Obama's grand plans for universal healthcare slipped further into trouble today with a survey conducted by Gallup indicating that 47% percent of those questioned favor repealing the Affordable Care Act. Only 42% said the law should remain, with 11% not having a strong opinion about whether the government should mandate and effectively force people to have health insurance. When divided into political categories, only 10% of republicans favored the law, against 43% of independents and 64% of democrats. The survey comes at an inopportune time for Obama, whose healthcare bill is now being investigated by the supreme court to establish if it is constitutionally correct. It's bound to become a dominant issue with the 2012 election now less than a year away, and it appears that the bill's fate now rests more with The Supreme Court than it does with Congress.
Uninsured Patients Have Shorter Hospital Stays Patients without insurance have significantly shorter hospital stays than patients with insurance, raising worrisome concerns that hospitals may have increased incentive to release these patients earlier to reduce their own costs of uncompensated care. Analyzing nationally representative data on a weighted sample of more than 90 million hospitalizations between 2003 and 2007 of patients aged 18 to 64 years, researchers found across all hospital types (for-profit, nonprofit and government), the average length of stay for preventable hospitalizations (thought to be avoidable with the use of appropriate preventive care and disease management) was significantly shorter for individuals without insurance (2.77 days) than for those with either private insurance (2.
Highlights Pediatric racial minorities are much less likely than whites to get kidney transplants before they need dialysis, regardless of their families' income. Among children with kidney failure waiting for a transplant, blacks with no health insurance are more likely to die than whites, while Hispanics are less likely to die than other racial groups regardless of insurance status. Among children with kidney disease, certain races are less likely to get kidney transplants and are more likely to die than other races, according to two studies from Emory University that were presented during the American Society of Nephrology's Annual Kidney Week. Kidney transplantation is the optimal treatment for patients with kidney failure, but the demand for organs outweighs the supply. That's why most patients with kidney failure must start on dialysis while they wait for a kidney transplant.
Chronically and seriously ill American adults have the highest rate of difficulties in paying their medical bills and doing without medical care because of cost, compared to their counterparts in the UK, Canada, Australia, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Germany, a Commonwealth Fund International Survey reported today. The authors found that those who receive care from an accessible primary care practice (GP practice) that helps coordinate care - known as A Medical Home - had a lower risk of experiencing medical errors, test duplication and other failures resulting from poor coordination. The survey is published in this week's issue of Health Affairs. The survey involved 18, 000 sicker adults from 11 highly developed nations. The authors also found that those who were under the care of a Medical Home tended to rate their care more highly and enjoyed better relationships with their physicians, compared to patients with no access to a Medical Home.
Eliminating co-payments is better for patients who have had a heart attack; their outcomes are better, they are more likely to adhere to their treatment regime, and costs are lower, researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School revealed today in NEJM (New England Journal of Medicine as well as the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions. Although drugs can reduce the risk of subsequent cardiovascular events for heart attack patients, adherence rates are generally poor. Adherence is the process in which a patient follows his/her doctor's instructions, including when to take certain medications. In this study, the researchers set out to determine whether eliminating co-payments for post-heart attack medications might improve adherence and provide better outcomes.