Patients’ complaints about doctors are finally being taken seriously, as poor communication is increasingly understood to be at the root of many of health care’s failures—and a leading culprit in rising costs. Research shows that when doctors don’t listen to patients, they miss important health cues and misdiagnose illness. Meanwhile, patients who don’t understand what their doctors say fail to follow their regimens, leading to preventable hospitalizations, complications and poor outcomes.
Many employers offer wellness programs to contain their health-care costs—and perhaps also improve morale and productivity.
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How Companies Can Foster Healthy Employees
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News from the Health Blog
Chiara Goia for The Wall Street Rahima Sheikh’s yearslong effort to beat tuberculosis left her, in the end, all but untreatable. She displays scans in the Mumbai slum she shared with her husband and daughter. By Geeta Anand This weekend’s Wall Street Journal has the story of Rahima Sheikh, one of India’s first documented cases of tuberculosis that is resistant to virtually all the medicines approved to treat it. Over the past six years, Mrs. Sheikh, 40 years old, mortgaged her family’s rice fields, spent her father’s and brother’s life savings, and crisscrossed India in search of a cure for tuberculosis. But instead of getting healthier, Mrs. Sheikh grew increasingly resistant to medication with each failed treatment. Her six-year journey to all-but-incurable TB exposes a blind spot in an Indian medical bureaucracy that, for decades, neglected to implement widespread testing or treatment for drug-resistant strains.
With tens of millions of baby boomers heading into retirement, Medicare’s long-term financial prognosis is grim. One proposed solution is to raise the eligibility age gradually to 67 from 65. What do you think?
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Should Medicare’s Eligibility Age Be Raised?
Also in today’s health news: Legionnaires’ outbreak cause for caution, but not unusual, public health officials say; States are cutting back on Medicaid’s dental coverage.
A.M. Vitals: WellPoint’s Braly Quits Under Pressure
A large health-care grant unveiled Tuesday is aimed at tackling an often overlooked side effect of hospital care: the loss of dignity that afflicts particularly sick patients.
Big Grant Aims to Help Patients Maintain Dignity
New distress-screening programs for cancer patients aim to help with emotional and psychological issues that can interfere with treatment and adversely affect outcomes.
New Help for Distressed Cancer Patients
Here’s what’s making health news this morning: New York Probes Energy-Drink Makers (WSJ): New York’s attorney general is investigating whether the multibillion-dollar energy-drink industry is deceiving consumers with misstatements about the ingredients and health value of its products. PepsiCo, maker of AMP, Monster Beverage and Living Essentials LLC, maker of 5-hour Energy drink, received supoenas in July, according to a person familiar with the matter. Detective Work: The False Alzheimer’s Diagnosis (WSJ): More than 100 other conditions, from vitamin and hormone deficiencies to rare brain disorders, can mimic Alzheimer’s disease, experts say. Some are readily treatable.
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A.M. Vitals: Energy Drinks Under Scrutiny
In Tuesday’s Personal Journal, Melinda Beck looks at the most common of these drugs and conditions, some of which are treatable, and talks to patients who had underlying conditions that were causing their Alzheimer’s-like symptoms.
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Misdiagnosed: When It Isn’t Alzheimer’s