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Death toll from tainted cocaine rising across the country

“Deaths are rising most precipitously among African Americans, who are more likely to use cocaine than whites and fatally overdosed at an 80% higher rate” writes Kaiser Health News for nbcnews.com. Overdoses involving cocaine killed 3,554 African Americans — although categories overlap because deaths may involve more than one drug.Another challenge: There’s less in the treatment arsenal for cocaine addiction. Source: nbcnews.com

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Samoa declares state of emergency over deadly measles epidemic

“American Samoa, a US territory neighbouring Samoa, declared a public health emergency on Thursday following the measles outbreak in Samoa and Tonga, according to New Zealand media” reports theguardian.com. The island state of just 200,000, halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand, announced the state of emergency on Saturday after declaring a measles epidemic late in October, when the first deaths were reported.Only about two-thirds of the population has been immunised, according to the health ministry.Since then, at least six deaths, mostly infants under the age of two, have been linked…

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Warren pushes back on critics of her health care plan

“But some experts criticized that proposal for underestimating how much universal health care would really cost” writes The Associated Press for seattletimes.com. On Saturday, Warren characterized her plan as in fact allowing Americans to have “health care decisions that are just you and your doctor,” rather than having intermediaries like drug companies involved in the process.WAVERLY, Iowa (AP) — Elizabeth Warren pushed back against critics of her newly-released plan to phase in implementation of a single-payer health care system, insisting Saturday that she is “fully committed” to Medicare for All…

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Is Elizabeth Warren looking for safer ground in health care?

“That was a health-care plan” writes Chief Correspondent Covering for washingtonpost.com. Warren has sought to bring rigor to her policy proposals, and as every candidate and president has learned, health care is the knottiest, most complex and seemingly insoluble of the big issues.It opened her up to fresh charges that she was advocating a health-care plan that lacks majority support in the country and didn’t have a sound plan to pay for it.Warren has prided herself on being a fighter for the causes she believes in, and she and her…

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unveiled new rules to require increased disclosure of health care prices

“The Trump administration on Friday unveiled new rules to require increased disclosure of health care prices, in a move officials said would drive down costs by increasing competition” reports thehill.com. One regulation would require hospitals to provide a consumer-friendly online page where prices are listed for 300 common procedures like X-rays and lab tests.Joe Grogan, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, told reporters Friday that Trump is “consistently non-ideological” in confronting health care problems.Azar called that argument a “canard” and said in every other industry, price competition drives…

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Trump’s team delivers a big win for patients by making health costs clearer

“Still, these efforts are tremendously important, for individual patients and systemic improvements and, eventually, a reduction in healthcare price inflation” reports washingtonexaminer.com. Conservatives long have said that free-market forces should provide the cure for the flaws and hyperinflation in our healthcare system.When it comes to improving the nation’s healthcare system, the Trump administration continues to do administratively some of the good things it hasn’t been able to do legislatively. With these rules, the healthcare system itself is getting healthier.Just about every person in the U.S. has had an experience of…

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Lawmakers are trying to stop Google from gobbling up your health data

“Michael Snyder, a Stanford University professor who studies the utility of health data collection, believes big data is crucial to informing future healthcare decisions” writes Rachel Kraus for mashable.com. As for patient concerns regarding the misuse of health data, ‘consent’ and ‘transparency’ seem to be the buzzwords du jour for leading experts examining the data collection field.Google’s hand has been caught in the cookie jar of your personal health data.In addition to explicitly preventing the sale and trade of health data for profit and without consent, the bill would change…

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Health stocks post best day in 10 months as Trump announces transparency rules

“A popular exchange-traded fund that tracks the health-care sector saw its best daily return in 10 months on Friday after the Trump administration proposed new rules aimed at making health-care prices more transparent” writes Jaimy Lee for marketwatch.com. The Trump administration proposed a rule that would require health insurers to disclose estimated out-of-pocket costs, including negotiated rates, to patients in advance of a procedure or office visit.It’s possible that the stocks gained on doubts on how the rules would be enforced. Source: marketwatch.com

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Online shopping addiction is a mental health issue

“And according to psychotherapists, an addiction to buying goods off the internet should be classified as a mental health condition” writes Cat Is Cosmopolitan for cosmopolitan.com. There’s a fine line between having a love of online shopping, and having an addiction to it.In a small study published in the Comprehensive Psychiatry journal, Müller researched the condition, analysing 122 patients who had sought help for their online shopping addictions.”It really is time to recognise BSD as separate mental health condition and to accumulate further knowledge about BSD on the Internet,” Dr…

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Dispensed: Breaking down the Google-Ascension drama, the challenges a public Walgreens faces, and insiders’ concerns about a SoftBank-backed farming company

“It’s more that tech companies are increasingly going to have a hand in what’s going on with our health data” writes Lydia Ramsey for businessinsider.com. On Monday afternoon, The Wall Street Journal broke the news that Ascension, the second-largest health system in the US is working with Google. Source: businessinsider.com

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