Healthcare – June 2019

One thing is consistent no matter who does the poll, the United States ranks worst among the world’s richest nations. Why is this? What’s being done to fix it? How can it be fixed? Where is it working and not working? When can we expect it to improve?

These are the questions to be discussed here.

3 thoughts on “Healthcare – June 2019

  1. Sleep apps backfire by causing anxiety and insomnia, says expert

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    Neurologist says ‘metricising our lives’ is counterproductive when it comes to sleep

    Smartphone sleep-tracking apps are making people so anxious and obsessed about their sleep that they are developing insomnia, a leading neurologist has said.

    Speaking at the Cheltenham science festival, Dr Guy Leschziner, a sleep disorder specialist and consultant at Guy’s hospital in London, said a growing preoccupation with getting enough sleep was backfiring.

    “We’ve seen a lot of people who have developed significant insomnia as a result of either sleep trackers or reading certain things about how devastating sleep deprivation is for you,” Leschziner said before his talk.

    A high proportion of patients seeking treatment for insomnia turn up at his clinic with data about their sleep patterns and are often reluctant to delete the app, he said. “It’s rather difficult to dissuade them from using it.”

    The Nocturnal Brain by Guy Leschziner review – bizarre sleep stories
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    Most apps have not been clinically validated and only track movement, so do not provide insight into the quality of sleep, he added.

    “My view of sleep trackers is fairly cynical. If you wake up feeling tired and you’ve had an unrefreshing night’s sleep then you know you’ve got a problem,” he said. “If you wake up every day and feel refreshed, are awake throughout the day and are ready to sleep at the same time every night then you’re probably getting enough sleep for you and you don’t need an app to tell you that.”

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  2. As price of insulin soars, Americans caravan to Canada for lifesaving medicine

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    As their minivan rolled north, they felt their nerves kick in — but they kept on driving.

    At the wheel: Lija Greenseid, a rule-abiding Minnesota mom steering her Mazda5 on a cross-border drug run.

    Her daughter, who is 13, has Type 1 diabetes and needs insulin. In the United States, it can cost hundreds of dollars per vial. In Canada, you can buy it without a prescription for a tenth of that price.

    So, Greenseid led a small caravan last month to the town of Fort Frances, Ontario, where she and five other Americans paid about $1,200 for drugs that would have cost them $12,000 in the United States.

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    “It felt like we were robbing the pharmacy,” said Quinn Nystrom, a Type 1 diabetic who joined the caravan that day. “It had been years since I had 10 vials in my hands.”

    They’re planning another run to Canada this month to stock up on insulin — and to call attention to their cause. This time, they’ll be taking the scenic route, driving from Minnesota through Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan en route to London, Ontario, where Frederick Banting began the work that led to the discovery of insulin nearly a century ago.

    Like millions of Americans, Greenseid and Nystrom are stressed and outraged by the rising costs of prescription drugs in the United States — a problem Republicans and Democrats alike have promised to fix.

    Insulin is a big part of the challenge. More than 30 million Americans have diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. About 7.5 million, including 1.5 million with Type 1 diabetes, rely on insulin.

    Between 2012 and 2016, the cost of insulin for treating Type 1 diabetes nearly doubled, according to the nonprofit Health Care Cost Institute.

    Read a pdf of this article or go behind the paywall.

  3. Trump Wants to Neutralize Democrats on Health Care. Republicans Say Let It Go.

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    President Trump’s renewed interest in health care comes as he plans a rally in Orlando, Fla., on Tuesday to open a re-election campaign that is struggling to find its bearings.CreditCreditStephen Crowley/The New York Times

    WASHINGTON — As President Trump prepares to kick off his bid for a second term this week, he is anxiously searching for a way to counter Democrats on health care, one of their central issues, even though many of his wary Republican allies would prefer he let it go for now.

    Since he announced his previous run four years ago, Mr. Trump has promised to replace President Barack Obama’s health care law with “something terrific” that costs less and covers more without ever actually producing such a plan.

    Now he is vowing to issue the plan within a month or two, reviving a campaign promise with broad consequences for next year’s contest. If he follows through, it could help shape a presidential race that Democrats would like to focus largely on health care.

    Read a pdf of this article or go behind the paywall.

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