Opinion writers weigh in on these health care topics and others.
JAMA: Issues And Questions Surrounding Screening For Cognitive Impairment In Older Patients
The importance of addressing age-associated cognitive impairment cannot be overstated. The rising prevalence of cognitive impairment such as mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia, including Alzheimer disease, is becoming a worldwide concern. In this issue of JAMA, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) concludes that “the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening for cognitive impairment in older adults (I statement).” This recommendation is based on an evidence report and systematic review of the literature that assessed the accuracy of cognitive screening instruments and the benefits and harms of interventions to treat cognitive impairment. That report represents an update of the previous report on this topic published in 2014. …Patients and clinicians might be concerned that an implication of this report is that screening is of no value and therefore the widespread underdiagnosis of MCI and dementia is of no consequence. That would be unfortunate. (Ronald Petersen and Kristin Yaffee, 2/25)
NBC News: Mitch McConnell’s Efforts To Restrict Abortion Won’t End Until His Control Of The Senate Does
This week the Senate will not be taking up legislation to lower health care or prescription drug costs. Nor will we be allowed to vote on bills to combat the opioid epidemic. Sadly, we also will not address climate change, raising wages or any of the other critical kitchen table issues calling out for our attention. Instead, Republican leader Mitch McConnell prioritized a series of votes (that ultimately failed) aimed at limiting women’s access to abortion and jailing doctors who provide constitutionally protected health care services for women around the country. (Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, 2/27)
Houston Chronicle: American Families Need Surprise Medical Billing Reform. Lawmakers Must Break The Gridlock.
At a time when Americans fail to agree on much of anything, it’s confounding that lawmakers can’t muster enough courage to fix a problem that indiscriminately harms families across the country and unites us all in indignation and disgust. Every day, in cities and towns across the United States, people are getting surgeries, undergoing anesthesia, receiving care in emergency rooms and sometimes being treated by physicians outside their insurance network without knowing it — until they get slapped with exorbitant surprise medical bills weeks and months afterward. (John Arnold, 2/27)
The New York Times: Raising A Glass To Chronic Disease
Bunched on the kitchen counter, the bananas glowered. “Eat me, drink me, suck my juices,” they taunted, like the tempting fruit in Christina Rossetti’s kinky poem “Goblin Market.” I was flummoxed since I loathe the mushy texture of bananas. (Sorry, Chiquita!) But how else could I ingest more of the magnesium I need in order to not get thrown out of my cancer clinical trial? Quite a few years ago, I had to undergo a series of lengthy infusions because chemotherapy produced mineral deficiencies. Now, it appeared that the experimental drug I take in the trial was leaching magnesium from my body. (Susan Gubar, 2/27)
The Hill: We Need Increased Research Funding To Understand Eating Disorders
For over 35 years, I had an eating disorder without even knowing. Thanks to research, I was eventually diagnosed with binge eating disorder and atypical anorexia. But the only atypical thing was that I didn’t look the part of the stereotypical sufferer of eating disorders. (Chevese Turner, 2/26)
The Baltimore Sun: When Students Aren’t Healthy, They Don’t Do Well In School
Many provisions of the Kirwan Commission’s education reform recommendations — from universal pre-kindergarten to higher teacher salaries — have already been subject to extensive debate. As clinicians, public health professionals and educators, we know that one of the commission’s less-discussed recommendations is particularly critical — supplemental funding for children in areas with concentrated poverty to address their unique health and social needs. Maryland’s current school funding formulas do not fully recognize the reality that meeting those needs is a prerequisite for students’ academic success. The Kirwan Commission plan to invest billions in state education proposes to change that, and that’s good for kids. (Beth Marshall, Amanda Inns and Sara Johnson, 2/26)
The Washington Post: The District Decided To Do Right By Homeless Children — But Only After Pleas, Worries And Questions
When the city failed a homeless child six years ago, Christina Gaddis got a knock on her door. Relisha Rudd, an 8-year-old homeless girl, had gone missing. The last place she had been seen with her abductor, a janitor she met at the run-down family shelter where she lived, was at the Days Inn on New York Avenue NE. That man had taken her to Room 245. (Theresa Vargas, 2/26)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
Syndicated from https://khn.org/morning-breakout/viewpoints-overlooking-screening-for-cognitive-impairment-would-be-a-mistake-for-some-patients-mcconnell-bills-on-abortion-arent-about-infanticide/