Daily Rounds: Protons For Prostates; Weld's Cost-Cutting; Celebs For Safety; Freeze Your Eggs, Dear

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MGH launching test of proton beam therapy (The Boston Globe) - "Massachusetts General Hospital in the next few weeks will launch a large, long-awaited test of whether a controversial cutting-edge proton beam therapy is more effective than standard radiation treatment for prostate cancer. Proton beam therapy, a targeted and controlled way to administer radiation to a tumor, has become a flashpoint in the debate over health care reform. The expensive therapy is being used across the country and in some cases advertised directly to the general public before it has been deemed superior to standard radiation treatment, which costs about half as much."

Would-be grandparents nudge daughters to egg-freezing clinic (The New York Times) - “I see these patients come in, and they’re with two elderly people, and I’m like, ‘What the hey?’ ” Dr. Schoolcraft said. The gray-haired entourages, it turns out, are the parents, tagging along to lend support — emotional and often financial — as their daughters turn to the fledgling field of egg freezing to improve their chances of having children later on, when they are ready to start a family."

Health care lessons from Weld (The Boston Globe — op-ed by Michael Dukakis) - "One of the most puzzling things about the current debate over how to control health costs is that nobody seems to want to look to Weld’s workers’ compensation reform efforts as a model. Instead, we are told that fee-for-service medicine is the real culprit, and that only a huge upheaval in the health care industry involving the creation of “accountable care organizations” and “global payments” will do the job. Let’s take a page out of a conservative Republican’s playbook."

Celebrities make push for patient safety panel ( - "[Dennis] Quaid says hospitals should not need to see a serious error in their own facilities before taking preventive action to protect patients. He has joined with patient safety and aviation experts to call for an agency akin to the politically insulated, independent National Transportation Safety Board to investigate cases of medical harm and report deidentified findings to physicians, hospitals and the public. “We do not have bad people, we have bad systems,” Quaid said in an article he co-wrote in the most recent issue of the Journal of Patient Safety."

This program aired on May 14, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.