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Daily Rounds: Manhattan Hospital Void; Mental Illness Impact; State-Run Care 'Disaster'; Back Injections Overused?

New style of health care emerges to fill hospital's void (The New York Times) - "The immediate fight is to win market share, the loyalty and business of the area’s many affluent and well-insured residents. But the demise of St. Vincent’s has also turned Lower Manhattan into a laboratory for health care reform. The new clinics and the maneuvering by large chains are anticipating an expansion of the number of people with insurance and changes in the way that health care is delivered and paid for. And they are testing the notion, long held by health planners, that the city can survive with fewer hospitals."

Mental illness impact said to be bigger than cancer (CBC) - "The burden of mental illness and addictions is more than 1.5 times that of all cancers, a new report suggests. Wednesday's report, called Opening Eyes, Opening Minds, concluded that mental illness and addictions are often misunderstood, misdiagnosed and ignored, including in the health care system. 'We calculated the burden of selected mental illnesses and addictions in Ontario by looking at their impact on early deaths as well as on the quality of life,' Sujitha Ratnasingham, the lead author of the report by the Institute for Clinical and Evaluative Sciences and Public Health Ontario. 'In many cases this burden is substantially more than that of other illnesses such as cancers and infectious diseases.'

A health care disaster: The dangerous effects of a lack of robust federal supervision (Dr. Timothy Johnson in the Globe) - "...Given that the presidential campaign is very much about the role of the federal government in our lives, it is not surprising that there is a huge difference between them in terms of that role in health care — as was clear in the first of the presidential debates. Today, Romney tries to distance himself from the strong government role in his Massachusetts plan with a states’ rights mantra: His plan was good for his state then, but every state should develop its own plan. But when it comes to “life and death” sectors in our economy, it may be that states’ rights can be dangerous, even fatal."

Doctors split on value of low back injections (The Boston Globe) - "The discovery that a potentially tainted drug is linked to 119 cases of meningitis nationwide has fueled debate among doctors about widespread use of the back-pain treatment, which has little proven longterm benefit. Use of the medication, a ­steroid injected near the spine to quell inflammation, has ­increased in part because of the demands of an aging population and the relatively few risks associated with the injections when compared with surgery and other treatments, which ­also carry no guarantee of success."

Related: Lawmakers focus on small drugmakers as meningitis death toll rises 

This program aired on October 10, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

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