Poll: Boomers unsettled about Medicare. As baby boomer generation begins to qualify for Medicare, many of them fear that they won’t be able to rely on the federally-funded health insurance plan through their golden years. A new Associated Press-GfK poll finds that 43 percent of Americans born between 1946 and 1964 say they don’t expect to be able to depend on Medicare forever, while 20 percent think their Medicare is secure. The rest have mixed feelings about the government-run health plan, reports The Washington Post.
Spinal cord repair, an update: Scientists have produced a steady stream of promising discoveries–treatments that promote nerve growth in the laboratory dish and animals, even some reports of paralyzed rodents regaining motor function. So why are people with spinal cord injury (SCI) still without therapies that repair their nerve damage? Children’s Hospital Boston’s Vector Blog rounds up the current state of science on SCI treatment.
A Health IT wish list for 2011: Healthcare blogger and consultant David Williams went to Twitter to ask for help on what will happen in healthcare in 2011. What he essentially got comprises a wish list for Health IT. Williams wrote up the predictions in his Health Business Blog.
Why bad doctors stay doctors. ReportingOnHealth completed a yearlong, nationwide tour reviewing medical boards and doctors’ disciplinary files. Eighty-two percent of the 51 doctors they highlighted in their Doctors Behaving Badly series are still practicing (and when they say behaving badly, they mean injuring or killing 290 patients).
How do states contribute to keeping bad doctors in play? NPR summed up their findings this way:
- States tend to set age limits on the people who can be seen by doctors who’ve shown a tendency to molest patients. A more prudent course, he says, would be to ban these doctors from seeing patients altogether or to require a chaperone for all.
- Many states push problem doctors into areas where patients are particularly vulnerable, such asprisons and poor neighorhoods.
- Medical boards are slow to act even when doctors have already been in trouble with the law, including the Drug Enforcement Agency.
FDA’s limits on mobile health devices? Tough questions from the mHealth Regulatory Coalition’s 60-page whitepaper: “Is a software app stored on a mobile phone regulated as a medical device if it asks the patient questions and transmits the patient’s answers to a health care provider? Does the Food & Drug Administration plan to regulate decision support software residing on a physician’s mobile phone that offers a preliminary analysis of data received from the patient? Would software that sends a doctor an alert based on changes in a consumer’s weight require prior clearance from the FDA?” (Read the executive summary)
Life science stocks: 2010 winners and losers. The winners: CardioVascular Systems, Exact Scientific, Exelixis and NeoGen. The losers: Celera, Cephalon and Gilead.
Doryx, FORTESTA FDA approvals. Endo Pharmaceuticals new topical to help men with low testosterone received FDA approval, as did IMPAX Laboratories’ generic version of Doryx, Warner Chilcott’s acne drug.
Nurses v. Doctors. “Nurses are warm, whereas doctors are cool. Nurses act like real people; doctors often act like aristocrats. Nurses look you in the eye; doctors stare slightly above and to the right of your shoulder.” (From a New York Times article called, In Praise of Nurses)
Dealflow and more. Central Illinois medical investor Open Prairie caps its second fund at $30 million; China’s Kangmei Pharmaceutical will raise up to $529 million by selling new shares to existing shareholders; Provectus Pharmaceuticals, which makes oncology and dermatology drugs, has raised $1 million; Canada’s CardioComm Solutions, which digitally manages electrocardiograms, raised $300,000.
Material from MedCity News was used in this report.