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Health Updates 29 September 2011

  • Health care law appears headed for the Supreme Court as both White House and plaintiffs turn to the High Court: “The administration’s filing makes it more likely that the case will be heard and decided in the term that begins next week….On the issue of timing, their cause got an unexpected boost from retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who said voters would be better off if they know the law’s fate before casting their ballots next year.” (Associated Press)
  • Economists say adult male circumcision isn’t cost- effective in fighting HIV/AIDS: “A successful adult male circumcision effort would require ‘a large public campaign to get people into the clinic,” said Bjorn Lomborg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, a Danish think tank focused on cost-effective public spending that commissioned the panel…The group told representatives of global organizations at Georgetown University that more cost-effective ways to prevent the spread of the disease are an HIV vaccine, infant male circumcision, preventing mother-to-child transmission of the disease and making blood transfusions safe”. (USA Today)
  • Transfers not good for nursing home dementia patients: “Advanced dementia patients commonly go through potentially unnecessary and difficult transitions from the nursing home to other care settings in their last months of life, researchers found.  In a national Medicare claims analysis, 19% of patients with advanced cognitive and functional impairment were moved at least once in their final three days of life or multiple times within their last 90 days.  These transitions were significantly linked to markers of poor quality end-of-life care….The distress caused by the transfers stems from the trauma of being moved and the increased confusion attendant on unfamiliar settings and care providers.” (Crystal Phend, MedPage Today)
  • Reebok to pay settlement over health claims: “More dashed hopes for those seeking a perfect derriere – and the once high-flying industry of toning shoes and clothing that promotes such ambitions.  Those fancy Reebok sneakers that promise better legs and a better behind ‘with every step’ may be just like every other sneaker, federal regulators said Wednesday, and Reebok International is liable for $25 million in customer refunds for making false claims about its EasyTone line.  ‘Consumers expected to get a workout, not to get worked over,’ said David Vladeck, director of the Federal Trade Commission‘s Bureau of Consumer Protection.”  Reebok stands by its EasyTone technology, but agreed to settle.  (NY Times)
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