Prevention: Clean Ways to Combat Asthma. Combining a "supercleaning" technique developed for lead abatement with periodic pest control can sharply reduce allergens linked to high rates of asthma in urban areas. By John O'neil.
Reactions: It's in His Kiss? This Time, Yes. An Italian woman who was allergic to her husband's kisses turned out to be allergic to the antibiotic he was taking. By John O'neil.
Fast-Food Fatty Acids. This week's quesiton: Can you get omega-3 essential fatty acids from fast-food filet of fish sandwiches? What kind of fish do they use? By C. Claiborne Ray.
Performance: A Quick Power Nap's Benefits. A change is as good as a rest for a brain worn down by working too long on one task. By John O'neil.
Why Angry People Can't Control the Short Fuse. Studies show repeatedly that people who become angry over unimportant things, like traffic, are likely to live shorter lives. By Jane E. Brody.
On Dave Winer's Scripting News is a casual reference to a big problem. I'm not sure if Dave apprciates the significance of the event. Dave witnessed a celebrity purchase medications, and then the clerk confirmed the identity of this celebrity. I don't know which pharmacy Dave was in, but most pharmacies have clear privacy guidelines. If they don't now, they certainly will after implementation of the federal HIPPAA Privacy regulation. Most states also have laws protecting patient confidentiality.
Some may argue that I'm making a big deal out of nothing. I'm not. As healthcare providers, we make a clear commitment to our patients that we maintain the confidentiality of all of their medical information, no matter how trivial it may seem. While one may say "oh .. it's just the breathing medicine that we know about" … or "who cares if anyone knows about grandpa's arthritis pills" … the trouble is that there is no clear way to draw any line between what's OK to talk about .. and what's not. Would we reveal a medication that being prescribed to treat a sexually transmitted disease? By revealing only the name of a medication, we reveal a great deal about a patient's private medical history. This is why the laws in most states, and the HIPAA privacy regs are not tolerant of "minor" lapses in priacy such as the one Dave describes. On the other hand (!) ..pharmacy employees are not seen as healthare providers in all states (though the ARE in California) and there have been legal decisions in some states that suggest that we should not expect our pharmacists to keep our medications to themselves. HIPAA, of course will change that.
Battling, Politely, for Health Care's Biggest Prize. Two corporations are vying for dominance in the association of Blue Cross Blue Shield plans, a colossus that manages the health care of one in four Americans. By Milt Freudenheim.
Two Federal Appeals Courts Permit the Poor to Sue States for Benefits Under Medicaid. Two federal appeals courts have ruled that poor people may sue state officials to compel them to provide benefits promised under the federal Medicaid law. By Robert Pear.
Cheaper Body Scans Spread, Despite Doubts. The growing popularity of CT scans of the body raises a conundrum of modern medicine: does a test that can spot abnormalities actually guard against disease? By Gina Kolata.
Mt. Sinai Liver Transplant Plan Approved. The New York State Health Department has accepted Mount Sinai Hospital's plan to improve care in its liver transplant service. By The New York Times.