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Daily Rounds: PSA Backlash; MA Pharmacists Give More Vaccines; The Long Wait For Emergency Care

This article is more than 8 years old.

New Data Emerges On Harms Of Prostate Screening (The New York Times) — "Most important, the task force found that, at best, one man in every 1,000 given the P.S.A. test may avoid death as a result of the screening, while another man for every 3,000 tested will die prematurely as a result of complications from prostate cancer treatment and dozens more will be seriously harmed."State Allows Pharmacies To Offer More Vaccines (The Boston Globe) — "A new policy adopted by state health regulators grants pharmacists the authority to administer 10 adult vaccines in addition to the annual flu shot they already can give. The new vaccines being offered are for measles, mumps, and rubella; tetanus, diptheria, and whooping cough; shingles; pneumonia; hepatitis A; hepatitis B; polio; HPV; chickenpox; and meningitis....But the Massachusetts Medical Society said the new policy will make it harder for physicians to track whether patients have received their necessary shots and are up to date with vaccination schedules. “We are concerned with the sporadic care that may occur [with this new policy] that may not be reported back to our offices,’’ said society president Dr. Lynda Young. A 2010 Massachusetts law established a state vaccine registry to be run by the Department of Public Health and required all licensed health care providers who administer immunizations to report patient information to it."

Health Think Tank Crunches Health Prices For The Masses (NPR) — "In other words, people didn't get more care, but they and their insurers paid more for the care they got. That also showed up in the fact that individuals' out-of-pocket spending grew slightly. Prices rose for both inpatient and outpatient surgical procedures; for emergency room visits, and for brand-name prescription drugs from 2009 to 2010. Generic drugs were about the only category for which prices fell, 6.3 percent."

Waiting For Health Care — The VIdeo (The New York Times) — "What we found was that the uninsured were more likely to be hospitalized for avoidable conditions because there is virtually no continuity of care; no regular doctor to get a detailed medical history and then a follow-up visit to make sure the prescribed treatment is working. And because the wait times are so long — both in the emergency department and to see a doctor in the clinics — simple conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes can escalate to severe life-threatening emergencies like strokes or kidney failure. These true emergencies end up back in the emergency department but at a much higher personal and financial cost."

This program aired on May 22, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

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