Health Updates 12 October 2011

  • Ten years after anthrax attacks, a closer look at the case against Brice Ivins: “Much of the case remains unchallenged, notably the finding that the anthrax letters were mailed from Princeton, NJ, just steps from an office of the college sorority that Ivins was obsessed with for much of his adult life…But newly available documents and the accounts of Ivins’ former colleagues shed fresh light on the evidence and, while they don’t exonerate Ivins, are at odds with some of the science and circumstantial evidence that the government said would have convicted him of capital crimes.” (Miami Herald)
  • Folic acid supplements protect against language problems: “Women who took folic acid supplements in the first two months of pregnancy were less likely to have kids with severe language delays.” (Reuters)
  • AMA panels wants Medicare to pay for care coordination: “The AMA committee that recommends changes in the Medicare pay scale is asking the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to reimburse doctors for four types of activities that involve coordinating care for chronically ill patients….four care-coordination activities [that] are not currently reimbursed by Medicare, so there’s no direct financial incentive for doctors to provide them.”  These include 1). responding to telephone calls seven days or more after a patient sees a doctor; 2). education and training to enable patients to better manage their own health; 3). improving management of anticoagulation therapy for outpatients on warfarin; and 4). time spent coordinating team-based care when the patient is not present.  It is thought these measures will save money in the long-term by eliminating emergency department and doctor’s office visits.  (Emily P. Walker, MedPage Today)
  • Day care for sick kids helps parents: “The services – including one in a hospital – accept children with sore throats, sniffles, earaches and other minor bugs who normally would be turned away or sent home from day care.  Parents can drop off the child rather than stay home and lose a day or more in pay – or risk ticking off the boss.” (Sun Sentinel)

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