Daily Rounds: Facing Breast Cancer Together; For-Profit Hospice Cuts; Maine Reform; Deadly Flu, Airborne

This article is more than 9 years old.

Life as a Healthcare CIO: We have cancer - "Cancer. It's a word that creates fear and uncertainty. Many of the doctors I know use the word "hate" whenever they discuss their feelings about cancer.Last Thursday, my wife Kathy was diagnosed with poorly differentiated breast cancer. She is not facing this alone. We're approaching this as a team, as if together we have cancer. She has been my best friend for 30 years. I will do whatever it takes to ensure we have another 30 years together. She has agreed that I can chronicle the process, the diagnostic tests, the therapeutic decisions, the life events, and the emotions we experience with the hope it will help other patients and families on their cancer treatment journey." (John Halamka: Life as a Healthcare CIO)

UnitedHealth Group: A case example of the problem with for-profit health care (Alison Bass) - "To me, this case illustrates the fundamental problem with for-profit health care. In hospice (as in all of health care), the needs of patients and their families should be the first priority. But in for-profit companies, the first priority is creating wealth for top executives (like Stephen Hemsley) and its shareholders, and when that results in lay-offs and pay reductions for front-line workers, continuity of care is disrupted and patients and their families suffer." (Alison Bass)

Early returns look positive for Maine's health insurance reform (Kennebec Journal) - "Gorman Actuarial, an independent firm based in Massachusetts, wrote the report at the request of Maine's Bureau of Insurance. The analysis was done to forecast the impact of Public Law 90 on Maine's health insurance market. The predictions are very encouraging." (Kennebec Journal)

Debate persists on deadly flu made airborne - (The New York Times) "The news, delivered one afternoon last July, was chilling. It meant that Dr. Fouchier’s research group had taken one of the most dangerous flu viruses ever known and made it even more dangerous — by tweaking it genetically to make it more contagious. What shocked the researchers was how easy it had been, Dr. Fouchier said. Just a few mutations was all it took to make the virus go airborne. The discovery has led advisers to the United States government, which paid for the research, to urge that the details be kept secret and not published in scientific journals to prevent the work from being replicated by terrorists, hostile governments or rogue scientists." (The New York Times)

This program aired on December 27, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.