News & Commentary

Briefly Noted October 2013

Frank Diamond

Advanced practice nurse practitioners (APRNs) want the Obama administration to make insurers accept them as legitimate primary care practitioners in the state health insurance exchanges. They say that despite laws in 17 states that allow them to practice independently, health plans still hesitate to include them in their provider panels. “As many more millions of uninsured or underinsured seek primary care services through these exchanges, they will need access to qualified primary care providers. That will not happen if private insurers continue to exclude or restrict APRNs from their provider networks,” says Karen Daley, president of the American Nurses Association.... Efforts to beef up the ranks of primary care physicians have gone online. A program called Physician Retraining & Reentry aims to help retired specialists brush up on their primary care skills and treat patients without having to return to medical school. Enrollees need to have a valid medical license.... The debate about how often mammographies should be given and to what demographic hasn’t been decided yet. About two thirds of breast cancer deaths in a longitudinal study between 1991 and 2007 occurred in women who had not had mammography. Their average age was 49. The findings, in the journal Cancer, are at odds with a controversial recommendation by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force that routine mammographies begin at 50.... Severely obese children will burden health care spending in years to come unless something isn’t done to address recent trends, says the American Heart Association. About 4%–6% of children and adolescents in the United States fall into this category. In a 17-page statement, the AHA warns that “if left unchecked, it will have a profound effect on those it afflicts and will place a significant economic and clinical services burden on the future health care system.” Severely obese children over 2 have a body-mass index that’s 20% higher than the 95th percentile for their age and sex.


A Conversation With Marc Harrison, MD
By Interview by Peter Wehrwein
A Conversation with J. Kevin Croston, MD, and Craig Samitt, MD
By Interview by Peter Wehrwein
A Conversation with Andy Slavitt
By Interview by Richard Mark Kirkner

A blueprint for high-volume, high-quality lung cancer screening that is detecting cancer earlier—and helping to save lives

Clinical Brief

Multiple Sclerosis: New Perspectives on the Patient Journey–2019 Update
Summary of an Actuarial Analysis and Report