March 21, 2019 | DIY hospital room--plus supplies!
The American College of Cardiology (ACC)/American Heart Association released updated guidelines on the primary prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) at the ACC annual meeting this month. There were not many changes, MedPage Today reports. Among the most significant were for aspirin. Prophylactic low-dose aspirin “might be considered” for select patients, ages 40-70, at higher ASCVD risk but not at increased bleeding risk. Other key additions included support for heart-beneficial diabetes medications for team-based care, shared decision-making and considering social determinants of health. (MedPage Today)
Amazon is selling a hospital room in a box. The prefab rooms, called MedModular, cost $814 per square foot. The units are customizable, and each comes with a bathroom and bed. The retailer also announced that customers can now use health savings accounts or flexible savings accounts to buy medical supplies and prescriptions. (CNBC; Becker's Hospital Review)
Innovation & Transformation
Walmart and Geisinger recently shared a case study describing how the retailer saved $30,000 while providing better care for “Bill,” a Walmart employee. Bill was told he needed spine surgery. Walmart gave him a choice: Have the surgery at a local hospital and pay the deductibles and co-pays, or enter Walmart’s travel surgery program. Bill opted for the latter, and he and his wife received an all-expense paid trip to Geisinger Medical Center for a second opinion. Bill actually had Parkinson’s disease. Walmart saved $30,000 by avoiding the unnecessary surgery, and Bill’s actual condition is being treated, allowing him to return to his work and his life. (Harvard Business Review)
At-home cancer care—including infusion therapy—has the potential to provide higher-quality care at lower costs while improving patient satisfaction compared to care in a hospital or medical office. In a recent paper on the topic for STAT, the authors make the case for at-home care and outline the changes required to make it viable. (STAT; Journal of Clinical Oncology)
Consumers & Providers
Our immune system can become disrupted if it doesn’t have regular interactions with the natural world. A century ago, British scientists suggested a link between increased hygiene and allergic conditions. They were right, according to the new book, An Elegant Defense: The Extraordinary New Science of the Immune System, by reporter Matt Richtel. He notes that physicians and immunologists are rethinking the “antiseptic, at times hysterical, ways in which we interact with our environment.” (The New York Times)
Scientists warn that social media activists may have a “chilling effect” on disease research, ultimately harming patients. A Reuters report focuses on chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Among those featured: A researcher who—eight years ago—published results of a trial that found some patients with CFS can improve somewhat with the right talking and exercise therapies. He’s been subjected to abusive emails and letters for years. From the report: “From climate change to vaccines, activism and science are fighting it out online. Social media platforms are supercharging the battle.” (Reuters)
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New & Noted
Breaches up 500 percent: In February, providers, health plans and their business associates reported 31 data breaches affecting more than 2 million people, according to Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights. Breaches in February 2018 affected 309,644 people. (Modern Healthcare)
New home for AI research: Cleveland Clinic has launched the Center for Clinical Artificial Intelligence. It will focus on developing innovative clinical applications of AI and leveraging machine-learning technology in hopes of improving health care delivery in areas such as diagnostics, disease prediction and treatment planning. (Modern Healthcare)
New tool: The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has developed a consumer mobile app based on its Question Builder online tool. Available free via iTunes and Google Play, the app helps patients prepare and organize questions before a medical visit. (Fierce Healthcare)
Listen as a Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! panelist describes Unimoon, an “amazing new form of hormonal birth control.” It’s fictional, but some of it hits just a little too close to home. (NPR)
MarketVoices...quotes worth reading
“I tell people, when they drop food on the floor, please pick it up and eat it. […] Get rid of the antibacterial soap. Immunize! If a new vaccine comes out, run and get it. I immunized the living hell out of my children. And it’s O.K. if they eat dirt. […] You should not only pick your nose, you should eat it.” --Dr. Meg Lemon, a Denver dermatologist, in An Elegant Defense: The Extraordinary New Science of the Immune System, quoted in The New York Times.