The growth in Medicare costs continues to be slow, in what is perhaps the most encouraging fiscal development for the U.S. in decades. If the health-care system is to continue to provide better value for Americans, policy makers need to seize this moment. Sadly, they are instead largely sitting on the sidelines.
High sugar consumption may double the chance of dying from heart disease, according to a study that adds to evidence that high levels of the sweetener in processed foods and drink is bad for a person’s health.
When Sheena Wilson, 45, underwent robotic surgery for a hysterectomy in May, she didn’t know the Intuitive Surgical Inc. system used by her doctor was previously tied to a variety of injuries for the same procedure.
For a while when she was living on the streets, Nira Williams sold beer for $1 a can to the drunks who hung out at the shelters in Phoenix. She didn’t imbibe herself. Alcohol, she said, is one thing she didn’t get hooked on when she was in the U.S. Army.
The Institute of Medicine will examine whether the process of hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas from rock “poses potential health challenges,” a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official said.
The U.S. military’s approach to treating alcohol and substance abuse is outmoded, according to an Institute of Medicine report citing data showing prescription drug misuse is surging and heavy drinking is common.
Improving the U.S. health-care system requires encouraging low-value doctors and hospitals to practice as well as high-value ones do. The gap between the two is wide, but that only shows how much room we have for improvement.
In the past two months, Medicare spending has been lower than in October and November of 2012, according to the Congressional Budget Office. It’s an extraordinary feat that continues a several-years-long streak of deceleration in health costs.