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Desperate and Duped? GoFundMe campaigns raise millions for questionable treatments Print E-mail
Written by Medical Xpress   
Tuesday, 23 October 2018 16:46
People seeking dubious, potentially harmful treatment for cancer and other ailments raised nearly $7 million over two years from crowdfunding sites, a study found. Echoing recent research on campaigns for stem cell therapies, the findings raise more questions about an increasingly popular way to help pay for costly, and sometimes unproven, medical care.  
Soliciting money on GoFundMe and other sites eliminates doctors, hospitals, insurance companies and other "gatekeepers" that can be a barrier to expensive treatment, said lead author Dr. Ford Vox, an ethicist and brain injury expert at Shepherd Center rehabilitation hospital in Atlanta. His study was published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Dr. Vox calls it "the democratization of economic power through social media" but says it can pose an ethical dilemma. Online fundraising "has a big bright side" when it helps patients pay for legitimate care, he said." Communities are really being able to rally around people in rough times. That's fantastic, but there is this very clear dark side" when treatments sought are worthless or even dangerous.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 October 2018 16:49
Healthcare Tops Guns, Economy As Voters' Top Issue Print E-mail
Written by Phil Galewitz | KHN   
Thursday, 18 October 2018 00:00
Healthcare has emerged as the top issue for voters headed into the midterm elections, but fewer than half of them say they are hearing a lot from candidates on the issue, according to a new poll released Thursday. Seven in  10 people list health care as "very important" as they make their voting choices, eclipsing the economy and jobs (64 percent), gun policy (60 percent), immigration (55 percent), tax cuts (53 percent) and foreign policy (51 percent). When asked to choose just one issue, nearly a third picked health care, according to the survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Still, midterm elections are traditionally a referendum on the president and his party, and that holds true this year as two-thirds of voters say a candidate's support or opposition to President Donald Trump will be a major factor in their voting decision, the poll found. 
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The Pentagon Wants to Weaponize the Human Brain Print E-mail
Written by FHI's Week in Review   
Monday, 15 October 2018 10:55
On Thursday, 10/11/18, The Atlantic posted a fascinating feature article from their print issue coming out next month. A former University of Miami associate professor of biomedical engineering and neuroscience, who now works for the government (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Pentagon's R&D department), is quoted in the article:

"I would claim to you that these tools <computers and smart phones> are not so smart. And maybe one of the reasons why they're not so smart is because they're not connected to our brains. Maybe if we could hook those devices into our brains, they could have some idea of what our goals are, what our intent is, and what our frustration is."
Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>>
Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 December 2018 18:22
Feds greenlight healthcare mega merger Print E-mail
Written by CNN   
Wednesday, 10 October 2018 00:00
David Goldman reports for CNN Business on 10.10.18:
A landmark healthcare merger is inches away from the finish line. CVS has gained the US government's approval to buy Aetna. The $69 billion acquisition, announced in December 2017, will drastically remap  the healthcare industry. CVS is a massive drugstore chain and prescription insurer, and Aetna is one of the nation's largest health insurers. It is the largest health insurance deal in history, far exceeding Express Scripts' $29 billion acquisition of Medco in 2012, the last record-holder. To gain the Trump administration's approval, Aetna agreed to spin off its Medicare Part D prescription drug business. The Justice Department settled with CVS and Aetna on Wednesday. Pending a judge's approval of the settlement, the deal will be completed.

Last Updated on Friday, 12 October 2018 11:28
Physicians' regulatory burden worse than ever despite federal efforts Print E-mail
Written by FHI's Week in Review   
Monday, 08 October 2018 13:19
Virgil Dickson reports for Modern Healthcare on 10.4.18:

The CMS has prided itself in recent months on cutting and scaling back providers' regulatory burden, but those efforts have fallen short, according to a new survey by the Medical Group Management Association. An overwhelming majority, or 86%, of respondents reported the overall regulatory burden on their medical practice has increased over the past 12 months.

Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>>
Last Updated on Monday, 19 November 2018 18:03
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