Opinion writers weigh in on these health care issues and others.
Stat: Can An Artificial Intelligence Algorithm Be Sued For Malpractice?
The rapid entry of artificial intelligence is stretching the boundaries of medicine. It will also test the limits of the law. Artificial intelligence (AI) is being used in health care to flag abnormalities in head CT scans, cull actionable information from electronic health records, and help patients understand their symptoms. At some point, AI is bound to make a mistake that harms a patient. When that happens, who — or what — is liable? (Saurabh Jha, 3/9)
USA Today: Elderly In Rural America Struggle With Loss Of Health Care
FAIRFIELD, Washington — Drive 20 minutes south of Spokane and pine trees give way to rolling hills, which in fall are golden with remnants of the wheat harvest and in winter dusted with snow. This part of eastern Washington state is the beginning of the Palouse region. Its small farm towns once thrived but now struggle to offer essential services such as health care.For decades in Fairfield, residents received care from a doctor in a community clinic on Main Street. Alongside a post office, community center (which doubles as Town Hall), drug store, bank and library, a stucco building where the health clinic used to be sits vacant. (Arielle Dreher, 3/6)
Modern Healthcare: Reimbursement Benchmarks Will Exacerbate Surprise Billing Problem
For more than two years, emergency physicians have consistently supported federal legislation that protects patients from surprise bills without compromising access to care. However, setting a reimbursement benchmark based solely on what insurance companies choose to pay only serves their interests, not patients’. Insurance companies already have a long history of eroding or even outright denying coverage of emergency care. Rewarding them for that effort with such a benchmark will only enable them to drive their rates lower, resulting in even narrower networks and even more canceled contracts with higher quality physician groups. (William Jaquis, 3/6)
The New York Times: The Dangers Of Medicare For All
It may seem counterintuitive, but single-payer health care proposals like Medicare for All could very well destroy Medicare as we know it and jeopardize medical care for seniors. It’s not just because single-payer systems like those in Britain and Canada hold down costs by limiting the availability of doctors and treatments, even for the most serious life-threatening diseases like cancer, brain tumors and heart disease. (Scott W. Atlas, 3/9)
Cincinnati Enquirer: Ohio Must Do Better On Health Care
Let’s face it: Health care in Ohio is expensive and uncertain. While people with good jobs can access health insurance through employers, 3 million low-income residents of Ohio – 21% of our population – now rely on Medicaid for health care, vision and dental care, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization focusing on national health issues. And 12,000 more Ohio children under age 6 have no general health care coverage today compared with 2016 figures, says a 2019 study by Georgetown University Center for Children and Families. These children are missing out on basic pediatric and dental exams at ages that are crucial to long-term brain development and overall good health. (Kathy Wyenandt, 3/7)
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