Your splendidly entertaining compiler of “The Friday Breeze,” Brianna Labuskes, is off right now, so I’m leaping in to maintain you abreast of this week’s very important well being care information. Here’s what I discovered most fascinating, a few of it distant from the headlines.
Let’s dive into my “Department of Health Studies,” the place I discovered a number of worthy of your time.
First, the scourge of fentanyl drug overdoses is rising most sharply amongst African-Americans. The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, which did the research, mentioned the artificial opioid can be an element within the rise of demise charges throughout different demographic teams.
The Washington Post: Fentanyl Drug Overdose Deaths Rising Most Sharply Among African Americans
A gaggle of lecturers finding out anti-vaccination posts on Facebook discovered that it’s not just the unfounded fear of autism driving the sentiment. While 86 p.c of the posters had been ladies, their motivation various from conspiracy — as in poliovirus doesn’t exist and pesticides prompted the scientific signs of polio — to a perception in different medication — consuming yogurt cures human papillomavirus.
Many information retailers reported on a study on the Apple Watch and its closely promoted capacity to detect an irregular heartbeat. The Apple-funded study, which has not been printed or peer-reviewed, concluded the watch works.
Moving on to knowledge, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation issued its county health rankings this week. It’s a user-friendly show of a matrix of well being indicators that allows you to spot the nation’s bother spots. This yr’s report, the foundation explains, tried to get on the relationship of the price of housing to well being. “The research reveals that in the most segregated counties nearly one in four black households spends more than half their income on housing, compared with one in 10 white households.”
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: How Healthy Is Your Community?
Doctors will like this one: a research evaluating hospital CEO salaries — nonprofit hospital CEOs, mind you — with physician salaries. CEO salaries are 5 occasions increased than surgeons’ salaries, up from a ratio of Three-to-1 solely 10 years earlier.
Healthcare Dive: CEO Salaries at Nonprofit Hospitals Up 93% Since 2005
Drug costs stay the new matter this week in well being care information. The BBC regarded on the high drug prices in the U.S. in contrast with the costs in Great Britain and chortled a bit.
BBC News: The Human Cost of Insulin in America
Elisabeth Rosenthal, the editor-in-chief of KHN, wrote an evaluation in The New York Times of Eli Lilly’s baffling public relations move to chop insulin costs within the U.S. with an “authorized generic.” She writes, “It is, perhaps, a sign of how desperate Americans are for something — anything — to counteract the escalating price of drugs that Lilly’s move was greeted with praise rather than a collective ‘Huh?’”
The New York Times: Why Should Americans Be Grateful for $137 Insulin? Germans Get It for $55
While we’re on the subject of the excessive value of well being care, the federal authorities’s General Accountability Office issued a report on air ambulances and the sky-high payments the businesses ship sufferers. (KHN featured the issue in its “Bill of the Month” series and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch did some excellent pieces on the issue final yr.) Bob Herman of Axios famous that the report discovered that the median value of medical helicopter transport in 2017 was $36,400.
Government Accountability Office: Air Ambulance: Available Data Show Privately-Insured Patients Are at Financial Risk
I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out a superb article by one other KHN staffer, Fred Schulte, who with Erika Fry of Fortune journal wrote in regards to the mess that electronic health records have develop into. It’s lengthy, however so good at illuminating an issue that’s largely invisible to sufferers.
The Baltimore Sun produced an excellent graphic, a stay map of sewage pollution within the metropolis. The accompanying article says: “More than 14 million gallons of sewage-tainted water has washed into Baltimore streams over the past two months, but city officials haven’t alerted the public of the contamination.”
Enjoy the weekend with this collection of issues to learn.