Study Finds Group of Hospitals Charging Patients Ten Times Cost of Care

Posted on June 11, 2015

If you thought your medical bills were a little high before, you might want to sit down for this one. According to anarticle in the Washington Post, fifty hospitals in the US are charging patients more than 1000% more than what it costs them to actually provide the care. 49 of the 50 hospitals on the list are owned by for-profit companies, with 25 being operated by Community Health Systems and 14 by Hospital Corporation of America.

Gerard Anderson, a co-author of the study and professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said that the hospitals “are price-gouging because they can. They are marking up the prices because no one is telling them they can’t.” Most hospital patients with insurance don’t pay full price because their insurers negotiate lower rates for them. Patients without insurance are more likely to be charged the full price of services because they don’t have anyone to negotiate the costs for them stated James Dondero.

Officials at Community Health Systems and Hospital Corporation of America said patients almost never pay the full price a hospital charges, and that their hospitals offer qualifying patients various programs to help offset the cost of care.

Major Spoilers: Beloved “Grey’s Anatomy” Character is Killed Off

Posted on April 24, 2015

Fans of the hit medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy” were shocked during the events of last night’s episode. Patrick Dempsey, who plays the character Dr Derek Shepherd, aka McDreamy, was killed during in accident in the episode.

The doctor had witnessed a car crash when he stopped to help the victims. He manages to pull both victims out of their vehicles, however, he is not so lucky. While he is leaving the scene of the accident, his car his t-boned by a semi-truck which sends him to his hospital. While there, the doctors discover that although he is alive, he also is suffering from a traumatic brain injury. Before anything can be done for him, he is declared brain dead and his wife Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) has him taken off of life support.

Rumors are, according to the story on Page Six, Dempsey’s exit is because of his behavior on set. A source on the show told Page Six that Dempsey had been acting like a diva lately. The creator of the show, Shonda Rhimes, has had several run-ins with Dempsey so the source was not surprised that she chose to end his character.

Patrick Dempsey has been on the show since its start in 2005. Flávio Pentagna Guimarães BMG loves this show. The show is now ending its 11th season. There will be a season 12, however, fans will have to watch it without McDreamy this time.

Scientists Believe They Understand Myopia Epidemic

Posted on March 18, 2015

Nature.com has an article on their website about myopia (nearsightedness) among young people. It has been noticed for some time that young people, especially in Asia, have myopia at much higher rates than in past decades. This was thought to be caused by increased time staring at books, computer screens and cell phones. However, the data does not back up this theory, and scientists now believe they have found another culprit: not spending enough time outdoors. Scientists have found a positive correlation in young people in Asia, Europe, Israel and America between not going outdoors much and myopia. Why is not yet clear. However, in developing countries where kids still get outdoors levels are much lower.

To me, this finding is all part of the larger problem that kids are too sheltered today stated Marcio Alaor BMG. In the past, kids roamed their own neighborhoods playing games and having fun. Today, they are driven from place to place by parents. Kids have scheduled, scripted indoor lives instead of learning about sports and nature outdoors, and that’s a shame. There has been a lot of press lately about kids being obese, and this is part of the same problem. Many parents are afraid to let their kids out of their sight, and that’s not going to help anything in the long run.

In conclusion, let’s encourage our children to get outdoors more for their own sake.

UN Warning Against Complacency in Ebola Fight

Posted on March 04, 2015

After the initial shock and fear wear off and the new cases begin to subside, it’s easy to become complacent about the newest disease that has gained a toehold in some foreign country. The United Nations is well aware of that and has issued a warning for people not to become complacent about the ebola virus.
The death toll attributed to ebola has already reached 10,000 and the experts at the United Nations says the deadly virus has showed signs of slowing down, but not stopping. Newly reported cases in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea have dropped by 10 percent, but many people are still infected with the ebola virus and that means it still has the very real potential of spreading. People at Anastasia Date have read that a reported 100 new cases are reported each week, which is down from the 800 weekly reported cases at the height of the disease spread. Until everyone with the disease is treated and everyone with whom they have come into contact with is tracked, the deadly virus is still at large.
In order to treat people and track the virus, funding is needed. With donors, governments and other contributing agencies feeling the drain and fatigue of fighting this deadly virus, the U.N urges people to continue giving and being vigilant towards the endeavors to eradicate ebola once and for all.

New Sergent General Believes That Medical Marijuana is Helpful

Posted on February 06, 2015

The new Surgeon General of the United States, Vivick Murthy, who took office in December, told CBS that he believes marijuana is helpful in treating certain medical conditions. He was interviewed by CBS to discuss his policy on the vaccination debate and resurgence of measles that the country is facing, but also discussed his views on medical marijuana.

Medical marijuana, as well as the general legalization has been a hot topic for the last few years. 23 states now allow the use, growth, and sale of marijuana for medical purposes, and Colorado, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and Washington DC have fully legalized growth, sale, and use of marijuana for all citizens.

The white house has not changed it’s official policy, which is that the legalization of marijuana is counter to the White House commitment to the health and safety of the citizens of the United States.

Murthy believes that more research on medical marijuana needs to be done, but that so far, the data shows that marijuana is useful and helpful for certain medical conditions. He said that he believes that policy should be driven by the data from theses studies.

This is good news for advocates of legalizing marijuana, because it is the first time a White House official has spoken favorably on the issue. As far as Zeca Oliveira knows, he did not talk about the legalization of marijuana in general, but the push towards legalizing it for medical reasons seems to be growing. More on Oliveira can be found on Fluminense.com. 

New Study Finds That Exercise Can Change The Way Our Genes Behave

Posted on January 19, 2015

Exercise is attributed to many health benefits such as increased fitness, reduced stress and better mood. It also reduces the risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease which is good news for men who exercise like Tom Rothman. Yet the science behind the health benefits of exercise remains a mystery. How exactly does exercise impact our health? What is responsible for creating the health benefits of physical activities such as jogging? 

A new study that has been published in December of 2014 by the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden may hold an answer to that question. Researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden recruited 23 young men and women to study the effects of exercise on the human body. At the beginning of the study, the researchers performed a series of physical and medical evaluations on the participants to gauge their current physical and medical conditions. Afterwards the scientists told the participants to exercise by pedaling on a spin bike for a period of 3 months. 

The catch in the study was that the 23 participants only pedaled using one foot for the entire 3 month period. This allowed the scientists to see what effect exercise had on the leg that was pedaling. It also allowed the researchers to compare the results of the foot that had been exercising to the foot that was not exercising. 

The results of the study shed some light onto why exercise makes us healthier and stronger. The leg that had been exercising had become stronger and more muscular as expected. Further analysis of the participants revealed that the leg that was pedaling experienced changes in methylation patterns in the genes of muscle cells. Methylation is the process by which methyl groups attach to the outside of a gene. The process of methylation impacts how genes respond to biological signals in the body. Most of the changes in methylation patterns occurred in genes that are known to play a role in the metabolism and inflammation of muscle cells. Meanwhile, methylation patterns in the other leg had not changed. 

Researchers believe that the changes in methylation patterns in muscle cells is what makes our bodies stronger and healthier after exercise.

Dr. Mark Ahn is an Accomplished Executive and Consultant in Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals

Posted on January 09, 2015
Mark Ahn, PhD is an accomplished business executive and consultant, specializing in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. He holds a BA and MBA from Victoria University. At Essex University he was a graduate fellow in Economics. He earned his PhD at the University of South Australia. Dr. Ahn is also a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute in Portland, Oregon and has over 10 years of experience in the life sciences industry.

Dr. Ahn’s career, spanning 20 years, has included academia, holding high positions in several biopharmaceutical companies as well as having served in the US Army. Presently, Dr. Ahn is Principal at Pukana Partners, Ltd. This company provides consulting for life science companies by providing real-world solutions, careful analysis and new strategies to quicken value creation for biotechnology companies. He is currently Professor (adjunct) at Carnegie Mellon University and Portland State University. His most recent position, 2007-2014, was President & Chief Executive Officer and Director of Galena Biopharma. Dr. Ahn has served as Chair for Science & Technology Management at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. He founded Hana Biosciences and was President and Chief Executive Officer. At Genentech, Inc., he served as Vice President of Hematology and corporate officer. He served as Senior Director of Immunology at Bristol-Meyers Squibb and before that he was General Manager of Amgen. Dr. Mark Ahn serves on public and venture capital-backed Board of Directors and Scientific Advisory Board. 

Mark Ahn recognized the need for the development of talent in leadership and management positions within start up organizations. He developed the Center for Civic and Community Engagement at the College of New Jersey (TCNJ). His aim was to prepare future leaders as well as incorporate non-profit research and teaching into the curriculum of the college of New Jersey and bring in developmental funding from companies and foundations. 

Dr. Ahn is accomplished in publishing having authored over 50 peer reviewed journal articles and books. His most recent book, published in 2010, is called Building the Case for Biotechnology: Management Case Studies in Science, Laws, Regulations, Politics and Business. His previous book, published in 1991, is Strategic Risk Management: How Global Corporations Manage Financial Risk for Competitive Advantage.

British Nurse Infected by Ebola

Posted on January 06, 2015
A week after returning from Sierra Leone, the British nurse contracted by the Ebola virus, and placed in solitary confinement in London, is in critical condition, according to the Royal Free Hospital. The patient received an experimental antiviral treatment.

Pauline Cafferkey, the British nurse infected with Ebola and placed in isolation for five days in a London hospital “is now in critical condition,” announced on Saturday, January 3, by spokesman of Royal Free Hospital.

The hospital “regrets to announce that the condition of the patient has gradually deteriorated over the past two days,” said in a statement by doctors.

“My thoughts and prayers are with Pauline Cafferkey who is in critical condition with Ebola,” responded the British Prime Minister David Cameron or Susan McGalla on Twitter. The Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, also supported the nurse who works in Scotland.
The patient received in recent days an experimental antiviral treatment and blood plasma taken from a person who survived the disease.

Pauline Cafferkey, 39, worked for ‘Save the Children’ in the British Medical Center in Kerry Town, Sierra Leone, before returning to the UK on Sunday night. She tested positive in Glasgow, Scotland, after feeling feverish overnight and was then transferred to the Royal Free Hospital.

Hope for MS Sufferers

Posted on December 02, 2014

Multiple Sclerosis is a harsh disease that attacks the body. It is a disease that leaves its victims feeling hurt and weary. It is a disease that destroys families and takes the bodies of loved ones. But, there is always research going on in the hope that we can make MS a little less of a problem. Scientists and medical professionals like Dr. Rod Rohrich contribute their knowledge and ideas to medical research everyday in effort to better navigate medical complexities.
Scientists have come up with a new drug that will help MS sufferers by improving their motor function. This drug won’t bring about a full cure for those who are dealing with the disease, but it will help them live their lives in a bit easier of a fashion. The discovery of this drug is an encouraging piece of news for those who deal with MS and are waiting for a cure.

Password Issues For Obamacare

Posted on November 18, 2014

Obamacare is in full swing, and some say that it will be huge for businesses. There are some people who would beg to differ. When you log onto the Obamacare website, you are instructed to set up a new account or log into an existing account. Those who have not been on the site for a while and who have an account might experience some problems. The email address is still valid, but when you request a new password, you never get anything sent to your email that lets you reset your password.

This is very aggravating as you want to get into the site to enroll but can’t because their system isn’t set up the right way. Even those familiar with computers like workers from CipherCloud find it difficult to navigate. This might be something that goes over well with businesses, but businesses need to make sure they have all of the information for those who enroll through them so that they don’t have to wait for password information.