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Daily Rounds: PTSD App; Medicare Lies; $5.6B Aetna Purchase; Surgeons Remove Fork

Using technology to help battle PTSD (The Boston Globe) - "Traffic jams made the 42-year-old Foxborough native anxious. Sullivan couldn’t go into a crowded mall. And he was haunted by the memory of a man who approached him while he was working to disable an improvised explosive device during one of two deployments to Afghanistan, he said. Sullivan faced a choice: Shoot, or risk that the man was a suicide bomber. He didn’t fire, but the stress stuck with him. Last year, Sullivan, who now lives in Virginia, began using a smartphone application developed by the Department of Defense to guide him through breathing exercises when his anxiety began to build. The same agency launched another app earlier this year for veterans to use while in a particular kind of therapy, revisiting difficult memories with a professional."

Related: Coming next: Using an app as prescribed (The New York Times)

Truth and lies about Medicare (The New York Times, masthead editorial) "Republican attacks on President Obama’s plans for Medicare are growing more heated and inaccurate by the day. Both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan made statements last week implying that the Affordable Care Act would eviscerate Medicare when in fact the law should shore up the program’s finances... Last week, both insisted that they would save Medicare by pumping a huge amount of money into the program, a bizarre turnaround for supposed fiscal conservatives out to rein in federal spending."

Insurer Aetna to buy Coventry health for $5.6 billion (Reuters) - "Insurer Aetna Inc has signed a deal to buy rival Coventry Health Care Inc for $5.6 billion in cash and stock, the latest in a string of multi-billion-dollar acquisitions in the U.S. healthcare sector...The deal is the latest example of companies focusing on increasing their government business to benefit from a favorable U.S. healthcare reform...In July, health insurer WellPoint Inc said it would buy rival Amerigroup Corp for $4.46 billion, nearly doubling its Medicaid business. Last October, Cigna Corp agreed to buy HealthSpring Inc for $3.8 billion to strengthen its Medicare business."

Nine-inch fork removed from stomach after 10 years (BBC) - "Doctors operating on a man who was taken to hospital with stomach pains discovered a 9in long plastic fork that he swallowed a decade ago. Lee Gardner was taken to Barnsley Hospital when he started vomiting blood and having cramps. He said he was told the fork, which he swallowed 10 years ago, would pass through his system naturally so he did not think to mention it to doctors."

This program aired on August 20, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

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