Advanced breast cancer cases are increasing in young American women overall and almost twice as fast among African-American women, according to a recent study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association. And some experts believe the use of hormonal contraceptive steroids and abortions have a lot to do with the trend.
The term advanced breast cancer refers to those cancers which, at the time of diagnosis, have usually already spread to other locations in the body, such as the bones, lungs and brain.
The study, authored by Rebecca H. Johnson, MD; Franklin L. Chien, BA, and Archie Bleyer, MD, was published last Wednesday and examined breast cancer data from the U.S. National Cancer Institute Surveillance, Epidemiology, an End Results (SEER) database. more >>
New Jersey governor Chris Christie has become the eighth Republican governor to agree to expand Medicaid coverage in his state under the provisions of Obamacare.
Is the last line of Republican resistance to Obamacare disintegrating?
In 2011, 26 states joined a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the provision of Obamacare, which forced them to participate in expanding Medicaid coverage as a condition to continue to participate in the program. more >>
As it becomes clear the President Obama is making Medicare a key topic for discussion within the broader context of federal spending, Democrats and Republicans have an opportunity to pursue common-sense reforms that preserve the program while achieving bipartisan support for fixing what isn't working.
Despite ongoing reservations, I believe that some parts of the Affordable Care Act can conceivably be implemented with minimal dislocation, but only if the right policies are embraced by the administration. And that's why I think that the president is making a mistake in proposing potentially damaging changes to arguably the most effective part of Medicare, instead of building on its progress and finding a way to drive long-term cost savings by keeping seniors healthy.
The Medicare program component in question is the Part D drug benefit that George W. Bush signed in 2003 (later implemented in 2006). Part D was created to cover the drug coverage gap that that once existed in the Medicare's plan for older and disabled Americans. Under Part D, seniors choose from a wide variety of privately run drug plans that negotiate individually with drug makers: seniors pay far less than they used to for coverage. more >>
Fox News' "Hannity" show recently received criticism after liberal political commentator Tamara Holder blamed Obamacare on overweight Republicans during the Tuesday night airing of the show.
Holder, who has served as a Democratic correspondent for Fox, made the controversial comments while engaging in a debate with host Sean Hannity regarding New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's goal to expand his ban on large sugary sodas beyond his city and into the entire state of New York.
Hannity also expounded on Bloomberg's plans to decrease public smoking and salt content in restaurant foods in future legislation. more >>
My long-time self-paying patient opined that the end of fee-for-service payments (payment for what you get) was imminent. I lightheartedly asked her how physicians would be paid. Would they be housed in military barracks and given vouchers for necessaries?
Perhaps she read section 3023 of the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" (PPACA or "ObamaCare"), the National Pilot Program on Payment Bundling, which applies to certain Medicare beneficiaries. The program's stated goals are to improve access to care, quality, coordination, and efficiency (i.e., reduce costs) of services. Pilot programs, which started this year, will be conducted for 5 years, or longer if extension results in improved quality and reduced spending.
An earlier "pilot program" on payment by diagnosis (DRG or diagnosis related group), regardless of what the patient did or did not receive, simply became national practice in 1983 without looking at the results. Then there's the HMO method of payment by the head (capitation), regardless of care or lack thereof. How will payment by the bundle be different? more >>
Despite getting clobbered in the fiscal cliff negotiations, Republicans have something to celebrate this year -- the survival of health savings accounts, or HSAs. They had feared that President Obama would obliterate this critical cost-saving tool.
Sure, the president had promised that ObamaCare would not bar HSA-qualified plans from health insurance exchanges. But we had our doubts.
Fortunately, we were wrong. more >>