Health care news and research
A commentary in the New England Journal of Medicine reminds us that health care has been a major contributor to the federal deficit and consequently the national debt and that it is likely to continue to add to our financial woes, notwithstanding the recent health act.
States that supposedly led the way on health care reform are finding out it was the bleeding edge that they were on. Insurers are always the easy target, but bashing them won’t solve the underlying cost problem. If the federal bill actually is implemented, the experience of these states will likely be replicated nationally.
A survey examines the bases for patients’ preferences for a site of care, in particular what factors would lead them to chose a retail clinic versus a regular physician office when they have a relatively minor health need.
Two recent pieces of research shed further light on what commonly happens with individuals’ health status near the end of their lives and on the extent to which people are considering what kind of care they want to receive if they reach medical crisis and whether a patient’s preferences are being respected.
For some years researchers have examined the link, if any, between the volume of a certain type of procedure or service at a hospital and outcomes. A new study published in NEJM extends that research, finding that at a certain level volume is associated with lower mortality.
A variety of benefits from expanded use of electronic medical or health records have been advanced by advocates. An article in the New England Journal of Medicine explores whether such electronic records can help limit the number of diagnostic mistakes by physicians and other health professionals.