The Habit America’s Historians Just Can’t Give Up

“In its attempt to explode particular myths, however, Myth America engages in its own mythmaking. The book fundamentally misunderstands the crises facing the U.S. and the world. By implying that misinformation is the principal cause of the partisan rancor, violence, and general dysfunction that mark our current political moment, the collection obscures our much bigger problems. And by localizing the threat of misinformation and disinformation almost exclusively within certain far-right segments of the conservative movement and the Republican Party, Myth America absolves not only other stripes of conservatism, but also the milquetoast technocratic liberalism that helped set the stage for this moment. It’s not … Read More

Healthy Eating Patterns and Risk of Total and Cause-Specific Mortality

“[Introduction] According to the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017, unhealthy diet is estimated as one of the leading causes of death globally. [..] using 2 large prospective cohorts with data on repeated measures of dietary habits, we derived dietary scores for 4 healthy dietary patterns, including the Healthy Eating Index 2015 (HEI-2015), Alternate Mediterranean Diet (AMED) score, Healthful Plant-based Diet Index (HPDI), and Alternate Healthy Eating Index (AHEI). We then examined their associations with total and cause-specific mortality. We also specifically examined these associations stratified by race and ethnicity and other potential risk factors. [Methods] This cohort study used … Read More

Opinion | A Skeptical Take on the A.I. Revolution

Ezra Klein of the New York Times interviewed Gary Marcus, emeritus professor of psychology and neural science at NYU. “[Klein] [..] one of your pieces where you say GPT-3, which is the system underneath ChatGPT, is the king of pastiche. What is pastiche, first, and what do you mean by that? [Marcus] It’s a kind of glorified cut and paste. Pastiche is putting together things kind of imitating a style. [..] There’s also a kind of template aspect to it. So it cuts and pastes things, but it can do substitutions, things that paraphrase. So you have A and B … Read More

Corporate Investors in Primary Care — Profits, Progress, and Pitfalls

“driven by an increasing focus on “total-cost value-based care” — a model in which health care providers are paid to manage the total cost of care for their patients and the size of each patient’s capitated budget may be increased on the basis of the patient’s health risks and the provider’s performance on quality metrics. Though potentially beneficial for certain well-insured patients, the trend of corporate investment in primary care could threaten equitable access to care, raise health care costs, and reduce physicians’ clinical autonomy. [..] As Medicare and commercial payers move toward total-cost value-based payments, such as capitation, and … Read More

Unhealthy histories: sports and addictive sponsorship

“Professional sport has been criticised for its role as a vehicle to market addictive products or services. Despite the harmful health effects on society, football audiences are inured to seeing sponsors of such products not only on pitch-side hoardings and shirts, but also embedded in television rights, competition names, prematch build-up, corporate hospitality, and social media. Tobacco’s successful movement into sports sponsorship established the template on which other addictive sponsors, notably the alcohol and gambling industries, built their strategies. The integration of sports and addictive commodities highlights strategies to influence consumption by those within the unhealthy commodities industry. [..] historically … Read More

Price Transparency in Hospitals—Current Research and Future Directions

“There are 3 main takeaways from the existing research on the rule. First, the compliance rates have been low. In March 2021, a random sample of 100 hospitals indicated that only 33% reported the negotiated commercial prices for some services. [..] In response to the low compliance, the CMS raised the penalty for noncompliant hospitals to $300 per day for small hospitals and up to $5500 per day for large hospitals beginning from January 1, 2022. Despite the steeper penalties, the compliance rate remains low. For example, Gul et al note that as of March 2022, only 29% to 56% … Read More

Internal Memo: Amazon Care to shut down, ‘not a complete enough offering’ for corporate customers

Excerpt – Amazon will stop offering its Amazon Care primary health-care services at the end of this year, according to an internal memo, after determining that it wasn’t “the right long-term solution for our enterprise customers.” The surprise move Wednesday is a major course correction in Amazon’s broader foray into healthcare. Amazon says the decision impacts only Amazon Care, and not its other health-care initiatives. “This decision wasn’t made lightly and only became clear after many months of careful consideration,” said Neil Lindsay, Amazon Health Services senior vice president, in the email to Amazon Health Services employees. “Although our enrolled … Read More

Small Solutions for Primary Care Are Part of a Larger Problem

“At a time when patients require whole-person care to improve their overall health and well-being, efforts to improve the quality of narrow processes in the primary care setting may instead lead to fragmentation of care and clinician burnout. We believe that truly patient-centered, integrated, whole-person care in the primary care setting would comprehensively address patient concerns during any given office visit, whether those concerns include chronic disease management, acute issues, or preventive health care. [..] The annual wellness visit exemplifies a piecemeal initiative focused on specific components of care that fails to meet patient expectations of comprehensive care. [..] Widely … Read More

The Telehealth Era is Just Beginning

“Having analyzed health outcomes data from the independent National Committee for Quality Assurance, health plan member satisfaction surveys from J.D. Power, and internal data from our own organizations, we are confident that full implementation of five opportunities would improve clinical quality nationwide by 20%, increase access to care by 20%, and reduce health care spending by 15% to 20%. Reduce expensive and unnecessary trips to the ER – [..] Kaiser Permanente members in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC [..] can access a 24/7 video health center that connects them with a doctor who can quickly assess the problem and offer … Read More

Aldosterone, a hormone that prevents dehydration, is linked to worsening kidney disease, study suggests

“In the observational study [published in the European Heart Journal on 2022.8.7], researchers analyzed health data from 3,680 people with chronic kidney disease for nearly 10 years. Those with elevated levels of aldosterone, a crucial, salt-conserving hormone made by the adrenal glands, which sit atop the kidneys, had a higher risk of serious kidney disease progression during the study period: they are more likely to lose half their kidney function, start dialysis, or develop end-stage kidney disease. [Excerpts of an interview with Ashish Verma, kidney specialist and assistant professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine:] [Verma:] We found … Read More