Following the lead of the great Susannah Fox, I want to share a few articles which have the hamster wheel in my brain spinning in double time. We’re starting to seriously wrestle with some of the real socioeconomic and policy  challenges of health and providing healthcare. Two of these articles appear in popular press rather than journals.

Sabrina Tavernise in the New York Times writes about The Health Toll of Immigration to America.

A growing body of mortality research on immigrants has shown that the longer they live in this country, the worse their rates of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. And while their American-born children may have more money, they tend to live shorter lives than the parents. “There’s something about life in the United States that is not conducive to good health across generations,” said Robert A. Hummer, a social demographer at the University of Texas at Austin.

Thanks to Dennis Boyle for sharing the article.


The New York times, H. Gilbert Welch writes Diagnosis: Insufficient Outrage

Consider another recent shift in health care: hospitals have been aggressively buying up physician practices. This could be desirable, a way to get doctors to use the same medical record so that your primary care practitioner knows what your cardiologist did.

But that may not be the primary motivation for these consolidations. For years Medicare has paid hospitals more than independent physician practices for outpatient care, even when they are providing the same things. The extra payment is called the facility fee, and is meant to compensate hospitals for their public service — taking on the sickest patients and providing the most complex care.

Hat tip to Doctor_V and DrNancyGlass1 for finding the article:


In the New England Journal of Medicine, Michael Rawlins, MD publishes: NICE: Moving Onward

There is now wide acceptance that no country seeking to provide universal health care has the resources necessary to achieve the highest possible standards of care for everyone. …

This part is important:

However, priority setting in health care must encompass more than the technical and scientific demands of health technology assessment. It must also take account of the social values of the relevant communities. NICE therefore established a Citizens Council, with members drawn from the general public, to examine, deliberate over, and report on the social principles on which the Institute’s guidance should be based.

Grateful for Pritpal Tamber, MD for the oignal quote and link: