During Labor, Lie Down

By NICHOLAS BAKALAR October 20, 2017 Many doctors recommend that women in labor sit upright or walk to speed things along. But a randomized trial suggests the best bet may be to lie on your side. British researchers randomly assigned 3,093 first-time mothers with a low-dose epidural in the second stage of labor to either an upright …

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Viewpoints: Doctors Facing Racism In The Exam Room; Medication’s Role In Curbing Addiction

A selection of opinions on health care from around the country. The Washington Post: Racist Patients Often Leave Doctors At A LossPatients refuse care based on health-care providers’ ethnicity and religion so often that this phenomenon has been dubbed “medicine’s open secret.” A new poll shows that a majority of health-care professionals say they have …

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Policy Perspectives: When It Comes to Health Care, Why Is Compromise So Difficult?; Ideas On How To Move Forward

Opinion writers offer their thoughts on the outlook for the Obamacare fix advanced by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) as well as on President Donald Trump’s recent executive order loosening some restrictions on health insurance and how Medicare prices can help advance efforts at reform. Bloomberg: Why There’s No Compromise On …

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Research Roundup: Hospital Readmissions; HPV Vaccine; Housing And Asthma

Each week, KHN compiles a selection of recently released health policy studies and briefs. The New England Journal of Medicine: Effect Of A Hospital-Wide Measure On The Readmissions Reduction ProgramThe Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program penalizes hospitals that have high 30-day readmission rates across specific conditions. There is support for changing to a hospital-wide readmission measure …

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State Highlights: Minn. Gov. Blasts Medica For $120M Funds Transfer; In Mass., Closing Arguments In Murder Trial Related To Compounding Pharmacy Meningitis Outbreak

Media outlets report on news from Minnesota, Massachusetts, Texas, New Hampshire, Kansas, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia and Ohio. The Star Tribune: Dayton, Consumer Advocates Blast Minnesota HMO For $120 Million TransferMedica Health Plans transferred the money this month to shore up the finances of its for-profit and Wisconsin insurance businesses, using reserves from its nonprofit …

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Pollution Kills More People Than AIDS, Tuberculosis And Malaria Combined

A recent study has found just how dangerous pollution is to the world’s health. In other public health news: high blood pressure, obesity and cholesterol, tobacco, adult-onset ADHD, broken hearts and concussions. The Associated Press: Study Finds Pollution Is Deadlier Than War, Disaster, HungerEnvironmental pollution — from filthy air to contaminated water — is killing …

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Prices For Cancer Drugs Creeping Up Much Higher Than Inflation Warrants

“Some [increases] exceeded inflation drastically and some increased at a slower rate,” said Dr. Daniel Goldstein, the author of the study. “But overall, we’re seeing a gradual creep each year.” Stat: Cancer Drug Prices Have Been Rising Much, Much Faster Than InflationThe prices for injectable cancer drugs — including older medicines that face competition — …

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As Medicaid Enrollment Stabilizes, States Seeing Modest Rise In Spending

The Kaiser Family Foundation’s annual survey of 50 states looks at changes expected in Medicaid programs. In other Medicaid news, Pennsylvania’s governor vetoes a bill that would impose work requirements for enrollees, Louisiana lawmakers weigh new contracts for managed care companies and New Hampshire approves coverage of gender reassignment surgeries. The Associated Press: Report: Medicaid …

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Medicare Agency May Have ‘Overcorrected’ When Canceling Cardiac Pay Models

Also in the news from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the agency will begin evaluating some of the changes put in place by MACRA to reduce Medicare spending. Modern Healthcare: CMS May Have Overcorrected In Cancellation Of Cardiac ModelsThe CMS may have overcorrected when it honored some hospitals’ request to cancel mandatory cardiac …

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Court Of Appeals Stays Ruling To Allow Undocumented Girl’s Abortion; Hearing Set For Friday

The court did, however, allow for the girl to see a counselor — which Texas law requires before obtaining an abortion. If the stay is lifted, she could decide to seek the procedure later today or tomorrow. The Associated Press: Court To Review Ruling Allowing Abortion For Immigrant TeenAn appeals court on Thursday temporarily stayed …

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In Mostly Symbolic Gesture, Democrats Introduce Bill To Stop Rollback Of Contraception Mandate

“President Trump wants to make birth control about ideology, but let’s be clear: for women and their families in the 21st century, birth control is about being healthy and financially secure,” said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.). The Hill: Dems Introduce Bill To Overrule Trump On Birth Control Mandate Nineteen Senate Democrats have signed on to a …

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Amid For-Profit Surge, Rural Hospice Has Offered Free Care for 40 Years

PORT ANGELES, Wash. — Rose Crumb can’t even count the number of people she’s helped die. The former nurse, 91, who retired in her mid-80s, considers the question and then shakes her head, her blue eyes sharp above oval spectacles. “Oh, hundreds,” estimates Crumb, the woman who almost single-handedly brought hospice care to this remote …

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Podcast: ‘What The Health?’ Whiplash

The bipartisan leaders of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee this week agreed on a bill they say could help stabilize the struggling health insurance exchanges. But despite the compromises made by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), it’s still unclear whether Congress can pass the measure, particularly in time for …

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Viewpoints: Learning Cybersecurity Lessons From Medical Devices; Big Pharma Should Be Embarrassed — But Are They?

A selection of opinions on health care from around the country. JAMA: Cybersecurity Concerns and Medical Devices: Lessons From a Pacemaker AdvisoryMedical devices increasingly include capabilities for wireless communication and remote monitoring systems that relay clinical information from patients to clinicians. For example, many cardiac implantable electrical devices can transmit data regarding arrhythmia burden and …

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Some Tips To Help Decide Whether Popular Medicare Advantage Plans Are Right For You

These private insurance plan take the place of traditional Medicare and vary in coverage and cost. CNBC: Here’s How To Snag The Best Medicare Advantage PlanMedicare open enrollment is underway, which means you have until Dec. 7 to sign up for an Advantage Plan or to make changes to the one you already have. If …

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Parsing Health Policies And Politics: Examining The Alexander-Murray Obamacare ‘Fix’; Why Does It Have To Be So Difficult?

Opinion writers offer a variety of takes on the deal announced this week by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) as well as what it can and cannot accomplish. They also take a tough inventory of the politics in play and examine other health policy issues, such as Medicare Advantage networks and …

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Longer Looks: PTSD Or Hate?; In The Wake Of Hurricanes; And Male Fertility

Each week, KHN’s Shefali Luthra finds interesting reads from around the Web. The New York Times: A Marine Attacked An Iraqi Restaurant. But Was It A Hate Crime Or PTSD?The DarSalam Iraqi restaurant, with its steaming plates of falafel and kebab, has for years served as a popular community gathering spot here. The Iraqi family …

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State Highlights: Md. Website Will Help Consumers Compare Costs For Common Medical Procedures; NYC’s Public Hospital System To Get Infusion Of Funding

Media outlets report on news from Maryland, New York, Colorado, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Minnesota. The Washington Post: Maryland To Offer Online Shopping Tool For Common Medical ProceduresThe Maryland Health Care Commission, the state’s independent regulatory agency, is unveiling a website on which people scheduling a hip replacement, knee replacement, hysterectomy or vaginal delivery can …

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