Early last month a report graded each of the 50 states’ policies on how well they controlled patients’ pain. The report showed that much progress had been made over the last decade in implementing balanced policies that increase access to effective pain medications and establish a system to mitigate drug abuse. However, much more needs to be done.
Over the next few weeks, you’ll be hearing about the accomplishments of the 2013 legislative session, which ended last week. And lawmakers did approve some legislation, but one key consumer issue was left unaddressed.
William Faulkner, the great American writer who was born in New Albany, Mississippi, wrote screenplays to support his family, although he didn't really like the job, and referred to it as "mere scribbling."
In The Philadelphia Chromosome, journalist Jessica Wapner tells the story of the breakthrough cancer drug Gleevec, which has saved the lives of thousands of patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and other cancers since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved it in 2001.
Many years back during my residency training, on my first overnight as the senior admitting resident, I got a call from an emergency physician at a tiny rural hospital. Her patient had pulmonary emboli -- blood clots to arteries of the lungs. She proposed to transfer the patient to our hospital, where closer monitoring would be available.
Last week, President Obama offered his plan for the federal budget. According to the President, his proposed $3.7 trillion budget for 2014 would cut deficits by $1.8 trillion over the next decade. The President’s plan includes a number of proposals, most notably: ending the “sequester” (that’s the current law that has automatically cut federal spending), reducing spending in the Medicare and Social Security programs, as well as tax increases that would primarily hit high-income households and corporations.
The United States spends more on health care than any other nation on earth. Yet, the U.S. has some of the worst health care outcomes of any nation in the developed world. Why is that? It’s due to the tortured way the nation runs its system.