Implementing measures to improve nutrition, indoor air pollution, immunization coverage and the management of pneumonia cases could be cost-effective and significantly reduce child mortality from pneumonia, according to a study led by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Researchers found that these strategies combined could reduce total child mortality by 17 percent and could reduce pneumonia deaths by more than 90 percent. Pneumonia is a leading cause of death of infants in many developing countries, resulting in 2.2 million deaths each year. The study is published in the June 2009 issue of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization.
A troubled county jail, where hundreds of lawsuits have stemmed from mistakes in managing the inmates' health information, would be a perfect testing ground for electronic medical records, the Arizona Republic reports. But Maricopa County officials have not acted on repeated recommendations to implement such a system, "even when faced with hundreds of lawsuits and the loss of accreditation for CHS operations." The inmates - who have a legal right to appropriate health care - have often not been convicted of crimes, arrive in clusters of about 350 a day, often use drugs and have psychiatric disorders. In many cases, they have not seen a doctor in years despite problems with chronic diseases like diabetes, the Republic reports.
A group of Senate Democrats will meet with President Obama today to discuss overhauling health care, The New York Times reports. "The Democrats on two Senate committees that are drafting health legislation have been invited to the White House to meet with Mr. Obama, hours before he leaves for the Middle East and Europe. As part of a push to secure Congressional passage of a bill this year, the administration will also make the case on Tuesday that reforming health care is critical to fixing the economy (Stolberg and Pear, 6/1). Two men sure to be part of the discussion, Sens. Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., are busy readying their proposals, Roll Call reports.
A probable case of swine flu in Wales has been identified by microbiology testing. The patient is a 31 year old male from the Caerphilly local authority area. The infection is linked to his travel to the USA. He has had mild flu symptoms, has been offered antivirals and is recovering at home. He has been defined as a probable case because he meets the clinical and epidemiological criteria and has been tested positive for non seasonal influenza A infection. Confirmation is expected from further microbiology testing on Monday. The close family contacts are all well and have been offered antivirals. Other close contacts are being traced. Antivirals are offered as treatment to people who are ill and to aid prevention to people who are well but have been in close contact with a case.
On May 13, health care professionals and health care activists gathered on Capitol Hill to demonstrate their support for Senator John Conyer's HR 676. The chair of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Max Baucus, is one of the largest recipients of support from private insurance companies. At the Kaiser Family Foundation, Baucus reiterated that all options for health care reform are still on the table - save for single-payer. ""We are going to come up with a uniquely American solution, which is also going to be public and private, " Baucus said to the press. "Not too far one side, and not too far the other." Everything is on the table, everything.
Physicians who treat patients with multiple health problems will fare well under pay-for-performance, which bases physician reimbursement on the quality of care provided, said researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Houston in a report in the current issue of the journal Circulation. When the researchers evaluated the high blood pressure treatment provided to patients who had other serious health condition, they found that such patients were more likely to receive high quality care than patients who had no co-existing health problems. "Pay-for-performance raises a lot of fears and assumptions that the reimbursement will not be fair toward doctors who care for the sickest patients, " said Dr.