Volume IV, Issue 43

Oct. 23 , 2017
The Uninsured Rate Is Rising Again
Jeffrey Young reports for The Huffington Post on Oct. 20, 2017:
The national uninsured rate has started climbing back up amid higher costs for health insurance and uncertainty about the future of the Affordable Care Act, according to Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index survey findings released Friday. The Gallup report doesn't include data proving the causes of the uptick in the number of uninsured, but the likeliest explanation includes a mix of factors that include shortcomings of the Affordable Care Act's health insurance marketplace itself, and actions taken by President Donald Trump and the Republican-led Congress.  
According to Mr. Young:
The uninsured rate very probably will continue to increase in future months if things remain on their present course.
Is the U.S. Addicted to Fee-for-Service Healthcare? 
Robert Pearl, MD in a KevinMD post dated October 20, 2017, asserts:
For its many users, health care's fee-for-service reimbursement methodology is like an addiction, similar to gambling, cigarette smoking, and pain pill abuse. Doctors and hospitals in the clutches of this flawed payment model have grown dependent on providing more and more health care services, regardless of whether the additional care adds value.

According to the author:
Most who suffer from addiction are aware of the risks. They just can't stop the habit. However, unless we curb health care's fee-for-service addiction, the cost of care will rise to unsustainable levels. And regardless of what comes of the current health care debate in Washington, D.C., coverage will erode as prices become unbearable.
First-Ever National Study to Examine Different Languages Spoken by U.S. Doctors
Doximity, a social network for physicians and advanced practice clinicians, released a first-of-its-kind research study, posted October 17 and entitled "Language Barriers in U.S. Health Care", that analyzed the languages - other than English - U.S. physicians report speaking nationally, and across the largest 50 metropolitan areas in the country. By comparing these findings against U.S. Census data, the report found a significant "language gap" between those languages spoken by physicians and their patients.

"The most important conversations we have as physicians are with our patients," said Nate Gross, MD, co-founder of Doximity. "A growing body of research has shown patients achieve better health outcomes when they can communicate with their caregivers in the same language. Understanding imbalances between languages can help address communication challenges across our health care system."



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