Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, Cost of Health Care, JAMA / 20.10.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anita Katharina Wagner, PharmD, MPH, DrPH Associate Professor of Population Medicine Director, Ethics Program, Point32Health (parent company of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan) Co-Director, HMS Fellowship in Health Policy and Insurance Research Co-Director, Center for Cancer Policy and Program Evaluation (CarPE) Department of Population Medicine Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The expectation for new cancer drugs is that they help patients live better longer. Increasingly more cancer drugs are approved without documented quality of life or overall survival benefits.   At the same time, cancer drug prices are rising.  We studied use of and spending on selected new cancer drugs among patients with employer-sponsored health insurance. We found that among 37348 patients who received one or more of 44 oral targeted cancer drugs, the proportion of patients who received a drug without documented overall survival benefit increased from 13% in 2011 to 59% in 2018.  By 2018, spending on drugs without documented overall survival benefit accounted for 52% of the $3.5 million spend on the 44 drugs since 2011. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA / 18.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ambar La Forgia, PhD Assistant Professor of Health Policy & Management Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Over the past few years, there has been mounting pressure to protect consumers from surprise medical bills, which occur when a patient unknowingly receives care from an out-of-network practitioner at an in-network facility. In 2018, only six states had passed comprehensive surprise billing legislation, and by 2020, 17 states had passed legislation. In addition to protecting patients from financial liability for surprise medical bills, states adopted different methods for determining payments made by a patient’s insurer to the out-of-network practitioner. For example, some states, such as California and Florida, developed a payment standard that tied provider payments to median in-network rates, Medicare rates, or the usual and customary provider charges. Other states, such as New York, developed an independent dispute resolution process, which uses a third-party arbiter to resolve payment disputes between insurers and practitioners. However, little is known about how state laws influence the prices paid to out-of-network practitioners and whether spillovers existed to in-network prices. In this study, my co-authors and I study the association between the passage of surprise billing legislation in California, Florida, and New York, and prices paid to anesthesiologists in hospital outpatient departments and ambulatory surgery centers using commercial claims data from 2012-2017. We focused on anesthesiology because it is one of the specialties with the highest proportion of potential surprise bills since patients do not usually choose their anesthesiologist. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Pancreatic, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 23.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kelly Herremans, MD Lead researcher on the study Surgical research fellow University of Florida College of Medicine Gainesville MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Pancreatic cancer is a deadly malignancy with an estimated 5-year survival rate of only 9%. Significant racial and ethnic disparities exist in pancreatic cancer. Underrepresentation in the clinical trials that determine safety and efficacy may contribute to these disparate outcomes. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 23.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Edward L. Barnes, MD, MPH Assistant Professor of Medicine Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology UNCHealth Care and a medical advisor to the Global Healthy Living Foundation MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Although historically inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) have been considered diseases of non-Hispanic whites, the current burden of Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) in minority populations is largely unknown. I n our study, we evaluated the relative prevalence of CD and UC across racial and ethnic groups within the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network (PCORnet) and compared the racial/ethnic distribution of IBD in PCORnet to that of the United States (US) census data, the overall PCORnet population, and PCORnet patients with selected immune-mediated conditions. (more…)
Author Interviews, Lancet, Nutrition, OBGYNE / 22.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Susan E. Carlson Ph.D. Associate Dean for Research Program Director,, AJ Rice Professor Department of Dietetics and Nutrition University of Kansas Medical Center Kansas City, KS MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are its benefits? Response: DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid. Good food sources include some types of seafood (e.g., salmon, tuna, trout) and chicken eggs. Persons in the USA and in much of the developing world consume little dietary DHA. DHA supplements in pregnancy have been linked to lower risk of preterm birth for 20 years, especially early preterm births (<34 weeks gestation). For about 10 years, prenatal supplements with about 200 mg DHA have been readily available in the USA, however, no study has asked if this amount of DHA is optimal to reduce early preterm birth. Participants were given a supplement of 1000 mg or 200 mg DHA beginning before 20 weeks gestation using an adaptive randomization that periodically assigned more participants to the group with the fewest early preterm births. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Dermatology / 11.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Monisha Madhumita Father Muller Medical College India MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? hand-washing-eczema-dermatologyResponse: The COVID‐19 pandemic requires stringent adoption of hand hygiene practices. Health Care Workers (HCW) and the general population are at increased risk of irritation, dryness, redness and cracked hands (irritant dermatitis) due to frequent hand washing and the use of alcohol-based hand rubs. An effective hand sanitizer contains at least 60% alcohol to kill germs. Thus, it can be very drying to the skin. Transepidermal water loss (TEWL) is a way to measure the water lost from the skin. It is an essential parameter for characterizing skin hydration and protective function. Both of which are disrupted in irritant hand dermatitis. This research study was conducted on 582 participants: 291 health care workers and 291 healthy individuals of the general population. Measurements of TEWL were made using a noninvasive, closed- chamber system (VapoMeter) in a standardized environment. The study participants were asked to identify the challenges to compliance in hand hygiene practice (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, JAMA, USPSTF / 07.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: John B. Wong, M.D. Chief Scientific Officer Vice chair for Clinical Affairs Chief of the Division of Clinical Decision Making and Primary care Clinician Department of Medicine at Tufts Medical Center   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Hypertension affects nearly half of all adults in the United States and is a major risk factor for many serious health conditions. Fortunately, by screening all adults for hypertension, clinicians can improve their patient’s health. The Task Force continues to recommend screening all adults for hypertension so that they can get the care they need to help prevent health conditions such as heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure. (more…)
Education, Nursing / 30.04.2021

There are many reasons why people might decide to change their careers. If you have been working in the same position for some time and it’s not as exciting or as rewarding as you hoped it would be, you could be thinking about doing something different. If you want to work in a career where you can make a real difference to the lives of others and enjoy a rewarding work experience every day, nursing could be the ideal option for you. Nursing is a highly satisfying career option with a high demand due to the nursing shortage in the US. Here are some of the key things to consider before you switch your career to nursing.

Training as a Nurse

nursing-education-healthcareAs a specialized healthcare position where you will be responsible for the health and wellbeing of patients, nurses are required to hold a degree and a license before they can begin work. To qualify as a registered nurse, you will need to obtain a BSN degree, which typically takes around four years when studying full-time. However, if you already have a bachelor’s degree in another subject, there is an option that will allow you to become a nurse in half the time; accelerated nursing programs are designed for those who already have a bachelor’s degree and want a quick career change into nursing. The top accelerated nursing programs can be found via this link. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, USPSTF, Vitamin D / 22.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Michael Silverstein M.D., M.P.H Professor of Pediatrics Director of the Division of General Academic Pediatrics Vice Chair of Research, Department of Pediatrics Boston University School of Medicine   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Vitamin D is an important nutrient for keeping bones healthy, and it may also have a role in other aspects of good health. However, we do not have enough evidence to understand what levels of vitamin D people need to keep them healthy or what levels are too low. As a result, the Task Force determined there is not enough evidence to recommend for or against screening for vitamin D deficiency in adults who do not have signs or symptoms. It is our hope that with more research, we will be able to make a strong, evidence-based recommendation on screening for vitamin D deficiency in the future. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 08.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Erica M. Wymore, MD MPH Assistant Professor, Neonatal- Perinatal Medicine Department of Pediatrics, Section of Neonatology University of Colorado School of Medicine Children's Hospital Colorado Maya Bunik, MD, MPH  |  Professor, Pediatrics Medical Director, Child Health Clinic, Primary Care  |  Breastfeeding Management Clinic Adult and Child Consortium for Health Outcomes Research and Delivery Science (ACCORDS) School of Medicine| University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Children's Hospital Colorado MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Marijuana legalization has been increasing in the United States, with increasing consumption of marijuana products. Currently, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM) do not recommend marijuana use during pregnancy or lactation due to concerning though limited data on the effects of perinatal marijuana exposure. As there has been increasing prevalence of women using marijuana during pregnancy due to legalization and perceptions of safety, we sought to determine the duration of THC excretion in breast milk among women who had evidence of marijuana use at delivery and abstained post-partum.  (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Gender Differences, JAMA / 30.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael S. Pollard, Ph.D. Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School Senior Sociologist RAND Corporation Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There are ample anecdotal jokes and stories about increased alcohol use during COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders. Our study provides robust longitudinal evidence that people drank more frequently, and for women in particular, more heavily, and with more negative consequences, during the initial stages of COVID-19 compared to their own behaviors from a year earlier (May/June 2020 compared to May/June 2019). Women’s alcohol consumption was most significantly changed, with a 17% increase in number of days drinking, and a 41% increase in days of binge drinking (when they had four or more drinks in a couple of hours). This means that, nationally, one in five women drank heavily one more day a month than the same time in 2019, on average. Women also reported a 39% increase in alcohol-related problems, such as “I took foolish risks” or “I failed to do what was expected of me” because of drinking alcohol. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews / 11.03.2020

Specialist Healthcare BusinessHealthcare is now the fastest-growing industry in the US, and currently employs over 18 million people. With an increasing number of patients with chronic and mental health conditions, and a steady rise in the number of elderly patients, specialized healthcare businesses could help to take care of growing needs. Depending on your professional field, setting up your own healthcare business could involve developing apps to help manage common chronic conditions, offering counseling to alleviate the stress of bereavement, or assisting a rapidly aging population. (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, Health Care Systems / 29.08.2019

healthcare health care
At least one half of the world’s 7.7 billion population do not have proper access to crucial health services. Even high-income countries with accessible and affordable healthcare are finding it difficult to meet the needs of their citizens. Meanwhile, in other parts of the world, millions of people spend a significant part of their household budget to be able to access health services -- some are even pushed into poverty as a consequence. Given these facts and statistics, a comprehensive understanding of health insurance can be crucial in encouraging people to seek healthcare services as well as avoid complications from preventable conditions. If you want to know more about the status of healthcare all over the world, here’s a look at the healthcare systems of three top nations. The State of Healthcare In The United States The United States is considered the most powerful country in the world; however, its healthcare system still lags behind other high-income countries. Currently, there is no universal healthcare for U.S. citizens. There are federal-funded programs such as Medicaid that provides health insurance to low-income populations, the elderly and people with disabilities. The Affordable Care Act, which aimed to provide health insurance to all, was enacted in 2010 under the Obama administration. However, this is being challenged by the Trump administration’s American Health Care Act of 2017, which also seeks major reforms to healthcare in the United States. Currently, U.S. citizens who are employed full-time receive private insurance through their employers. While some self-employed individuals and part-time employees opt for private health insurance, many of them have to pay for health services out-of-pocket. In many cases, these expenses are beyond their means. As it stands, healthcare has become one of the hottest issues in the lead-up to the country’s upcoming 2020 elections. (more…)
Author Interviews, Health Care Systems, Psychological Science / 03.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Mary Dixon-Woods Director, The Healthcare Improvement Studies Institute (THIS Institute) University of Cambridge  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The challenges around employee voice are well documented. For various reasons, employees in all industries are often reluctant to raise concerns when they witness disruptive or unsafe behaviour from their colleagues. But it’s crucial that they speak up – especially in healthcare. Patient safety may depend on it. Our study focused on a large academic medical centre in the US that wanted to improve employee voice. Despite having reporting mechanisms in place, the organisation still had issues with disruptive behaviour from group of powerful senior individuals that went unchallenged and contributed to a culture of fear. Through confidential interviews with 67 frontline staff and leaders and the organizational actions that followed, we learned it’s important for employees to feel that their concerns will be dealt with authentically. It also helps when healthcare organisations have clear definitions of acceptable and unacceptable behaviour and well-coordinated response mechanisms. Once someone does raise a concern, organizations need good, fair and transparent systems of investigations and be prepared to implement consequences for disruptive behaviour consistently.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Geriatrics / 07.07.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jonathan H. Watanabe, PharmD, PhD, BCGP Associate Professor of Clinical Pharmacy National Academy of Medicine Anniversary Fellow in Pharmacy Division of Clinical Pharmacy | Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences | University of California San Diego La Jolla, CA  Jonathan H. Watanabe, PharmD, PhD, BCGP Associate Professor of Clinical Pharmacy National Academy of Medicine Anniversary Fellow in Pharmacy Division of Clinical Pharmacy | Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences | University of California San Diego La Jolla, CA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: As a clinician in older adult care and as a health economist, I’ve been following the news and research studies on older patients unable to pay for their medications and consequently not getting the treatment they require. Our goal was to measure how spending on the medications Part D spends the most on, has been increasing over time and to figure out what prices patients are facing out-of-pocket to get these medications. In 2015 US dollars, Medicare Part D spent on the ten highest spend medications increased from $21.5 billion in 2011 to $28.4 billion in 2015.  The number of patients that received one of the ten highest spend medications dropped from 12,913,003 in 2011 to 8,818,471--- a 32% drop in that period. A trend of spending more tax dollars on fewer patients already presents societal challenges, but more troubling is that older adults are spending much more of their own money out-of-pocket on these medications.  For patients without a federal low income subsidy, the average out-of-pocket cost share for one of the ten highest spend medications increased from $375 in 2011 to $1,366 in 2015.  This represented a 264% increase and an average 66% increase per year.  For patients receiving the low income subsidy, the average out-of-pocket cost share grew from $29 in 2011 to $44 in 2015 an increase of 51% and an average increase of 12.7% per year.  This may not sound like much, but for those living close to the federal poverty level this can be the difference between foregoing necessities to afford your medications or choosing not to take your medications.   (more…)
Author Interviews, Electronic Records / 21.02.2015

Rally HealthMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brian Dolan Chief Strategy and Partner Integration Officer Rally Health MedicalResearch.com Editor’s note: On February 3, 2015, Rally Health launched a New HIPPA compliant Digital Engagement platform that gives consumers the support and tools they need to better manage their health and well-being. Brian Dolan, the Chief Strategy and Partner Integration Officer at Rally Health, was kind enough to answer questions regarding the new health care interface for the readers of MedicalResearch.com. MedicalResearch: What is the background or vision for the Rally Health digital engagement platform? Mr. Dolan: We designed the platform to give consumers the support and tools they need to better manage their health and well-being. Rally leverages the power of personal health data, social networking, and gamification to encourage consumers to take control of their health. Rally’s proven behavior-changing technology encourages consumers to manage their own health by inspiring sustained action and offering intrinsic and extrinsic value-based incentives for engagement. Members can also meet other Rally users for ongoing support and encouragement. With the right balance of social and digital connectivity, Rally Health creates a modern consumer experience that makes getting healthy personal, relevant and fun. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dental Research / 29.08.2014

Donna Warren Morris, RDH, Med Professor, Dean's Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars Houston, TX 77054  MedicalResearch.com Interview with:  Donna Warren Morris, RDH, Med Professor, Dean's Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars Houston, TX 77054 Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: Power toothbrushes can harbor microorganisms that have been shown to cause disease and infections. A solid-head design was found to have less growth of microorganisms than two others with hollow head designs. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, HIV / 21.07.2014

Anna Satcher Johnson MPH Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Atlanta, GeorgiaMedicalResearch.com: Interview with: Anna Satcher Johnson MPH Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Atlanta, Georgia Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: The new analysis confirms historical trends suggesting that we’ve made significant progress in reducing HIV in the U.S. over time – overall and among several key populations, including injection drug users and heterosexuals.  Overall, new HIV diagnoses from 2002 to 2011 declined 33 percent.  However, these findings underscore continued concerns of a surging HIV epidemic among young gay and bisexual men.  We found a significant increase in HIV diagnoses among young men who have sex with men between the ages of 13 and 24. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, General Medicine, Outcomes & Safety / 06.03.2014

Karen Yeung Professor of Law Centre for Technology, Ethics Law & Society King's College London London WC2R 2LSMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Karen Yeung Professor of Law Centre for Technology, Ethics Law & Society King's College London London WC2R 2LS MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Professor Yeung: This study found a gap in existing legal regulation of healthcare quality in the UK.  While patients receiving treatment under mental health legislation are protected by the criminal law against wilful neglect or ill treatment, other patients are not subject to the same level of protection, although many such patients are just as vulnerable as those who are mentally incapacitated.  Hence we argue that a new criminal offence of 'wilful neglect or ill treatment' of patients in the healthcare sector is needed. (more…)