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NEWS
By Dennnis O'Brien and Dennnis O'Brien,Sun Reporter | August 5, 2007
When a study published this spring showed that Avandia, a drug that lowers diabetics' blood sugar, also increased their risk of heart complications, Dr. Mary M. Newman, a Lutherville internist, was in a quandary about what to advise her patients taking the medication. "It was easy for patients to feel the drug was proven to be dangerous and everyone was concerned," Newman said. "But the thing is, there were benefits." In the end, she said, the decision on whether to continue the medication varied with each patient.
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HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun | November 30, 2013
After a surgical scandal involving a cardiologist brought St. Joseph Medical Center to its knees, the medical staff left behind struggled to move forward. Patients and doctors fled in droves after the scandal broke in 2009. Negative headlines beat at their morale. And many remaining employees believed the distant owner of the once-well-regarded community hospital in Towson was unresponsive, leaving them feeling abandoned. "It was difficult to face the reality that someone I trusted very much had failed us," said Dr. Gail Cunningham, a 23-year veteran who headed the emergency department and is now vice president of medical affairs.
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NEWS
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar,LOS ANGELES TIMES | June 10, 2008
WASHINGTON - Medical researchers and politicians are tiptoeing into an area of health care that makes some Americans uncomfortable, even angry, and it has nothing to do with such hot-button issues as cloning and stem-cell research. This time, the idea is to press doctors and patients to use particular drugs and treatments in order to save money. On the surface, it seems simple enough: Billions of dollars could be saved if everyone adopted the regimens that research showed were best and most cost-effective - which, experts say, happens far less often than most patients think.
NEWS
April 1, 2013
Doctors and patients alike are often uncomfortable talking about sexual health and sexually transmitted disease. But a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report shows that this squeamishness costs society millions of dollars spent trying to treat or cure diseases that could have been prevented, vaccinated against, screened for or detected at an earlier stage of development. According to the CDC, about 19 million Americans each year are affected by sexually transmitted diseases and infections.
NEWS
By Jonathan Bor and Jonathan Bor,Staff Writer | December 5, 1992
The Johns Hopkins Hospital has established the nation's firs telephone hot line devoted solely to questions about cancer pain -- a problem that research shows has been poorly treated in the majority of cases."
BUSINESS
By KNIGHT-RIDDER NEWS SERVICE | December 4, 1997
Aetna U.S. Healthcare came under fire from the American Medical Association yesterday in the wake of complaints from doctors in six states that the health insurer's contracts are illegal and compromise patient care.If the alleged problems are not corrected, the AMA may file a lawsuit to try to force Aetna to make changes, the association said yesterday.In a letter to Aetna, the doctors' group contends that the contract allows insurance company officials to override patient care decisions without an avenue of appeal.
NEWS
By Jonathan Bor and Jonathan Bor,Staff Writer | December 19, 1992
Victims of ovarian cancer who are pinning their last hopes on the experimental drug taxol are suddenly fighting not just their disease but the refusal of insurance companies to cover costs of administering the drug.In Maryland, many doctors and patients say they are angry that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland and other smaller insurers suddenly began in October to refuse to pay for taxol after more than a year of approving claims.Some companies, including Blue Cross, even began to ask some patients to return money paid for past treatments, saying in letters that the reimbursements were made in error.
NEWS
March 16, 1999
DOCTORS with the state medical society have come up with a way to address consumer angst surrounding health maintenance organizations.Among the bills they are pushing the in General Assembly is one that would penalize medical directors at HMOs -- including medical license revocation -- if a patient is hurt by an HMO's refusal to pay for medical treatment. This is a toned-down version of another bill -- a long shot -- that would allow patients to sue their HMOs.Both address the real worry shared by patients and doctors that some overly cost-conscious HMOs are denying patients needed medical treatment.
NEWS
By Steven Miles | August 10, 1992
MIFEPRISTONE is a medication that would enable 750,000 Americans each year to avoid surgery.By avoiding this surgery, patients have much less risk of infection in their internal organs. Eighty percent of patients prefer the drug to surgery. Half of American cities and 93 percent of rural counties do not have a doctor who performs the surgery. Mifepristone can be given in any doctor's office. The drug also would make a half-million other operations easier and less traumatic. The American Medical Association calls it an "efficacious and safe" treatment.
NEWS
By Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon and Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon,Special to the Sun; King Features Syndicate | August 12, 2001
Q. I am sick and tired of having patients come into my office waving your newspaper column and complaining about memory problems or muscle pain on cholesterol-lowering drugs. Don't you know these drugs save lives? It's hard enough for me to get people to take their medication without you worrying them unnecessarily. A. Elevated cholesterol and a high ratio of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol are certainly important risk factors for heart disease and shouldn't be ignored. Medications like Zocor, Baycol and Lipitor lower cholesterol and prevent heart attacks.
NEWS
By Adam J. Schiavi | September 29, 2010
I am thinking about the events that occurred at the Johns Hopkins Hospital on Sept. 16. Apparently, a surgeon was providing an update to one of his patients about her condition; her son heard the conversation, pulled a semi-automatic handgun out of his pants and shot the surgeon on the spot, right there in one of the most famous hospitals in the world. All this because the shooter was apparently unhappy with the medical care provided for his mother. He then proceeded to use that gun to kill the patient and then himself, in the process terrorizing the hospital, its patients and visitors for the better part of a day. I interact with our health care system as a doctor at this hospital, as well as being a potential patient and visitor, and I am left with an uneasy feeling about what this means for our society.
NEWS
By Heather R. Mizeur | September 22, 2009
Almost any doctor will readily offer up horror stories of trying to find and pay for medical malpractice insurance. Such policies are cost-prohibitive and increasingly scarce, and require many to practice "defensive medicine" - ordering extra precautionary tests and procedures that contribute mightily to the rise in health costs. A growing number of policymakers are calling for a cap on medical malpractice awards as a partial solution to the national health care debate. Rooting out frivolous lawsuits is a laudable goal, but limiting damage awards for patients who have been wronged is akin to fixing a broken leg with a band-aid.
NEWS
By Ruth Faden and Jonathan D. Moreno | May 1, 2009
It's a name only a policy wonk could love: comparative effectiveness research. But get ready to hear a lot about it; it could save your rights as a patient - and maybe even your life. If opponents have their way, it could be the bogeyman that brings down health care reform. Using false and misleading scare tactics, Conservatives for Patients Rights, a group opposed to comprehensive health care reform, announced last week a $1 million ad attacking comparative effectiveness. However, an emerging consensus of strange bedfellows - from insurance companies to the Institute of Medicine to patients rights advocates - all support making a national investment in research to compare the effectiveness of drugs, devices and diagnostic procedures, and sharing the information that results with physicians and patients.
NEWS
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar,LOS ANGELES TIMES | June 10, 2008
WASHINGTON - Medical researchers and politicians are tiptoeing into an area of health care that makes some Americans uncomfortable, even angry, and it has nothing to do with such hot-button issues as cloning and stem-cell research. This time, the idea is to press doctors and patients to use particular drugs and treatments in order to save money. On the surface, it seems simple enough: Billions of dollars could be saved if everyone adopted the regimens that research showed were best and most cost-effective - which, experts say, happens far less often than most patients think.
NEWS
By ROBERT LITTLE and ROBERT LITTLE,SUN REPORTER | October 29, 2007
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- Christelle-Melenchy Fortius' first chance at a reasonably normal life ended badly, with the surgery on her mouth aborted before it began and a Haitian doctor apologizing that the anesthesia didn't work. Her father, Dieumaitre Fortius, said he tried to earn money to pay for another doctor but never got far, and some days he couldn't even afford food. Last month, Christelle's second chance came unexpectedly, from the United States. The USNS Comfort, a Navy hospital ship, appeared one morning in Port-au-Prince harbor, and three days later 4-year-old Christelle was asleep on an operating table inside, with an oral surgeon and a plastic surgeon taking turns making the tiny cuts and stitches to repair her double cleft lip. "That ship was like a benediction for me," Fortius said.
FEATURES
By Amber Dance and Amber Dance,Los Angeles Times | September 13, 2007
Daniel Gray's stomach tells a story. The gnarled lines across his abdomen are the mementos of three surgeries on his digestive system. The slashes along each side are reminders of the time the stitches broke and the doctors put him into a drug-induced coma for seven weeks, keeping his abdomen open for repeated washes. The doctors made the slits so that they would have enough skin to stretch over the opening when they sewed him together. Gray, 46, was diagnosed 24 years ago with Crohn's disease, a chronic inflammation of the bowel and intestines that afflicts nearly 1 million people worldwide.
NEWS
By Ruth Faden and Jonathan D. Moreno | May 1, 2009
It's a name only a policy wonk could love: comparative effectiveness research. But get ready to hear a lot about it; it could save your rights as a patient - and maybe even your life. If opponents have their way, it could be the bogeyman that brings down health care reform. Using false and misleading scare tactics, Conservatives for Patients Rights, a group opposed to comprehensive health care reform, announced last week a $1 million ad attacking comparative effectiveness. However, an emerging consensus of strange bedfellows - from insurance companies to the Institute of Medicine to patients rights advocates - all support making a national investment in research to compare the effectiveness of drugs, devices and diagnostic procedures, and sharing the information that results with physicians and patients.
NEWS
November 18, 2002
HARD AS IT may be to believe, every once in a while the federal government makes a mistake. That seems to be what happened about a dozen years ago when the formula was created that dictates how much doctors are paid for treating Medicare patients. According to Medicare chief Tom Scully, the fee schedule was miscalculated so that doctors were overpaid for a year or two in the late 1990s but are now facing a second year of fee cuts so deep that he fears many will refuse to treat Medicare patients, joining a physician exodus from Medicare already well under way. Mr. Scully can fix this, he says, if Congress makes a technical correction before it adjourns for the year, probably this week.
NEWS
By Dennnis O'Brien and Dennnis O'Brien,Sun Reporter | August 5, 2007
When a study published this spring showed that Avandia, a drug that lowers diabetics' blood sugar, also increased their risk of heart complications, Dr. Mary M. Newman, a Lutherville internist, was in a quandary about what to advise her patients taking the medication. "It was easy for patients to feel the drug was proven to be dangerous and everyone was concerned," Newman said. "But the thing is, there were benefits." In the end, she said, the decision on whether to continue the medication varied with each patient.
NEWS
April 8, 2005
In Brief Partial eclipse tonight The southern United States will be treated to a solar eclipse tonight at dinnertime, but even with safe viewing equipment and clear skies, Marylanders will see just a fraction of it. The moon's shadow will race across the Pacific Ocean, making landfall in Costa Rica and Panama before crossing the northern end of South America. There, the eclipse will be total, or "annular," with the moon blocking all but the outermost ring of the sun's disk. Between here and there, it will be a partial eclipse.
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