New hospital battleground (Boston Globe) - "News out of the health care industry is all about transactions these days. Doctors and hospitals are buying, merging, forming alliances, and even switching teams. Most of that action involves physicians and acute-care general hospitals. Here’s a new category to add to the mix: Long-term post-acute hospitals, which offer medical and rehabilitation services to patients who do not need all the resources of a general hospital...New England Sinai Hospital, one of the state’s largest post-acute institutions, has hired financial consultants and essentially put itself on the block. The Stoughton hospital, which operates 212 beds, has lost money in each of its last three fiscal years. (The Boston Globe)
Experimental vaccine for stomach flu might work (NPR-Shots) - "Nothing ruins a nice cruise or a gluttonous run down the office party buffet like the norovirus. The obnoxious virus causes theeuphemistically-named stomach flu and is one of the most common foodborne illnesses. If you catch it, there's no drug to make you better...An experimental vaccine being developed by LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals has been tried in a study involving almost 100 people. And the results, though preliminary, suggest a vaccine could help protect people from norovirus." (NPR)
ABCs of HPV (BU Today) - "Here’s a rather sobering statistic: at least half of sexually active people will contract the human papillomavirus (HPV) at some point in their lives, and most won’t even know it. Currently, 20 million Americans are infected with HPV, and another 6 million become infected each year, making it the most common sexually transmitted infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most people who become infected never show any signs or symptoms, and in 90 percent of cases, ...Additional research has found that giving the vaccine to boys and young men—especially before they become sexually active—can reduce their risk of developing genital warts and some associated cancers." (BU Today)
Cereal? Cookies? Oh, what's the diff? (The New York Times - Mark Bittman) "For more than half a century well-intentioned parents have been torn between their desperation to get their kids to eat something, anything, and the knowledge that most packaged breakfast cereals are little better than cookies. The battle over the marketing of breakfast cereals to children continues. It turns out that from at least the perspective of sugar content, many are worse, as a new document from the Environmental Working Group shows. There are at least 44 cereals that contain more sugar in a cup than three Chips Ahoy cookies. A cup of the most sugary cereal, Kellogg’s Honey Smacks — they were called Sugar Smacks when I was a kid, but “Honey” is so much healthier-sounding, don’t you think? — contains more sugar than a Hostess Twinkie." (The New York Times)
This is what (tertiary care) dominance looks like (Not Running a Hospital) - "Sometimes, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. This is a chart from a recent investor presentation showing the market share of the dominant provider group in Massachusetts. As I have said before, this represents excellent execution of a business strategy formulated in the mid-90s, when this system was founded by a corporate affiliation of Brigham and Women's Hospital and MGH. It has resulted in a behemoth, and the state's largest insurer has said publicly that it does not have the ability to withstand the resultant market power — and acts that way, too." (Not Running a Hospital)
This program aired on December 9, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.