Health Innovation News

By the Health Innovation Program | The Health Innovation Program at the University of Wisconsin. Integrating healthcare research and practice. www.hip.wisc.edu

Does a Quality Improvement Campaign Accelerate Take-Up of New Evidence? A Ten-State Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial of the IHI's Project JOINTS

States participating in Project JOINTS, a six-month quality improvement campaign to reduce infection risk after joint replacement surgery, adhered to …

Public Policy

Health Care Providers Must Stop Wasting Patients’ Time

In 2014 Jess Jacobs, a director in an innovation lab, started blogging about her experience as she received treatment for two rare diseases. Jess was trained as a Six Sigma Green Belt. So unlike your average patient, she described one 12-hour wait in the ER as having a “7% process cycle …

Health Care

Measuring Value Based On What Matters To Patients: A New Value Assessment Framework

We spend 18 percent of our national gross domestic product on health care. As health care spending continues to grow and as we appropriately drive …

Health Care

GOP Health Plan Would Leave 23 Million More Uninsured, Budget Office Says

The revised Republican bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act will leave 23 million more people uninsured in 2026 than if that act, also known as Obamacare, were to remain in place. The GOP bill would also reduce the deficit by $119billion over 10 years.<p>That's what the nonpartisan …

ObamaCare

Eating Chocolate, A Little Each Week, May Lower The Risk Of A Heart Flutter

There's a rich body of evidence that links chocolate to heart health.<p>Now comes a new study that finds people who consume small amounts of chocolate each week have a lower risk of developing atrial fibrillation, a heart condition characterized by a rapid or irregular heartbeat.<p>"The rate of atrial …

Diabetes

The March of Science — The True Story — NEJM

“The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion...draws all things else to support and agree with it.” Francis Bacon, the “Father of …

Medical Journals

‘I knew they were sugar pills but I felt fantastic’ – the rise of open-label placebos

IBS patient Linda Buonanno knew the pills she was given contained no active drugs, yet they had an immediate effect on her condition. So can placebos play a useful medical role?<p>Linda Buonanno had suffered 15 years of intense cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and pain she describes as “worse than labour”. …

Medicine

In Some Rural Counties, Hunger Is Rising, But Food Donations Aren't

One in eight Americans — 42 million people — still struggles to get enough to eat. And while that number has been going down recently, hunger appears to be getting worse in some economically distressed areas, especially in rural communities.<p>Food banks that serve these areas are also feeling the …

Poverty

Why A Surgeon Taught A Non-Doctor To Do Brain Surgery

Dr. Dilantha Ellegala, a brain surgeon, trained someone who isn't a doctor to do brain surgery.<p>That is the story featured in the new book <i>A Surgeon in the Village</i> by journalist Tony Bartelme.<p>This unlikely turn of events had its origins in 2006, when Ellegala was volunteering for a short stint at …

Medicine

A Global Health Scorecard Finds U.S. Lacking

Over the last 25 years, China, Ethiopia, the Maldive Islands, Peru, South Korea and Turkey had the greatest improvements in “deaths avoidable through health care at their economic level,” a complex but intriguing new measure of global mortality described last week in the Lancet.<p>By that standard, …

Health Care

Some Social Scientists Are Tired of Asking for Permission

If you took Psychology 101 in college, you probably had to enroll in an experiment to fulfill a course requirement or to get extra credit. Students are the usual subjects in social science research — made to play games, fill out questionnaires, look at pictures and otherwise provide data points for …

Research

Can States Survive The Per Capita Medicaid Caps In The AHCA?

The American Health Care Act (AHCA), H.R. 1628, as adopted by the House of Representatives on May 4, would significantly change Medicaid financing, …

ObamaCare

The U.S. is the most obese nation in the world, just ahead of Mexico

Mirror mirror on the wall, whose the fattest country in the world? Ouch.<p>The obesity rate for American adults (aged 15 and over) came in at a whopping 38.2%, which puts the birthplace of the hamburger and the Cronut at the top of the heftiest-nations-in-the-world rankings, according to an updated …

OECD

Gaps in Coverage Among People With Pre-Existing Conditions

The American Health Care Act (AHCA), which has passed the House of Representatives, contains a controversial provision that would allow states to …

ObamaCare

STAT

UnitedHealth Overbilled Medicare by Billions, U.S. Says in Suit

The Justice Department has sued UnitedHealth Group, saying that senior executives knew the company was overbilling Medicare by hundreds of millions of dollars a year, and halted a repayment plan in 2014 so the money could be used to meet Wall Street’s revenue expectations.<p>In a complaint filed …

Medicare

The Little-Known Statistician Who Taught Us to Measure Teachers

Students enroll in a teacher’s classroom. Nine months later, they take a test. How much did the first event, the teaching, cause the second event, the test scores? Students have vastly different abilities and backgrounds. A great teacher could see lower test scores after being assigned unusually …

Education

Low-Cost Behavioral Nudges Increase Medicaid Take-Up Among Eligible Residents Of Oregon

• Bill J. Wright1,<br>• Ginny Garcia-Alexander2,<br>• Margarette A. Weller3 and<br>• Katherine Baicker4,*<p>1Bill J. Wright is a research scientist at the Center for …

Health Policy

Prof proves 100-year-old medical test cures infertility after mum tells him: 'That's how you were born!'

When the mother of Professor Ben Mol told him that a 100-year-old medical technique had cured her infertility, leading to his birth, the scientist was naturally curious.<p>Since 1917 doctors have performed a technique in which they inject a special dye into women’s tubes which can be picked up on …

Pregnancy

Trump Reportedly Considering New Cuts to Biomedical Research

The administration is contemplating a cap on what the NIH spends on overhead—a move that critics say will “disembowel” many research institutes.<p>Two months ago, the Trump administration unveiled its so-called “skinny budget,” which envisioned cutting funds for the National Institutes of Health by 18 …

Biomedical Research

Few doctors discuss cancer costs with patients, study finds

Most doctors did not discuss the cost of cancer treatment with patients, spent less than two minutes on it when they did, and usually did so only after patients brought it up, a study that taped hundreds of visits at several large hospitals finds.<p>Cancer patients are three times more likely to …

Health Care

When Your Child Is a Psychopath

The condition has long been considered untreatable. Experts can spot it in a child as young as 3 or 4. But a new clinical approach offers hope.<p>This is a good day, Samantha tells me: 10 on a scale of 10. We’re sitting in a conference room at the San Marcos Treatment Center, just south of Austin, …

Psychology

An Experiment Helps Heroin Users Test Their Street Drugs For Fentanyl

In the day room at St. Ann's Corner of Harm Reduction, which runs a needle exchange program in the Bronx, a group of guys are playing dominoes and listening to salsa music while they wait for lunch. And Van Asher, one of the staffers in charge of "transactions" — that means he gives out needles — …

Addiction

Secret To Maine's Touted High-Risk Pool? Enough Money

As the GOP health bill moves to the U.S. Senate, many consumers and lawmakers worry that people who have pre-existing conditions won't be able to find affordable health coverage if the bill becomes law.<p>There are a number of strategies under consideration, but one option touted by House Republicans …

Health Care

Racial And Ethnic Disparities Persist In Sudden Infant Deaths

American Indian and Alaska Native families are much more likely to have an infant die suddenly and unexpectedly, and that risk has remained higher than in other ethnic groups since public health efforts were launched to prevent sudden infant death syndrome in the 1990s. African-American babies also …

Public Health

Leaving Segregated Neighborhoods Lowers Blacks' Blood Pressure

African-Americans experience a significant drop in their blood pressure after they move out of highly segregated neighborhoods and into more integrated neighborhoods, researchers report Monday.<p>A study involving more than 2,000 African-Americans found that those who moved from the most-segregated …

Diabetes

How Florence Nightingale cleaned up ‘hell on earth’ hospitals and became an international hero

Florence Nightingale’s poetic moniker, “Lady of the Lamp,” was the result of her late evening rounds visiting the wounded soldiers. Photo by …

Health Care

Cholera 101: An Ancient Disease Keeps Cropping Up

Cholera can kill a person in a matter of hours.<p>It's a severe gastrointestinal disease that can trigger so much diarrhea and vomiting that patients can rapidly become dehydrated. They lose so much fluid that their internal organs shut down.<p>The waterborne disease has been around for centuries, and it …

Public Health

Fake Medical News Can Now Be Fact-Checked In India

#fakenews isn't just a U.S. thing. And it isn't just about politics. In India people are putting their health at risk by following spurious advice dispensed on forwards on Whatsapp, the phone-based messaging app.<p>Here's one popular hoax making the rounds: an image of a blister pack of pills, warning …

WhatsApp