News and Commentary

Headlines on Deadline March 2005

Now there's discussion of something called "metabolic syndrome," which seems to include all the problems associated with being obese. An article in the Washington Post notes that some experts are also a bit skeptical, saying that a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome may lead doctors to rush patients into drug treatment without giving dieting and exercise a chance.... Aetna has introduced six PPOs in Connecticut (where the company is based) that are aimed at the state's uninsured and others who don't have employer sponsored health insurance. Members will be able to go out of network but will pay more out of pocket to do so, says the Hartford Currant. Those who remain in-network will not have to pay deductibles for physician visits and generic prescription drugs.... It's nearly impossible to determine whether hospital infections are rising or falling, according to the Wall Street Journal. "Infection fighters on the front lines say the situation isn't nearly as simple as consumer advocates make it seem. Hospitals don't have some 'infection rate' that they know but are keeping secret. Instead, there is no standard method" for keeping tabs on infections.... Technology sometimes creates problems as well as solves them. The Jan. 3 issue of Health Care Policy Report: "Computerized drug prescribing mistakes accounted for nearly 20 percent of all hospital and health system medication errors in 2003, a study released by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) said. "


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