Noteworthy News of the Week

Posted on March 25, 2011


More in Massachusetts choose lower-cost health plans
Mar 25 2011, Kay Lazar, Boston Globe
A report out today says people in these plans indeed spent significantly less on their medical care, compared with families with more traditional coverage, but they also cut back on preventive health care, such as cancer screenings and childhood vaccinations. Surprisingly, they did so even though most of the plans allowed people to get preventive care without paying an up-front deductible.


Rolling Into the ER: Ecstasy Hospitalizations Spike, Spur Spring-Break Fears
Mar 25 2011, Courtney Hutchinson, ABC News Health
New government statistics show a 75 percent spike in ecstasy-related emergency room visits since 2004, prompting the director of National Drug Control Policy, Gil Kerlikowske, to issue a public warning on the dangers of the popular party drug, especially with the spring break season approaching.


National Quality Strategy Will Promote Better Health, Quality Care For Americans
Mar 22 2011, Medical News Today
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today released the National Strategy for Quality Improvement in Health Care (National Quality Strategy). The strategy was called for under the Affordable Care Act and is the first effort to create national aims and priorities to guide local, state, and national efforts to improve the quality of health care in the United States.


Pack-a-day smokers declining
Mar 15 2011, Amanda Gardner , CNN Health
Fewer U.S. adults are smoking, and those who do smoke are on average smoking less, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Smoking rates in the U.S. have dropped dramatically over the past several decades, falling from 40% in 1965 to about 20% in 2006. Much of that decline is due to a disproportionate decrease in the number of people who smoke at least a pack a day, the study found.


US misses goal of wiping out TB by 201
Mar 24 2011, Julie Steenhuysen, MSNBC
CHICAGO — Despite steady improvements, the United States has failed to make its goal of eradicating tuberculosis by 2010, government researchers said Thursday.

U.S. TB rates last year fell to 11,181 reported cases, or 3.6 cases per 100,000 people, a one-year drop of 3.9 percent and an all-time low since national reporting began in 1953, according to a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.