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Daily Rounds: Health Care Flunks Poll; Chemo Case Conviction; Biggest Living-Cell Factory

Americans Like Their Health Care, But Think The System Stinks : Shots - Health Blog : NPR
If America has the best health care system in the world, as some people like to say, then the setups in other countries must really be crummy. How come? Well, check out the disheartening results of a poll just out from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health. Fifty-five percent of adults surveyed gave the U.S. health care system a C or D, when asked to assign it a grade. Eleven percent gave it an F. Familiarity trumps data when it comes to picking a hospital, the poll finds. Most people — 57 percent — would choose a hospital they or someone they know has had experience with over a hospital that does well on quality measures — 38 percent. (npr.org)

Woman who withheld son’s cancer drugs found guilty - The Boston Globe
LaBrie, now 38, was convicted on charges of attempted murder, assault and battery on a disabled person with injury, assault and battery on a child with substantial injury, and reckless endangerment of a child, for withholding medication from her son, Jeremy Fraser.
Authorities said Jeremy was diagnosed with a treatable case of non-Hodgkin’s lym phoma in October 2006, just after he turned 7, but that LaBrie failed to administer chemotherapy treatments. By the time his doctors realized the boy was not taking his medication, his condition progressed to leukemia. (boston.com)

Organogenesis to Mass. produce human cells - BostonHerald.com
Construction has started on the world’s largest automated manufacturing facility to produce living human cells — and it’s just down the road. Organogenesis Inc. — a pioneer in the regenerative medicine field that spun out of MIT — this morning is heralding the construction of a $63 million, 95,000-square-foot center on its Canton campus. It will also announce plans to buy another nearby facility. “It’s a milestone to not only have a new facility, but make it with advanced robotic and modular manufacturing technologies,” CEO Geoff MacKay said. “There’s a lot of groundbreaking science that’s happening in Petri dishes in labs and academic institutions around the world, but we take that cell biology and mass-produce it.” (Boston Herald)

Medicare Re-engineering Raises Tough Questions - NYTimes.com
So the real issue now is not so much whether to re-engineer Medicare to deal with an aging population and rising medical costs, but how. Even before they debate specific proposals, lawmakers across the ideological spectrum face several fundamental questions: Will the federal government retain its dominant role in prescribing benefits and other details of the program, like how much doctors and hospitals are paid and which new treatments are covered? Will beneficiaries still have legally enforceable rights to all those services?
Will Medicare spending still increase automatically with health costs, the number of beneficiaries and the amount of care they receive? Or will the government try to limit the costs to taxpayers by paying a fixed amount each year to private health plans to subsidize coverage for older Americans and those who are disabled? (nytimes.com)

This program aired on April 13, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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