The Daily Rise: Wednesday, July 13

Voices of Value

There is power in knowledge, and there is strength in numbers.

Here at Patients Rising, we’re capturing the indelible voice of patients from across the country with our Voices of Value initiative. We’re proud to share our latest installment of patients speaking about their own care concerns. Patients Rising will lead the fight for the right patient to receive the right treatment — right now. If you have a story we should be telling, join our community and let us know!

Meet Colleen. She is a wife and the mother of one adorable five-year-old. She is also living with advanced stage colon cancer. She faces the stark reality of one remaining option to try before she is going to be completely dependent on innovation to save her life. She knows this, and is willing to go to any length to live. But is her insurance company?

Check out more patient stories at our Voices of Value page.

President Obama Backs “Public Option”

President Barack Obama is backing the public option.

In a scholarly article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, President Obama acknowledged the shortcomings of his landmark health care law, arguing that a government-run insurance program was necessary.

“Now, based on experience with the ACA, I think Congress should revisit a public plan to compete alongside private insurers in areas of the country where competition is limited,” he wrote. “Adding a public plan in such areas would strengthen the Marketplace approach, giving consumers more affordable options while also creating savings for the federal government.”

Not everyone agrees that the public option will improve things.

“This is the age-old theory that the government knows how to start a business,” Dr. Joseph Antos, a healthcare policy analyst with the American Enterprise Institute, told Medscape Medical News. “It is proven at every level that the government is really terrible at starting businesses.”

Improving Screening for Diabetes

Diabetes screening guidelines are in dire shape.

Science Daily reports that diabetes screening guidelines missed 55 percent of high-risk patients, according to a new study by Northwestern Medicine. Last October, the United States Preventive Service Task Force issued the latest diabetes screening guidelines, which recommended patients be screened for diabetes if they are between 40 and 70 years old and are overweight or obese. However, the Northwestern Medicine study — the first review of the new guidelines — found “many patients outside those age and weight ranges develop diabetes, especially racial and ethnic minorities.”

“Preventing and treating diabetes early is very important, especially in this setting of community health centers, where many of their socioeconomically disadvantaged patients face barriers to following up regularly,” said study senior author Dr. Matthew O’Brien, assistant professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “If you miss someone now, it might be years before they come back, at which point they have overt diabetes and maybe even complications, like heart attacks or strokes.”

In a Galaxy Far, Far Away

TechCrunch compares Star Wars and the future of healthcare.

“The bots of today rival the intelligence of C-3PO and R2-D2. Robots and droids help build cars, deliver packages and defuse bombs,” writes Dr. Darren Schulte, CEO of Apixio. “These same technologies are beginning to have a stronger presence in the world of medicine.”

“Surgeons regularly conduct laparoscopic surgery with the da Vinci Surgical System; using the surgical bot they can control tiny, precise movements of surgical instruments. At UCSF Mission Bay Medical Center robots navigate the hallways to deliver supplies to and from the pharmacy, kitchen, lab and stock rooms. Aethon, the company behind the robots, designed the bot specifically for hospitals and uses built-in maps and sensors to create a semi-autonomous robot.”

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