Hospitals are now required to post prices for many procedures on their websites, including cash prices and what insurers pay. The intent of the federal rule is to allow patients to shop around, putting pressure on hospitals to compete on price. However, many hospitals have yet to follow the rule. Experts discuss the rule, its likely outcome, and how patients can use it to their advantage.
Where COVID-19 vaccination is high, it’s a getting-back-to-normal world after the pandemic. But even some vaccinated people won’t return to normal for months or years because of the psychological effects. Experts discuss why this occurs and how people can help themselves return to mental health.
A new study shows that people over age 70 are three times more likely than younger people to die when they fall. Older people also take more medications with a fall risk, and which pose a risk themselves when someone taking them falls. Experts discuss these complications and why it’s important to prevent falls and other injuries.
A study by Save the Children shows on a county-by-county basis that children in poor and rural counties, especially in the south, are much less likely to survive into adulthood, and when they do, they’re often forced to become adults too soon by poverty, pregnancy, and lack of education. A Save the Children expert discusses factors that hurt children and ways they might be alleviated.
Dementia has a much wider range than most people think, and people with dementia are usually functional for years. An expert discusses the course of the disease and how life can still be positive for years before it reaches the late, debilitating stage most people think of when they hear the word “dementia.”
Thousands of parents take their children to doctors each year seeking synthetic growth hormone to cure their relatively short stature, even though most of these children are merely late bloomers and have nothing wrong with them. Growth hormone also makes less difference in height than parents often imagine. Studies show that short stature generally does not create psychological damage. Experts discuss the issue.
Marfan syndrome produces obvious physical symptoms such as extreme height, but its hidden symptoms, especially in the heart and eyes, can be much more serious. Experts discuss its diagnosis and treatment.
Each year, some 400 US children over age 1, most of them toddlers, die overnight for no known reason. Families, longing for answers, often find that their families, friends, and even pediatricians are unfamiliar with this classification of death, or that they even occur. Family members who have lost a child, a medical examiner, and a research expert who has lost a child discuss SUDC.
Some people find that small “stones” are growing on their tonsils. They’re an accumulation of skin cells, food, and other debris. While they are not medically dangerous or painful, they often produce bad breath or sometimes pain. Two expert physicians discuss tonsil stones’ formation and treatment.
Hundreds of patients nationally have diseases that have confounded doctors and yielded no diagnosis and no reliable treatment. Today the Undiagnosed Diseases Network, founded and funded by the NIH, helps these patients, but its funding is uncertain beyond 2022. Patients and a physician leader of the UDN discuss the lonely plight of these patients and the hope UDN provides.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, public health experts have looked to vaccines with the goal of creating “herd immunity,” where so many people are vaccinated that the virus stalls out. Now it is clear we will not reach that goal, meaning the threat of the pandemic may drag on for years. One of the nation’s leading infectious disease experts discusses how we are missing the target and what it means.
People of color are less likely than others to receive timely treatment for medical issues. This is reflected in Covid-19 vaccination numbers, in cancer treatment, and in clinical trial participation. Experts discuss ways to increase participation, especially in clinical trials that might ultimately raise trust in medicine.
Since the 1980’s, almost all production of generic drugs has moved overseas, where FDA inspectors have a much tougher time making sure they’re following rules for safety. An investigative journalist describes the ways she’s found that many drugmakers cut corners, putting safety at risk, and details what consumers can do to protect themselves.
Covid-19 is usually a respiratory disease, but it can affect virtually any organ in the body. The nation’s top kidney disease expert discusses how Covid can prompt life-threatening kidney effects in the previously healthy, and how those with kidney disease are more susceptible to severe Covid infection.
Studies show that as many as a third of people who were very ill with COVID-19 later develop PTSD. Caregivers and health care workers may be afflicted as well. An expert discusses how this develops and what people can do to get better.