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Here’s just the tip of the iceberg: $722.50 for a nurse to push a drug into an IV. $21,500 for ten stitches. The prices charged by hospitals are exorbitant and rising. Private health insurance premiums paid by working age adults are rising rapidly. Many Americans skip necessary medical care, while those who do get treated can end up bankrupt. With U.S. health care spending reaching $4.5 trillion in 2022, finding ways to cut costs has become increasingly urgent.
Homicides were down sharply in Boston during the first three months of 2024 compared to the same period in recent years, records show. The city saw just two confirmed homicides in the first quarter of the year, compared to 11 during the first quarter of 2023, according to Boston police statistics. There were five homicides in Boston in the first quarter of 2022, nine during the same period in 2021, and 10 in the first quarter of 2020.
A Texas dairy worker has tested positive for the avian flu, marking the first identified human case of an illness in the U.S. that has sickened cattle across several states over the past few weeks.
Americans who test positive for COVID-19 no longer need to stay in isolation for five days, U.S. health officials announced Friday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its longstanding guidance, saying that people can return to work or regular activities if their symptoms are mild and improving and it’s been a day since they’ve had a fever.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may soon drop its isolation guidance for people with COVID-19. The planned change was reported in The Washington Post on Tuesday, attributed to several unnamed CDC officials.
The number of private equity firms has exploded in health care in recent years, spending hundreds of billions of dollars to buy physician practices, hospitals, laboratories and nursing homes. It’s a trend that should have everyone’s attention, from politicians to patients, because it can significantly increase costs, reduce access and even threaten patient safety.
Enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans has grown substantially in the past few decades, enticing more than half of eligible people, primarily those 65 or older, with low premium costs and perks like dental and vision insurance. And as the private plans' share of the Medicare patient pie has ballooned to 30.8 million people, so too have concerns about the insurers' aggressive sales tactics and misleading coverage claims.
With Intus Care, Robbie Felton, Evan Jackson and Alex Rothberg are building healthcare analytics software to help identify risks and optimize healthcare for low-income seniors. Health insurers use the Intus Care platform to help 1,500 providers treat 15,000 patients representing $1.5 billion in value-based care payments. The company expects more than $2.1 million in revenue in 2023.
Over the coming months, more than 100,000 Americans will likely die, mostly unnecessarily, from respiratory infections. Yes, that is the reality we are now facing this fall and winter—and likely every fall and winter for the foreseeable future. Unless we act.
COVID cases are on the rise and this week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that anyone who is six months or older get the new COVID-19 vaccines. Health reporter Lynn Arditi talked about the new vaccines with Doctor Ashish Jha, former White House COVID advisor and current dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health.
If you’re 60 or over, “you don’t want to get into November without having an R.S.V. vaccine,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, the former White House Covid adviser and current dean of Brown University’s public health school.
NPR

Fighting Noise Pollution

Noise pollution is a physical and mental stressor with real health impacts, Professor Erica Walker tells NPR. "It's going to the emergency room for a panic attack, it's 'I can't sleep,' 'I can't hear my children.' It's all of those things," she says.
The Boston Globe

How Medicare can save $500 billion

In the Boston Globe, Professors Andy Ryan and David Meyers lay out why Medicare Advantage plans are costing taxpayers billions in excess spending—and how to fix it.
With an updated vaccine, readily available testing, and successful treatments, Dean Ashish Jha writes that COVID-19 isn't the disruptive force that it once was: "The virus no longer needs to reorder our lives and our priorities."
The Atlantic

How to Lose a Century of Progress

Professor Craig Spencer writes that Americans have been too quick to condemn the field of public health, overlooking its massive achievements in the 1900s and also during the recent pandemic.