Health Care

12:24pm

Thu August 22, 2013
Shots - Health News

How Hospitals Can Help Patients Quit Smoking Before Surgery

Stubbing that little habit out before surgery would be a very good idea.
Image Source/Corbis

Doctors want people to quit smoking before surgery because it reduces the risk of complications, but often don't do much to make that happen.

But, it turns out, just a wee bit of help makes it much more likely that people will quit before going under the knife, a study finds.

Patients who got less than five minutes of counseling from a nurse and free nicotine patches at least three weeks before surgery were much more likely to quit, according to researchers at the University of Western Ontario. Those patients also got a brochure and a referral to a quit-smoking hotline.

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9:37am

Wed August 21, 2013
Shots - Health News

An Alaska-Sized Price Difference For Circumcisions

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 5:10 am

Dr. Charles Ryan checks on a patient.
Annie Feidt

It's not just patients who are stunned to see what a hospital charges for services.

Two groups of pediatricians are taking a stand in Anchorage, Alaska, after learning that Alaska Regional Hospital is charging $2,110 for a circumcision — almost 10 times more than the $235 that Providence Hospital, the city's other major health facility, charges. Those prices are on top of a doctor's bill.

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12:47pm

Sun August 18, 2013
Shots - Health News

What's My Real Cancer Risk? When Online Calculators Don't Compute

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 9:31 am

Whether or not you'll someday get cancer or any disease can feel like a roll of hundreds of dice. Calculating the odds --€” and knowing what they mean --€” is tricky.
Katie Harbath Flickr

Online risk calculators are all the rage these days among public health groups trying to get us to change our unhealthful ways. The World Health Organization developed an online tool that lets you estimate your personal risk of cracking a hip in the next 10 years, for example. You just plug in data about yourself, your lifestyle, and your family medical history.

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5:32am

Thu August 15, 2013
Politics

Gingrich: Most GOP Lawmakers Have 'Zero' Ideas On Health Care

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 7:47 am

Republicans need to pitch their own ideas on healthcare, not just object to the president's, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters /Landov

Look your Republican member of Congress in the eye and ask, "What is your positive replacement for Obamacare?"

In most cases, says former House speaker and past Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich, "they will have zero answer."

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12:59pm

Wed August 14, 2013
Shots - Health News

Industry Ties Raise Questions About Expert Medical Panels

Who's deciding which boxes he gets to check?
iStockphoto.com

When your doctor is looking to make a diagnosis or choose a treatment, she often checks to see what the experts recommend.

Guidelines from these groups of leading doctors help the average physician decide if it's time to prescribe drugs to lower a patient's cholesterol or turn to medicines for someone's depression.

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