Health Policy News
February 14, 2016

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updated 5:30am EST

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February 14, 2016

Doctors' Reminders Help Keep People More Engaged in Their Health Care

Feb. 11, 2016 — Follow up emails from a primary care doctor can be a critical way to keep patients involved in their own health care, an new study examining the program called OpenNotes has ... read more

Global Scientific Community Commits to Sharing Data on Zika

Feb. 10, 2016 — Leading global health bodies including academic journals, NGOs, research funders and institutes, have committed to sharing data and results relevant to the current Zika crisis and future public ... read more

Study Compares Outcomes at VA Hospitals Vs. Non-VA Hospitals

Feb. 9, 2016 — Among older men with heart attack, heart failure or pneumonia, hospitalization at Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals, compared with hospitalization at non-VA hospitals, was associated with lower 30-day ... read more

Will More States Ban Nonmedical Exemptions for Childhood Vaccination?

Feb. 8, 2016 — For more than 30 years, Mississippi and West Virginia were the only states in the country that disallowed nonmedical exemptions to mandatory school vaccination laws for religious or philosophical ... read more

Veterans Affairs Health System Faces Significant Challenges, Studies Find

Feb. 8, 2016 — A series of reports prepared as part of a Congressionally mandated review of the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system finds that demands on the VA will continue to increase through the end of the ... read more

Research Finds No Easy Answers to Use of Drug Screening for Pain Patients

Feb. 8, 2016 — Doctors who treat patients suffering from chronic pain face a quandary, according to research. Monitoring patients through urine drug screenings, part of the standard protocol to ensure patient ... read more

Study Evaluates Pay-for-Performance Program for Medicaid Children in an ACO

Feb. 5, 2016 — The first pay-for-performance (P4P) evaluation of pediatricians under a full-risk Medicaid accountable care organization (ACO) for children shows P4P incentives were partially responsible for higher ... read more

No Hib Booster Needed by Vaccinated Infants in Kenya

Feb. 5, 2016 — Children living in Kenya are well protected from life-threatening infections -- such as meningitis, sepsis and pneumonia -- caused by the bacteria Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), by the existing ... read more

Study Measures Impact of Removing Planned Parenthood from Texas Women's Health Program

Feb. 4, 2016 — The public defunding of Planned Parenthood in Texas may have led to a decrease in highly effective forms of contraceptive services and an increase in Medicaid-paid childbirths among women who ... read more

Don't Use Body Mass Index to Determine Whether People Are Healthy

Feb. 4, 2016 — Relying on body mass index (BMI), a numerical measure of a person's height and weight, as a proxy for health incorrectly labels more than 54 million heavy Americans unhealthy when they are not, ... read more

Feb. 4, 2016 — Clinics and hospitals across the country are adding physician's assistant (PA) positions to serve growing numbers of patients, and in underserved rural areas, practices are turning to PAs to ... read more

Have National Smoking Bans Worked in Reducing Harms in Passive Smoking?

Feb. 4, 2016 — The most robust evidence yet, published today in the Cochrane Library, suggests that national smoking legislation does reduce the harms of passive smoking, and particularly risks from heart ... read more

Study Shows Direct Link Between State Spending Habits, AIDS Deaths

Feb. 3, 2016 — Despite considerable advances in the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS over the past 30 years, HIV infection rates have remained stagnant in the United States for the past decade. A study examines ... read more

Whooping Cough Booster Vouchers Don't Boost Immunization Rates of Caregivers

Feb. 3, 2016 — A team of researchers evaluated the feasibility and impact of different interventions aimed at increasing the number of Tdap vaccinated caregivers. Cases of pertussis (whooping cough) have increased ... read more

Emergency Visits by Youth for Mental Health, Addiction Rise by 32 Percent Over 6 Years

Feb. 2, 2016 — Demand for child and youth mental health care has been steadily rising throughout the health care system in Ontario, Canada. The biggest growth is occurring in emergency departments, driven by youth ... read more

Extending Length of Surgical Trainees' Shifts Does Not Affect Surgical Patients' Safety

Feb. 2, 2016 — Allowing surgeons in training, otherwise known as residents, the flexibility to work longer shifts than currently allowed in the US and/or take less time off between shifts to provide continuity of ... read more

Rate of Office Visits, Cumulative Costs Prior to Colonoscopies for Colon Cancer Screening

Feb. 2, 2016 — Researchers analyzed billing data to determine the proportion of colonoscopies for colon cancer screening and polyp surveillance that were preceded by office visits and the associated payments for ... read more

Sparse Coverage Hinders Infertility Treatment Access

Feb. 1, 2016 — Use of infertility treatments in the United States, ranging from medicines to in vitro fertilization, is likely hindered by widespread gaps in insurance coverage of reproductive services and ... read more

Feb. 1, 2016 — New work on how news media coverage shapes perceptions of obesity, has been published by investigators. They examined how perspectives on obesity portrayed in news articles affect people's ... read more

Most Vaccine-Related Posts on Pinterest Are Anti-Vaccine, Reveals Research

Feb. 1, 2016 — 75 percent of the vaccine-related posts on Pinterest are negative towards vaccination, according to new ... read more

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