to social distance? What about the Facebook ad featuring prominent Republicans and Democrats encouraging mask use? Of course you haven’t seen them because six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, Public Service Announcements (PSAs) featuring a coordinated, comprehensive prevention message are… Continue reading Where are the promised COVID-19 Public Health Education Ads? (PSAs)

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

Health, Nature

How one bird improves public health

We love penguins.  We make blockbuster movies about them--Happy Feet, March of the Penguins, Madagascar Penguins, Mr Popper's Penguins.  And the penguin related merchandise...wow.   But vultures?    Not so much. When a vulture makes an appearance in a movie, they add a sense of foreboding...something bad's looming about. Grant it, vultures might not have the… Continue reading How one bird improves public health

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?

Blood Clots, Health, Health policy

When the sun doesn’t shine for patients: the glaring loophole in the Sunshine Act

There's a big loophole in the laws governing the reporting of payments by drug companies to clinicians. How it is influencing care for those taking the #1 medication causing adverse drug events.