WBEZ | Doctors http://www.wbez.org/tags/doctors Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Morning Shift: Health care, CPS and music http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-07-22/morning-shift-health-care-cps-and-music-108131 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Doctor-Flickr- caroline_1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Host Tony Sarabia is back, and we talk about the recent CPS layoffs and how they may effect the education system? And with National Health Care on the horizon, we are taking a look at preventive care and its effect on our overwhelmed emergency care services.</p><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-28.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-28" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Health care, CPS and music" on Storify</a>]</noscript></p> Mon, 22 Jul 2013 08:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-07-22/morning-shift-health-care-cps-and-music-108131 Surgeons in short supply in Uganda http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-20/surgeons-short-supply-uganda-95696 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2012-January/2012-01-20/uganda1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span class="piece-description-lead">Uganda desperately needs surgeons. In a country of 32 million people, there are only about a hundred specialist surgeons. As a result, accident victims with critical injuries must sometimes wait weeks or months for operations. </span></p><p><span class="piece-description-lead">One reason for the shortage: Ugandan medical students increasingly choose to work in the better paying field of HIV and AIDS care. Bonnie Allen reports.</span></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em>The piece originally aired on the <a href="http://www.prx.org/group_accounts/5538-worldvision" target="_blank">World Vision Report</a>. We got it from the <a href="http://www.prx.org" target="_blank">Public Radio Exchange</a>.</em></p><p style="margin-left: 1in;">&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 20 Jan 2012 18:59:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-20/surgeons-short-supply-uganda-95696 Weight-loss program beats doctor's advice to shed pounds http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-09-08/weight-loss-program-beats-doctors-advice-shed-pounds-91676 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-08/docweighspt.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Doctors are supposed to help overweight patients lose weight, since those extra pounds boost the risk of diabetes, heart disease and many other illnesses. But those patients might be better off going to Weight Watchers, according to new research. And, a second study finds, paying for weight-loss programs now may reduce health care costs over the long haul.</p><p>People who participated in the commercial weight-loss program <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2010/11/30/131695177/fruit-ride-free-in-new-weightwatchers-point-system">Weight Watchers</a> lost twice as much weight as people who were advised by their doctors on weight loss. The Weight Watcher group lost an average of 11 pounds over a year, compared to five pounds in the doctor's advice group. The <a href="http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2811%2961344-5/abstract">study</a> was just published in the <em>Lancet.</em></p><p>These results need to be taken with a few chunky grains of salt, though. Almost half of the study's 772 participants dropped out before the year was out, and the reported results don't reflect the dropouts, who probably had less success.</p><p>Also, the study was funded by Weight Watchers, which provided a year of free membership for each participant. (All the major diet plans <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011/05/10/136143997/jenny-craig-winner-winner-diet-dinner">typically fund</a> their own research.) Fees for the program in the United States run about $40 per month.</p><p>Still, a commentary accompanying the article notes that in some parts of England, where the study took place, national health insurance already pays for Weight Watchers and other commercial weight-loss programs. That's not true in the U.S., where people usually have to pay their own way.</p><p>But a second study suggests that paying for weight-loss programs for pre-diabetic baby boomers could shave billions of dollars off of future Medicaid costs.</p><p>Those researchers looked at the YMCA's <a href="http://healthylivinginnovation.challenge.gov/submissions/2422-taking-the-ymca-s-diabetes-prevention-program-to-scale">Diabetes Prevention Program</a>, which uses group classes on nutrition and exercise to encourage people to lose 7 percent of their body weight, and exercise 150 minutes a week. It costs about $240 a person for a 16- to 20-week program, and is currently available through 50 YMCAs in 26 states.</p><p>People lost about 6 percent of their weight over six months in one study of the program, and sustained that weight loss for more than a year. Studies of the program have found that it reduces participants' risk of developing diabetes by up to 71 percent.</p><p>If the federal government paid for overweight people in their early 60s to participate in the YMCA program, it would save the Medicare program $1.8 to $2.3 billion dollars in the following 10 years. "Those people would be healthier when they entered the Medicare program," Kenneth Thorpe, an economist and professor of health policy at Emory University, told Shots. The <a href="https://mail.npr.org/owa/redir.aspx?C=d9a4904183f9472ebbc9dc43a0ea3e46&amp;URL=http%3a%2f%2fcontent.healthaffairs.org%2fcontent%2f30%2f9%2f1673.abstract">study</a> was published in the September <em>Health Affairs</em>.</p><p>The high and low numbers are based on the 70 percent participation rate in the YMCA clinical trial, and the 55 percent rate typical of good workplace wellness programs. Medicare spending is 15 to 35 percent higher in people who are obese at age 65, compared to people of normal weight.</p><p>Thorpe and his colleagues liked the concept so much they applied it to aging baby boomers with high cholesterol and high blood pressure. If the government paid for those folks to take the YMCA program, it could increase the Medicare cost savings to $3.7 billion over 10 years.</p><p>The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is funding some of the YMCA diabetes prevention programs, and insurer UnitedHealth Group <a href="http://healthylivinginnovation.challenge.gov/submissions/2422-taking-the-ymca-s-diabetes-prevention-program-to-scale">said</a> last year that it will pay for the program for people in selected markets in Ohio, Indiana, Arizona, and Minnesota.</p><p>There are 2,686 YMCAs nationwide, Thorpe notes, and 60 million Americans live within 3 miles of a branch. But other community organizations, including local health departments or nonprofit organizations, could sponsor similar prevention programs.</p><div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio.</div></p> Thu, 08 Sep 2011 07:39:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-09-08/weight-loss-program-beats-doctors-advice-shed-pounds-91676 Prominent Surgeon Resigns Post After Backlash Over Editorial http://www.wbez.org/story/doctors/2011-04-18/prominent-surgeon-resigns-post-after-backlash-over-editorial-85346 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-April/2011-04-18/greenfield_lazar_vert.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The American College of Surgeons, the leading group for the profession, will have a new president come this fall.</p><p>But it won't be <a href="http://surgery.med.umich.edu/portal/about/emeritus/faculty/greenfield_bio.shtml">Dr. Lazar Greenfield</a>, a distinguished vascular surgeon who last year was honored by the group with an <a href="http://www.facs.org/news/jacobson10.html">award for innovation</a> and who was until this weekend the college's president-elect.</p><p>Though he may be an ace in the operating room, Greenfield, a professor emeritus at the University of Michigan, proved tone deaf — or worse — as a writer and editor. In a Valentine's Day editorial for <em>Surgery News</em>, a <a href="http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/elsevier/sn0411/#/0">publication affiliated</a> with the ACS, Greenfield extolled the virtues of semen as a mood-enhancer for women. That editorial proved his undoing.</p><p></p><p>The piece recounted a bunch of different studies and concluded:</p><p><blockquote></p><p>So there's a deeper bond between men and women than St. Valentine would have suspected, and now we know there's a better gift for that day than chocolates.</p><p></blockquote></p><p>Well, that didn't sit well with quite a few people. The entire February issue of <em>Surgery News</em> was pulled from the Web. And complaints poured into the American College of Surgeons.</p><p>"I was aghast," <a href="http://www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/root/vumc.php?site=vascularsurgery&doc=28065">Dr. Colleen Brophy</a>, a professor of surgery at Vanderbilt University and an ACS member for more than two decades, told Dr. Pauline Chen, who <a href="http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/15/sexism-charges-divide-surgeons-group/">wrote about the controversy</a> on the <em>New York Times</em>'s Well blog last week. Brophy resigned from the group to protest how it mishandled things.</p><p>The blog Retraction Watch has been all over the case, and you can read the full text of the editorial <a href="http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com/2011/04/06/forget-chocolate-on-valentines-day-try-semen-says-surgery-news-editor-retraction-resignation-follow/#comments">there</a>. Pretty quickly, Lazar lost his job as editor of <em>Surgery News</em> because of the editorial.</p><p>And, as Retraction Watch <a href="http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com/2011/04/17/semen-editorial-costs-greenfield-presidency-of-american-college-of-surgeons/#more-2332">reported</a>, Lazar has now been replaced as president-elect of ACS by <a href="http://www.upstate.edu/surgery/healthcare/breastcare/">Dr. Patricia J. Numann</a> of Syracuse, N.Y.</p><p>Lazar <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/18/health/18surgeon.html?_r=1">told</a> the <em>New York Times</em> in a statement that he had apologized many times but ultimately resigned to put an end to the "disruptive issue." Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1303150070?&gn=Prominent+Surgeon+Resigns+Post+After+Backlash+Over+Editorial&ev=event2&ch=103537970&h1=Treatments,Doctors,Health+Headlines+Newsletter,Shots+-+Health+Blog,Health,Health+Care,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=135507352&c7=1128&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1128&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20110418&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c31=133188451,126948545,121027244,103537970&v31=D%3Dc31&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></p></p> Mon, 18 Apr 2011 08:57:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/doctors/2011-04-18/prominent-surgeon-resigns-post-after-backlash-over-editorial-85346 Doctors Were Big Spenders On Health Lobbying in 2010 http://www.wbez.org/story/doctors/doctors-were-big-spenders-health-lobbying-2010 <p><p>The health care battles didn't end for doctors with the passage of the federal health law last year, and their lobbying shows it.</p><p>The American Medical Association was the biggest spender for lobbying operations among health care groups last year. The AMA, which <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2010/06/25/128114477/did-health-overhaul-train-leave-doctors-on-the-platform">supported</a> the Democratic health law, faced a serious backlash from members angry that planned cuts in Medicare reimbursements weren't <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2010/02/another_shortterm_solution_to.html">reversed</a> by the law. To overturn the cuts, the AMA mounted a <a href="http://www.rollcall.com/issues/56_47/-200583-1.html">strong campaign</a> on Capitol Hill.</p><p>The AMA spent nearly $22 million for the year, an increase of nearly 9 percent. That effort helped the organization <a href="http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2010/12/13/gvl11213.htm">secure</a> in December "a one year reprieve from the scheduled cuts resulting from the broken Medicare physician payment system," said AMA President Cecil Wilson in a statement to KHN.</p><p></p><p>Overall, however, the health law's enactment brought a decrease from the <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2009-11-22-health-lobby_N.htm">massive effort</a> stakeholders staged during the heated congressional debate in 2009. Ten key health care players spent about $127 million on lobbying, down nearly 9 percent from 2009, according to <a href="http://www.publicintegrity.org/articles/entry/1953/">lobbying documents</a> filed with the Senate Office of Public Records on Jan. 20 for the fourth quarter of 2010 and <a href="http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/index.php">records</a> from the Center for Responsive Politics as of Jan. 26. The drop was led by pharmaceutical companies and that industry's lobbying group, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, which cut its lobbying expenditures by 17 percent for the year. PhRMA aggressively lobbied to get the health law passed in 2009, and then announced in early 2010 that its CEO, Billy Tauzin, was leaving.</p><p>"When legislation is moving, that is when we are engaged," said Wes Metheny, PhRMA senior vice president, when asked why there had been a decline in spending. The health law passed last March.</p><p>However, at least one major drugmaker, Merck & Co., and the CVS/Caremark increased their spending.</p><p>In addition to the AMA, the American Hospital Association, America's Health Insurance Plans and the Biotechnology Industry Organization all spent more in 2010 on lobbying than in 2009, driven by lingering issues related to the health overhaul and the Medicare reimbursements.</p><p>"The doctors and hospitals still had to get a fix on" Medicare reimbursement rates, said Randy Fenninger, a senior policy adviser at Holland & Knight, whose firm represents hospitals, doctors and insurers. "And for the insurance and biotech industry, there was a lot of (federal) rulemaking which kept them very, very active."</p><p>In addition to the 10 health care players, the seniors group AARP, which lobbies on health care as well as a number of other issues, boosted its expenditures by 5 percent to $22.05 million. AARP supported the health law and among its top issues in 2010 was getting a $250 rebate check out to Medicare beneficiaries caught in the "doughnut hole" for prescription drug reimbursements. Copyright 2011 Kaiser Health News. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/">http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1296168127?&gn=Doctors+Were+Big+Spenders+On+Health+Lobbying+in+2010&ev=event2&ch=103537970&h1=Health+Inc.,Medicare+%26+Medicaid,Doctors,Health+Headlines+Newsletter,Shots+-+Health+News+Blog,Health,Health+Care,Politics,Science,U.S.,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=133278997&c7=1001&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1001&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20110127&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=105043435&v20=D%3Dc20&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></p></p> Thu, 27 Jan 2011 15:45:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/doctors/doctors-were-big-spenders-health-lobbying-2010 How neurosurgeons size up brain injuries like Giffords' http://www.wbez.org/story/arizona-rampage-congresswoman-others-shot/how-neurosurgeons-size-brain-injuries-giffords <p><p>With Rep. Gabrielle Giffords <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011/01/10/132805493/hopeful-signs-but-many-questions-for-giffords-medical-outlook">hospitalized in Tucson, Ariz.,</a> after Saturday's shooting, we checked in with some leading neurosurgeons for insights into her condition and what the future might hold.</p><p>You'll be able to listen to Jon Hamilton's report on Monday's <em>All Things Considered </em>and Tuesday's <em>Morning Edition</em>. Here are excerpts, edited for length and clarity, from interviews done for the pieces.</p><p><strong><a href="http://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Bios---Physician/A-G/Keith-L-Black-MD.aspx">Dr. Keith Black</a>, chairman of neurosurgery at Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles.</strong></p><p><em>Q: The trajectory of the bullet through Giffords' brain appears to have been higher than initially thought. Why would that be a good sign?</em></p><p>A: The language areas are lower down. There's one in the left temporal lobe, which is responsible for comprehension of language, and there's another area in the lower frontal lobe, off to the side, that's critical for expression of language. If the bullet is high, then it can avoid those two areas. The one caveat with the bullet being higher is that the motor areas can be high, particularly the motor areas that control the legs.</p><p></p><p><em>Q: What should we watch for in the next few days?</em></p><p>A: The maximum amount of swelling typically occurs three days after injury. Tomorrow (Tuesday) is going to be an important day to make sure she doesn't get into any increased swelling issues or any pressure issues. After that things should start to stabilize and improve. If she hasn't had any new bleeding by this time that's also a very positive sign. The next big step for her is going to be getting off the respirator. When they wake her up and see if she can support her respirations.</p><p><em>Q: Have you treated patients who have an injury like this and seen them walk out eventually in pretty good shape?</em></p><p>A: Absolutely. The fact she got immediate care, got to the CT scanner, and got neurosurgical attention right away is very positive.</p><p><strong><a href="http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/neurology_neurosurgery/specialty_areas/pituitary_center/profiles/team_member_profile/EF48C2ECB225F29CCA8C801AAEB2BE26/Henry_Brem">Dr. Henry Brem</a>, chief of neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore.</strong></p><p><em>Q: What can you say about the course of care for patients with injuries like Giffords'?</em></p><p>A: When someone comes in and they're alert and following commands, there's the hope they survive the injury and get through successfully. The fact that the person is awake and alert coming into the emergency room is a very good prognostic sign.</p><p><em>Q: What's the most important factor?</em></p><p>A: It's all about what damage was done. Clearly what you hope for is that the bullet is as superficial as possible. The bottom line is the functions. If someone is able to talk or follow verbal commands then that means you have  understood spoken language, processed it and turned it into a function -- into doing something to follow that command. That, in and of itself, tests a great deal of the brain.</p><p><em>Q: What lies ahead for Giffords?</em></p><p>It's a terrible injury to have. But, given that, the longer that she's alive and the longer she has encouraging signs, the more encouraging it is for the future. The best predictor for how she's going to do is how these next few days unfold.</p><p><strong><a href="http://neurosurgery.med.miami.edu/find-a-doctor/profile?id=1393">Dr. Jonathan Jagid</a>, assistant professor of neurological surgery, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami.</strong></p><p><em>Q: What sorts of things are doctors treating Giffords looking for? </em><strong> </strong></p><p>A:  Whenever you've got an injury to the brain or any part of the body it swells. The difference between your arm swelling and the brain is that the brain is in a closed compartment. Once the damage has been done from the bullet, the only thing you're trying to prevent from there on out is what's called secondary injury from swelling of the brain. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1294768345?&gn=How+Neurosurgeons+Size+Up+Brain+Injuries+Like+Giffords%27&ev=event2&ch=103537970&h1=Rep.+Gabrielle+Giffords,Arizona+Rampage%3A+Congresswoman%2C+Others+Shot,Doctors,Shots+-+Health+News+Blog,Health,Science,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=132810638&c7=1007&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1007&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20110110&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c21=2&v21=D%3Dc2&c31=132800636,132783213,126567578,103537970&v31=D%3Dc31&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></p></p> Mon, 10 Jan 2011 14:08:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/arizona-rampage-congresswoman-others-shot/how-neurosurgeons-size-brain-injuries-giffords